UN Population Division, Department of Economic and Social Affairs,
with support from the UN Population Fund (UNFPA)
MIGRATION NEWS Vol. 3, No. 10 October, 1996 Migration News summarizes the most important immigration and integration developments of the preceding month. Topics are grouped by region: North America, Europe, Asia, and Other. There are two versions of Migration News. The paper edition is about 8,000 words in length, and the email version about 15,000. The purpose of Migration News is to provide a monthly summary of recent immigration developments that can be read in 60 minutes or less. Many issues also contain summaries and reviews of recent research publications. Distribution is by email. If you wish to subscribe, send your email address to: Migration News <firstname.lastname@example.org> Current and back issues may be accessed via Internet on the Migration News Home Page--- http://migration.ucdavis.edu There is no charge for an email subscription to Migration News. A paper edition is available by mail for $30 domestic and $50 foreign. Make checks payable to UC Regents and send to: Philip Martin, Department of Agricultural Economics, University of California, Davis California 95616 USA. Migration News is produced with the support of the University of California-Berkeley Center for German and European Studies, the German Marshall Fund of the United States, and the Pew Charitable Trusts. ISSN 1081-9916 NORTH AMERICA Immigration Overhaul Naturalization Controversy Welfare Changes Implemented Mexico: Polls, Remittances and Economy INS Enforcement Canadian Immigrants EUROPE Germany Begins to Return Bosnians UK: Welfare for Asylum Seekers France: African Immigrants Sweden Tightens Asylum Italy: Amnesty for Enforcement Assistance? Illegal Immigration into Spain Immigration in Austrian Elections Kurds and Refugees Illegal Immigration into Poland ASIA Internal Migration and Stability in China Singapore: Illegals in Construction Foreign Workers in Malaysia Taiwan Considering Freeze on Foreign Worker Permits OTHER Saudi Arabia and Kuwait: Reduce Dependence on Foreigners? Immigration into Argentina 100,000 Immigrants to Australia RESOURCES Slate on Immigration Editors' note: We are pleased to announce an expanded web page at http://migration.ucdavis.edu, with links to additional migration materials. We will soon be adding a search engine to expedite the retrieval of information from past issues of Migration News. _______________________________ NORTH AMERICA _______________________________ Immigration Overhaul On September 25, 1996, by a vote of 305 to 123, the House approved a bill aimed at reducing illegal immigration and reducing access of legal immigrants to welfare. In the Senate, the immigration bill was included in a spending proposal needed to fund government operations, and the Clinton administration and Democratic Senators were thus able to remove several provisions of the House-passed bill that would have tightened the access of legal immigrants to welfare services. The House on September 28, 1996 approved the final version of the immigration and budget bill by a vote of 370-37. The Senate approved the bill on September 30, 1996 by a vote of 84 to 15. President Clinton signed the bill into law immediately. Between the first and second House votes, there were intense negotiations between the White House and Congress over provisions in the bill that would have made legal immigrants deportable if they received more than 12 months of welfare benefits, and raised the income needed for US citizens to sponsor their immediate relatives for admission. The deportation-for-use-of-benefits provision was dropped, and the sponsor-income requirement was reduced. In a separate vote on September 25, 1996, the House also passed the Gallegly amendment, which would permit states to deny newly-enrolled K-12 children free public education, by a vote of 254 to 175. The Senate did not consider the Gallegly amendment. Some commentators saw the new immigration bill as an echo of Proposition 187, the California initiative approved by a 59- 41 percent vote in November 1994 that would have created a state-run system to prevent illegal immigrants from gaining access to social services, including K-12 education. Others stressed that the 1996 legislation originated in the budget and law enforcement committees rather than the immigration committee. The welfare overhaul law came from budget committees, and the anti-terrorism law from enforcement committees. Provisions. The immigration bill includes three major sets of measures to reduce illegal immigration and reduce the access of legal immigrants to welfare. First, it provides for stronger border enforcement, adding 1,000 Border Patrol agents per year for five years, bringing the total from 5,175 in 1996 to almost 10,000 by the year 2000. The new immigration law also requires INS to build a 14-mile triple fence on the US-Mexican border south of San Diego, and increases penalties for smuggling aliens into the US and for using false documents to obtain US jobs or welfare assistance. The new law adds 1,200 INS investigators, the agents who inspect US work places for unauthorized workers, and apprehend and deport criminal aliens. Second, it introduces a pilot telephone verification program to enable employers to verify the status of newly-hired workers, and social service agencies to determine the legal status of applicants for benefits. However, employer participation in the verification program is voluntary, and no national worker eligibility verification system that mandates employer participation could be established without new legislation. The Commission on Immigration Reform in 1995 called a mandatory national verification system "the linchpin" of efforts to reduce illegal immigration. The new law includes incentives for states to develop counterfeit-resistant driver's licenses and birth certificates. The conference committee deleted a provision in the bill that would have added 350 labor inspectors, and set higher penalties for companies that repeatedly violate employer sanctions laws. The new legislation makes it easier for employers to defend themselves against suits from job applicants who believe that they were discriminated against by employers checking their legal status. Job applicants who believe that employers checking their legal status discriminated against them must now prove that the employer intended to discriminate. Third, the immigration bill expands and reinforces restrictions on the access of LEGAL immigrants to welfare benefits. Non-US citizens were barred from Food Stamp assistance and Supplemental Security Income by the welfare law enacted in August 1996, but that law left it to states to decide whether to permit legal immigrants to participate in Medicaid, medical assistance for the poor. President Clinton's last minute negotiations preserved the right of states to offer Medicaid to non-US citizens, including for the treatment of AIDS. Persons with AIDS are not allowed to immigrate but, once in the US, Medicaid can pay for their treatment. Clinton also got a provision dropped that would have subjected to deportation immigrants who received means-tested federal welfare assistance, including AFDC and Medicaid, for more than 12 months during their first seven years in the US. Under the House-approved bill, legal immigrants would have been ineligible for Medicaid benefits during their first five years in the US. If they applied in year six, their applications could be rejected if the immigrant's income and assets together with those of his/her sponsor exceeded certain limits, an application of "deeming" that the immigrant has access to her sponsor's income and assets. Deeming is meant to shift the cost of maintaining needy immigrants from the taxpayers to the sponsors who agreed to support them in the US. To make it less likely that immigrants will request welfare assistance after their arrival, US sponsors will have to have higher incomes. Sponsors of immigrants now have to have an income at least equal to the poverty line, $15,569 for a family of four in 1995. Under the new immigration law, US citizens who want to bring spouses and minor children into the US will have to have incomes that are 125 percent of the poverty line, $19,461, down from 140 percent in the House-approved bill. Sponsors are allowed to include the partial value of assets such as cars and homes to reach this level. In 1994, about 36 percent of the sponsors of immediate relatives had incomes that were less than 140 percent of the poverty line, and 44 percent of those who sponsored parents and adult siblings had incomes less than 200 percent of the poverty line. New systems will be put in place to deal with foreigners convicted of committing crimes in the US, including the establishment of a national database of such persons. Foreigners convicted of entering the US illegally, or overstaying a previous visa, will be denied new visas to enter the US for 10 years. An INS officer will decide whether a person seeking asylum at the US border is granted asylum. A negative decision would have to be appealed within seven days to an immigration judge, and then further appeals are possible. The chairman of the House immigration subcommittee, Lamar Smith (R-TX), said that the new immigration bill "secures America's borders, penalizes alien smugglers, streamlines removal of criminal and illegal aliens and ends non-citizens' abuse of the welfare system." The 13 Democratic legislators on the conference committee were excluded from the negotiations that settled differences between the House and Senate bills, and many attacked the conference bill as "fatally flawed." Among the provisions subject to such criticism: under the new immigration law, an INS decision would be reviewed only if the US Supreme Court agreed to consider it, and the INS would be exempt from environmental laws when building roads and barriers along the border. According to many Democrats, the new immigration law sends the message that, if a foreigner can get into the US, it will still be easy to find a job, but it will be more difficult to obtain welfare benefits. Gallegly amendment. A 5-4 US Supreme Court decision in 1982, Plyler v Doe, requires states to provide K-12 education to illegal alien children. California's Proposition 187, if implemented, would end free public education for illegal alien children, and the Gallegly amendment would have overturned the Supreme Court decision thus allowing it to happen. President Clinton in August 1996 threatened to veto any immigration bill that would "kick children out of school and onto the streets." Republican Presidential candidate Bob Dole, with the urging of California Governor Pete Wilson, strongly supported the Gallegly amendment, asserting that "the wonderful California quality of life is being threatened by the flood of illegal immigration." In an attempt to make the amendment acceptable, several modifications were offered. Rep Elton Gallegly (R-CA) in August proposed that illegal aliens currently in K-12 schools could remain in classes, but states would have been allowed to charge them tuition if they continued from elementary to secondary school. Rep. Brian P. Bilbray (R-CA) offered a compromise on September 12 that would have left in place the obligation of states to educate illegal alien children, but would have shifted the cost to the federal government. The cost of educating the estimated 700,000 illegal alien children in K- 12 US schools--almost 400,000 in California-- is thought to be about $4 billion per year. On September 24, the Gallegly amendment was modified again to permit illegal alien children enrolled in US schools on July 1, 1997 to graduate, and was set for a separate vote. Road to Reform. The Immigration Control and Financial Responsibility Act of 1996 began in the House and Senate in 1995 as comprehensive bills aimed at reducing illegal and legal immigration, as recommended by the Commission on Immigration Reform in June, 1995. However, the Clinton administration, most Democrats, and interest groups that ranged from high-tech companies to church groups to ethnic lobbies opposed reductions in legal immigration, and changes in the legal immigration system were therefore removed from both bills in Spring 1996. On September 11, 1996 the House appointed its 19 members to the House/Senate conference committee responsible for working out the differences between the House and Senate immigration bills. The Senate appointed 11 members in August. The conference committee was scheduled to meet on September 17, but the meeting was canceled because of disagreements between Republicans over the Gallegly amendment. After the conference committee reported the bill, and the House approved it, the Clinton Administration demanded and secured modifications of the provisions affecting the access of legal immigrants to welfare benefits in the Senate. What Next? Most commentaries on the new immigration law were variations on one of three themes. First was the party political interpretation--Republicans closely linked to businesses that benefit from immigration do not want to really stop the influx, but they do want to prevent immigrants from gaining access to welfare benefits and schools. In Spring 1996, a coalition of immigration admissionists, civil libertarians, high-tech companies, and libertarian think tanks successfully opposed proposals originally made by the Commission on Immigration Reform, and endorsed by the Clinton administration, that would have reduced legal immigration and imposed new fees on US employers who wanted to bring immigrants into the US to fill vacant jobs. Second were accounts that said 1996 marked a tougher attitude on illegal immigration, and a new skepticism of legal immigration, as exemplified by Senator Diane Feinstein (D- CA), who says that "people want a slowdown" in immigration. President Clinton and Republican candidate Dole have been sparring in states such as California and Florida about who is tougher on illegal immigration. Clinton touts his administration's addition of Border Patrol agents, and the streamlining of deportations of criminal aliens. Dole agrees, and goes further, arguing states should be allowed to keep illegal alien children from attending K-12 