It’s the climate, not immigration, that keeps Australians awake at night

Good detailed report on the latest annual survey by the Scanlon Foundation, showing some similarities with Canadian public opinion and divisions:

Something happened in 2017. Australia is second only to Canada in welcoming immigration on a large scale. Our faith in the benefits of accepting newcomers of all faiths and races is rock solid. But a couple of years ago we began to grow impatient about the government’s management of the immigration program, impatient in particular about overcrowding in our cities.

This is the verdict of the Scanlon Foundation’s 2019 Mapping Social Cohesion report, published on Tuesday. The mission of the foundation for the past decade or so has been to measure how this migrant nation hangs together. In that time an extraordinary 50,000 of us have been polled to track the hopes and fears that sweep Australia – and not just about immigration.

The author of the reports, Prof Andrew Markus of Monash University, finds most Australians now share “an underlying concern about the government not properly managing the situation – the impact on overcrowding, house prices, environment”.

But in 2019 Markus fears impatience with government management might imperil majority support for Australia’s immigration program. “This has not yet occurred, but the potential is evident.”

We are not Europe. Asked every year to name the most important problem facing their countries, Europeans have lately nominated immigration. “It’s sort of cooled down a bit now,” says Markus, “but even to the present day when people are asked what’s the main issue for the EU, they still nominate controlling population movement and immigration.”

Not in Australia. We always put the economy at the top of the list. Immigration came in fourth in 2019, nominated by 6% of us. In second place on the list, after an abrupt rise, is the environment and climate change.

Source: It’s the climate, not immigration, that keeps Australians awake at night

Canadian newcomers resent illegal immigrant queue-jumpers

Not particularly surprising. Mirrors what I hear anecdotally:

Those who legally enter Canada from other countries have a disdain for illegal immigrants who jump the queue, according to research by the country’s immigration department.

According to the government administration news website Blacklock’s Reporter, a survey conducted by Ipsos Public Affairs stated there’s an “underlying sense of unfairness when compared to experiences of other immigrants.”

“Some felt this situation was unfair, that these individuals are jumping what they view as an immigration queue,” the survey noted.

An official estimate pegs the federal government has lost $1.4 billion in three years thanks to illegal immigration.

Between January 1, 2017 and October 1, 2019, the RCMP has picked up 52,097 people entering the country illegally, Blacklock’s Reporter reported. Those individuals mainly composed of Haitians and Nigerians.

Hosting the illegal immigrants comes with a cost — which includes food, shelter, transportation and schooling. According to the Parliamentary Budget Office, about $1.1 billion in direct federal costs were spent on hosting, with an additional $371.5 million paid to authorities in Ontario, Quebec, British Columbia and Manitoba in cost compensations.

The Ipsos survey, entitled 2018-19 Annual Tracking Study, got feedback from landed immigrants who participated in focus groups. The groups called the number of asylum seekers “a significant number” with some Chinese participants noting the number is “disproportionately higher than Canada’s population can absorb.”

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada paid Ipsos $249,823 to conduct the survey.

Ipsos interviewed 4,004 people in 14 focus groups in Toronto, Mississauga and North York, Ont., Winnipeg, Vancouver and Moncton. Participants were from Chinese, Filipino, Middle Eastern, Caribbean and African descent.

One of the participants reportedly told Ipsos researchers that there’s an apparent “loophole in the system” that allows illegal immigrants to “cross (the border) and just put in their papers.”

“They can lie to the Canadian government,’ another told researchers, according to Blacklock’s Reporter.

Others in the focus groups told researchers they worked really hard to get here and there was no support and no help”, or that they are angered that “everybody is coming in.”

One citizen survey noted: “Your English has to be good, you do all these tests, your health has to be good, then you land in Canada and find people here who don’t speak English and you wonder, are there double standards?”

Those surveys felt the federal government was doing a poor job at regulating illegal immigration and felt the United States should take some responsibility to prevent irregular crossings in order for Canada to “effectively screen asylum seekers.”

