Monday, January 25, 2010

Immigrants & Migrants

A very important op-ed piece appeared in today's NYT. It concerns African immigrant workers in Italy. I have previously posted about the treatment of various minority populations in European countries and the resurgence of nationalism and fear of the "other". This op-ed piece by Roberto Saviano peels back another layer of the problem: the mafia. Saviano points out that native-born Italian workers are too afraid to stand up to the mafia,m who control the economic sectors in which the immigrant/migrant workers were protesting bad working conditions. Just like here in the US where no one wants to do the very hard work done by migrant workers from south of the border, so too in Italy: farm labour, menial labour, construction labour. Yet resentment about the presence of these people festers and all the negative "isms" emerge. Migrant workers face these issues all over the world: China, Middle East. For more information, check out the website of the Migration Policy Institute.

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