schools, and favors restricting family unification to immediate family members. Dole does not favor ending the current practice of birthright citizenship, under which babies born in the US are US citizens, even though ending birthright citizenship is a plank in the Republican platform. Some observers credit Republicans Pete Wilson and Pat Buchanan for laying the groundwork for stepped up measures against illegal immigration, and for reduced legal immigration. These politicians, the argument runs, have broadened a narrow focus on the economic impacts of immigration to a concern about broader effects on welfare, language and identity. Third are commentaries that say that 1996 showed that the US was getting tougher on both illegal and legal immigration. Indeed, many immigrant admissionists predicted that the next target of restrictionists would be naturalization, following stories that unqualified immigrants are allowed to naturalize. Finally, some speculate that future immigration policy-making may start with tough legislation, followed by softer corrective legislation. For example, pressure is building to modify a provision of the anti-terrorism bill signed into law by President Clinton in April 1996--that which calls for the deportation of any immigrant who has been convicted of a felony--"one strike and you're out." Stories of immigrants who committed crimes 20 or 40 years earlier, served their sentences, and then became subject to deportation when they returned from a trip abroad, or otherwise came to the attention of INS, convinced many people of the need for some flexibility. The anti-terrorism law provides no judicial discretion--there is no appeal from deportation for convicted immigrant criminals detained by INS. When signing the law, President Clinton said that he would send Congress corrective legislation to permit relief from deportation in some cases. Marc Lacey, " Toned Down Bill on Immigration Passes in House," Los Angles Times, September 29, 1996. Gerald Seib, "Backlash over immigration has entered mainstream this year," Wall Street Journal, September 27, 1996. Marc Lacey, "Immigration Bill Logjam Broken, Sources Say," Los Angles Times, September 24, 1996. Eric Schmitt, " Immigration Bill Poses a Dilemma for GOP," New York Times, September 21, 1996. Michael Doyle, "Presidential Politics Shape Immigration Bill Debate," Sacramento Bee, September 18, 1996. Eric Schmitt, "Dole's Immigration Stance Splits GOP in Congress," New York Times, September 13, 1996. Adam Clymer, "Dole's Moves Sidetrack a Treaty and a Bill," New York Times, September 13, 1996. Herbert Sample, "Gingrich sees immigration reform victory," Sacramento Bee, September 11, 1996. _______________________________ Naturalization Controversy In FY96, some 1.1 to 1.2 million immigrants are expected to become American citizens, more than doubling FY95's record 445,852 naturalizations. The previous record was 441,979 naturalizations in 1944. Seventy-five percent of the new US citizens are in or near the cities of New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Miami and Houston, and most are expected to vote Democratic in 1996 elections. There are about eight million immigrants in the US who are eligible to naturalize. The INS projects that another 1.1 million foreigners will naturalize in FY97. The upsurge in naturalizations prompted some Republicans to charge that the Democratic Clinton administration is cutting corners to get more Democratic voters. Each newly- naturalized citizen receives a packet that includes a voter registration card and a letter from the president. The presidential letter begins: "Dear Fellow American: I want to congratulate you on reaching the impressive milestone of becoming a citizen of our great nation. As you enjoy the benefits of American citizenship and assume the responsibilities that accompany it, you follow the many brave men and women who have sacrificed to establish and preserve our democracy over the last two centuries." On September 10, 1996, a US House of Representatives subcommittee held hearings on allegations that some private firms certified to test the English skills of applicants for naturalization were approving applicants who could not speak English. Republicans unveiled a memo written by Vice President Gore's office that says: "INS warns that if we are too aggressive at removing the roadblocks to [naturalization].... we might be publicly criticized for running a pro-Democratic voter mill." A Chicago Alderman wrote a letter to Mrs. Clinton urging an accelerated naturalization program to "provide the Democrats with a strategic advantage" in the 1996 elections. Vice President Gore launched a "Citizenship USA" drive in April 1995, speeding the elimination of the backlog of 600,000 immigrants who had requested naturalization, and promising new applicants naturalization within 90 days. On September 24, 1996, several Immigration and Naturalization Service employees testified that the INS was naturalizing immigrants who had committed crimes in the US, usually a bar to US citizenship. An INS agent charged that 5,000 of the 60,000 immigrants naturalized during mass ceremonies in Los Angeles in August 1996 had criminal records. Since Citizenship USA began, some 327,000 persons have been naturalized in Los Angeles, including 60,000 on August 7-9 and August 14-16,1996. INS officials insisted that such statements were misleading, and that no more than 69 of the 5,000 immigrants with criminal records would have been denied naturalization. Many of the crimes were violations of immigration law, which the INS does not consider sufficient reason to disqualify applicants from US citizenship. INS promised to revoke the US citizenship of anyone naturalized improperly, although the INS admitted on September 25 that because it had not yet decided what procedures to use, it had not yet taken back the citizenship of anyone improperly naturalized in Los Angeles in 1996. The INS denaturalized through federal courts 15 people in FY94, 11 in FY95, and two people in FY96. On September 26, California's Secretary of State ordered county voter registrars not to permit non-citizens to vote in the November 1996 elections, after it was revealed that 727 non- citizens in Los Angeles county had filled out the voter registration form attached to the driver's license application under the new "motor voter" law. In applying for the license, they had signed the form on which the signatory asserts, under penalty of perjury, that he/she is a US citizen at least 18 years old and thus eligible to vote. The INS is drafting regulations for "administrative denaturalizations" that are possible within one year of naturalization. Under the draft regulations, newly naturalized citizens who are accused of concealing criminal records will be given 30 days to respond to the charges. There are many explanations for the upsurge in naturalizations. One factor often cited is the passage of Prop. 187 in November 1994 in California, followed by the August 1996 welfare law that makes many legal immigrants ineligible for welfare benefits. A second factor was the INS requirement that many immigrants had to visit INS to replace their old green cards. They were reminded that, for $20 more, the immigrant could become a naturalized US citizen. A third factor which will remove a deterrent to naturalization is Mexico's pending introduction of dual citizenship--Mexican-born persons are about one-fourth of US immigrants. The rush of new voters may not change the political dynamics of immigrant districts. The 33rd Congressional District in southeast Los Angeles County, represented by Lucille Roybal- Allard (D-CA), has had the fewest registered voters of any US Congressional District--76 percent of the registered voters in this district are Democratic, and newly-naturalized citizens are registering Democratic at a 2 to 1 rate. In a September 1, 1996 speech to the United Farm Workers convention, Housing and Urban Development Secretary Henry Cisneros asserted that 70 percent of the legal immigrants who would lose benefits under the new welfare law were eligible to become US citizens. About 300,000, one-fourth of all immigrants naturalizing in FY96, will be given tests in English and history by private firms rather than the INS. One private firm, Naturalization Assistance Services, is accused of "guaranteeing" that the immigrant passes the test in exchange for a $850 fee. The INS closed 25 private centers that provided naturalization services for a fee in 1995, including 17 operated by Naturalization Assistance Services. Some of the NAS graduates reportedly did not understand the instruction to "please take your seat" at their naturalization ceremony. On September 17, more than 10,000 immigrants were sworn in as US citizens in Dallas, Texas, the largest-ever naturalization ceremony in Texas. During the ceremony, a plane carrying a banner with the note "Felicidades. Vota Dole-Kemp," flew overhead. Texas is considered a critical state for Republicans in the November election. About half of the immigrants sworn in were Mexican. Santa Clara county, which includes Silicon Valley, hired a "naturalization czar" to coordinate the activities of community-based organizations and volunteers who are helping some of the 18,000 eligible immigrants to naturalize. County officials believe they are the first in the nation to approve such a program. A naturalization ceremony in San Jose, California was held September 18 for 11,000 immigrants from 104 countries. If Mexican immigrants naturalize in great numbers, it will mark a change: The INS in 1992 reported that only 17 percent of the Mexicans who entered the US legally in 1977 sought to become naturalized citizens during the next 15 years. Hector Tobar and Jeffrey Rabin, "Massive Tide of Naturalized Citizens Swells Voter Rolls," Los Angeles Times, September 29, 1996. Jeffrey Rabin, "700 Noncitizen Voters Dropped," Los Angeles Times, September 27, 1996. Sara Fritz, "Immigration agency disputes claim that about 5,000 naturalized in LA ceremonies concealed their records," Los Angeles Times, September 24, 1996. Marshall Wilson, "US Welcomes 11,000 Citizens," San Francisco Chronicle, September 19, 1996. "10,000 new citizens in Texas," Reuters, September 17, 1996. Sam Howe Verhovek, "Immigrants' Anxieties Spur a Surge in Naturalizations," New York Times, September 13, 1996. William Branigin, "House GOP Accuses Democrats of Minting New Voters," Washington Post, September 11, 1996. ____________________________ Welfare Changes Implemented The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996, scheduled to go into full effect on October 1, 1996, makes most legal and illegal immigrants ineligible for welfare assistance. To obtain maximum federal payments, states have an incentive to implement the new welfare law as quickly as possible. An estimated one million legal immigrants, including 400,000 in California, are expected to lose about $4 billion per year welfare benefits they are now receiving, an average $4,000 each. Under the bill, foreigners are grouped into three major categories for the purpose of determining their access to welfare assistance: - Legal immigrants who have worked in the US for at least 40 quarters (10 years), are veterans or members of the Armed Forces, or have been admitted as refugees, retain access to welfare as before. - "qualified aliens,"--most legal immigrants--are not eligible for specific means-tested federal benefit programs for a five-year period after their entry into the United States. - "non-qualified aliens" are unauthorized or illegal aliens and some categories of non-immigrants who have INS permission to remain in the US, such as aliens with Temporary Protected Status (TPS) or Persons Residing under Color of Law (PRUCOL). They are not eligible for most federal public benefits, or for many state and local public benefits. The assistance programs to which legal immigrants continue to gain access are primarily those that deliver in-kind services, such as soup kitchens, or those that provide emergency help, such as violence and abuse prevention programs. Courts may slow the removal of immigrants from welfare programs, since lawyers are preparing to sue states as they remove immigrants from the welfare rolls. A major argument will be that the new welfare law unconstitutionally discriminates against a class of people -- immigrants who have not become citizens -- when it cuts off their Supplemental Security Income and food stamp benefits. Under the 14th Amendment to the US constitution, the equal protection under the law amendment, governments may not discriminate on the basis of, inter alia, national origin. The new welfare and immigration laws include provisions that ALLOW state and local government employees to report to INS illegal aliens who seek police or medical assistance, or education for their children; this provision invalidates the ordinances passed by many "sanctuary" cities that prohibit their employees from reporting suspected illegal aliens to the INS. California Governor Pete Wilson issued instructions to have in the welfare law that allows city workers to have state agencies comply with this provision as soon as possible. New York Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani announced on September 30, 1996 that New York City would sue the federal government, arguing that the new welfare law violates the due process rights of immigrants, since it requires immigrants to pay taxes, but denies them welfare benefits. Welfare benefits have been reduced for all US residents, and cash assistance to eligible poor people is no longer an entitlement: "Effective Oct. 1, 1996, no individual or family shall be entitled to any benefits or services under any state plan." However, there is some discretion in how states devise new ways to help the poor; states are required to file plans with the US Secretary of Health and Human Services that outline how they will help the poor. New computer systems will have to be developed in order to implement the new welfare law. For example, the new law limits an individual to a maximum five years of support, so to prevent persons from obtaining five years of benefits in one state, and then moving to another to obtain more benefits, state computer systems will have