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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Biden Is Counting On Mexico’s President To Help With Immigration But That’s A Risky Move

Things That Matter

Biden Is Counting On Mexico’s President To Help With Immigration But That’s A Risky Move

One of the stranger things to happen during the Trump presidency was the unlikely alliance between Trump and Mexico’s President Andres Manuel López Obrador (AMLO). The former frequently spoke disparaging of Mexicans and pursued cruel and inhumane immigration policies that directly targeted the constituents of the latter. Yet AMLO was a major supporter of Trump’s most severe immigration policies and, in fact, helped bring them to fruition.

Now, with a new president in the White House, AMLO is being asked again to recalibrate his approach to immigration but having once been a major ally of Trump, how will he work alongside a President Biden?

Presidents Biden and AMLO host a virtual meeting to discuss a wide range of topics.

President Biden is hoping that Mexico’s President AMLO can help him avert another crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border. However, given AMLO’s close alliance with Trump and support of his harsh immigration policies, Biden may face an uphill battle.

But as the administration faces an uptick in migrants attempting to cross into the U.S., Biden is hoping that AMLO can become a partner in preventing another cycle of out-of-control migration from Central America. The Mexican president appeared open to collaboration, issuing a joint statement committing to address climate change, the pandemic and migration north.

Their first head to head meeting comes after a rocky start for the two leaders. Mexico’s President was one of the last leaders in the world to congratulate Biden on his election victory, with many saying AMLO fears a Biden administration as potentially more interested in pressuring Mexico on its own domestic matters.

President AMLO was a key player in Trump’s harsh and inhumane immigration tactics.

Despite his racist rhetoric directly targeting Mexicans and his cruel and hardline immigration policies that largely shifted the pressure to Mexico, AMLO largely accepted Trump’s worst policies with little resistance.

As migrant caravans formed in Central America and attempted to make their way to the U.S. passing through Mexico, AMLO unleashed his newly formed Guardia Nacional to stop them in their tracks. His agents arrested and deported thousands of migrants back to their home countries, often using tear gas and other extreme tactics to do so.

And President AMLO said nothing as Trump implemented the “Remain in Mexico” policy which forced thousands of refugees and asylum seekers to await their claims on the Mexican side of the border, amid a global health pandemic, shifting the burden to Mexican officials.

Biden looks to continue many of Trump’s policies.

Although Biden campaigned against Trump’s harsh immigration policies, the president wants many of the same things from AMLO that Trump asked for: help in keeping Central American migrants from immediately surging north toward the United States through Mexico. And although Biden declared he would break sharply with Trump on immigration, he’s only abandoned some of his predecessors policies.

The Biden administration has formed a task force to unite parents separated from their children Trump’s family separations policy. He’s also begun welcoming back a limited number of asylum seekers who were exposed to violence and kidnappings in dangerous areas of Mexico under a Trump-era program. But the Biden administration has kept in place a separate Trump policy that empowers agents to rapidly expel new arrivals at the border to Mexican authorities as Biden hopes to avoid a crisis that challenged his predecessors.

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Worried If TikTok Will Still Be Banned In The US? The Biden Administration Just Made Some Announcements

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Worried If TikTok Will Still Be Banned In The US? The Biden Administration Just Made Some Announcements

Since his inauguration last month, Joe Biden has reversed many of Donald Trump’s nightmarish policies established over the last four years. In the first 24 hours alone, he rejoined the Paris Climate Agreement, reinstated protections for LGBTQ+ people, ended a travel ban on majority-Muslim countries, and retracted the country’s withdrawal from the World Health Organization.

Now, the Biden administration has also announced its intentions with the proposed TikTok ban, as it assesses whether the short-form video app really poses a national security threat.

The Biden administration has halted the proposed ban on TikTok.

According to the BBC, the suspension means that both TikTok and the messaging app WeChat, two Chinese-owned apps implicated in the ban, can continue to operate in the US while government staff familiarize themselves with the case.

Trump had claimed that TikTok presents privacy and security concerns, echoing hacktivist collective Anonymous’s allegations that the app is: “essentially malware operated by the Chinese government running a massive spying operation.”

The suspension signals that US-based TikTokers won’t have to worry about the platform being banned anytime soon – roll on more sea shanty success stories and viral style challenges.

Originally Published July 30, 2020: President Donald Trump is renewing his attempt to ban TikTok from the U.S. There has been more scrutiny on TikTok as more people delete the app from their phone over security and privacy concerns. Yet, Microsoft is now interested in buying the social media platform.

President Donald Trump is reportedly getting ready to tell Chinese-owned ByteDance to sell their U.S. stakes in TikTok

While President Trump continues his attempts to get rid of TikTok, Microsoft is swooping in to save the social media platform by acquiring it now. It is unclear how far the talks are between Microsoft and TikTok but it would protect the app from being banned in the U.S. ByteDance the company that owns TikTok is valued at $100 billion.