Blacklock’s Reporter noted officials previously told the Senate national finance committee that asylum seekers spend an average of two years in Canada waiting to hear if they will be deported.

Associate deputy immigration minister Michael MacDonald said the processing time for illegal immigrants has gone up to about 24 months.

In testimony to the Commons immigration committee in March 2018, Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen told MPs he considered asylum seekers as illegal immigrants.

“I’m happy to use ‘illegal’,” he said. “I have used the word ‘illegal’ and I have used the word ‘irregular’ and I think both are accurate. I have no qualms in using the term.”

Source: Canadian newcomers resent illegal immigrant queue-jumpers

Poll finds deep divisions among Ukrainian Jews on threat of anti-Semitism

Of note:

In the largest poll of Ukrainian Jews conducted in 15 years, nearly one fifth of 900 respondents (17 percent) said that anti-Semitism has increased in the country, while another fifth (21 percent) said the opposite.

The data underline divisions among Ukrainian Jews over the effects of the 2014 revolution that toppled the previous regime and unleashed an explosion of nationalist sentiment.

In the poll, commissioned by the Euro-Asian Jewish Congress this year, another 23 percent of respondents said it was too hard to say whether there has been an increase anti-Semitism. Thirty-six percent of respondents said the level of anti-Semitism has not changed.

Ariel University’s Prof. Ze’ev Khanin developed the methodology for the poll and presented it Monday at a Kyiv Jewish Forum event. The previous survey of Ukrainian Jews this size occurred in 2003-2004.

Michael Mirilashvili, president of the Eurasian Jewish Congress, said that whereas anti-Semitism “is certainly an important challenge,” the main one is helping Jews “hold onto a strong Jewish identity that can withstand the environment and not weaken as a result of social pressures.” EAJC, he added, is investing in projects focused on achieving this, including Limmud.

Other key findings of the survey include:

  • Seventy-two percent of Ukrainian Jews said they feel solidarity with Israel, compared with 3 percent who said they do not and 26 percent who could not say.

  • Forty-two percent said they find it important that their descendants feel Jewish, compared to 25 percent who said it was not.

  • Twenty-nine percent described themselves as “Ukrainian Jews;” 22 percent as “simply Jews”; 6 percent as “Russian Jews”; and 21 percent percent as “human beings,” regardless of their Jewish affiliation.

Source: Poll finds deep divisions among Ukrainian Jews on threat of anti-Semitism

Crossing Divides: Has the UK changed its mind on immigration?

Interesting survey results and analysis of the change:

Just over a quarter of nearly 1,500 people who took the Ipsos-Mori online survey felt it had a negative impact.

The findings are in line with other surveys suggesting Britain has changed from being generally negative about immigration before the Brexit vote.

In 2011, 64% of Britons told Ipsos-Mori immigration had been bad for the UK.

The results emerged as part of an international poll of nearly 20,000 people across 27 countries, between 26 November and 7 December last year.

It was undertaken as part of the BBC’s Crossing Divides season, which is bringing people together across lines of ethnicity, class, faith, politics and generation.

Ipsos-Mori graph showing the change in respondents' perceptions of immigration

Prof Rob Ford, who researches immigration trends at the University of Manchester, said such positivity surrounding migration into the UK would have been unimaginable just a few years ago.

He said the reasons behind the trend remained unclear but that it mirrored what he had seen in other data.

“It’s at odds with what we’ve seen about [sentiment towards] migration in the past because immigration levels are still very high, so it’s not that the public is seeing more control over numbers,” he said.


A remarkable turnaround?

Analysis box by Mark Easton, home editor

It appears Britain has changed its mind about immigration and there are three important reasons why that might have happened:

  1. The Brexit vote itself may have led some to assume that the immigration issue has been dealt with and therefore it is not seen as such a risk.
  2. The national debate on immigration during elections and the Brexit referendum may have focused people’s minds on the social, practical and economic trade-offs involved in cutting migrant numbers, resulting in a more nuanced response to the issue.
  3. The millions of European migrant workers who came to the UK after 2004 initially caused something of a culture shock in neighbourhoods unaccustomed to immigration. Now many of those arrivals have integrated into society, put down roots, formed relationships and become a familiar part of the local scene. Any culture shock has probably dissipated as migrants have made friends and started families.

