July 29, 2007

Time has come to face up to the immigration dilemma

Posted in Ireland · 23 comments ·

Immigration is not just an economic problem, it is cultural, and the Irish government has to make strong choices as to what direction it wants to take when it comes to policies.

The deportation of members of a Roma family this week is a tipping point. It focuses our minds on the issue of immigration and -more to the point- raises the question of what exactly is Ireland’s immigration policy?

In the years ahead, this will be one of the main economic questions facing the country, because the number of people wanting to come here from all over the world is increasing by the day. Let’s just put the issue in context: this year, global migration has reached its highest ever level, according to the International Organisation for Migration (IOM).

The Geneva-based organisation says there are now about 150 million people on the move worldwide – just under 3 per cent of the world population. That is 30 million more than ten years ago and 37 times the population of Ireland.

Immigration is not just an economic conundrum that can be reduced to the needs of the economy and industry; immigration is cultural. Immigrants change the face and complexion of the host society and it is up to the hosts to decide the extent of this transformation. In addition, all immigration policies discriminate.

Host countries chose what type of people they want to let in and what type of people they want to keep out. This difficult but essential choice is something that Ireland will have to consider in the future.

Take countries like Canada and Australia. Both these societies base immigration on a points system and if a person has a certain qualification that is deemed lacking, then the potential immigrant has a chance to get in. This is discrimination. In recent years, the US has made it easier for immigrants from certain Asian countries to enter the US than European immigrants.

This is discrimination. With the Morrison visas, the US allowed thousands of Irish to get a green card – yet more discrimination. So immigration involves discrimination and that discrimination can be based on a variety of benchmarks.

In the case of the Morrison visa, the discrimination towards the Irish was purely racial. In the case of the Canadians wanting medics with certain qualifications, the discrimination was educational and also, as a result, likely to be class-based.

At the moment, Irish immigration policy is framed in London not Brussels. Because of the border with the North, whatever the British do, we follow. So when London said in 2004 that all people from the accession countries could work in Britain – in contrast to most EU countries – we followed suit.

When last year Downing Street decided that Bulgarians and Romanians could enter Britain on a more restrictive basis, we introduced the very same policy. In fact you could say that Gordon Brown sets Ireland’s immigration policy.

So what might our future immigration policy look like? Before we answer this question let’s analyse what immigration does to a country from an economic perspective.

Remember that economics is colour-blind, it doesn’t see race, culture or creed and simply deals with the factual effects. This can give us an idea of who is likely to be a winner and who is likely to be a loser from mass immigration.

Classic economic theory tells us that immigration is bad for workers and good for bosses and landlords. The reason is the following: the immigrants compete in the labour market with the local workers.

This ultimately leads towages being lower than they would otherwise be. We see this happening on building sites all over the country every day. With immigrants making up close to 30 per cent of all workers in construction, competition is particularly acute in hard-hat land.

Obviously, anything that reduces the cost of labour means more money for the employer. So we can easily see how local workers suffer and local employers thrive. We have seen this pattern time and again all over the world.

On the other hand, the immigrants have to live somewhere. So they compete with the local workers in the housing market, driving up rents and ultimately house prices. Again, the local worker/renter suffers, but the local landlord makes more cash than he otherwise would get if the immigrants hadn’t arrived in the first place. So the local workers get shafted twice.

Economics also has something to say about the battle for other resources in the economy. Take, for example, schools.

The immigrants, by increasing the school-going population, put much bigger demands on the system than would otherwise be the case, leading to overcrowding, special teaching facilities and demands for more capacity. Obviously if the host country is receiving a tiny fraction of its overall population, these capacity issues are marginal.

When, as is the case in Ireland, the population jumps by 10 per cent, it creates a logistical challenge.

Immigrants also pay taxes, generate ideas and jobs among themselves and in so doing pay for themselves. Most experiences of immigrant communities reveal that they are hungrier to progress and thus work harder than the locals. They are often more ambitious for their children and bring a drive and an energy to the society that has a positive impact.

But this doesn’t take away from the fact that there are winners and losers. The losers are usually local workers and the winners are normally the local bosses and landlords. Not surprisingly, therefore, views on immigration depend on who is articulating them and immigration policy will reflect the interests of those who are framing it.