to be linked to a national system. One provision of the new welfare law requires the federal government to set up a system within 18 months to verify the citizenship status of applicants for assistance. Food Stamps. More immigrants receive assistance under Food Stamps than any other welfare program, and the ban on immigrants receiving Food Stamps produced considerable confusion in state governments. In most states, immigrants applying for Food Stamps for the first time near the end of September 1996 were rejected. In California, new Food Stamp applications from legal immigrants were rejected after September 23, 1996. However, in other states, there was confusion, as intake workers in some states accepted applications, and in others did not. There was even more variance in how states treated immigrants whose need for Food Stamps was being re-certified. President Clinton directed USDA to permit all states to keep immigrants currently on Food Stamp rolls until August 22, 1997, one year after the welfare law was signed. However, states may remove legal immigrants from Food Stamp rolls when their eligibility is re-verified, and there was uncertainty as to whether to wait for the normal eligibility review, which could permit some immigrants to receive food stamps through September 1997, or to review the legal status of recipients sooner. California has 3.2 million Food Stamp recipients, including 436,000 legal immigrants. They currently receive benefits worth an average of $182 per month. About 373,000 immigrants will not be eligible for the program once the welfare law is implemented. California had 2.7 million people receiving AFDC in June 1996, including 390,000 or 15 percent non-US citizens. There were also 379,000 non-US citizens receiving SSI payments, and 258,0000, or two-thirds, are expected to be declared ineligible. In the Rio Grande Valley of Texas, an estimated one of every 12 to 15 people is a legal immigrant who stands to lose food stamps under the new welfare law. The unemployment rate in the Rio Grande Valley is typically 15 to 20 percent, making it doubtful that those who lose Food Stamps can increase their earnings to make up for the lost benefits. The state of Texas estimates that about 187,000 legal immigrants will lose food stamps, 22,000 will lose welfare benefits, and 53,160 will be cut off from Supplemental Security Income. New Jersey has announced that the 21,000 legal immigrants in the state getting Food Stamps will continue to receive them for at least six months. Governor Christine Todd Whitman also announced that New Jersey intends to provide some cash, medical, and disability benefits to legal immigrants with state funds after immigrants are removed from federal programs, leading some to speculate that immigrants needing such services will move to states such as New Jersey. About 15,000 legal immigrants receive cash assistance in New Jersey, 50,000 receive Medicaid, and 25,000 get SSI payments. Governor Parris N. Glendening said that Maryland will assume the cost of welfare benefits for immigrants when they are removed from the federal rolls. Maryland estimates that it will cost the state about $9 million a year to continue benefits to 2,155 legal immigrants. The state will not pick up the cost of Food Stamps, estimated at nearly $10 million, but will subsidize food stamps for 2,217 immigrant children. In 1995, for the first time, the percentage of Hispanics in poverty, 30.3 percent, exceeded the share of Blacks in poverty, 29.3 percent. The immigrant welfare restrictions are expected to increase Hispanic poverty. For more information, see http://www.census.gov/prod/www/titles.html Employer Reactions. A few employers are reportedly worried that some of the 2.3 million working Americans who receive Food Stamps might expect higher wages if they no longer qualify for Food Stamps. US citizens with three dependents can qualify for Food Stamps if they earn less than $17,000 per year. According to the Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington, employers thought more about the additional workers who would be available when the new welfare law required people to go to work than about the loss of the subsidies to employers provided by Food Stamps and other indirect welfare programs. A "large percentage" of the 5,600 entry-level restaurant workers in the Washington area, who start at $6.25 per hour, are immigrants. At Marriott, where hourly workers earn an average $7 an hour, or $14,560 a year, some hotels are helping immigrants to become naturalized citizens by offering citizenship classes. Other Programs. Lawyers for California Governor Wilson argued that the federal judge who prevented the implementation of Prop. 187 in November 1995 should now permit California to begin implementing some of the initiative's provisions because of the new welfare law. There are about six million legal immigrants in California who are not US citizens. Of these, 1.1 million currently receive benefits under the Medi-Cal program. (Medi-Cal is funded by the state and federal governments, and provides health coverage for roughly six million poor Californians, almost 20 percent of all residents--those eligible must have family incomes below $23,634 for a family of three in 1996. Illegal aliens are not eligible for Medi-Cal coverage). Many of these legal immigrants might become US citizens to retain their eligibility for Medi-Cal. The US Congressional Budget Office assumes that one-third of California's 1.1 million legal non-citizens on Medi-Cal will become citizens in order to remain eligible for benefits. A California Assembly committee in mid-July criticized the INS for "dumping" illegal immigrants in San Diego area hospitals to avoid paying for their care. According to critics, Operation Gatekeeper has led to more injuries to illegal immigrants, and prompted the INS to take injured aliens to area hospitals before determining their immigrant status. If an alien is not formally in INS custody, the costs of health care are borne by the local government/hospital, and not by INS. As a result of the new welfare law, 200 severely disabled illegal immigrants under 24-hour care in California nursing homes--at a daily cost of $73 per day, and an annual cost of $5 to $6 million-- will no longer have their bills paid, despite an effort by Governor Wilson to persuade the Legislature to extend their care in August. Some in the Legislature refused to approve extended care because they thought such an extension would conflict with Prop. 187. Since 1988, severely disabled illegal immigrants and pregnant illegal immigrant women in California have received state- subsidized care under a bill signed by Republican Governor George Deukmejian. Wilson ordered the prenatal care for illegal alien women halted as soon as possible. There are also 14,000 to 15,000 legal immigrants now receiving care in California long-term or nursing facilities. New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani on September 11 promised not to implement the provision of the new welfare law that permits city employees to report to INS illegal immigrants who seek services like police protection, hospital care and public education. Giuliani is described as a "national spokesperson" for immigrants--the Republican mayor of Democratic New York City who believes that high levels of immigration are good for New York and the US. Since 1985, New York City has prohibited its 200,000 employees from reporting any of the 400,000 suspected illegal aliens to the INS. On September 30, 1996, George Soros announced a $50 million gift to the newly established Emma Lazarus Fund to provide grants to community groups that could use it, for example, to pay an immigrant's $95 citizenship application fee or to provide the English-language instruction needed for naturalization. Patrick McDonnell, "Border: Welfare measure may allow public employees to report suspects to INS," Los Angeles Times, September 30, 1996. Vivian Toy, "Some Immigrants Begin to Lose Food Stamps Under New Law," New York Times, September 25, 1996. Kirstin Downey Grimsley, "New Welfare Law Worries Employers in Low-Wage Businesses," Washington Post, September 24, 1996. Ken Chavez and Brad Hayward, "Mix-up on food stamps," Sacramento Bee, September 20, 1996. Louis Freedberg, "Welfare Law's ID Provision Causes Concern," San Francisco Chronicle, September 19, 1996. Elizabeth Llorente, "Whitman to Keep Welfare for Legal Aliens," The Record, September 19, 1996. Michael Dresser, "Md. to pay benefits to immigrants," Baltimore Sun, September 17, 1996. David Firestone, "NYC Mayor to Sue Over U.S. Welfare Provision on Aliens," New York Times, September 12, 1996. _______________________________ Mexico: Polls, Remittances and Economy Polls. An August 1996 Los Angeles Times poll of 1,500 Mexicans in Mexico and 1,572 US adults found that 73 percent of those interviewed in Mexico had never been to the US. Of the Mexicans who had visited the US, only 34 percent had "had a job" in the US. The US poll was conducted by telephone, while the Mexican poll was done in person, and 28 percent of the Mexican interviews were conducted in towns with 2,500 or fewer residents. A total of 20 percent of the Mexican respondents said that they would seek a job in the US in the next 12 months; seven percent said it was very likely, and 13 percent responded that it was somewhat likely that they would head for the US in search of work. Each one percent of those polled represents almost one million Mexicans, suggesting that almost seven million Mexicans would say, if asked, that they are very likely to seek US jobs in the next 12 months. There were about 4.1 million Mexican-born workers in the US labor force of 132 million in November 1994. Over half of the Mexicans interviewed in Mexico said they had a family member living in the US, but only nine percent said that their household gets money from relatives in the US. An August 1989 poll of nearly 2,000 Mexicans found that 30 percent had a relative living in the US, and seven percent reported that they received funds from a relative in the US. In 1989, about 22 percent of the respondents reported that they were very (six percent) or fairly likely (16 percent) to move to the US within 12 months, which was interpreted to suggest that IRCA was not deterring Mexican migrants. Some 95 percent of Mexicans said they were living in an economic crisis, and almost two-thirds of Mexicans said their personal economic situation is worse than it was three years ago. When asked what could reduce illegal immigration, 84 percent of Mexicans said jobs and economic development in Mexico. Americans, by contrast, put the emphasis on enforcement. Slightly more said that stricter border control (19 percent) and workplace enforcement (18 percent) are needed to reduce illegal immigration than agreed that jobs and economic development in Mexico can slow emigration (38 percent). Mexicans tend to view the United States far more favorably than Americans view Mexico, but the percentage of Mexicans who view Americans favorably has fallen since 1991. According to Jorge G. Castaneda, one reason for the decline is that Mexicans have not found it easier to work legally in the US: "The main reason most Mexicans supported NAFTA, for example, was they felt it would help them work in the United States. And that, of course, hasn't happened." About three-fourths of the Mexicans said that NAFTA has been bad for them personally or has had no effect on their economic status. A majority of Americans polled believe that NAFTA has resulted in the loss of US jobs. Remittances. Mexicans in the US send home an estimated $4 to $6 billion per year, much of it through Denver-based First Data Corp., which owns Western Union and Moneygram. First Data is affiliated with Elektra, an electronics, home appliance and furniture chain that is an agent for Western Union in Mexico. Western Union charges $29 to send the average remittance of $300 within 15 minutes, and Elektra charges about a 10 percent fee to convert the dollars into pesos--in September 1996, Elektra offered 6.75 pesos per dollar when the exchange rate was 7.5 pesos per dollar. Despite these hefty fees, many Mexicans use wire transfers because of high Mexican bank charges for cashing non-customers' checks. Banco de Mexico estimates that Mexico received $3.67 billion in remittances in 1995, slightly below the level of 1994. Electronic transfers and competition may improve the exchange rate obtained by Mexicans--only 30 to 50 percent of all remittances are transferred electronically today. The U.S. Postal Service in August 1996 launched a Dinero Seguro service that permits up to $3000 from any US Post Office to any of 900 branches of Mexico's Bancomer bank--the sender is charged $26 to send $300. Wells Fargo offers a similar system with Banamex. World Center Video Conferences is proposing a service that includes a brief video visit between the money sender and recipients in Mexico. Economy. President Ernesto Zedillo Ponce de Leon delivered his second State of the Nation (Informe) speech on September 1, 1996, and pledged to work for equality before the law: "the law applies to everyone alike." In a reference to the US, Zedillo said that "the Mexican government will always demand respect for the rights of our countrymen abroad." Mexico's economy grew 7.2 percent in the second quarter of 1996, versus a 10 percent contraction in the same quarter of 1995, and unemployment fell to 5.8 percent, versus 7.3 percent in summer 1995. Exports rose 22 percent, as did the peso. Grupo Modelo, maker of Corona beer, has increased exports to the US so much that it is planning a $400 million brewery in Zacatecas. Zedillo predicted on September 1 that Mexico's economy would grow by four percent in 1997. Mexico's National Statistics Institute (INEGI) reported September 3 that the number of maquiladora employees surpassed 750,000 for the first time in June 1996, up almost 20 percent since June 1995. Maquiladora jobs are concentrated in five northern Mexican states: Chihuahua, 29 percent of maquiladora jobs; Baja California, 21 percent; Tamaulipas, 17 percent; and, Coahuila and Sonora, eight percent each. At the end of September, the Alliance for Economic Recovery (ARE)--key business, labor and agricultural