The polling suggests Britain is now among the most positive countries internationally when considering immigration, alongside Australia, the US and Sweden, where the numbers responding positively had also increased.

Prof Ford suggested the political environment could be a contributory factor, with opponents of Brexit and US President Donald Trump championing the benefits of inward migration.

UK statistics showed more low-skilled migrants from central and eastern Europe leaving than arriving, he said, while settled migrants such as white collar professionals, NHS staff and highly skilled workers had become more prominent in the media.

Polling results in other countries suggested attitudes to immigration were hardening.

In South Korea, the number of people telling Ipsos-Mori they felt it was beneficial had dropped to 11%, from 27% in 2011. In Japan – the least positive nation – just 3% of respondents said it had a beneficial impact, down from 17%.

Fewer than one-in-10 people told the survey immigration was beneficial in Colombia, Turkey, Russia and Hungary, although online polls are not representative in nations where significant numbers of people do not have internet access.

Source: Crossing Divides: Has the UK changed its mind on immigration?

The complete survey, including data on Canada, can be found here: Download the slides

Key immigration-related numbers for Canada:

  • Positive impact 42 %, Negative impact 27 % – slight increase from previous years
  • Percent friends same ethnic group, almost all/over half: 27/25
  • Percent friends same religious faith or beliefs, almost all/over half: 13/15
  • Percent friends have same views on immigration, almost all/over half: 15/19

Many worldwide oppose more migration – both into and out of their countries

Latest good data and analysis by Pew Research, showing where Canada stands. Relatively large number on concerns about out migration in Canada (more than one-third) surprised me as I had not seen those numbers before:

As the number of international migrants reaches new highs, people around the world show little appetite for more migration – both into and out of their countries, according to a Pew Research Center survey of 27 nations conducted in the spring of 2018.

Across the countries surveyed, a median of 45% say fewer or no immigrants should be allowed to move to their country, while 36% say they want about the same number of immigrants. Just 14% say their countries should allow more immigrants. (Those who said no immigrants should be allowed volunteered this response.)

In Europe, majorities in Greece (82%), Hungary (72%), Italy (71%) and Germany (58%) say fewer immigrants or no immigrants at all should be allowed to move to their countries. Each of these countries served as some of the most popular transit or destination countries during Europe’s recent surge in asylum seekers. (In several countries, most disapprove of how the European Union has handled the refugee issue.)

People in other countries around the world hold views similar to those in Europe. Large majorities in Israel (73%), Russia (67%), South Africa (65%) and Argentina (61%) say their countries should let in fewer immigrants. In every country surveyed, less than a third say their nation should allow more immigrants to enter.

Worldwide, a record 258 million people lived outside their country of birth in 2017, up from 153 million in 1990. Their share of the global population is also up, reaching 3.4% in 2017, compared with 2.9% in 1990.

In recent years, a surge in migration has focused public attention on issues related to this, leading to the rise of political parties that question national immigration policies in some destination countries. More than 2 million migrants have sought asylum in Europe since 2015. In the Americas, thousands of Central American families and children have sought to enter the United States. (Recently, immigration has declined as an issue of public concern in parts of Western Europe, even as it has remained a top issue in U.S.)

Together, the 27 countries surveyed by the Center have more than half of the world’s international migrants. The U.S., with 44.5 million immigrants in 2017, has the largest foreign-born population in the world, followed by Saudi Arabia (12.2 million), Germany (12.2 million) and Russia (11.7 million).

Meanwhile, among the countries surveyed, immigrants make up the largest shares of national populations in Australia (29%), Israel (24%), Canada (22%) and Sweden (18%). About 14% of the U.S. population is foreign born, a share comparable to that of Germany (15%), the UK (13%) and Spain (13%).