An immigration policy made by landlords and developers would obviously seek to increase the number of immigrants to maximise rents and house prices. In contrast, an immigration policy written by bricklayers might want to restrict or reverse immigration altogether, so that the hourly wage for the brickie would rise, free from competition from thousands of Poles and Lithuanians on the site.

Maybe one of the reasons that we don’t have this type of clear thinking on the economic impacts of immigration is that the agenda, particularly in the media, is set by people whose livelihood will never be threatened by immigrants. As a result an ‘immigration is good’ bias emerges.

Typically, the journalists and academics who appear on the talk shows and write in the papers (including this scribbler) are unlikely to be usurped by an immigrant who can do the job cheaper in the next few years.

But the printer who prints the paper or the electrician who lights the TV studio might feel threatened and might have a different take on the issue.

In the years ahead, if we are to avoid the mistakes of other countries, we have to listen to all sides on immigration. Having listened, we then need to formulate an Irish solution to an Irish dilemma. Nobody else is going to do this for us.

Most importantly – and this might be difficult for some who believe that our own emigrant history should be a factor in our decision – we have to be rational. Being rational demands that Ireland will have to learn to discriminate and live with it.

  1. July 28th 2007

    Hi David,

    Sitting out here on Vancouver Island, British Columbia I always enjoy your insight into the affairs of Ireland and such was the case with your article on Immigration into Eire.

    The bulk of the article though, focused on the economic consequences of the migrants arriving on Irish soil and as I read through it I was expecting your discussion to also focus on what might be called the other side of that coin:the political effects the migrants could surely have on Irish society.

    I suggest that if inward migration continues at the present rate (I have been told the figure is in the order of 10,000 a month?) there will be political consequences where the immigrant population could/will, in the future, distort the wishes of the Irish electorate.

    What do I mean by that?

    Simply this.

    Migrants who move to other countries become, by and large, conservative when they settle in the host country and they are looking for one important quality in their llives: stability.

    As an emigrant from Eire some 50 years ago and having lived–Canada and Australia–and traveled all over the world as an airline employee, and also having mixed with all sorts of migrants I can attest to that inner need for stability.

    The question then becomes just how will that need for stability have a political effect on the Irish society?

    The answer is simply this.

    If the migrant is not fully integrated into Irish society they could, in the future, hold the balance of power and prevent the Irish electorate from heading off in a direction that the immigrant community might consider too adventursome.

    To back up that thesis I invite you to ask any French Canadian who wanted to democratically use the ballot box–not bullets–to separate from Canada in the mid 1990′s. French Canada lost the day because of the immgrant community’s need for stability and as a result Quebec lost the independence vote by a very tiny margin. And that happened, because the immigrant community in Quebec had not been integrated into the larger French speaking community.

    Other examples would be Fiji where the British imported migrants did not fully integrate with the Fijian majority to the extent that today the native Fijians see themselves in some ways as strangers in their own land.

    Or how about Canada, or the US, or Australia for that matter. New comers to these countries did not integrate with the First Nations peoples. As a result, the native peoples are a largely dispossed seething minority, with no control over their future, and are treated in a way that can only be described as appalling.

    How to avoid a similar situation from arising in Eire?

    Do not let ghettoes develop and make sure that the principle of equal opportunity is applied to all newcomers; and use the Irish education system as a primary tool of integration to teach the children of the newcomer the history, culture, and values of Irish society. In that way the feeling of full citizenship will prevail and there will be a sense of unresticted participation in Irish society, among the newcomers, who are now in the process of renewing and refreshing Irish society.

    And that David is my two cents worth.

    Take care

    Brian Breathnach

  2. Stephen O'Reilly


    The vast majority of immigrants to Ireland come from other EU states. We can’t control immigration from these countries in the long-term. Are you suggesting that Ireland should leave the EU? That sure would put a stop to immigration!

  3. Glen Quinn

    Actually alot of immigrants come from outside the EU (India, Paikistan, Africa, Indonesia). Migrants will come from a country with a low GDP and will emigrate to a country with a high GDP. Since most countries in the EU have an equal GDP then you do not have much migration.

    In order to stop migration from happening throughout the World then we must improve the quality of life in all countries around the World. This can be done as follows:
    1 Getting rid of the World Trade Organisation, World Bank and IMF.
    2 Setting up economic zones throughout the World. Each country will be grouped to form an economic zone by GDP and religion.
    3 Each econimc zone then applies there own economic laws and taxes.
    4 A World council would be set up. This will be involved in reditributing money to the most needed economic zones that needed eg Africa to rebuild schools, hospitals, sanitation etc. The World council also regulated trade between each economic zone.

