Globalization is sending people packing. That is, they are packing their belongings and sending themselves across national boundaries to find better paying jobs. These transnational families maintain deep roots in their home countries while they establish new social networks within the host country. An increasing number of women are leaving their children behind in order to provide a better life for them in the future. What does it take to make it to the US and secure that elusive green card?
Globalization’s Impact on Families
Strong family ties make civilization work. When important family members move thousands of miles away, those ties are broken. Workers from less-developed nations often find themselves marginalized by the more prosperous societies they have moved to and are restricted to low-paying positions within it.
Relocated workers have a powerful impetus to remain working within their more prosperous neighbors. Most send money back home to support family members unable to find work there. In fact, these remittances account of 20% of the GDP in some nations.
If workers arrive without a green card, and many do, the process of obtaining one begins. Without a green card, they run the risk of not being able to return to the host country after a trip home. Since this process can take many years, it effectively breaks down long-standing family bonds. Getting a green card for parents of individuals who have already become a citizen can be a trialing process that challenges many to succeed.
Globalization: The Journey to a New Land
When money is scarce, desperate individuals will do just about anything to find work. Stories abound of local area markets where illegal immigrants find work for pennies on the dollar with the promise that legal help for a green card will be provided. Some of the most horrific news stories tell the tale of truckloads of people left to die as they were being smuggled into the US.
Workers flock to areas where their native language is spoken to learn how to negotiate their new home. Those areas are often high in crime with sub-optimal housing. Companies such as WalMart provide profitable money wiring services so that temporary workers, unable to secure a banking account, can send their wages home. Globalization is big business in more ways than one.
The Economic Effect on Local Economies of a Large Migrant Workforce
Much of the disruption of families during this period of globalization stems from their inability to get legal paperwork completed to ensure that family members are able to return for regular visits. These difficulties are fueled by ideas that the wealth of the host country is being diminished when large numbers of migrating workers from low-wage nations arise. Is this truly the case?
Many migrants don’t apply for legal status because they wish to return to their home nations once they have saved some money. By loosening the restrictions for legal residence, local economies can actually thrive by keeping the best workers. Mobile workforces can be available for peak production periods. Workers who have been able to maintain their family ties will be much less isolated and more likely to contribute to the society at large.
What do you think? Should nations like the US that attract many workers from less industrialized nations take steps to help migrant workers maintain their traditional family structures? Do transnational families help or harm the local and national economies?
In a conference call with his national finance committee on Wednesday, Republican Mitt Romney attributes his election loss to President Barack Obama’s “gifts” that he bestowed on minorities and young people during his first term.
Mitt Romney said Barack Obama’s win was buoyed in large part by loyal Democratic constituencies including the poor that he had promised “free health care”, the immigrants that he had protected from deportation and the college-aged women that he had offered free contraceptives.
“You can imagine for somebody making $25,000 or $30,000 or $35,000 a year, being told you’re now going to get free health care, particularly if you don’t have it, getting free health care worth, what, $10,000 per family, in perpetuity? I mean, this is huge.”
“Likewise, with Hispanic voters, free health care was a big plus,” he added.
“But in addition with regards to Hispanic voters, the amnesty for children of illegals, the so-called DREAM Act kids, was a huge plus for that voting group.”
Barack Obama announced in June that he would grant temporary amnesty to some children of undocumented immigrants who met certain requirements and had clean criminal records. The program resembled the DREAM Act, which had long been stalled in Congress.
Mitt Romney chided Barack Obama over the summer for waiting so long to address immigration reform, charging that his amnesty program was politically motivated.
“He saves these sort of things until four-and-a-half months before the general election,” Mitt Romney said in June on CBS’ Face the Nation.
“I think the timing is pretty clear. If he really wanted a solution that dealt with these kids or illegal immigration in America, then this is something he would have taken up in his first three-and-a-half years, not in his last few months.”
Now Mitt Romney is saying that the program is what persuaded Hispanics to support Barack Obama.
Mitt Romney attributes his election loss to Barack Obama’s gifts that he bestowed on minorities and young people during his first term
Mitt Romney won 59% of the white vote, while Barack Obama was backed by 93% of black voters, 71% of Latinos and 60% of voters younger than 30, according to exit polls.
He said that Barack Obama directed his campaign according to the “old playbook” of targeting specific groups with promises of legislation that would persuade them to vote a certain way.
“In each case they were very generous in what they gave to those groups,” Mitt Romney said.
“With regards to the young people, for instance, a forgiveness of college loan interest, was a big gift,” Mitt Romney said.
“Free contraceptives were very big with young college-aged women. And then, finally, Obamacare also made a difference for them, because as you know, anybody now 26 years of age and younger was now going to be part of their parents’ plan, and that was a big gift to young people.
“They turned out in large numbers, a larger share in this election even than in 2008,” Mitt Romney said.
Similarly, Paul Ryan, Mitt Romney’s running mate, blamed the Republican ticket’s loss on high turnout among “urban” voters.
“I think the surprise was some of the turnout, some of the turnout especially in urban areas, which gave President Obama the big margin to win this race,” Paul Ryan told a television station in Wisconsin.
“When we watched Virginia and Ohio coming in, and those ones coming in as tight as they were, and looking like we were going to lose them, that’s when it became clear we weren’t going to win.”
Mitt Romney told his finance team that the sting of his loss was still too strong to begin mapping out his plans going forward for himself and for the Republican Party.
“I am very sorry that we didn’t win,” he said.
“I know that you expected to win. We expected to win… It was very close, but close doesn’t count in this business.”
Mitt Romney added: “And so now we’re looking and saying, <<O.K., what can we do going forward?>>. But frankly we’re still so troubled by the past, it’s hard to put together our plans from the future.”
Barack Obama’s “gifts”
Mitt Romney says President Barack Obama targeted blacks, Hispanics and young people with certain “gifts” including:
Obamacare’s provisions allowing children to stay on their parents’ health insurance plans through age 26
A program that caps federal student loan payments at 10% of income and forgives any remaining debt after 20 years of consistent payments
Temporary deportation exemptions granted to young illegal immigrants who meet certain requirements
Requirement that most employers provide health insurance covering birth control
Greek police has announced that more than 1,600 illegal immigrants will be deported following a major crackdown in Athens in recent days.
More than 6,000 people have been detained, though most were released.
Public Order Minister Nikos Dendias defended the crackdown. He said Greece’s economic plight meant it could not afford an “invasion of immigrants”.
He called the immigration issue a “bomb at the foundations of the society and of the state”.
“Unless we create the proper structure to handle immigration, then we will fall apart,” he said.
Greek police has announced that more than 1,600 illegal immigrants will be deported following a major crackdown in Athens in recent days
Some 88 illegal immigrants were sent back to Pakistan on Sunday.
The Greek authorities have increased the number of guards at the border with Turkey amid fears there may be a sudden influx of refugees entering Greek territory as the situation in Syria deteriorates.
More than 80% of migrants entering the European Union do so through Greece, which is in the grip of its worst recession in decades.
Some Greek politicians have called for the government to adopt a harder line on illegal immigration.
In the recent election, the far-right Golden Dawn party won enough votes to enter parliament.
Last week the party distributed free food to needy people outside the Greek parliament – but only if they proved they were Greek citizens and submitted important personal information including their blood type, the Greek newspaper Kathimerini reported.
Greece has frequently come under criticism for its handling of immigrants. Amnesty International accused it of treating asylum seekers like criminals and holding them in detention centres.
Greece has frequently called on other European nations to do more to help tackle illegal migration into the EU, arguing that it bears a disproportionate burden.