leaders--agreed to a new pacto that called for wage increases of 20 percent. Mexican social security workers won a 25 percent pay increase in September 1996. Non-maquiladoras recently surpassed maquiladoras as the top source of Mexico's manufacturing exports. Many of the manufacturing conglomerates based in Monterrey saw their exports boosted by the devaluation, since they had already reduced employment to cut costs. Alfa, for example, reduced employment from 50,000 in 1982 to 24,000 in 1996, and doubled its exports of steel, chemicals and other products to $1.1 billion in 1995 versus 1994. However, an August 5 Wall Street Journal article praising policymakers for not backsliding on economic reform--and thus laying the basis for higher savings and more productive investments-- also warned that, "in the next two years, at least, the outlook is for high unemployment and stagnant salaries...and a higher incidence of poverty." President Zedillo said that Mexico must depend on internal savings for investment, ensuring that it will be years before wages and incomes recover for most Mexicans. Zedillo said that export-led growth will prompt more local and foreign investment, and that increased investment will eventually increase consumption and local demand. A Banamex survey of INEGI of manufacturing labor market data reported that 2.9 million paid workers were employed in Mexico's non-maquiladora manufacturing sector in 1993. According to Banamex, the 1995 economic crisis was unusual because Mexican companies responded by eliminating jobs, as well as by reducing real wages. On July 26, Mexico announced that it would repay $7 billion of the remaining $10.5 billion that it borrowed from the US in 1995, leaving Mexico with $3.5 billion in debt from the $12.5 billion borrowed from the US in 1995. Over 100,000 Mexicans looking for jobs from the country's interior have flooded Mexico's northern border region. About 60,000 have found work in Tijuana's maquiladora factories. The city's population growth rate is now five percent annually, double the rate for the whole country and very difficult on the city's infrastructure. Luckily, the workers streaming from the south are finding work, the unemployment rate in Tijuana is two percent. Maquiladoras have added 170,000 jobs since 1995 and the start of the North American Free Trade Agreement. Two-thirds of the jobs are filled by Mexicans from Chiapas, Oaxaca, Veracruz and other southern states. Forty percent of the workforce is male and employee turnover continues to be high, eight percent per month on average. By June 30, 1996, about 78,000 US workers had qualified for a US-government program to help find new jobs to replace jobs because of NAFTA. Some 8,000 US residents commute to jobs in Mexican maquiladoras every day. On a scale of 0 to 10, a ranking of 54 countries for how corruption "is affecting commercial and social life" found that New Zealand and Denmark were least corrupt, and Nigeria and Pakistan were most corrupt. Mexico ranked 38 of the 54 countries, less corrupt than Brazil and Colombia, but more corrupt than Argentina (http://www.uni-goettingen.de/~uwvw/icr.htm) In late August, President Zedillo promised National Campesino Confederation (CNC) President Beatriz Paredes Rangel that the government would clear up land titles for peasants by the end of 1997, under the so-called Program to Certify Communal Land Rights (Procede). Agriculture continues to suffer and shrink, with an estimated 500,000 to 750,000 subsistence farmers leaving agriculture since 1990. On July 24, 1996, Mexico announced a ten-year 15 billion peso ($2 billion) program to relieve indebted farmers of some of their debt. Farmers monthly payments on debts up to 500,000 pesos ($66,000) will be reduced by about 40 percent. The estimated 20,000 Mixtec migrant farm workers from Oaxaca and Guerrero in Baja California reportedly are paid 35 pesos a day, a little under $5, or about 60 cents an hour. In July, some of them rioted in San Quintin after they did not receive their weekly pay. In mid-August, Sanyo announced that it was paying $2 million in ransom to the kidnappers of one of its San Diego-based executives who was abducted in Tijuana. Mexicans Abroad. On July 30, 1996, Mexico's Congress approved a package of 17 constitutional amendments and implementing laws that aim to reduce electoral fraud and permit Mexicans living abroad to cast absentee ballots in the presidential election in the year 2000. The Mexican Senate approved the changes by a 124-0 vote on August 2, and they now go to Mexico's 31 state legislatures for approval. When 21-- two-thirds of the state legislatures in Mexico-- approve the proposed voting changes, they can go into effect. Mexico's ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party held its 17th convention in September in Mexico City. Most US newspapers said that it heralded the return of the PRI's old guard anti-reformer "dinosaurs" to power within the party. For example, the 4,400 delegates approved a rule that, in 2000, the PRI's nominee for president must have held elective office and have been a party member for at least 10 years. If this rule had been in effect, the last five PRI candidates and Mexican presidents would have been disqualified. Guerrillas and Drugs. In late August, the Popular Revolutionary Army (EPR) launched simultaneous raids in Guerrero, Oaxaca, and Chiapas that left 13 dead. As a result, Mexico's army became more involved in internal security in September 1996 than at any time since the 1930s. The EPR is the armed wing of the Clandestine Worker's Revolutionary Party of the Poor (PROCUP), which announced itself June 28, 1996 in Aguas Blancas at the one-year commemorative service for 17 campesinos slain by Guerrero police. Despite the economic crisis, Mexico expanded its troops by 15 percent to 180,000, and increased military spending a similar percentage to $2 billion. Many of the soldiers are draftees from poor families, performing one year of mandatory service. Mexico continues to be criticized in the US for doing to little to prevent the flow of drugs across the southern border. Since November 1993, the US has shifted its drug interdiction resources from the Mexican border to other areas, and Mexico has assumed the primary responsibility for preventing drug cultivation and smuggling into the US. Mexico has not done the job. In 1995, an estimated 210 tons of cocaine entered the US from Mexico, the most ever, while drug arrests and seizures in Mexico declined. A former insider in one Mexican drug cartel testified that the cartel used INS buses to ship drugs into the US between 1986 and 1990. The drugs were placed on buses used to transport illegal immigrants captured in southern Texas to Houston, where they were flown to their homelands. Chris Kraul, "Flood of Workers Flows North to Booming Tijuana," Los Angeles Times, September 24, 1996. Patrick J. McDonnell, "Border: Influx more than doubled in late '80s, report says," Los Angeles Times, September 24, 1996. Julia Preston, "Mexico's Army Out of the Barracks," New York Times, September 14, 1996. Brendan Case, "Sending Dollars to Mexico Is a Big, Lucrative Business," New York Times, September 14, 1996. Mark Fineman, "Mexicans See Their Nation in Moral Decline," Los Angeles Times, September 14, 1996. Mark Fineman, "Mexicans' View of U.S. Positive but Skeptical," Los Angeles Times, September 13, 1996. Molly Moore and John Anderson, "Drugs flow as policing is Mexicanized," Washington Post, September 8, 1996. "Brutal Rebel Group in Mexico Leaves Trail of Death, Uncertainty," Wall Street Journal, September 3, 1996. Craig Torres and Dianne Solis, "Zedillo urges patience on austerity plan," Wall Street Journal, August 12, 1996. Jonathan Friedland, "Latin America resists reform backlash," Wall Street Journal, August 5, 1996. Marjorie Miller, " The Times Poll--Despite New Laws, U.S. Still a Lure in Mexico," Los Angeles Times, August 21, 1989. ____________________ INS Enforcement The Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) announced on September 5 that a series of worksite enforcement operations at 487 businesses in 13 central U.S. states between July 21 and August 30 resulted in the detention of 3,679 unauthorized alien workers. The number of aliens apprehended by state was: Texas (2,097); New Mexico (483); Minnesota (243); Iowa (209); Wisconsin (129); Wyoming (120); Illinois (116); Oklahoma (103); Kansas (76); Indiana (58); Montana (31); Missouri (9); and South Dakota (5). The aliens detained were from twelve countries including: Mexico (3,590); El Salvador (50); Honduras (21); and Guatemala (8). The cover story of the September 23, 1996 US News & World Report, "The New Jungle," focused on the use of illegal immigrant workers in the Storm Lake, Iowa pork processing plant. The story emphasized the role of meat packing companies in recruiting immigrant workers, and said that "perhaps no industry is so dependent on this low-wage labor as the nation's meat and poultry companies." The INS district director for Iowa and Nebraska estimates that 25 percent of the workers in those plants in the 220 meat packing plants in the two states are unauthorized aliens. INS inspections of the workers in 15 plants since 1992 have led to 1,000 workers. At a July 1996 conference of social scientists on "The Changing Face of Rural America," it was noted that in most Midwestern meat packing plants, Latinos work alongside US- born Blacks and whites. Latinos are less than half of most plant's work forces, and many of them are US-born citizens. Many Latinos move to the Midwest because, unlike seasonal farm jobs in California, where workers average 1,000 hours at $5 to $6 per hour, workers in meat packing plants average 2,000 hours at $6 to $7 per hour, enough to support a family. The Changing Face report is available at http://migration.ucdavis.edu/rmn/iow.htm The enforcement operations included an August 25 sweep in Jackson, Wyoming that resulted in the detention of 150 foreigners, one percent of the county's labor force. Some employers are calling for an investigation of the INS raids, which they called racially motivated and dehumanizing because all those detained were Latino, and some were transported to jail in a horse trailer. The police, who joined with federal INS agents in the raid, defended the sweep as a needed response to complaints of automobile accidents and drug dealing linked to unauthorized workers. Supporters of the aliens countered that one of the workers detained reportedly shook President Clinton's hand when he vacationed in Jackson. The INS detained 124 of the 1,200 workers at two plants of poultry processor Allen Family Foods in Maryland in late August. Eight poultry processing firms employ 14,000 workers in the Delmarva area. Most workers begin at $6 per hour, and rise to a maximum of $7 per hour. Turnover is high; for every 100 jobs, 180 to 200 workers are hired each year. An analysis of INS apprehension data between 1976 and 1995 concluded that each additional three to four hours of border agent time increased by one the number of aliens apprehended along the US-Mexican border. The same study suggested that each 10 percent decrease in Mexican wages increased apprehensions by eight percent. The number of apprehensions rose from 1.1 million in FY94 to 1.4 million in FY95, or 27 percent, after the Mexican peso was devalued by over 50 percent. In FY96, there were about 5,100 Border Patrol agents, and the cost of border enforcement activities was about $600 million. In Texas, INS announced in September the establishment of an Institutional Hearing Program that stations INS officers at the Huntsville prison, so that deportable aliens are removed from the US as soon as they finish their sentences. About 10 percent of the 128,000 prisoners in Texas were born outside the US. The INS will have a budget of $3.1 billion in FY97. Stephen Hedges and Dana Hawkins," The New Jungle," US News & World Report, September 23, 1996. http://www.usnews.com/usnews/WASH/IMmHIGH.html Joe Mathews and Dail Willis, "Grower likens INS raid to Waco; 2,000-acre nursery swarmed by agents," Baltimore Sun, September 19, 1996. William Branigin, "Panel Rebukes INS on Miami Probe," Washington Post, September 13, 1996. Louis Sahagun, "INS Sweep Puts Wyoming Resort Community on Edge," Los Angeles Times, September 13, 1996. Joseph P. Fried, "Sweatshops Raided in Brooklyn," New York Times, September 4, 1996. _______________________________ Canadian Immigrants Canada is expected to add 220,000 immigrants to its 30 million population in 1996, a much higher rate of immigration than the US, which is expecting to add about 800,000 immigrants to its 265 million population. Vancouver, a city of 1.6 million, is Canada's fastest growing city, with 40,000 immigrants and Canadians moving to the city each year. The number of Asians living in Vancouver doubled between 1971 and 1991, and 20,000 Asian immigrants arrived in 1995. One report says that Taipei's ten richest people have established homes in Vancouver, and pumped more than US$653 million into the local economy. Many Asians prefer to migrate to Canada rather than the US, both because they feel it is safer, and because Canada permits naturalization after three years rather than five. Many of the Asians are wealthy and want the security of a Canadian passport--one estimate is that 80 percent of the Vancouver homes that sold for $1 million or more in 1995 were sold to Asian immigrants. Some 2,000 Chilean tourists sought asylum in Canada between March and June 1996, a period when Canada removed visa requirements for Chilean tourists. Canada re-imposed visa requirements on Chile in June. Representatives of the Canadian and Manitoba governments visited Scotland in early July to encourage the immigration of skilled workers to Manitoba. According to a government spokesperson, Manitoba has a shortage of skilled computer workers. Scots interested in emigrating to Canada must have one year of experience in their occupation, a high level of education and fluency in French or English. A Canadian immigration lawyer in the New York Times on September 16, 1996 decried what he called the push for "designer immigrants" in Canada--the highly skilled selected on the basis of a point system for their education and skills. Peter