  4. Stephen O'Reilly

    Actually Glenn only about 1/3 of immigrants to Ireland are from outside the EU and there are big differences in GDP within the EU.

    I don’t see why your proposed economic zones need to be divided by religion either. Where would that leave the EU?

    The EU has got traditionally Anglican countries, traditionally Calvinist countries, traditionally Lutheran countries, traditionally Catholic countries and traditionally Greek Orthodox countries as members.

    I don’t buy into David’s assertions that immigration drives down wages either.

    As a New Zealand paper* on the economic impacts of immigration stated, the’ measured impact of immigration on the wages of native workers fluctuates widely from study to study (and sometimes even within the same study) but seems to cluster around zero’.

    *: http://www.immigration.govt.nz/NR/rdonlyres/CC67A9CF-CDF5-4F87-9790-C6F61EBEEB18/0/ScopingpaperontheEconomicImpactsofImmigration.pdf

  5. Glen Quinn

    Hi Stephen,

    In the original 12 EU countries the GDP gap was quite small except for that of Ireland. That is why there was massive emigration from Ireland to the EU but not much of a migration within the rest of the EU. I did not agree with the EU expansion because when I looked at the GDP gap with countries like Poland, Estonia, etc the gap is quite big and so it was obvious that there would be a big migration from these countries to the other European countries. The gap now within the EU of GDP is now quite big between the new member countries and the rest of the other full EU members.

    Religion must be taken into account within the EU because religion is how most people live their lives and gets there values from, to ignore this would be very foolish (Roman empire ignored it with the new religion which was Christianity). The religions that you listed are all Christian religions. The only difference between them is there church laws are different but they all believe that Jesus died for there sins. If you have a country that is an Islamic country then you must cater for them as well. All Islamic countries now work of Sharia law and in the UK they offer Sharia law loans and finance. All Islamic countries do not agree with the concept of seperating there religion from state and so there religion is part of there government. Also Islam is these countries are now known as political Islam and started in Iran in 1979.

  6. Pedant

    Glen, please!
    take care of “their” and “there”
    “there was massive emigration from Ireland” – fine
    “there religion is part of there government” – aahhh please no!!!

  7. john

    “As a New Zealand paper* on the economic impacts of immigration stated, the’ measured impact of immigration on the wages of native workers fluctuates widely from study to study (and sometimes even within the same study) but seems to cluster around zero’.”

    I would not regard New zealand or australia as bench marks to study the affects of immigration. This is because they have a very strict and discrimatory system as david has pointed out. So yes in new zealand “the cluster around zero” has been engineered by the strict immigration system, lower paid workers in new zealand are protected from wage erosion by the fact that new zealand only allows workers in that have skills that are in high demand there. In ireland because of the huge levels of migration by and large into lower skill areas a similar study would not show “the cluster around zero”. In fact such a study into irish immigration should be carried out. As usual in ireland such in depth analysis that might come up with uncomfortable conclusions will not be carried out.

  8. Garry

    +1 for the views in the article but

    “Typically, the journalists and academics who appear on the talk shows and write in the papers (including this scribbler) are unlikely to be usurped by an immigrant who can do the job cheaper in the next few years.”

    Dont be too sure, theres a young Russian lad who’s on every talk show in Ireland and edits Business&Finance…. I hear he’s works hard, gives good doom-laden speeches and is cheap and reliable :)
    and back a few months ago, the business sub-editors in the Irish Independent were complaining their jobs were being out-sourced…. ironic ….

    From the comments …
    “… A study into … should be carried out….”

    We have enough information, studies are just excuses for inaction… But if the govt wants a study, send me a few million and I’ll carry it out… After a year o so I’ll publish a report which will
    1) be out of date
    2) call for more research

    Or maybe the government should conduct a survey but outsource it to some off-shore outfit to carry out… Now that might get peoples attention.

  9. Steve

    I’m afraid the word ‘discrimination’ has been smeared with selective usage over the past couple of decades.

    It used to have a positive meaning and is a close relative of the word discernment. Both involve the skill of grasping and selecting differences. Discernment, however, has come to mean grasping the good of something but discrimination (especially when applied to people) has followed a nasty downward path and probably now resides closer to words associated with severe wrongdoing e.g. ‘murder’

    These days, to merely suggest you might be in favour of some forms of discrimination risks all sorts of labels being hurled and a groaning procession of lefty victim groups heading your way!

