Migrant Tales (December 27, 2011): Immigration laws reveal what kind of society we are

by , under Enrique Tessieri

Migrant Tales insight: This opinion piece was published exactly five years ago. Check out what we wrote back then and how immigration law in Finland have tightened. If immigration laws reveal what kind of society we are, what do our immigration laws reveal about ourselves?

Last year, 32,476 asylum seekers came to Finland. While many of us received them with open arms, that welcome eventually turned into suspicion and a sinister wish that they’d leave our country as fast as possible.  

The attitude of Prime Minister Juha Sipilä’s government, after he offered asylum seekers his home in September of last year, not only exposes hypocrisy but reveals moral cowardice in the face of a challenge. 

Tell me what your immigration laws are and I will tell you what kind of society you live in. Show me how those laws defend minorities and encourage cultural diversity and I will show you hypocrisy.

There is a saying that a person’s true character is not exposed during good times but when there is great adversity.

The global financial meltdown of markets in September 2008 and the euro financial crisis today is testing our “good will” to breaking point.

Far-right, populist and even right-wing conservative groups in countries like the U.S. have succeeded in making  racism sound fair, according to Colorlines.*

There are worse examples of how the spirit of the laws and that of deeds show how our societies are flirting and have succumbed in some cases to the ways of despotism.

A case in point is Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Maricopa County in Arizona, who got his wings clipped after the Obama Administration’s Department of Homeland Security stripped him of several federal tools for immigration enforcement, according to Police Patrol. *

Arpaio has been accused of racial profiling and targeting Hispanics in his county. But he isn’t the only case. There are too many others that do what Arpaio does but without such revolting fanfare in the media.

In Europe and Finland anti-immigration parties and politicians are arguing as well that it is ok to be racist and homophobic.

What kind of a society do we have in our country with immigration laws getting tougher and anti-immigration groups gaining strength? What do our laws and deeds reveal?

That we have a chronic leadership crisis and have lost our way.

*Thank you Community Village Daily Activist for the heads up!


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