The United States has been increasingly focused on its immigration problem as unaccompanied minors have been crossing the Southern border in greater numbers and Congress has been so far unable to pass effective reform — a trend likely to continue at least until after midterm elections. As the U.S. struggles with its immigration problem, other nations face their own. For a visual tour of international immigration, let’s start with the U.S., and continue across the globe.
America’s main immigraton problem deals with those illegal immigrants already present in large numbers within the U.S. — 11 million undocumented based on the White House’s estimates — and how best to handle their presence in the U.S., as well as how best to prevent further illegal entrances while maintaining a reasonable humanitarian policy in the face of a population often seeking refuge from violence, gang intimidation, and poverty.
Pictured above: In Slough, England, a man speaks with Home Office Immigration Enforcement officers during a raid on suspected illegals this month.
Over the last ten years the United Kingdom has seen a significant increase in its immigrant population, jumping from 4.6 million in 2001 to 7.5 million in 2011, a difference of 13 percent of the population in 2011 and 4.3 percent — 1.9 million — in 1951, according to the U.K. Office of National Statistics. According to British polling group, British Future, the issue has become a concern for British citizens especially, but with more of an emphasis on the issue nationally as opposed to locally. Thirty percent said immigration was the top item when considering “tensions facing British society as a whole” while only 19 percent chose it as a local concern.
Generally, concerns about immigration are both economic and cultural, especially at high rates and with mistrust of government management, and yet immigration is still accepted as a necessary and positive force by many.
Pictured above: a demonstration is held in Marseille, France as women gather in support of their right to wear religious headscarves in public back in 2004.
According to CNN France has seen about 130,000 immigrants annually in the last few years — it saw 48,000 asylum seekers in 2010 and 66 million in its native population as of 2012.
“Today we have a problem. Our system of integration is working worse and worse because we have too many foreigners on our territory, and we can no longer manage to find them accommodation, a job, a school,” said French President Nicolas Sarkozy in 2012.
One of the largest cultural influxes seen in the nation has been that of the Muslim population, growing to be about 6.5 million in 2013, according to Gatestone Institute: International Policy Council. The melting pot of cultures, combined with poor socioeconomic conditions of many Muslim immigrants in France, has led to some violent tensions, including riots and car burnings that have occurred in the past decade on multiple occasions.
Pictured above: A gathering of Indian immigrants protesting against the Minister of Citizenship, Immigration, and Multiculturalism demanding that their visas be processed.
Canada has one of the worlds largest percentage immigrant populations, a result of a loose and open policy meant to drawn in skilled foreign workers and businesses. As of 2011, it had 6,775,800 foreign-born individuals living within its borders, equaling 20.6 percent of its population and the highest numbers of G8 countries, according to its government stats. Most immigrants are of Asian/Middle Eastern origin, as of 2007-2011.
Pictured above: Workers in Dubai, UAE prepare to head back to the migrant camp they’re staying at after a days work.
The United Arab Emirates sees an enormous influx of unskilled labor every year from India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh, usually immigrants seeking employment for a time in order to make money and increase their stand of living for a time. In fact, according to the Migration Policy Institute the UAE has the fifth largest group of migrants in the world, at least as of 2013, with 7.8 million migrants out of 9.2 total population. The greatest challenge facing the government there is regulation of working conditions, as concerns have been leveled on employers for exploitative practices against foreign workers, who constitute much of the nation’s workforce.
More from Politics Cheat Sheet:
- Where Are America’s Immigrants From? (Hint: It’s Not Just Mexico)
- Immigration Reform: Do Children Change the Argument?
- What Does Bill Gates Get Wrong About Immigration?
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