Tag Archives | Immigrants

On Immigrants Versus Expats

immigrantsRegarding how the terms we use frame our perceptions, Mehran Khalili on the terms for people from other places:

Immigration, a lexicon: You’re a ‘migrant’ when you’re very poor; ‘immigrant’ when you’re not so poor; and ‘expat’ when you’re rich.

Semantics matter: the images evoked by the words used to refer to a group of people will, over time, help to define what we think about that group and how we act towards it. And in the case of people migrating to Greece who have in recent years been badly mishandled by the state, the use of neutral language in reporting by international media and NGOs is vital.

Literally speaking, ‘migrants’ and ‘expats’ do indeed have the same meaning. But since practical usage can be something else entirely, feed both terms into Google Images to see how they’re illustrated. ‘Expats’ in Greece are depicted as white; ‘migrants’ as darker-skinned.

Who decides what ethnicity a person should have to be called a migrant?

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Amazon Uses Neo-Nazi Guards To Control Immigrant Workers In Its German Warehouses

Has fascism been privatized? The Independent writes:

Amazon is at the center of a deepening scandal in Germany as the online shopping giant faced claims that it employed security guards with neo-Nazi connections to intimidate its foreign workers.

Germany’s ARD television channel made the allegations about Amazon’s treatment of more than 5,000 temporary staff from across Europe working at its German packing and distribution centers. ARD’s film showed omnipresent guards from a company named HESS Security wearing black uniforms and boots with military haircuts. They were employed to keep order at hostels and budget hotels where foreign workers stayed. “Many of the workers are afraid,” the program-makers said.

ARD said Amazon’s temporary staff worked eight-hour shifts packing goods at the company’s logistics centers in Bad Hersfeld, Konstanz and Augsburg. Many walked up to 17 kilometers per shift and all those taken on could be fired at will. On arrival in Germany, most were told their pay had been cut to below the rate promised when they applied for jobs at Amazon.

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Author Of Arizona’s Anti-Immigrant Law Says Infants Can Get IDs To Prove They Are ‘Legal’

senate_sb1070_120424a-615x345Explaining the “reasonableness” of controversial SB 1070, Republican Russell Pearce says that suspicious children in Arizona are welcome to carry state-issued IDs to ensure that they aren’t rounded up and taken to detention centers. Compassionate conservatives, always thinking of the little ones. Raw Story reports:

The author of a controversial anti-immigration bill in Arizona said on Tuesday that young children could simply get state-issued identification to prove they are in the U.S. legally.

Appearing before a Senate Judiciary subcommittee, former Arizona state Senate president Russell Pearce defended the state’s SB 1070 law, which requires police to check the immigration status of suspects during traffic if there is a “reasonable suspicion” that they undocumented immigrants.

Committee Chairmen Chuck Schumer wondered why the bill did not exempt minors from having to produce proof of citizenship. “All the children can be checked and should be checked under the law and its regulations,” Schumer pointed out.

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Alabama Looks To Replace Immigrant Workers With Prison Labor

JO3ND00ZA draconian law passed earlier this year has resulted in an exodus of illegal (and legal) immigrants from Alabama, and as a result, crops are rotting in fields on farms across the state. The solution? A return to chain gang days, reports AFP:

Alabama farmers have proposed using prisoners to work their fields to replace migrants who fled the state after it passed the country’s harshest anti-immigration law, officials said Tuesday.

The Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industry officials met Tuesday in Mobile with farmers to discuss their proposal. A statement by the department said the meeting with the farmers was convened “to help solve the chronic labor shortages created by Alabama’s new immigration law.”

Known as HB56, the new law requires local police to verify the immigration status of anyone they have a “reasonable suspicion” of being in the country illegally.

The law touched off an exodus of mainly Hispanic workers who moved to other states because of fears of being deported, prompting complaints by farm and construction industry groups of a shortage of workers in one of the poorest US states.

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Immigrants For Sale

This powerful animated video exposes how our immigrant community is being sold to private prisons for obscene profits.

Top three facts to know about private prisons (via immigrantsforsale.org):

  1. The victims: Private prisons don’t care about who they lock up. At a rate of $200 per immigrant a night…

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Migrants Found In ‘Underground Town’ In Moscow

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Photo: Dmitry Azovstev (CC)

110 migrants were found in an underground town in Moscow and are now facing deportation and criminal charges. The ‘town’ was fit with “bathrooms, bedrooms and even prayer rooms.” BBC reports:

Police in Moscow have discovered what they are calling an “underground town” housing illegal immigrants from Central Asia in a Soviet-era bomb shelter in the west of the city.

The discovery was made by police and agents from the FSB security agency and Federal Migration Service.

The underground area was guarded by a four-metre-high [13 feet] concrete wall and barbed wire, said Andrei Mishel of the Russia’s ministry of the interior.

It housed 110 men and women.

[Continues at BBC News]… Read the rest

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