Saturday, March 04, 2017

World-Wide Migration 

"Nigerians, Pakistanis, Zimbabweans, etc., bring nothing but destruction; hijack our buildings, sell drugs; inject young South African ladies with drugs and sell them as prostitutes."
Flyers circulating in Pretoria

"We have allowed in criminals and former child soldiers. The government has failed to protect its own people."
"People come here because they think South Africa is the land of milk and honey but it's still a country where people are living without flushing toilets."
"We've been struggling with immigration since long before anyone here ever heard of Donald Trump."
Mario Khumalo, leader, South Africa First

"I would like to again reiterate my deep concern for the flare up of xenophobic violence in parts of Gauteng."
Herman Mashaba, mayor, Johannesburg

"Violence has no place in our country, where we strive to promote peaceful coexistence between all those who reside within our borders."
Zizi Kodwa, spokesman, African National Congress
South African riot police fire rubber bullets during clashes between South African and foreign national protesters on Friday.
South African riot police fire rubber bullets during clashes between South African and foreign national protesters on Friday. Photograph: Phill Magakoe/AFP/Getty Images

The African Union proposed the merits of an "African passport", permitting visa-free access across its 54 member-states, last year. Perhaps modelling their recommendation on the roaring success of the 28-member European Union's free movement of EU populations among member states, citing its roaring success that has largely motivated Brits to vote for an exit from the European Union, fed up with the presence in their midst of other Europeans taking jobs that Brits don't necessarily want.

In South Africa, however, employment is at a low and the migrating Africans from outside nations are more than eager to take jobs in South Africa, in competition with South Africans, living with their sky-high unemployment rate. And the same kind of resentment that is being expressed throughout Europe at the unremitting avalanche of refugees and haven seekers from across the Middle East and Northern and Western Africa is fuelling discontent in South Africa.

Those in South Africa who ask for compassion for refugees like to remind South Africans of their neighbours' generosity to them when they were fleeing the violence associated with Apartheid in that earlier era. South Africa itself is a country beset by tribal animosities but far more seriously, a high violent crime rate that appears frustratingly resistant to being diminished through any means as yet attempted.

The new political party launched by Mr. Khumalo has promised "strict vetting" of migrants along with mass deportations, and that platform is finding broad appeal among South Africans who have been demonstrating against the presence of refugees and migrants, many of whom lack official documentation, working illegally in the country. The war and poverty that impels migrants to view South Africa as a beacon of haven has brought them no favour in that country.

The 30 percent unemployment rate places no one in a generous mood respecting a large and needy foreign presence leading protesters to march through Pretoria to call on the government to mount a more emphatic resistance against illegal immigration. Police have fired rubber bullets attempting to separate irate South Africans from immigrant groups.

From Europe to North America, Africa and Asia, the mass migration of people attempting to escape conflict, poverty, unemployment and discrimination has become a world-wide phenomenon with no end in sight and little idea what can be done to ameliorate the situation.

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