    So for the benefit of those who might have a one-dimensional interpretation of the word ‘discrimination’, why not see the issue in terms of freedom to choose?. And in the case of immigration, the Irish people should certainly have the freedom to choose and refuse!

  10. Ciarán Mc

    David focused on the economic question – but did mention that immigration has a cultural side. Brian Breathnach touched on one aspect of immigrants – how they act as a swing vote. These are critical questions.

    First culturally: A pure gut feeling is that the injection of various cultural infusions have been – in general – a hugely positive thing. But this is very hard to measure. Has anyone tried? Plus it throws up very interesting questions – such as language policy. For so long language policy in Ireland meant An Ghaeilge. Now arguably far bigger language issues arise – in terms of non-English speaking children in schools, official docs etc. Another side is religious. We _were_ 96% catholic (ok, if only nominally!). This is changing. Still, our schools and many of our hospitals are run with a religious ethos. (I know one family whose kids were refused admission to their local primary school because they were not Catholic – and the schools can and do discriminate in this way). There are many other cultural aspects which I cannot elaborate here.

    Politically – at least as important as the effects of immigrant votes, as Brian mentions, is how they are represented. This could become a crucial integration factor. Irish politics are very unrepresentative of our population generally (in terms of genders, social class, etc). And the system is stale and inflexible – based on a model that was invented way before society was so complex and before democratic expectations were so high.

    True we’ve seen our first black mayor recently elected. Very welcome. But the system needs huge reform. (Look at our Senate a perfect example of where major steps could be made to pull in immigrants into the system. Instead, the political parties stuff it with failed TDs or future hopefuls).

    In general we need to see a huge effort at building social and political infrastructure which can prevent ghettoisation of immigrants. Integration will not happen of its own accord – hasn’t anywhere I know. So we need concerted action.

    My fear is that in an economic downturn those losers that David refers to, and they will be many, will harden their attitude to immigrants to the point where some form of group conflict is likely. Frankly, that’s not where we want to be.

  11. Padraig Healy

    I think David makes some fairly basic and straight-forward arguments that probably do not differ from the thoughts of main-stream Ireland. However I would disagree with his assertion that the reason the media does not put-forward a selective immigration approach is due to their jobs not being in danger but more due to the entrenched liberal bias in the media. The liberal forces or ‘lefties’ take unchecked immigration as a given along with continuation of benefit-dependency, a focus on the criminal’s rights rather than the victim’s and allowing people who are anti-social or anti-society to make a mockery of the large proportion of society’s efforts to live an ethical and community-based life. The neo-cons in the US recognised this and have fought against a significant liberal bias in the US media rather successfully in the past few years. David McWilliams might not like to think it but he is part of this anti-liberal backlash that is gaining ground in Ireland. You just have to compare him to Vincent Browne on the back page of the SBPost to see this is true!

  12. Let’s go with the point of view of an immigrant.

    I’m Spanish, so I’m an EU immigrant that comes from a country with proper infrastructures, health system and transport system and with a, relatively, good job market.

    I’m here because I wanted to improve my English, learn about your culture & improve my salary.

    I stay here because I like your country, I like your people and I’ve became used to your way of life. The salary no longer is a big point to stay.

    What I see is that Irish people is day by day increasing the number of problems that are theoretically to be caused by the inmigrants but they doesn’t face any of the local problems.

    I think it’s easier to say “they are/will causing/cause problems in our society” than saying “there are some problems in our society”. It’s also my society. I live here, I pay my taxes here, my daughter was born here and I intend to stay here to live.

    The Roma community will be a problem, but it’s not different from your traveler community that you have allowed and all we maintain.

    The unemployed Irish people I know about are not exactly looking for a job and it’s better to forget the last time they worked.

    The crime is a huge problem and the Russian or Bulgarian mafias are not the problem but the Irish gangs.

    The wages are still going up and while the immigrants save money and create business that increase the size of the economy, the Irish people I know are immerse in huge debts to buy everything they can buy. I know no immigrant complaining about the salaries here, no matter how long they have being here. Just the up-to-the-head-in-debt Irish complain about the salaries.

