12 May 2009

Unfair Walls

My colleague A and I were just discussing the condition of illegal immigrants here in Belgium. And then I remembered one of our professors here saying:

"The greatest global injustice of today is the fact that some people can freely enter other people's borders, while others cannot."

He makes a lot of sense. How has it come to happen that a citizen from the US or from the EU can freely enter any country just with their passports, while people from other countries such as those from the Philippines have to go through great pains (callous illegal recruiters, demanding legal recruitment agencies, CRUEL AND RUDE embassy officials, money hungry medical institutions tied up with embassies, and the like) just to enter other countries' territories?

Governments will have a ready answer for this, but all that I believe is simply pain bull__! If you get out of the technalities, the answer to this question is plain and simple.

We have not gone past the colonial age. We are still in it, that is, in its more monstrous form.


Gloria Oldham said...

Ah, sorry I don't agree. A country- any country- must be able to control it's borders or it's truly not a sovereign country. The USA has anywhere from 12 to 20 Million illegals running around - mostly Mexicans- but the government really doesn't know how many. Such illegal immigrants bring costs (in many ways) to legalcitizens. Also, visas are rerquired for many Third Worlders as a practical matter; experience shows that many "tourists" from such lands are conmen who disappear (the TNT Syndrome) and add to the illegal dilemma. You may call these requirements unfair, but cheaters have ruined it for honest tourists. Colonialism? No, just rational action. I know that Americans-at-large welcome all legal immigrants- that is our history. But rancor has grown about illegals. By the way, if 20 million Malaysians or Indonesians moved into Pinas without controls, would Pinoy be happy?

littleoneofgod said...

Hi George. Thanks for the reaction.
You know that I have nothing personal against Americans or Europeans. Many of them (like you) are part of my beloved family and friends.

I just highlighted the unfairness of how some people can freely enter other people's territories while others cannot. Of course this will not apply to territories of the same economic status (like Indonesia and Philippines).

If the US and the EU are concerned about their security and their economy, hence, the strict regulation of entry of foreigners, I don't see any reason why people from the Philippines and other third worlders cannot be just as concerned. Why can't we impose the same regulations? Because we simply just can't - not if what we are talking about are the biggies like US and EU.

I don't think that the only reason for this is the TNT syndrome. You will agree that the root of it all is in a long history of economic and political strife since WW II. But if we are now moving towards global democracy and global justice, then perhaps this is one of the things that those up there must look seriously into.

Note that there are illegal immigrants because the regulations within borders have been set. These regulations have designated the term "illegal immigrant." It is not the other way around, not that regulations within borders have been created because there are illegal immigrants.

Wendy Brown of UC Berkeley (whose books are interesting- you might want to look into them) mentioned here about the US State Governor who put in millions of dollars for a surveillance cam against the Mexican borders in his state. He attached this cam to the worldwide web supposedly to invite people around the world to guard the border of his state. Brown points out that rather than spending millions of money gearing up our walls, we must exhaust our resources into dialogue, and collaboration with governments to solve the problem of illegal immigration.

This is a complex problem that a little critical mind like mine can hardly fathom. But the question invites a vigorous discussion. And happily, one entered it. :)