Rekai, "Canada's upscale influx," New York Times, September 16, 1996. Pierre Longnus, "Taiwan immigrants to Canada settle in Vancouver," Agence France Presse, August 17, 1996. "Manitoba, Canada Recruiting Skilled Scottish Workers," Universal News Services, July 5, 1996. ------------------------------- EUROPE _______________________________ Germany Begins to Return Bosnians Ex-Yugoslavia. Germany plans to begin returning 320,000 persons to Bosnia-Herzegovina on October 1, 1996, in a process that will continue through 1997. The first Bosnians to be returned will be single adults and childless couples; those resisting voluntary repatriation face deportation. An estimated 60 percent of the Bosnians in Germany are Muslim. Bosnian Muslims who come from areas "cleansed" by Serbs will not be returned to Serb areas. The interior ministers of the 16 states handle the return of foreigners to their countries of origin, so that there is likely to be state-to-state variation in how Bosnians are returned. Baden Wurtemberg plans to send letters in early October to some Bosnians, telling them to that their "toleration permits" to remain in Germany expire on December 15, 1996. Hessen, on the other hand, has said that there will be no repatriations until April 1, 1997. Berlin's Interior Minister, for example, said that Bosnians in Berlin must realize that "our hospitality is coming to an end and that they must go home voluntarily." Chancellor Helmut Kohl said that, instead of spending DM15 billion on Bosnians in Germany , it makes "more sense to send them home and to spend the money on reconstruction." Of the 687,000 Bosnians who left the former Yugoslavia, about 320,000 are in Germany, 122,000 are in Sweden, and 80,000 are in Austria. Germany and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in September 1996 signed a separate agreement for the return of another 120,000 Serbian refugees--mostly ethnic Albanians from Kosovo-- currently living in Germany. Most are expected to return in 1997-98. Asylum. Some 9,548 foreigners applied for asylum in Germany in August, 1996, bringing the total for 1996 to 76,000, compared with 80,500 for the first eight months of 1995. Of the 13,000 cases decided in August, about 900, or seven percent of the foreigners who applied, were granted refugee status in Germany. A Togo man was removed forcibly by Bavarian police from an Adventist church in Wunsiedel, Bavaria and flown home, signaling a tough state policy toward "church asylum." The church gave the man sanctuary in March. About 60 foreigners whose applications for asylum in Germany have been rejected are being sheltered in churches in Bavaria. There were calls for the resignation of the Bavarian interior minister for breaking a promise not to enter church grounds to expel an asylum-seeker. Germany spent DM5.5 billion on asylum seekers in 1995, about the same as in 1994. On September 16, 1996, the trial started for Safwan Eid, a Lebanese asylum seeker charged with burning a Hamburg foreigners' hostel on January 18, 1996. Ten foreigners were killed, and 38 injured. Demonstrators convinced that neo- Nazis set the fire protested outside the courtroom. The Eid family--parents and three children in Germany, and two grown children still in Lebanon-- spent $15,000 to be smuggled to Germany, admittedly as economic migrants. Their asylum applications were rejected, but they were allowed to stay in Germany because Lebanon refused to take them back. In September, 1996, 12 neo-Nazi youth were arrested for attacking foreigners' hostels in August in the former east German state of Saxony. There were 165 violent attacks on foreigners in Germany in the first six months of 1996, down almost 50 percent from the same period in 1995. German Foreign Minister Klaus Kinkel on September 9 assured visiting Israeli Foreign Minister David Levy that Germany would continue to accept Jewish immigrants from the former Soviet Union. In 1990, Chancellor Kohl made an agreement with German-Jewish leaders to permit immigration to rebuild the aging Jewish community, and 45,000 Jews have so far immigrated under the open immigration program. According to Der Speigel, some 80,000 visas have been approved for Jewish immigrants so far, and an estimated hundreds of thousands of Jews in the ex-USSR are waiting in line to move to Germany. German Development Aid Minister Carl-Dieter Spranger earlier in 1996 said that, since Jewish immigration is not limited, there is the potential for conflict between Israel and Germany over the Ukraine's 800,000 Jews. Border Controls. Germany has 5,700 agents to guard its eastern borders, and another 500 are scheduled to join them in 1997. In 1995, they apprehended and returned about 30,000 foreigners to Poland and the Czech Republic. Vietnamese. On September 17, the first chartered flight returned 239 Vietnamese to Vietnam, the first returns since Germany and Vietnam signed a repatriation agreement on September 21, 1995 that anticipates the return of 40,000 Vietnamese by 2000. About 657 Vietnamese have been returned from Germany to Hanoi on regularly-scheduled flights. Labor Market. Hans Peter Stihl, a spokesperson for employers, urged the German government to make it easier to employ foreign workers from countries to which Germany exports its goods. According to Stihl, Germany should make it easier for foreign students to enter Germany from developing countries and to stay in Germany after they have completed their studies. During the 1960s and 1970s, unemployment rates in western Europe were typically half those in the US. In the 1980s, this relationship reversed, and today the US unemployment rate is half the German unemployment rate of 10 percent. The unemployment rate is 15 percent in the former East Germany, and nine percent in the former West Germany. A number of employment subsidies, Arbeitsbeschaffungsmassmahmen, are being curtailed to save money--these subsidies amounted to DM2.6 billion ($1.7 billion) in the West, and DM7.2 billion ($4.7 billion) in the East. The Federal Labor Office, in another study, attacked a favorite union proposal for job creation--ban overtime. According to the Labor Office, only about 10 percent of the overtime hours would be used to create 85,000 additional jobs. Germany is in the lead among European countries in reducing social welfare benefits. For example, about 92 percent of Germans with monthly incomes of less than DM580, are enrolled in 850 Krankenkasse (sickness funds). The Krankenkasse allocate a fixed amount of money to regional associations of doctors, which reimburse individual doctor-members according to their work as measured in points. A house call, for example, earns a doctor 400 points. If all doctors collectively bill more points, the reimbursement per point declines--in one case, from DM40 per 400 points to DM24. Employers and workers in Germany each contribute about 6.5 percent of their gross earnings for health care, for a total of 13 percent. In France, employees contribute seven percent, and employers 13 percent, for a total 20 percent. Herve Asquin, "Germany resolved to send Bosnians Home," Agence France Presse, September 30, 1996. "Door's slam," The Economist, September 28, 1996. Alan Cowell, "Germans Plan to Return Refugees to Bosnia," New York Times, September 20, 1996. "Germany sends home first charter-load of Vietnamese," Agence France Presse, September 18, 1996. Imre Karacs, "Migrant accused of hostel death fire," The Independent, September 17, 1996. "German official wants easier foreign worker laws," Reuters, September 11, 1996. "African forcibly removed from church sanctuary and deported," Agence France Presse, September 5, 1996. Cornelia Bolesch, "Germany divides on arson trial," The Guardian, September 4, 1996. _______________________________ UK: Welfare for Asylum Seekers On September 23, the Secretary for States of Social Security, Peter Lilley, told Parliament of new regulations which allow asylum seekers who have been granted refugee status to make claims for income support, housing and tax benefits for the period they may have been denied benefits as asylum seekers. The regulations were announced during proceedings on the Asylum and Immigration Act of 1996, which went into effect July 24, 1996. In September, 1996, the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants (JCWI) received permission to bring a full High Court case against the decision of the Lilley to use emergency legislation to deny welfare benefits to all asylum seekers who applied for asylum inside the UK in 1996. The Asylum and Immigration Act, which bars welfare payments to foreigners who do not apply for asylum in the UK upon arrival, went into effect in July 1996. However, Lilley decided to deny welfare benefits to asylum seekers who fail to apply immediately upon their arrival in the UK in February before the act took effect. Of the 17,375 asylum applications from January through July, 1996, 11,025 were made after the foreigner entered the UK, so that he/she was not eligible for welfare payments. On June 21, 1996, the JCWI won a Court of Appeal victory, when the court declared unlawful several voluntary organizations who offered shelter and food to asylum seekers denied welfare payments. After seven Iraqis hijacked a Sudan Airways plane and requested asylum in the UK, and an Iranian hung onto a hovercraft from France to apply for asylum in the UK, some newspapers complained that the UK was the European country in which it was easiest to get asylum. The Iranian was reportedly involved in selling illegal pornographic videos in Tehran, and paid smugglers $3,000 to be taken to Europe. There are 100,000 self-employed Asians in the UK, many working long hours for low net wages, and some commentators credit them with helping re-invigorate the UK economy. At the same time, a study of what Asian immigrant parents want for their children shows that most want their children to be professionals rather than self-employed. Some campaign groups are claiming that Britain has become a "slave haven" for employers who abuse migrant domestic workers. Many cannot leave their jobs due to government rules which state that migrant workers who enter Britain as domestic workers are allowed to stay only if they remain with their original employer. The Liberal Democrats and Labour parties plan to discuss the issue when they meet in early October. The Home Office says it has considered changing the law but believes that would make it more difficult to control the 12,000 domestic workers who enter Britain each year. Stowaways on board ship cost the shipping industry at North American posts about $45,000 per migrant, including fines, guards, hotel or detention center costs and subsistence expenses. If asylum is claimed and refused, repatriation costs are paid by the shipping company. The International Maritime Bureau estimates that there were 6,500 reported stowaways worldwide between 1991 and 1993. Some shipping companies hire firms to repatriate the stowaways. "Peter Lilley Announces New Rule Bringing in Backdated Payments for Refugees," Universal News Service, September 24, 1996. Arthur Leathley, "Party to debate claims that Britain is a 'slave haven,'" The Times, September 23, 1996. "Immigrant smugglers smashed," Daily Mail, September 20, 1996. Nick Savvides, "Turning Back the Human Tide," Lloyds List, September 18, 1996. "Britain's Asians," Financial Times, September 10, 1996. Alan Travis, "Lilley faces fresh fight over curb on asylum seekers," The Guardian, September 6, 1996. Nick Buckley, "The man who hung on to a hovercraft to sneak into Britain; this is the easiest place to get asylum says Iranian in death-defying Channel trip," Mail, September 1, 1996. _______________________________ France: African Immigrants On September 12, 1996, hundreds of African and Asian immigrants occupied a Paris police office that issues residence permits, demanding residence permits for 350 of the immigrants from 21 countries. That same day the Interior ministry announced that 57 Romanians were deported to Bucharest on a chartered flight, and 14 Tunisians sent home by ship. This brings the number of foreigners removed from France to 8,800 so far in 1996, up 24 percent from the level a year earlier. Most of the 130 Africans removed by police from a Paris church on August 23, 1996 remain in France--nine were deported by mid-September, while 49 were given residency papers. Another 64 have been told that they will be deported to Mali; eight were flown home. A police union criticized courts for annulling or suspending many of the expulsion orders. Interior Minister Jean-Louis Debre's popularity soared after ordering the raid on the church in August. Some 32 percent of those polled said he should play an important role in politics in the future. In Mali, which is receiving nationals removed from both France and Angola, reaction has been muted. One government leader deplored "the disheartening spectacle presented by these immigrants who give the impression that returning to Africa is like a return to hell." The Mali government banned a march planned for September 4 in the capital to protest the French raid and deportations. Mali, a country of nine million, ranked 17 out of 174 countries in the UN Development Program's 1996 Human Development Report. The Consultative National Human Rights Commission of the UN asked the French government on September 12 to review the implementation of 1993 immigration laws to clarify the legal status of foreigners who have a French spouse, the foreign spouses and children of legal foreign residents, foreign parents of French-born children, illegal residents who have a job and have integrated into French society, and foreign students. In addition, the Commission asked the French government to consider creating a status similar to German "Duldung" and US Temporary Protected Status--temporary legal residence for non-refugees who cannot be returned because of problems at home. On September 14, Jean-Marie Le Pen led 2,000 people in a march through Marseilles in remembrance of a teenager allegedly killed by a youth of Arab origin. Marchers carried banners with slogans that included "Protect our children," "Immigration equals insecurity," and "France for the French." Earlier in September Len Pen said that racial inequality was a "fact," and that some civilizations, including the French, are superior to others. A September 29 profile concluded that Le Pen was succeeding in his bid to persuade French voters to see the National Front as the only alternative to the political establishment. In 1995, the National Front got 15 percent of the vote in the first round of the presidential election, and three National Front mayors were elected. Current polls show that about the same percentage of French voters would vote for the National Front today, but they also suggest that between 30 percent and 50 percent of French people say they share some of Le Pen's views. The Front's campaign literature includes the slogan: "Neither left nor right. French." Justice Minister Jacques Toubon announced that a draft bill tightening laws against racism would likely be approved by parliament in October. Under the proposed legislation, even indirect provocations to discrimination, hatred, or violence would be a crime. A May 1996 profile of immigrants in France by INSEE reported that, in 1990, four million immigrants in France were seven percent of the French population. The 1.7 million immigrants in the French work force were six percent of France's 28 million labor force, but their unemployment rate was twice the French rate. Brigitte Bardot, the former actress, threatened to emigrate to Italy because, she said, of the "invasion" of Islamic immigrants. Anne Swardson, "Anti-Immigrant Party Grows," Washington Post, September 29 1996. Thierry Cayol, "French far-right stages racially-charged march," Reuters, September 14, 1996. "Immigrants occupy Paris police office," Reuters, September 12, 1996. Abdoulaye Gandema and Brahima Ouedraogo, "Mali--no place like away from home," Inter Press Service, September 6, 1996. "African illegal immigrants call for talks and reject law, "Agence France Presse, September 1, 1996. Milton Viorst, "The Muslims of France," Foreign Affairs, September/October, 1996. _______________________________ Sweden Tightens Asylum Swedish Citizenship and Asylum Minister Pierre Schori on September 20, 1996 proposed legislation that would tighten asylum and refugee regulations. Under the new regulations, all asylum seekers would have to be photographed and fingerprinted to prevent people from applying twice under different names. In addition, only unmarried children under 18, down from 20, could join parents granted asylum in Sweden. The new regulations eliminate asylum for conscientious objectors, and eliminate asylum for persons who risk persecution in countries where there is no state authority. Sweden acknowledges the criteria for granting asylum in the Geneva Convention on Refugees, and adds three more grounds for seeking asylum. Sweden will grant refugees status to those who risk the death penalty or torture, those who flee because of armed conflict or environmental catastrophe, and those who are persecuted based on gender or homosexuality. Sweden's Parliament will soon vote on the legislation. There were 32,486 immigrants in 1995, including 2,135 foreigners accepted as refugees. The new legislation is expected to cut the number of refugees in half, and allow the government to streamline immigration procedures. Immigration peaked at 78,987 in 1994, when 80 percent of the immigrants came from non-Nordic countries, including 33,587 Bosnians. About 12 percent of Sweden's 8.8 million residents were born outside Sweden, about the same proportion of foreign-born as in the US. Sweden, traditionally a very open country for those seeking asylum, began to restrict asylum after the dramatic rise in asylum seekers in 1994. In 1995, the number of immigrants fell to 32,486. Human Rights Watch criticized Sweden on September 24 for its "increasingly restrictive asylum policies," after it tightened up rules on asylees. Human Rights Watch claims that many asylum seekers are being denied asylum without a fair hearing. Abigail Schmelz, "Sweden accused of treating asylum seekers unfairly," Reuters, September 25, 1996. "Sweden attacked on rights," Financial Times, September 25, 1996. "Swedish government proposes tightening of asylum, refugee laws," Agence France Presse, September 20, 1996. Paul de Bendern, "Sweden gets tough on immigration," Reuters, August 7, 1996. ________________________ Italy: Amnesty for Enforcement Assistance? Italy is experimenting with amnesty for illegal aliens who help the authorities locate and prosecute persons who break immigration laws. Under the new law, Italy "will be allowed to grant a one-year renewable residence permit to non-EU foreigners facing legal action who decide to collaborate with judicial authorities by denouncing those who exploit them." The aim is to persuade deportable aliens involved with prostitution or drugs to provide evidence on their bosses. A naturalized Italian citizen who moved to Italy from the Dominican Republic when her mother married an Italian won the Miss Italy 1996 beauty contest, prompting a number of reflections on racial tolerance in Italy, what it means to be Italian, and "Italian beauty." Two of the judges were initially suspended for saying, before the competition, that a black woman could not represent Italian beauty. According to one judge, "I would happily elect her Miss Universe. But what has she got to do with Italy? She is not Mediterranean." During the pageant, one- third of the one million Italians who called in their vote gave it to Mendez. Prime Minister Romano Prodi had a commented on the Miss Italy results, "Italy is changing," he said. "We also have black soccer players, and now this too is a sign." The government reports that there are almost one million foreigners living in Italy, a country with a population of 56 million, not counting naturalized Italians and "hundreds of thousands" of illegal immigrants. Italian police dismantled a smuggling ring that brought women into Italy on false seasonal farm worker contracts. The women received medical certificates from Italian doctors and were then employed in Italian nightclubs. About 1.5 million Italians lived outside Italy in other European nations in 1993, including 560,000 in Germany, 380,000 in Switzerland, 250,000 in France, and 240,000 in Belgium. "Italian coast guards capture 60 illegal immigrants," Reuters, September 25, 1996. "Residence papers for illegal immigrants who turn informer," Agence France Presse, September 13, 1996. Celestine Bohlen, "An 'Exotic' Italian Beauty; Miss Italy/Pageant Turns Into 'Psychodrama,' International Herald Tribune, September 11, 1996. Celestine Bohlen, "Italians Contemplate Beauty in a Caribbean Brow," New York Times, September 10, 1996. "Illegal immigration ring of eastern European women dismantled," Agence France Presse, July 5, 1996. _______________________________ Illegal Immigration into Spain Many Africans attempt to cross the Strait of Gibraltar by boat from Tangier, Morocco to Tarifa, Spain. The going rate is $600 to cross by boat at night, and Spanish police report that almost half of the 1,000 illegal aliens apprehended near Tarifa were caught in August. There are two Spanish cities on the north coast of Morocco, Ceuta and Melilla, and they attract Black migrants from Mali and other countries who destroy their documents and request asylum. Under Spanish law, police must determine the identity and country of origin of an alien within 40 days or release him from detention. Spain flies those who are being returned to their countries of origin first from North Africa to Spain, and then to their home country, since Morocco refuses to take back persons who crossed into these Spanish cities from Morocco. A Niger national was killed by security forces on September 23 during a demonstration Bissau, Guinea-Bissau. About 40 Africans, who were expelled from Spain in July, were demanding the right to return to Spain. The EU recently promised to provide Morocco with $6 billion in aid between 1995 and 1999 in exchange for Moroccan help in curbing alien and drug smugglers. Morocco has stationed 25,000 troops on its coasts. "African immigrant expelled from Spain killed during demonstration," BBC, September 25, 1996. "Spanish police break up two Chinese illegal-migrant operations," Deutsche Presse-Agentur, September 17, 1996. Marlise Simons, "Tangier a Magnet for Africans Slipping Into Spain," New York Times, August 26, 1996. _______________________________ Immigration in Austrian Elections Election posters throughout Vienna proclaim, "Vienna must not become like Chicago." The election posters are for Freedom Party city council candidate Rainer Pawkowicz. Since 1990, the Freedom Party has used Chicago as a code for crime, which leads to immigrants and cheap foreign labor. Pollsters in Vienna predict that the right wing party could take more than 25 percent in the October 13 municipal elections. The Freedom Party's share in national elections have rise from five percent to 22 percent in a decade. Austrian police broke up a smuggling ring believed to have past four years. The 11 smugglers were from Austria, Iran, Syria, Turkey and Iraq and was based in a bar in the town of Wels in Upper Austria Province. Immigrants from Hungary and the former Yugoslavia paid about $10,000 each to be smuggled across the Austrian border. Austria has become a key transit point for illegal immigrants since the border controls with Eastern Europe were relaxed in the region seven years ago. Suzann Campbell, "Chicago a foul word in Vienna election," Chicago Sun-Times, September 24, 1996. "Austrian police smash immigrant smuggling ring," Reuters, September 19, 1996. _______________________________ Kurds and Refugees There are two major factions fighting for independence for the 15 to 20 million ethnic Kurds scattered across Turkey, Iran and Iraq. In September 1996, the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) invited Saddam Hussein to send in Iraqi troops to help the KDP oust its Kurdish rival, the Patriotic Union of Kurdestan (PUK), from several northern Iraq cities that were in the safe zone declared off limits to Iraqi troops after the 1991 Gulf War. The fighting produced refugees. The largest contingent, some 40,000 PUK adherents, moved to Iran, which received 1.4 million Kurdish refugees after the Gulf War. But this time, Iran was not as hospitable, keeping the Iraqi Kurds in tent cities rather than permitting them free movement. Iran hosts the largest refugee population in the world, two million according to the Iranian government. In an effort to persuade Afghan refugees to return, Iran is offering them $25 and 110 pounds of wheat. The US offered to accept as refugees the 250 persons who worked for the US State Department's Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance as drivers, clerks, and translators. With their families, some 2,100 people were flown to Guam to apply for asylum in the US. The European Union is expected to offer asylum to about 6,000 Kurds who assisted in European peace keeping efforts. About half of the ethnic Kurds live in Turkey--the so-called bridge between East and West, the link between Christendom and Islam. In 1987, Turkey applied to join the EU, and in 1989, Turkey's application was rebuffed by the European members. Most of Turkey's trade is with the EU. Turkey has 60 million people, almost 70 percent live in cities, and 60 percent are under 20--a recipe for emigration pressure. The populations of Istanbul and Ankara have been doubling every 15 years, as rural residents move to the cities. There are about one million ethnic Turks in southern Bulgaria, and in May and June 1989, they began pouring across the border into Turkey after the Bulgarian government cracked down on Bulgarian Turks who refused to adopt Bulgarian names. "Guam welcomes Kurdish refugees," UPI, September 17, 1996. Daniel Pearl, "Fleeing Kurds don't get red carpet in Iran," Wall Street Journal, September 17, 1996. _______________________ Illegal Immigration into Poland Some 163 illegal immigrants from Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Liberia, India and Cameroon were detained in September in a village in Warsaw Province, the largest group ever found in one place in Poland. On September 19, 40 illegal immigrants from Pakistan were detained in a bus bound for Germany. The Polish Border Police report that, between January and June, 1996, some 4,807 foreigners have been detained for illegally entering the country. Many came from Romania and Armenia, followed by Ukraine, India, and Sri Lanka. "Group of Illegal Iraqi Immigrants Deported from Poland," September 26, 1996. "Police detain largest-ever single group of illegal immigrants," PAP News Agency, September 19, 1996. "Illegal Immigrants from Pakistan detained in Warsaw," PAP News Wire, September 20, 1996. _______________________________ ASIA _______________________________ Internal Migration and Stability in China China's population hit 1.2 billion at the end of 1995, so that China had 21 percent of the world's 5.8 billion residents. About 45 percent of China's population is under 26. China is one of the world's poorest and fastest growing countries. Its average per capita income is about $500, and its economic growth has been six to eight percent a year, which means that incomes can more than double within a decade. Growth is not spread evenly across China. The fastest economic and job growth is occurring in the largest cities along the southeastern coast, such as Shanghai and Shenzhen. One result is internal migration, and tensions in areas of origin and destination that, some fear, could threaten China's stability. Internal Migration. Internal migration within China is similar in many respects to international migration for employment, in the sense that the Chinese registration system acts as a barrier to rural-urban movements. Most rural migrants in Chinese cities are there without government permission, unauthorized workers who fill jobs in construction, services, and manufacturing that are shunned by local residents. They are liable to detection, fines and deportation to their rural residences. About 70 percent , or 864 million, of China's residents live in rural areas, where household incomes average about $225 per year, versus $425 in urban areas. An estimated 150 million rural workers--a third of the rural labor force of 450 million--is unemployed