Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Illegal Immigration Not Just American Issue

Name a country were ten percent of the residents are illegal residents from nearby poorer, slower growing economies? Where there is a powerful nativist backlash against the migrants? Where there's a movement to kick them all out, but widespread acceptance that the economy depends on their presence? Where there's a large scale roundup of the migrants? Where those rounded up have their legal rights routinely violated? Where the undocumented workers are subject to mistreatment and abuse?


Not the US, but Malaysia. The bar association is mounting a campaign to abolish corporal punishment.

migrant workers have often received negative coverage in the media. Many Malaysians are worried about the incidence of serious crime. Others link the rising crime rate with the high number of migrants, estimated to number close to 10 per cent of the population, even though statistics reveal that they are not more prone to crime.

The country's top police officer was reported as saying last month that only 2 per cent of crimes in the country were committed by foreigners. However, he proposed that all foreign workers be confined to their quarters and have their movements monitored by management to prevent them from committing crimes.

Despite the inuman conditions, Malaysia's relative prosperity has continued to attract thousands of illegal or undocumented workers from such neighbouring countries as Indonesia, Burma, India, the Philippines and Bangladesh where job opportunities are scarce.

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