Things That Matter

Japan Is In Crisis Due To Super Low Immigration Thanks To Its Anti-Immigration Laws, Is This What Trump Wants For The US?

Immigration is key to healthy demographics in any country. The flow of people to and from a country generates cultural exchange, human connections, artistic creation and, yes, even huge amounts of money that makes economies healthier. If you stop migration altogether, or if your society is mono-racial even in these globalized times, you risk facing severe issues, just like Japan is experiencing today. The Japanese experience can work as a we-told-you-so tale of what shutting your borders brings for the future. 

Let’s get something straight: unless you are Native-American, you are a product of immigration.

Credit: Instagram. @nativeamericansoul

The United States is a multicultural mosaic product of various processes of voluntary and forced migration. The territory that is now the US has hosted flows of people from diverse European countries, first from Ireland and the United Kingdom, and then from places such as Italy, Germany, Greece and Poland. Millions of Africans were forcibly removed from their land and brought to America as slaves. Asian and Latin American migration has also provided an extra layer of cultural complexity and richness to the American social fabric. This rich past is what makes up the composition of the United States of America. So unless you come from the original owners of the land, you are also a product of migration, as is everyone in government including Donald J. Trump. Let’s learn from Japan, shall we?

So what is the deal with Japan? Easy, it’s population is shrinking! 

Credit: Instagram. @acchi_kocchi

No, not like in the classic 1980s movie Honey, I Shrunk the Kids. Rather, Japanese society is suffering from a simple and dire mathematical problem: there are not enough people being born to balance for the people who are dying. This might seem commendable and even ideal for people who argue that the world doesn’t need any more people, and that a society with less individuals would thrive. But it is not that simple…

Society remains largely conservative.

Credit: Instagram. @japan_related

Japanese women have made huge progress in recent decades and become part of the specialized workforce. In a highly hierarchical society, some women now hold positions of power in business and government. Many young women fear that having a baby will be a step backwards in their careers. As The Times reports, birthrates have a huge impact in the economy: “No single factor explains Japan’s waning position within the global economy, but its shrinking and ageing population lies at the core of its problems. The median age of a Japanese inhabitant is almost 47. This is nine years older than in the US and six years greater than in the UK. The Japanese birthrate is falling and the population has shrunk for ten years in a row”. So migration is the logical step to fix Japan’s demographics. 

There are no new workers to replace the old workers, so the economy is lagging.

Credit: Instagram. @louis_gan

As reported by The Washington Post, Japanese babies are not keeping up with the old. That means that people being born are not enough to make up for elders passing away. The sales for adult diapers are larger than those of baby nappies. This translates into a workforce that is ageing and is now insufficient. This results into a disaster in both personal and national levels. The elder abandon their houses and these remain unoccupied and just rot away. The Japanese even have a term for these casas abandonadas: Akiya. There are up to 8 million abandoned houses in Japan. Also, the state faces the huge economic burden to take care of the old while younger generations don’t want to have kids. 

Japan is traditionally shut to mass migration and has tough on immigration laws.

Credit: Instagram. @louis_gan

In other developed countries such as the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia mass migration makes up for gaps in the workforce. In the United States, for example, the brasero program originally brought thousands of Mexican laborers to the country’s fields.

In Australia, even though the country has very tough border policies that sometimes verge in the inhumane, the government has various programs of skilled migration. That is simply not the case in Japan. Authorities are getting tougher (sounds familiar?) as reported by China Daily Hong Kong Edition: “A record number of foreigners living in Japan were stripped of their residency status in 2018, data from the country’s Immigration Services Agency showed, even as Japan is widening its doors to foreign workers. The immigration agency said on Wednesday that it revoked visas of 832 people last year, more than doubled the figure of a year earlier. Almost 70 percent of them were students and technical trainees who failed to follow visa requirements”. These individuals were mainly Asians as well: Vietnamese, Chinese, Nepalese and Filipinos. 

An anti-immigration policy that needs to be changed for Japan to thrive?