or underemployed; Chinese data say there are 130 million "surplus workers" in rural areas. Surplus labor in the countryside, and unfilled jobs in China's cities that offer wages that are low by urban standards, but high by rural standards, have set in motion an internal migration believed to involve at least 50 million, and possibly 70 to 100 million, internal migrants. In 1994, for example, Beijing and Shanghai were believed to have 3.3 million migrants each, so that migrants were 25 to 30 percent of those cities' populations. Applying these migrant percentages to China's 350 million urban residents yields the estimate of 70 to 100 million migrants. (It should be noted that not all of the migrants in Chinese cities are migrant workers; one-third may be persons away from their registered residences for business, tourism, and education reasons). From 1957 though January 1, 1994, internal migration was restricted by a household registration system (hukou bu) that required residents to be registered with local authorities. There were two major classifications, agricultural resident (nongye hukou) and urban resident (Chengshi jumin hukou), and only urban residents were entitled to subsidized housing, coupons for food and jobs. Those registered as agricultural residents remain agricultural residents even after they move to cities, and are subject to forced return to the countryside, as occurred after the collapse of the Great Leap Forward in 1960. Chinese policies treated agriculture as a source of low-cost food for industrial workers. This made the household registration system necessary to prevent rural-urban migration. As grain prices fell and costs rose in the 1980s, more and more rural residents migrated illegally to Chinese cities. Much of the Chinese migration is circular, meaning that the migrant retains a link to his village--Chinese terminology distinguishes between migration (quanyi), an official change of household registration, and floating population (liudong renkou). There are several reasons why many migrant workers in Chinese cities retain a link to the land, including the fear that government policy may change and force "agricultural" residents back to the countryside. Chinese who live away from the place where they are registered are generally unable to obtain subsidized housing and food, and can be rounded up and deported to the place where they are registered to live. Migration Networks. Young rural men tend to migrate to urban areas to fill construction jobs, while young rural women often find jobs in factories in the coastal areas, where they earn $1.25 to $1.75 per day, two to five times what they would earn farming. Most of China's 25 million construction workers are migrants from the countryside. There is currently a struggle between migrants, their employers and local government authorities over how to deal with the rural-urban wage gap that motivates migration. In Beijing, for example, employers have to pay the equivalent of $11,600 for urban residence permits for migrant workers from the countryside but the fine for employing a workers without a permit is only 1,000 yuan ($120). Individuals can buy residence permits to live in Beijing at a cost of $5,800. Migrants found working without permits, or arrested for vagrancy, are often sentenced to produce goods for three to six months in prison factories. Most migrants report that they must pay for the permit or suffer harassment. In December 1995, 500 migrant construction workers burned the local Communist party headquarters to protest police harassment. Many local authorities find it easier to get money from migrants than from local employers. Much of the matching of rural-urban migrants with jobs occurs in or near China's railroad stations, where labor brokers surround migrants as they alight from trains. They charge workers 100 to 200 yuan ($12 to $24 dollars) to "introduce" migrant job seekers to potential employers. Beijing opened a recruitment center in 1996 for migrant workers in the West Railway Station, the first step to regularize the flow of an estimated three million migrant workers employed by some 2,900 enterprises and private businesses. The West Railway Station, at 580,000 square yards the largest railway station in Asia, was built with the help of 20,000 migrant workers over three years. China's state railways have 3.4 million employees. Migrants often escape tight local controls on family planning, prompting the southeastern province of Fujian in China to pass the country's first law forcing migrant workers to be sterilized after giving birth to one child if they want a job in Fujian. The new law dictates that couples applying for jobs must produce sterilization certificates to prove that they will not have another child--the new rules apply only to migrant men and women. About 80 percent of the births in Fujian province in 1995 were to the "daily" commuter population of about three million. Another one million migrants live in Fujian province for one month or more. What Next? . By all measures, the number of migrants within China is increasing. The Chinese State Planning Commission predicts that only 46 percent of the nation's projected work force of 669 million will be farmers in the year 2000, down from 53 percent in 1995. Other estimates predict more displacement from agriculture due to rural population increases and encroachment on farm land by development projects. Chinese analysts are divided on what to do about rural-urban migration. On the one side are those who want grant legal status to agricultural persons already living in urban areas, and permit their families to join them in the cities. Under this proposal, China would abandon the household registration system that limits mobility, and keeps migrants living in fear of deportation. On the other side are those who argue that large numbers of rural migrants could destabilize Chinese cities and the government, and that the registration system is necessary to prevent a massive "floating population." If the government restricts rural-urban migration too tightly, there could be rebellions in poor areas. One Chinese analyst uses his view of the cause of the US Civil War--the economic disparity between the North and South--to urge measures to reduce Chinese rural poverty. The Chinese government should redirect foreign investment away from coastal areas into the interior to reduce the rural poverty that is prompting migration, he concludes. One Chinese city, Zhuhai near Hong Kong, in 1994 erected a nine-foot high fence around itself to deter unauthorized rural-urban migration. Some see fences as a wave of the future. Chinese Abroad. Beginning in the 1950s as "foreign labor cooperation," China has sent workers abroad to complete 1,000 projects in 70 countries, most notably the railroad between Tanzania and Zambia. Between 130,000 to 200,000 Chinese work outside the country, mostly in Asia. In 1994, it was estimated that remittances and earnings from Chinese-supplied materials used in foreign projects generated $8 billion for China in 1994. After economic reforms in 1978, China began to promote the export of labor as a means to earn foreign exchange and to ease domestic unemployment. Three major types of government entities--national government corporations, local government companies, and trading companies--and today there are 130,000 to 200,000 Chinese workers abroad, mostly in Asia. The Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Cooperation, which reports 200,000 migrant workers outside China in 1994, estimated that remittances and earnings from Chinese-supplied materials used in foreign projects generated $8 billion for China in 1994. There are also Chinese "worker-trainees" employed temporarily in Japan, ex-USSR, and the US, Chinese farmers in Japan, and 10,000 Chinese workers in South Korea. China is asking Japanese and Korean construction firms to consider using Chinese workers when they win contracts in third countries, such as the Gulf states. Over half of all Chinese workers abroad come from 10 of China's 30 provinces. About 20 percent come from the South China provinces of Guandong and Fujian, two of the fastest growing provinces in China. Chinese officials estimate that, of the 220,000 Chinese students who have gone abroad since 1979, only 75,000 have returned. The Chinese government believes that part of the blame for this 'brain drain' falls on Western nations such as Canada and the United States whose immigration policies give easy entry to the well-educated. Foreigners in China. Eighty foreigners are applying each day for permits to work in Shanghai. Many of the foreigners are employees of Sino-overseas joint ventures or foreign-owned companies. Nearly 3,000 foreigners have been granted work permits since the city began requiring them in May, 1996. An estimated 20,000 foreigners, primarily from Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan live in Shanghai. In June 1995, the Chinese government announced that it would reinforce its border controls to halt illegal immigration, especially into the southern regions of the country. More than 20,000 foreigners enter China illegally every year, mostly from Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia, plus a small number of illegal immigrants from Africa and Russia. In 1994, police detained 12,000 illegal immigrants in the Yunnan province and the autonomous region of Guangxi. "Over 3,000 foreigners get job licenses," Xinhua News Agency, September 26, 1996. "China says farmers' majority in work force to end by 2000," Agence France Presse, August 18, 1996. "Fujian to strengthen family planning among migrant population, Xinhua News Agency, July 3, 1996. Gary Silverman, "Vital and vulnerable," Far Eastern Economic Review, May 23, 1996. _______________________________ Singapore: Illegals in Construction Singapore employs about 350,000 foreign workers, and foreign workers are 20 percent of the island nation's labor force. Singapore is considered to run one of the tightest guest worker programs in the world, regulating the ratio of foreign to domestic workers, charging employers a monthly tax or levy for each legal foreign worker they hire, and imposing stiff penalties on illegal workers and their employers. However, the Singapore press has been reporting that more and more illegal foreign workers have been found in Singapore. In September, 1996, two Japanese construction firms paid a private company $10,000 to conduct midnight raids in search of illegal foreign workers. The Singapore Contractors Association has called for an amnesty so that illegal workers could be registered. A construction industry representative said that an amnesty would help determine the number of number of illegal workers currently on site and then construction companies could pay a levy for illegal workers and they could continue to work on the site. The construction industry also claims that with sub- contractors being held accountable for the legality of the workers they hire, they are demanding more money from the main contractor in order to hire legal workers. Recent amendments to the Immigration Act and the Employment of Foreign Workers Act make the main contractors responsible for the legality of all workers on their sites, even workers who, as in these cases, sneak onto the site to sleep at night. In order to decrease dependence on foreign workers, the Singapore government launched a "Back to Work" program to attract housewives, older persons and displaced workers into the workforce. Jasbir Singh, "Two more construction giants conduct searches on own sites," Straits Times, September 13, 1996. "Singapore launches 'back to work' program," Xinhua News Agency, September 13, 1996. Tan Hsueh Yun, "Contractors' body wants amnesty so illegal workers can be registered," Straits Times, September 8, 1996. _______________________________ Foreign Workers in Malaysia A Malaysian cabinet committee on foreign workers will conduct a study of foreign workers following complaints by Bangladeshi workers of harassment in the southern state of Johore. In one incident, hundreds of Malaysians from villages in Johore beat about 70 Bangladeshi workers, seriously injuring seven. Between January and April, 1996, over 10,000 illegal Indonesian workers have been sent home from Malaysia. An additional 11,000 detained and housed in Malaysian detention camps will be deported. Malaysia will not accept new workers from Indonesia until after December 31. On September 17, the Malaysian government announced two health screening measures to prevent foreign workers from bring infectious disease into the country. The Malaysian Cabinet approved a plan to have accredited clinics in the workers' home countries conduct the medical tests. Also, an agency will be set up in Malaysia to monitor the workers' state of health. The government said that in 1995 about 30 percent of leprosy cases, 11.5 percent of tuberculosis cases and 13 percent of malaria cases involved foreign workers. In an effort to stop "marriages of convenience,", the Malaysian Home Ministry announced it will revoke the work permit of foreign workers married to local women in an effort to gain permanent residence in Malaysia. There are no official figures on the number of Malaysian women married to foreign workers. "Committee to meet on conduct of alien workers," New Straits Times, September 26, 1996. Rene Leow, "Move to curb marriages with foreign workers," New Straits Times, September 26, 1996. "Malaysia to deport foreign workers who marry locals," Agence France Presse, September 25, 1996. Bob Khan, "Foreign workers who marry must leave,' UPI, September 25, 1996. "Malaysia mulls review of foreign worker recruitment policy," Agence France Presse, September 22, 1996. Ho Wah Foon, "More thorough health checks for foreign workers in pipeline," Straits Times, September 19, 1996. Kamarul Yunus, "Ministry told to check weaknesses in health screening," Business Times, September 18, 1996. "Malaysia to monitor foreign workers' health status," Xinhua News Agency, September 18, 1996. "Malaysia tightens health checks for foreign workers," Agence France Presse, September 17, 1996. _______________________________ Taiwan Considering Freeze on Foreign Worker Permits Taiwan's Council for Economic Planning and