    The problem I see is that if economy in Ireland starts to decline and xenophobia is used to justify that, most of immigrants will leave and Irish people will have to learn how to prepare their Capuccinos and how to clean the floor while they have their houses yet to pay.

    I don’t say Ireland doesn’t need to control the immigration. I fully agree the discrimination in the migration policies are needed (first of all to have a migration policy will be nice), but I would like to see a discussion more positive than “let’s throw those wage-decreases foreigners to the Irish see”.

    Just to conclude. Immigrants cost money, but we pay our taxes. I think that if Ireland reduces their expenses in stupid and unjustifiable expenditure in e-voting machines, Dublin-single-transport ticket, tunnels and lots and lots of other projects used to waste our money with crazy bills, there will be money to pay for everything and create a better country.

  13. eoin

    “In general we need to see a huge effort at building social and political infrastructure which can prevent ghettoization of immigrants. ”

    Nothing is going to stop the ghettoization of immigrants with a significantly different culture to the host society. Human beings are ethnic, tribal or in-group particularists, a fact acknowledged by the multi-culti’s themselves when they applaud the Chinese “community”, or the muslim “community” in Ireland.

    Communities are not isolated groups of individuals scattered around a city, or country, but ethnic ghettos ( although the term ghetto has gained a pejorative spin , a ghetto is nothing more, nor less, than a ethnic community).

    So it goes. White flight will happen too, for the Irish too are ethnic, although multi-cultis will continue to lose the intellectual plot by celebrating a muslim ghetto, and condemning Irish ghettoes, or communities, as being “hideously white”. That is they will if the experience in Britain is anything to go by.

    But the property prices of the D4 elite must rise, and so we must continue to have mass migration, even if the people (demos) in the “democracy” do not agree, and the term “sovereign” as in “sovereign people” is an Orwellian term which means the exact opposite. I’d be inclined to see a benign dictator as more democratic than States that maintain mass migration with disregard to the host population’s wishes.

    As for the claim that immigration does not reduce wages: It could only not do that if the iron laws of supply and demand are rescinded. When the supply of labour is increased, the price drops, like anything else. Labour’s interests are to be in short supply.

  14. Wessel

    Interesting that no poster or David has mentioned the Big G = Globalisation. No matter how selective we look at resources, the ERA of globalisation that we find ourselves in involves the flow of capital AND labour.
    Interfering with these flows (markets) have been a risky game for many governments. The more protective a government becomes the more the national economy loses in the long term. Is there really a big difference between a trade tariff and an immigration discrimination policy?

    There is a simple test of course for all those who seem to have discovered some moral/cultural stance for anti-immigration… when the economy goes south, will you be staying? If not, stop being a hypocrite.

  15. dom

    “Is there really a big difference between a trade tariff and an immigration discrimination policy?”

    Yes, because trade enriches people and immigration pushed down wages, creates ethnic division, costs money, resources and makes homogeneous States less stable. In fact Islamic immigration may well be an existential threat to Europe. Japan is the richest country in the world, is getting richer per-capita, and does not need immigration. The “Big G” is an Anglo-Saxon concept whose day is done ( trade barriers are on their way back). The Chinese, Japanese, or Indians control their borders, and they are the future world powers. Close to home no European continental country opened it’s borders in 2004. Everybody can’t be out of step except the D4 oligarchic State ( let’s not pretend we are a democracy, or a republic).

    “There is a simple test of course for all those who seem to have discovered some moral/cultural stance for anti-immigration… when the economy goes south, will you be staying? If not, stop being a hypocrite. ”

    Such a test is bogus. Nobody here is opposed, not david or the commentators, to limited migration of skilled people who are culturally likely to fit in. We are opposed to the magnitude of the migration because of it’s immoral effects on the working classes of this country, and the future effects on the country of hostile groups ( which isnt the Eastern Europeans, of course). The population has increased by 10% in 4 years, as if the US population increased by 30 million, or China by 100 million. Clearly the numbers are absurd. In my case on a ( non-immigrant) visa to the US I was refused a green card because of a failure of labor certification – which meant that my industry ( not necessarily my company) had laid of Americans in the past 2 years. So I was deported, or would have been if I stayed any longer. This cost me money in forgone options and yet I fully accept that the US, like every other sovereign country, has t right ( and a duty ) to borders.