Credit: Instagram. @ettyliu

The outlook for the country is so pessimistic that even conservative politicians are considering changing their approach to migration. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has been facing pressure from the business sector, and is opening new avenues for foreign workers. However, as reported by The Washington Post, those efforts are limited because they simply don’t lend themselves to integration: “The government has begun making more work permits available to foreign workers, but makes little effort to help them integrate. Visa rules force most foreign workers to apply for extensions frequently and prevent them from bringing their families”. Can you imagine that? Yes, we surely can, that is the type of place that Trump policies could turn America into. 

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Undocumented Residents Could Be Excluded From The 2020 Census After All, Thanks To New Supreme Court Case

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Undocumented Residents Could Be Excluded From The 2020 Census After All, Thanks To New Supreme Court Case

Phil Roeder / Getty Images

The drama over the 2020 Census continues.

First, was a Supreme Court decision that found the Trump administration wasn’t being totally honest about it’s reasoning for including the citizenship question on the 2020 Census – so the court effectively removed the question from the census. 

Then, Trump tried to delay the constitutionally mandated census to give his administration more time to come up with a better reason to tell the courts.

None of that worked as planned by the administration, and the Census has continued as normal. However, so many in minority communities – particularly migrant communities – have been fearful of completing this year’s census. Well, a new Supreme Court case could erase all the progress we made to make sure all residents – regardless of immigration status – were fairly counted.

The Supreme Court will hear a case that could allow the Trump Administration to exclude undocumented residents from Census data.

On Friday, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear arguments next month over whether President Trump can exclude undocumented immigrants from the census count used to apportion congressional districts to the 50 states.

The court’s announcement means that the court – which could soon have a 6-3 conservative majority – will hear arguments in the case on November 30.

In July, Trump issued a memorandum asking the Census Bureau to subtract undocumented immigrants from the count for the purposes of congressional apportionment — the reallocation of the nation’s 435 House districts every 10 years. Trump’s memo came after the Supreme Court had rejected his last minute efforts to add a citizenship question to the census.

By the time the high court hears this case, federal Judge Amy Coney Barrett could be confirmed as the ninth justice, cementing a conservative majority. Senate Republicans hope to confirm her nomination to the Supreme Court before the election on Nov. 3.

However, the U.S. Constitution explicitly calls for the counting of all residents within the country.

Credit: Tetra Images / Getty Images

The 14th Amendment requires districts to apportion congressional seats based on “counting the whole number of persons in each State, excluding Indians not taxed.”

Since the first U.S. census in 1790, the numbers of U.S. residents who are counted to determine each state’s share of congressional seats have included both citizens and noncitizens, regardless of immigration status.

“President Trump has repeatedly tried — and failed — to weaponize the census for his attacks on immigrant communities. The Supreme Court rejected his attempt last year and should do so again,” said Dale Ho, a lead plaintiffs’ attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union who successfully argued against the now-blocked citizenship question the administration wanted on the 2020 census forms.

Removing those immigrants from the population counts would shift power to less diverse states. A Pew Research Center study last year found that it could result in House seats that would otherwise be assigned to California, Florida and Texas going instead to Alabama, Minnesota and Ohio — each of which is set to possibly lose a House seat in the next decade due to population shifts.

And drawing new districts within the states based only on the counts of citizens and legal immigrants would likely benefit Republicans, shifting power from cities and immigrant communities to rural parts of the states, which vote for GOP candidates at higher rates

The announcement comes shortly after the court also allowed the Trump Administration to end the Census count early.

Earlier last week, the Supreme Court allowed the Trump administration to stop the census count, blocking lower court orders that directed the count to continue through the end of the month. 

The decision, which the Trump administration favored, came with a candid dissent from Justice Sonia Sotomayor – the court’s only Latina justice.

“Meeting the deadline at the expense of the accuracy of the census is not a cost worth paying,” Sotomayor wrote in her dissent. “Especially when the Government has failed to show why it could not bear the lesser cost of expending more resources to meet the deadline or continuing its prior efforts to seek an extension from Congress. This Court normally does not grant extraordinary relief on such a painfully disproportionate balance of harms.”