Original: With millions of teens and young adults – a demographic I think I still fit – under lockdown orders thanks to the Coronavirus pandemic, millions of Americans turned to TikTok.

The fun, 15-second video app has been downloaded more than 200 million times in the U.S. since the beginning of the pandemic, with users sharing everything from dance and recipe videos to starting now-viral trends. The app is loved by its users and they’re proving they’ll stand by it when it comes under threat. Which is exactly what they’re doing now as the Trump administration has announced a potential ban on TikTok.

According to some officials, Trump is looking to ban TikTok.

https://twitter.com/taylorlorenz/status/1281680094218592259?s=21

According to senior administration officials – and Trump himself – the TikTok app is a threat to U.S. national security and at risk of being banned in the country. Some are suggesting it’s a way for Trump to retaliate against China over its handling of the Coronavirus, others suggest it’s Trump retaliating against ‘TikTokivists’ who helped make his Tulsa rally a total disaster. Either way, news of a possible ban on TikTok has sent its users into overdrive.

Trump’s comments came after Secretary of State Michael Pompeo told Americans not to download the app unless they want to see their private information fall into “the hands of the Chinese Communist Party.”

Trump didn’t offer specifics about a potential decision and Pompeo seemed to walk back the idea of a ban in a later statement, saying that the U.S. efforts to protect American consumers’ data don’t relate to any one particular company.

TikTok, an app known for quirky short videos, is facing political heat because of its ties to China.

Credit: Getty Stock Images

TikTok has in fact come under increased scrutiny in recent months – not just in the U.S. – for it’s ties to China. TikTok is owned by a Chinese company and many countries around the world are worried about that connection. Citing national security concerns, India banned TikTok last week. The US Army and Navy have banned service members from downloading the app to government-issued phones. Even Amazon has raised concerns. On Friday, the huge online retailer barred employees from using the app on devices that connect to the company’s email, citing “security risks.”

TikTok has tried responding to the issue. In an interview with CNBC, a TikTok spokesperson said, “TikTok is led by an American CEO, with hundreds of employees and key leaders across safety, security, product, and public policy here in the U.S. We have no higher priority than promoting a safe and secure app experience for our users. We have never provided user data to the Chinese government, nor would we do so if asked.”

The company has also made it clear that all data from American citizens is stored outside of China, on servers based in the United States. The company claims that its data centers are located entirely outside of China, and that none of their users’ data is subject to Chinese law.

Meanwhile, many TikTok users say they care less about potential Chinese snooping and more about Trump taking away their digital hangout. In the U.S., TikTok has been downloaded more than 165 million times, according to Sensor Tower.

“I don’t believe Trump is trying to take TikTok away because of national security, but more to retaliate against activism on the app and all the videos about him that drag him through the mud,” said Darius Jackson, an 18-year-old TikTok user, in a statement to CNBC.

“This is the first year I’ll be able to vote and I think activism on TikTok is going to make a big difference,” Jackson said.

Many view the move as retaliation for Trump’s failed Tulsa rally.

Credit: Mark Short / Getty Images

It’s hard to forget the epic fail that was Trump’s Tulsa rally. His planned ‘relaunch’ of his 2020 campaign after being forced to suspend his massive rallies because of Coronavirus.

Leading up to the event, Trump had touted record-shattering interest and ticket sales for the rally. He went so far as to say that millions of Americans had RSVP’d for it – and he wasn’t actually lying this time. However, there was one minor problem – hundreds of thousands of tickets were actually reserved in a massive campaign by Korean pop stans and TikTok users.

Thanks to a TikTok campaign, Trump’s ‘massive’ rally was an utter disaster attended by only a few thousand people. Many suggest that this campaign cold be why Trump is looking to target TikTok with some sort of ban.

Since the announcement, ‘TikTok Teens’ have launched a full-fledged assault against the Trump administration.

One of the pettiest (ie. best) moves the collection of ‘TikTokivists’ has made so far, is that tens of thousands flooded the Apple App Store and left scathing reviews of the Trump 2020 Campaign app. On Wednesday alone 700 negative reviews were left on the Official Trump 2020 app and 26 positive ones, according to tracking firm Sensor Tower.

“For Gen Z and Millennials, TikTok is our clubhouse and Trump threatened it,” said Yori Blacc, a 19-year-old TikTok user in California who joined in the app protest. “If you’re going to mess with us, we will mess with you.”

The efforts to push the app low enough so that Apple will remove it from the app store may be misguided. Apple doesn’t delete apps based on their popularity. The App Store may review those that violate its guidelines or are outdated, but not if their ratings sink. A similar tactic was tried in April to protest Google Classroom by kids frustrated with quarantine home-schooling.

But can the U.S. government actually ban an app?

According to most legal experts, the answer is no. Sure, the administration could attempt to but thanks to the U.S. legal system, a total ban wouldn’t last. Administrations have limited authority to ban outright any specific piece of software, like an app. But it could potentially lobby Congress to enact legislation that targets TikTok.

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