    So lets cut the sophomoric D4 crap about hypocrisy. The real hypocrites maintain artificial barriers to entry in their chosen professions ( journalism, law, NGO’s, the academy tc.) and whine about the hard-hats, or the unskilled working classes being racist if they dare whisper about border control. The hypocrites support the Roma, because the costs of the Roma are born by the poor ( given finite resources), and the taxpayer, but are beneficial to the wealthy because of the pressure put on land pushes up prices up the chain.

    Lets test this shall we. Lets agree to unlimited immigration if

    1) The fall in working class wages of any group is matched ( even in the form of taxation) by other self-interest groups : academics, bureaucrats , journalists, anybody who earns money from employing migrants etc. If working class wages, in any industry fall by 20%, we make sure that all these classes, and opinion formers, see a concordant fall in take home pay.

    2) Since mass migration is especially beneficial to the property wealthy, create a tax on the top 10% of houses ( by price) proportional to the increase in population. If the population grows by 1% a year, the tax is 10%; if the population grows by 2.5 % a year the tax is 25%. Elites would suddenly notice immigration, and wonder if it needs be so high.

    3) The costs of welfare tourism to be entirely borne by the D4 elites. If we need to house asylum seekers ,or Roma, we do it in the houses of the coastal elites, not the public housing which would otherwise be consumed by the native poor . There is plenty of space in the millionaire suburbs, as – absurdly – population densities in the coastal areas have fallen as the city grows westward. Seizing bedrooms like this is no more an affront to property, or liberty, than taxes on labour are, or a car tax.

    Once the costs of migration are borne somewhat equally the D4 oligarchy would change it’s opinions tout suite, and we would all be expected to change our opinions in accordance with the hegemon. Or to put it more plainly: if immigration had the effect of making the D4 Oligarchy poorer in the first place it would never have been countenanced and we would not even be having this discussion.

  16. Henry Barth

    I think we waste too much energy on schemes to keep the wrong people out, when we should rather stop encouraging people to come for the wrong reasons, and strengthen and renew those elements of our culture that have attracted those immigrants of whom we are rightly proud.

    Ireland is a unique civilization, in which people of all cultures have made homes for themselves. Not all came to suck the social welfare tit. The desire to achieve a decent life for yourself and your family is a noble one, especially when centuries of English rule and Protestant ascendancy have beaten in the lesson that as Irish and as Catholic you and yours are forever unworthy of a decent life.

  17. Wessel

    “Nobody here is opposed, not david or the commentators, to limited migration of skilled people who are culturally likely to fit in.”

    “Islamic immigration may well be an existential threat to Europe”

    “We are opposed to the magnitude of the migration because of it’s immoral effects on the working classes of this country”

    Dom, I get the impression that you believe you speak for a majority of people in Ireland. I sincerely hope that is not the case.

  18. Ciaran Mc

    Henry Barth wrote “Ireland is a unique civilization, in which people of all cultures have made homes for themselves”. Ireland unique in being home to many cultures? What about the US – far more diverse than Ireland and where nearly everyone is either an immigrant or descended from one who came as an immigrant. Or Canada? Or our neighbours in Britain, with millions of Asians, and about 2 or 3 million who are Irish or descended from Irish who went there over the last few generations.

    In fact, with the successive waves of migration over the last 100 years or so, the coutries that stand out are those which have little or no immigrants. Ireland, as economic basket case, was of course one of these until graced by the presence of a certain feline.

  19. dom

    Dom, I get the impression that you believe you speak for a majority of people in Ireland. I sincerely hope that is not the case.”

    Of course you doubt it since you are a member, no doubt, of the Dublin 4 Oligarchy, The fact that the immoral reduction of working people’s wages evident in mass immigration means nothing to your, or your sickening class, reveals the depth of your sickening depravity and complete control of the media. As for Islam, the only way it cannot be a threat to Europe if it fails to be islam, since Islam believes in laws based on Sharia, not Democracy. We cant mention this because D4′s property prices must rise. There is no “morality” here, just vile hyprocisy or a self-serving elite class, and generation.

    The majority in Ireland, being moral, believe that Ireland should control it’s borders. This belief is no more “racist” -depite the hegemonic cant – than native americans wanting to live on a reservation. Racists believed historically in the movements of people across (inferior people’s) borders – this attitude is reflected today in the D4 cant about immigrants doing jobs that the Irish cannot, or will not. The implication being that the Irish, like the aboriginal inhabitants of many peoples subject to mass migration in the last century ( i.e. colonialism) are lazy untermenschen. The racists are open border fanatics.

    yes the majority believe like I do, and as Ireland is a D4 oligarchy, and not a democracy, nothing will change.

