An Immigration Warning - From the Boston Globe?!
A Lesson in Immigration: Guest worker experiments transformed Europe. That's the headline of the article, and that's pretty much what it's about. The article chronicles how in 1961 Germany recruited a few thousand Turks to do jobs that Germans wouldn't do (though they don't mention that millions of German men were sort of 'disappeared' about 17 years earlier, which might help explain the worker shortage) and that led to the mess they have now. The basic problem, of course, is that guest workers just don't leave.
Europe's guest worker programs were mostly scrapped during the recessions of the 1970s, but in a pattern reflecting the Hispanic flow into the United States, the movement of Muslims to Europe only accelerated. Those early guest workers routinely overstayed their one- or two-year permits, or lived from extension to extension, but faced scant risk of deportation unless they committed serious crimes.I kept waiting for the other shoe to drop - you know, where they try to argue that America's more open-borders approach is so much better than Europe's more closed-society approach, but it never came. Sure, there was this stupid comment:
Birth rates in some European countries are plunging dramatically. Immigrants earning wages and paying taxes appear to represent the best chance the continent has of keeping its place in the world's economic front ranks.but that was followed by this in the very next sentence:
Many of the original guest workers are now retired, enjoying the comfortable pensions that are the pride of Europe. But their children and their grandchildren are trapped between two worlds, too 'Europeanized' ever to return to the Middle East or North Africa, but lacking the language skills and education to forge ahead in their new countries.Ya - they're going to keep Europe in the world's economic front ranks. One interesting point is that Germany is now turning to Polish and Lithuanian workers rather than Turks and Arabs - in other words, fellow Europeans. One thing we definitely are smarter about here is not providing welfare benefits to immigrants. But otherwise, the Europeans seem to be a lot wiser about - or at least have awakened to - the long-term demographic consequences of immigration. So this is quite surprising coming from the Boston Globe - will anybody up there be persuaded?