Canadian journalist Donna Laframboise. Former National Post & Toronto Star columnist, past vice president of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association. New posts: Mondays & Wednesdays.
SPOTLIGHT: Unrestricted immigration harms those at the bottom of the economic ladder.
BIG PICTURE: We find it difficult to have honest conversations. The current president of the United States is accused 100 times a day of wanting to kick out immigrants, when his concern is actually illegal immigrants.
People who’d never go to sleep with their doors unlocked nevertheless think their nation should allow a non-stop river of human beings to walk through the gate, up the path, and into the kitchen.
As Douglas Murray explains in his illuminating book, The Strange Death of Europe, immigrants have minimal impact on the daily lives of academics, journalists, politicians, bureaucrats and others who reside in affluent, manicured neighbourhoods. (Indeed, some middle-class people economically exploit nannies and gardeners whose citizenship papers may not be entirely in order.)
For the unemployed, for young people just starting out, and for members of the working class, it’s a different story. Immigration increases the stress in their daily lives. People who’ve entered the country illegally, or who’ve been welcomed by the authorities despite having few job skills, greatly enlarge the pool of those struggling to survive near the bottom of the socio-economic ladder.
Safe, affordable housing is central to a family’s quality of life. Every wave of newcomers increases the competition for low-income housing that is already in short supply. The same is true of entry-level jobs. Competing against 50 other applicants is bad enough. Competing against 500 can make you feel hopeless.
Getting your child into a decent school is far more difficult when there are thousands of additional kids to accommodate. Medical clinics become ever more crowded – and specialist wait times ever longer. Housing. Jobs. Education. Medical care. These are the things that matter.
Support for immigration may make professionals nibbling canapés feel gracious and cosmopolitan, but when there’s too much immigration, too fast, the lives of the working class is profoundly and adversely affected.
TOP TAKEAWAY: Immigration is a class issue. Elites make the decisions, the working class lives with the consequences.
|The Strange Death of Europe: Immigration, Identity, Islam
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