Development on August 15, 1996 asked the Council for Labor Affairs to freeze new approvals for foreign workers at the current 280,000, due to the increase in the unemployment rate to 2.6 percent, or 241,000 unemployed Taiwanese. There are believed to be 200,000 illegal foreign workers in Taiwan. In response, the CLA drafted a set of regulations designed to protect the rights and interests of foreign maids already in Taiwan. Under the new rules, foreign maids will be given one day off every week, or overtime pay if they work on their day off. They will also receive a seven-day paid vacation after one year of employment. The maids can apply for sick leave of up to 30 days a year. Employers can require helpers to work for a 40-day trial period. If the employer deems them incompetent, foreigners can be dismissed, and required to buy their own plane tickets back home. Foreign workers who commit crimes, violate Taiwanese laws, marry in Taiwan or get pregnant, contract contagious diseases, or bring families to Taiwan can also be fired. Taiwan has about 30,000 foreign maids, most of whom are from the Philippines. Taiwan is hoping to improve the marriage prospects for Taiwanese women by reducing the number of foreign brides entering the county. Taiwanese men are said to prefer foreign brides because Taiwanese women, who are better educated and more affluent, expect too much from their husbands. Under the new quotas, only 360 women from Indonesia, 420 from Myanmar, and 1,080 from China can enter Taiwan for marriage each year. A quota will soon be imposed on Vietnamese women. There is no quota for Western spouses. "CLA drafts rules to 'Protect' foreign domestic helpers here," China Economic News Service, August 16, 1996. Annie Huang, "Taiwan Moves to Boost Women's Marriage Prospects, "Associated Press, August 30, 1996. _______________________________ OTHER _______________________________ Saudi Arabia and Kuwait: Reduce Dependence on Foreigners? In Saudi Arabia, where six of seven service workers are foreigners, the government has hired foreign firms to teach young Saudis desirable work traits such as punctuality, reliability, and courtesy and is trying to persuade employers to hire Saudis by prohibiting the admission of foreign secretaries. The government also requires firms to increase the number of Saudis in their work forces by five percent each year. On the supply side of the labor market, the government is offering native youth up to $190 per week to attend one-year courses designed to turn them into desirable service workers. The Deputy Labor Minister says that "Every job filled by a foreigner is considered a temporary job to be filled by a Saudi whenever it is possible." Many employers reportedly prefer foreigners because they work for $500 per month, and they can be deported if fired, versus $1,000 per month expected by Saudis. When Iraq invaded Kuwait in August 1990, there were about 650,000 Kuwaiti citizens and 1.4 million foreign workers in Kuwait. The war reduced the number of foreign workers to about 700,000. After seven-month occupation by Iraq ended, the Kuwaiti government expelled 700,000 Palestinian, Jordanian, and Yemeni guest workers in a bid for self-reliance. However, by 1992, newspapers were reporting that foreigners once again dominated the labor force, this time Egyptians, Iranians and Asians. Today, Kuwait finds itself as reliant on foreign workers as before--six of seven workers is a foreigners. Egyptians, Pakistanis, Filipinos and others fill jobs that the Palestinians left behind. Most foreigners are in Kuwait without their families, and many work six days each week. Kuwaitis comprise just 16 percent of the workforce. Each Kuwaiti is guaranteed a job, and 93 percent are government employees. Kuwaiti wages are double those paid to foreigners, and many leave their jobs at lunch. As a early half of the government's expenses go to government salaries compared to one-third to defense. Today, Kuwait's population is two million, 1.3 million of whom are non-Kuwaitis, according to the most recent government statistics. Of a total labor force of 1.1 million, only 176,000 are Kuwaiti citizens. Kuwait has a per capita income of $23,000, and an estimated 10 percent of the world's oil reserves. There are 720,000 Kuwaiti citizens, but only 107,000 can vote--only men who can trace their ancestry back at least one generation are allowed to vote. In September, there were demonstrators by Kuwaiti women demanding the right to vote. Kuwait has reduced the number of "bidoon" or stateless residents, from 117,000 to 220,000 since the Gulf War. Most are of Iranian or Iraqi origin and some have lived in Kuwait for generations. The government does not plan to grant them citizenship, and has purged many bidoon from the Kuwaiti military. Kuwait plans to build an electric fence along its 130-mile border with Iraq. Douglas Jehl, "For Kuwaitis, Self-Reliance Proves an Elusive Goal," New York Times, September 24, 1996. "Manila reports Saudi Arabia continues to be Mecca for workers," Deutsche Presse-Agentur, September 21, 1996. Daniel Pearl, "Certain Work Is Foreign to Saudis, But That's Changing," Wall Street Journal, September 12, 1996. Peter Waldman, "Foreigners sweat to build Kuwait, as citizens flex only financial muscle," Wall Street Journal, May 28, 1992. _______________________________ Immigration into Argentina Argentina (36 million population) is a magnet for migrants from Bolivia (seven million), Peru (24 million) and Paraguay (five million). Argentina has an estimated 200,000 illegal immigrants, and the debate over what to do about illegal immigrants sounds very familiar to Americans. There are those who say that, with a 2,500-mile western border which has 795 crossing points, Argentina cannot stop illegal immigrants, and that Argentineans do not want to do certain types of jobs. The Bermejo River that separates Argentina ($8,200 per capita GNP) and Bolivia ($900 per capita GNP) has been likened to the Rio Grande. Bolivians have long been Argentina's migrant workers, cutting sugar cane and picking oranges in the northern provinces, and working their way south to vineyards in the wine country and potato farms near Buenos Aires. More recently, Bolivians have found jobs picking apples in the flatlands near Patagonia, replacing Chileans. Some Argentineans complain of the "Bolivianization" of northern Argentina. The countries of Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay, Paraguay, Chile and soon Bolivia are linked in a free-trade area, and there is a long-standing tradition that allows the free transit over borders of residents living within 30 miles of the border. Some estimates put the number of illegal Bolivians in Argentina at 200,000. Many are in Buenos Aries, where Korean-owned textile factories hire illegal Bolivian and Paraguayan workers for as little as $300 a month for a 60- hour week. Argentina in July had a 17 percent unemployment rate, which has led the government to step up the enforcement of immigration laws. One requirement, that tourists from neighboring countries show they have at least $1,500, has spawned a new business--the lending of $1,500 by the hour so that Bolivians and Peruvians can enter Argentina. Argentina in 1991 had five percent foreign-born residents, down sharply from 1914, when one-third of Argentina's residents were born abroad--40 percent of the foreign born were from Italy, and 35 percent from Spain. In Peru, unemployment is eight percent, and underemployment is 75 to 90 percent. About 20 percent of Peruvians live in "critical poverty." Gabriel Escobar, "Free Trade Leads to Mobile Labor as Bolivians Seek Jobs in Argentina," Washington Post, September 15 1996. Sebastian Rotella, "Argentina's frontier of promise; a country shaped by European settlers sees its future in new immigrants from its impoverished Latin American neighbors," Los Angeles Times, June 8, 1996. Felix Raucana, "Peru's war on poverty stalls; for the 55 percent facing hard times, the emergency handouts and aid programs have failed," Chicago Tribune, June 7, 1996. _____________________________ 100,000 Immigrants to Australia The number of immigrants arriving in Australia rose to 99,139 in the fiscal year ending June 30, 1996. The three leading countries of origin were New Zealand 12.4 percent, Britain 11.4 percent, and China 11.3 percent. Included were 13,800 refugees. The government plans to reduce immigration to 74,000 in 1996- 97, in part by introducing a "cap and queue" system that may require spouses to wait for permission to immigrate to join their husbands in Australia. Under current law, an unlimited number of spouses can enter Australia. In 1996-97, there are expected to be about 50,000 requests for family unification visas, although the "quota" is 36,700. In 1995-96, there was a 30 per cent increase in applications for spouse visas from Asian countries, especially from the spouses of the 40,000 Chinese granted refugee status in Australia after the crackdown in June 1989. Immigrants entering Australia on spouse visas receive a two-year probationary residence status. The Australian government plans to propose legislation that would permit the deportation of immigrants and naturalized Australians who lie about their qualifications or falsely describe their marital status in their application for permanent residency. Under current law, permanent residents can become naturalized Australians after two years. In her maiden speech to Australia's Federal Parliament, an independent MP on September 10, 1996 invoked the name Arthur Calwell, a former Labor Party leader remembered for his words: "Two Wongs don't make a White," when she asserted that Asian immigrants "have their own culture and religion, form ghettoes and do not assimilate." According to the MP, Australia is danger of being "swamped" by Asians. She urged Australia to reinstate the White Australia policy, and end its mult-cultural policies. A survey of 1,800 Australians found that 63 percent believe immigration should be reduced, including 51 percent of foreign-born persons in the country. Others studies suggest that immigrants from some countries were experiencing long- term unemployment. Australian Minister for Immigration Philip Ruddock said that the MP's comments "reflect a degree of xenophobia we think is very unhelpful." Some seven to eight percent of Australia's 20 million people are of Asian descent. Some 28,670 people emigrated from Australia in the fiscal year ending June 30, 1996. Researchers interested in immigration and integration in Australia can vote to approve a new group to discuss these issues. If you wish to vote, voting information can be obtained at http://www.dataweb.nl/~bekissler/index.html Kevin Clarke, "Australian MP rattles racist skeleton," Business Times, September 26, 1996. Kalinga Seneviratne, "Look to Asia policy takes a different turn," Inter Press Service, September 24, 1996. Liam Fitzpatrick, "Immigration laws set to hit spouses," South China Morning Post, September 22, 1996. _______________________________ RESOURCES _______________________________ Slate on Immigration The Internet magazine Slate--http://www.slate.com/COC/96-08- 19/CoC.asp--hosted a discussion of immigration and poverty August 19-23, 1995, in which Mark Krikorian asserted that US immigration policy is the major factor harming poor Americans that the US government can control--globalization, technology etc. are more difficult for governments to control. Several studies suggest that immigration accounts for 30 to 50 percent of the increase in the wage gap between the richest and poorest Americans. George Borjas asserted that, between 1970 and 1990, the percentage of foreign-born persons with below-poverty level incomes rose from 14 to 18 percent, while the percentage of native-born persons with below-poverty level incomes remained at 13 percent. According to Borjas, the rise in immigrant poverty is due to the growing gap between the education levels of immigrants and natives--in 1970, recent immigrant men had about one-half year of schooling than US-born men, but by 1990, the education gap had widened to 1.3 years. Borjas argued that the arrival of more unskilled immigrants held down wages for unskilled natives, and increased the number of poor persons getting welfare benefits, especially in-kind benefits such as Food Stamps--in 1990, 21 percent of immigrant households receive some type of public assistance, as compared to only 14 percent of native households, and only about 10 percent of non-Hispanic white native households. Barry Chiswick noted that, by one measure, immigration is only one-third as great today as at the turn of the century. Between 1871 to 1920, the annual rate of immigration was about eight per thousand U.S. population, in contrast to a rate of about three per thousand US population in the last 15 years. Without immigration, Chiswick asserts, there would have been more income equality, and more rural-urban migration. Peter Skerry agreed that unskilled immigrants depress wages and add to the US poverty population, but that public desires to reduce immigration are as much due to the "unprecedented, demands" of immigrants for bilingual education or ballots, voting rights electoral districts, or affirmative action benefits. According to Skerry, the major issue is how immigrants are incorporated into US society, not their number. Skerry also believes that the US must do far more to reduce illegal immigration. Sanford Ungar agreed that the US is importing poverty with immigration, but he argued that immigrants willing to work hard are not a problem because they begin their American journey poor. Ungar argues that the immigration debate is being manipulated by politicians who are blaming immigrants for widespread economic insecurity and uncertainty. Ungar advocates more immigration, raising legal immigration and admitting guest workers, and the provision of health and education services to them. The panelists also considered the effects of increased imports and increased immigration, noting that immigration is a long-term increased in the labor supply. Moderator Herb Stein concluded that all panelists agreed that the US was importing poverty via immigration, and that most agreed that more resources needed to be devoted to reducing illegal immigration.