Migration News Digest

Week of February 27, 2012

Mainland Chinese Flock to Hong Kong to Give Birth
In the New York Times, a look a pregnant mothers traveling to Hong Kong in order to secure better medical care, schooling and visa-free travel for their children.

Hong Kong residents, though, are outraged that local pregnant women are being shut out of maternity wards because mainlanders have snapped up the beds. Despite official quotas on maternity care for nonresidents, nearly 4 in 10 births in Hong Kong last year were to mainland parents. Residents are demanding a crackdown, and a hard look at the residency rights law.

Europe at Bay
Jeremy Harding, author of “The Univited: Refugees at the Rich Man’s Gate” and “MotherCountry”, on migrants and the battle for borders in the London Review of Books.

There were those who saw the point of diversity, and even equal rights, but who objected to equality-in-diversity, a fatal combination in their view, with its suggestion that the case for homegrown, European values must now be heard on its relative merits, as one idiom among others.

Matzo Ball Memories
In the Financial Times, Historian Simon Schama remembers growing up as Jewish boy in 1950s London.

I was happy to be a Brylcreem boy, a jiving Jew of the Green, from my gleaming winkle-pickers to the white knitted ties and the snap-brim trilby, worn with an attitude on the way to shul. Mind you, I didn’t want to be in the company of the frum, either, the ultra-orthodox with their deep swaying and knee-bobbing, the corkscrew sidelocks and fringed tzitzit worn on the outside; the pallor peeping from beneath the homburgs.

Griswold on Immigration and the Welfare State
At the Library of Economics and Liberty, a summary of Dan Griswold’s (of the Cato Institute) article “Immigration and the Welfare State”, in Cato Journal. Find the entire article, from Cato’s immigration symposium, here.

The typical foreign-born adult resident of the United States today is more likely to participate in the work force than the typical native-born American. According to the U.S. Department of Labor (2011), the labor-force participation rate of the foreign-born in 2010 was 67.9 percent, compared to the native-born rate of 64.1 percent.
At the Oxford University Press Blog, Anatoly Liberman takes a look at the etymology of the word ‘dude’. It might have been brought to the New World by immigrants.
 Thus, in the eyes of an etymologist the fact of dude being slang is not a stigma. Fuddy-duddy and dodder are as interesting as hodden “the coarse woolen cloth of farmhands’ dress” or the humble hodmandod “snail.” And yet dude might have been a mere “sound gesture,” as German scholars called such expressive formations.

Italy violated human rights by returning migrants to Libya, court rules
Perhaps the biggest news of today’s digest. The European Court of Human Rights ruled that Italy violated the human rights of 24 Somali and Eritrean migrants, when it returned them to Lybia in 2009.

Lawyers for the migrants argued that such interception violated their rights to seek political asylum and also exposed them to the risk of torture or degrading treatment in detention camps in Libya, or to expulsion back to home countries where they risked further persecution.

You can find a fact sheet on collective expulsion by the ECHR here and read the official press release about the ruling here.
Also, find a comment on Antoine Buyse’s (From Utrecht Univerity) blog. You can also look at the UNHCR response.

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