I read a report in a magazine from the mid-1990s that claimed that Irish immigrants were one of the few immigrant groups in Britain whose life expectancy dropped when they left their home country. This was apparently still true up until that time. I wish I could find a cite.
The ancient religious reason have been amply illustrated by many posters above, especially Jjimm’s fine piece, but for modern times, I can’t help thinking it’s a lot simpler (and yes, this has also been discussed above). Consider the Chinese, who have suffered similar discrimination in their expatriate communities across SE Asia - religion isn’t such a focal point there. Not usually, anyway (Indonesia and the like may be exceptions). The Chinese are to SE Asia what the Jews are/were to Europe or the Irish to the British world (incl. the Commonwealth): refugees with a willingness to work hard. That’s scary to a lot of people. The sectarianism on top of that makes for something none too pretty. Anybody part of a diaspora is not going to get the red carpet where they arrive.
While I agree with a lot of what you say, it’s not always so one-sided. Meaning, I am not comfortable with panting it as the “work hard immigrants” being discriminated by the bad, lazy natives.
For example, one criticism of the Chinese in many countries is that they are to insular. That is, they favour there own and make no effort to get involved with the community or even to become part of it. There’s also a complaint that they undercut local commerce, thus further exacerbating tensions.
Another issue is the sheer number of immigrants. For example, if more than half of an area’s population is replaced by immgrants do the natives have a right to complain or ask “how many are too many”? So, like most
Not sure about “bad, lazy natives”, though it certainly has often been painted that way.
Take the Chinese (and Greeks, Italians etc before them) in Australia. The Chinese have been willing to live five generations in a flat and work 15 hour days in a fast food shop, and eventually make good. Then (and further perpetuating the stereotypes here for sake of argument), the white Australians have been lying on the beach drinking beer and don’t make so good in the end.
But I’m not going to argue one side or the other in this - people get what they want, and many people are happy lying on the beach drinking beer. I admire the Chinese work ethic, but I don’t have it, and the key here is - I don’t think I WANT it.
The only problem is that folks shouldn’t bitch about their success later - and I make sure I don’t.
And as I’ve heard migrants say when confronted with the “but you look after your own!” agrument, “Erm… yes, we do. But nobody’s stopping you doing the same thing.”
It’s just another Old Boys’ network, like the Freemasons, or the school you went to, or your church… I don’t find it too sinister.
What about the less successful Chinese in China? That is, there are lazy Chinese as well they just tend not to emmigrate because, well they may not have the motivation of those who immigrate for economic reasons.
Also, is it not a testament to the success of a society that the days of 15 hour work days are a thing of the past?
My problem with the current “debate” on immigration is several fold:
1)too often a rosy picture is painted of the immgirants. That is, positive and pleasant stories without any focus on the social and economic impact.
There is no serious discussion as to whether mass immigration of differing cultures is really a good thing. Wouldn’t a “time out” allow for greater generation assimilation?
How many is too many? Should there be unlimited immigration?
What about the brain drain from the country they are leaving? Shouldn’t it be policy to try and improve conditions in countries like Mexico such that so many people do not need to leave the country?
The “look after your own” is not that simple particularly if they do not assimilate. Lack of assimilation leads to tensions. A great example is the Chinese in Africa who do not appear (according to the Economist) is assimilating into the larger culture in any meaningful way.