Friday, March 24, 2006

One way to reduce immigration

A litmus test for being open minded

Potential immigrants to the Netherlands must watch a film that includes two men kissing and a topless woman.

This and other measures has cut immigration by around one third, according to a March 15 Associated Press article by Bruce Mutsvairo. Someone just sent me a copy from Beacon Journal.
(Since then link I had expired. This note written Jan. 09).

Good idea.

Could be called "the litmus test for having an open mind."

That is just as valid, if not more valid, than many other proposals attempting to control immigration.

For instance, here in USA, there are folks who suggest adopting more stringent "English only" policies for people after they have arrived.

Too bad that the Dutch are only applying that law to immigrants from certain parts of the world. People from places like USA, New Zealand and Canada are exempt. Maybe the test should apply to all, so the Dutch don't set themselves up to criticism for "bias based on national origin."

From what I hear, Dutch society is still reeling from the 2004 murder of film maker Theo Van Gogh by a dutch national of Moroccan descent. The film featured a refugee from Somalia who fled an arranged marriage and renounced the Islamic faith. The film maker was murdered by someone who didn't like his message.

I hear some other European nations are coming up with things like a contract that new arrivals must agree to.

"Sign here, that you will respect folks with diverse points of view and ways of life."

From what I hear, the Netherlands, and much of Europe, faces huge numbers of immigrants from Islamic countries. According to another article, around 5.5% of Netherlands population is now Muslim.

Of course it is also important to point out that not all Muslims are bigoted; especially the folks who would be willing to watch the film where two men kiss.

The Netherlands is also a very small country, small in land area. Where are they going to place all the immigrants anyway?

Here in USA, people are not only worried about immigration from overseas. We also fret about people moving to "our neighborhoods" from other parts of our own country.

Our own country, mind you.

Up here in the northwest corner of USA (Whatcom County) there is a strong anti growth movement.

We have a lot more elbow room than the residents of Netherlands, yet people are squawking loud about any new housing development proposed.

Whatcom County isn't a country, so it can't impose immigration laws.

We can't impose laws against Californians for instance. If we could, maybe we should also create a litmus test for an open mind. Learn from the Dutch example.

We don't have a big issue of immigration from Islamic countries, here in Whatcom County, nor do we have as cramped a quarters as the Netherlands. At the same time, I sure hear people, in Whatcom County, griping about all our new residents.

A litmus test for being open minded? It's about as good as any proposal I have heard. Better than, say, that proposal to create a concrete wall across I-5.

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