Friday, December 21, 2007

Selective Immigration

Sarkozy's "selective immigration" policy--employment-based national quotas--will favor higher-skilled immigrants from Africa and Asia and lower-skilled immigrants from Eastern Europe. Today Le Figaro reminds its readers that there are already European countries (UK, Ireland, Scandinavia, Germany) with substantial numbers of low-skilled immigrants from the east that have not found their labor-shortage problems miraculously solved. In France, "immigration from East Europe" is coded to mean "people who will do what we need to have done for less money and not cause trouble or alter our national identity." In England, the code is different: it means "people who will do our jobs for half what we make." Hence Gordon Brown, that well-meaning preacher's son, has been obliged to sound like a British version of Le Pen: "British jobs for British workers." Yesterday's expansion of the Schengen region in which European citizens may travel freely without passports should have made clear the need for reflection on the implications of the massive shifts in Europe's populations that can be expected over the coming decade.

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