  20. I am a (semi-) ugly American who spent 2 months in Ireland in 2006–I was shocked by the impact of immigration on Irish society, culture, economy, and the rest–the Paddies have been duped by the EU into taking whatever comes their way from Eastern Europe and from other parts of the world (the sight of Muslim women in head scarves in Ireland was sickening!)–in the long run, the cost to Ireland will be high–not only in immigrant demand for the social services and welfare benefits of the Irish nation, but in the obliteration of the Irish culture–famed economist Milton Freedman once observed that a nation cannot have a welfare state AND uncontrolled immigration and borders–if you want to see the long term future effect of uncontrolled immigration into Ireland, just look at Los Angeles–blacks have been driven out of jobs and neighborhoods by browns (Latinos), and whites have been told by Latino leaders, including U.S. congressmen, to get out, that L.A. and all the rest of California is now (or soon will be) Mexican–wherever immigrants achieve critical mass (in Ireland or the USA or France or….), there will follow demands for language rights, civil rights, work rights, and so on–4 million Irishmen will soon be swallowed up in a sea of unassimilated immigrants unless the Paddies act soon….then, it won’t be Dublin in the rare ould times, it will be Ireland in the rare ould times, when Ireland USED TO BE Irish…

  21. Cian

    “Islamic immigration may well be an existential threat to Europe”

    I’d certainly agree that the question of Islamic immigration must be better looked at by this country. At one stage I dated a lovely Muslim girl – as she was pretty serious about her religion (though was by Islamic standards rather liberal in outlook), and I wasn’t too pushed, if it went anywhere, kids would have had to be Muslim.
    Based on that I did quite a lot of reading as well as talking to Muslims on-line, ex-Muslims etc. Let’s just say that I was quite shocked by their values in general. As a starting point of my theoretical difficulties with Islam, a significant number of Muslims (and most of the ones I met on-line, who would obviously be ones who thought about their religion) believe that apostates (those who stop believing in Islam/change religions) should be killed – because “they are denying the truth”/
    “disrespecting Islam”, “it’s for their own good”/”for the good of other Muslims” etc. In total I spoke to two guys who were very afraid that they would be killed by their families because the family had recently found out that they didn’t believe in Islam. Can you imagine what it is like to ask someone to email you back the following week if they are still alive? It’s not much fun.

    There are now some websites set up for ex-Muslims, to try and address some of the problems in the Muslim community in Europe which are worth looking at – e.g.

  22. Glen Quinn

    Hi Cian,

    I completly agrree with you. I’ve been living in the UK for the last two years and before that I was in Belgium. I’ve been trying to warn my friends in Ireland as to the danger of Islam. The problem with Islam in my view is that they have mixed state and religion together, in theory an Islamic country can never have democracy and must always be ruled by their religion. I have had the same experience as yourself. What alot of people do not understand is that Islam has to have a reformation, the way Christianity had it over 100 tears ago. That is why I think it is too early to alow Islamic people into Europe because in a few decades (probably less) there will be a civil war in Europe. In the Uk it is reaching boiling point and I’m considering returning home very soon. I see Ireland as my last restitude to get away from Islam from the rest of Europe.

    Ps In the UK the Islamic people want to bring out Sharia courts, they already have Sharia law for finance in the UK.

  23. Mary

    Hi David,

    As someone who was displaced from a job because of an immigrant, I would like to say a couple of things about immigration. Firstly, Immigration is bad for Ireland. As a country of only 4 million people, we cannot allow the same level of immigration as other countries like Germany since they have a much bigger population (82 million). In my opinion, Ireland needs a much tighter immigration policy towards non-EU immigrants. Asylum seekers who fail should be immediately deported and the ID card system for non-EU immigrants needs to be sped up and implemented as soon as possible otherwise there is no hope of tracking down those on the run who are escaping deportation at present. In regards to citizenship, I would recommend that a change be brought about to the minimum residence from 5 years to 10 years. We have handed out citizenship not so long ago like as if we had an unlimited number of new passports in stock. Even the Africans who have managed to scrape Irish citizenship will agree that its relatively easy to attain an Irish passport.

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