But it wasn’t long ago that Trump tried to completely derail this year’s census.

The Trump administration has decided to print the 2020 census forms without a citizenship question, and the printer has been told to start the printing process, Justice Department spokesperson Kelly Laco confirms to NPR.

The move came shortly after the Supreme Court ruled to keep the question off census forms for now and just a day after printing was scheduled to begin for 1.5 billion paper forms, letters, and other mailings.

President Trump had said he wanted to delay the constitutionally mandated headcount to give the Supreme Court a chance to issue a more “decisive” ruling on whether the administration could add the question, “Is this person a citizen of the United States?” A majority of the justices found that the administration’s use of the Voting Rights Act to justify the question “seems to have been contrived.”

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Joe Biden Promises To Fight For Dreamers If Elected In November

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Joe Biden Promises To Fight For Dreamers If Elected In November

Biden For President / Flickr

An overwhelming majority of Americans support protecting Dreamers. Hundreds of thousands of young adults rely on the protection from deportation and work authorization to live with dignity and out of the shadows. Presidential nominee Joe Biden wants to make sure they stay protected.

Dreamers are looking to a Biden administration to finish what an Obama administration started.

Credit: Biden For President / Flickr

According to the official Biden campaign website, the presidential nominee will work with Congress to reinstate DACA protections and to create a pathway to citizenship. DACA was won by undocumented activists putting fear aside and publicly fought to change the minds of Americans and politicans.

“Undocumented ‘youth’ are no longer youth,” says Moises Serrano, DACA activist and the man profiled in the documentary “Forbidden.” “DACA recipients and undocumented immigrants have been living in fear and instability for decades now. We survived eight years under the Obama administration and four years under the Trump administration. Immigration reform was promised under the Obama-Biden platform; a promise that is still unfulfilled.”

He added: “We hope that President Biden puts an end to the instability in our lives once and for all, or we are ready to hold him accountable in the same way we held Obama accountable in our fight for Administrative Relief.”

Biden’s policy proposes protecting Dreamers and helping them advance in this country.

Credit: Biden For President / Flickr

Biden promises to reinstate DACA to protect Dreamers and will be looking into ways to protect their families. The policy put forth by a potential Biden administration is pivotal in giving those who are DACA recipients a chance to live without fear and with all of the rights as their fellow citizens.

“After living through a deep loss in 2016 after losing my second mother and only being granted access to be on her deathbed in Mexico through my ability to get advanced parole through DACA I learned that no loss would ever be greater than that,” said Cindy Nava, a DACA recipient, political operative and policy advocate. “However, November rolled around and another loss took place. One that impacted my life, that of my family and my community.”

DACA is a very important issue as hundreds of thousands of Dreamers are on the line.

Credit: Biden For President / Flickr

People like Nava are hopeful that a Biden administration will bring that dignity back to the immigrant community. It is a community that is vibrant and has contributed vastly to American culture. A BIden administration would be a chance for Nava to see herself reflected in government.

“I am hopeful to see the daughter of immigrants, a woman of color, and a woman I can finally feel represented by be sworn in as the first woman VP of this country,” Nava says. “I will look forward to an administration that listens to the communities it intends to represent. An administration that empowers the entire country to work with each other to support, strengthen, respect and uplift each other each and every day. An administration that values and is grateful for the contributions that immigrants bring to the foundation of our country each and every day.”

Nava wants to see an immigration reform that puts immigrant humanity at the forefront. One that understands the needs for people to seek refuge and a better life in a foreign country.

“No immigrant seeks to find a fix on a silver platter. Nor do they believe that this will be an easy task,” Nava says. “The only thing our families ask for is a chance. Una oportunidad para recordarle a este pais that their lucha and determination comes from a deep sense of ganas to create a life filled with more opportunities than they ever had.”

The battle over DACA is far from over but it is clear that the Trump administration is on the wrong side of public opinion. Biden’s plan would strengthen DACA and restore the program to its full functionality.

READ: Trump Administration Limit DACA Renewals, Blocks New Applications

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