See our interactive map of destinations and origins of migrants around the world.

Outmigration also widely seen as a problem

At the same time, people in many countries worry about people leaving their home for jobs in other countries. Among surveyed nations, Greece and Spain – two countries that have seen significant numbers of people move abroad in recent years – have the highest shares of people who say this is a very or moderately big problem (89% and 88%, respectively).

About eight-in-ten (79%) say this in Mexico, which has one of the world’s largest numbers of people living outside of their country, at 13 million, according to the United Nations. (The country’s mass migration to the U.S. has slowed over the past decade or so.) In India, the nation with the largest international migrant population (16.6 million), 64% say people leaving for jobs elsewhere is a big problem.

In many countries that are home to large foreign-born populations (whether by total number or by share), few say people leaving their country for jobs elsewhere is a big problem. In the U.S., for example, 38% say outmigration for jobs is a big problem. In Sweden, 18% say the same.

In many countries, more people today say outmigration is a very big or moderately big problem than in 2002, when the Center began asking this question. In Russia, Japan, South Korea, Kenya, Poland and Italy, the share saying this has climbed about 15 percentage points or more during this time. (Fifteen countries have survey data from both 2002 and 2018.)

In fact, since 2002, the only surveyed countries where worries over emigration due to jobs abroad have declined significantly are Germany and Canada. The share who say outmigration is a big problem in Germany fell by almost half (from 64% in 2002 to 33% in 2018), while the share in Canada declined from 55% to 37%.

On Dec. 10, representatives of most countries worldwide are expected to gather in Morocco to sign the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration, a non-legally binding agreement intended to manage migration for both origin and destination countries. However, the compact’s effect on future migration remains unknown, in part because several nations have said they will not adopt it. This list includes the U.S., Australia, Hungary and Poland.

Note: See full topline results (PDF) and methodology here.

Source: Pew Research Center

An Excel error could delay Japan’s massive immigration overhaul

As someone who works a lot with data, this can happen. But it shouldn’t, given government validation and checking processes:

Japan’s government seems to be in need of some tech support.

Its plans to pass a crucial immigration bill that could open the country’s doors further to as many as 340,000 foreign workers from next year might be stymied due to data input errors.

Japan’s government had given lawmakers an analysis of why foreign workers in the country are dropping out of an existing work training program, as it argues for the country to create create two new categories of work visas. The justice ministry admitted last week that the data on those workers was incorrect, and blamed the problems on the handling of an Excel spreadsheet, Japan Times reported yesterday (Nov. 19). For example, the analysis exaggerated the number of foreign workers who left their jobs because they wanted higher-paying positions, rather than to escape poor wages or working conditions.

There are some 1.3 million foreign workers in Japan as of 2017, a 17% increase from the previous year, as businesses try and fill positions in industries ranging from construction to food preparation to nursing amid a shrinkage in Japan’s working population. Right now, foreign workers filling run-of-the-mill jobs are often in the country on temporary “trainee” visas that lock them into employers.

The proposed work-visa categories, approved this month by prime minister Shinzo Abe’s cabinet, would allow those with “specified skills” in the most labor-starved industries to live and work in Japan under for up to five years. The new visa status would also allow such workers more flexibility in changing jobs, which would make them less vulnerable, proponents of greater immigration to Japan say.

Though Japan’s justice ministry has said that the errors were the result of mistakes in data processing—the latest IT mishap after Japan’s newly appointed cybersecurity minister admitted that he had never used a computer—opposition lawmakers have accused the government of glossing over the problems with the current trainee program in order to rush the bill through.

In the revised data, the government said for example that 12.6% of trainees said that they left their jobs because of harsh working conditions, up from the previous 5.4% presented by the ministry. Opposition legislators boycotted a debate over the immigration overhaul in the Diet last week in protest, but deliberations could resume this week.Many of those currently working as trainees are expected to switch over to the new visa status once the bill becomes law.

Calling foreign workers technical trainees or interns was a workaround for the government to keep it from having to admit that more people from overseas are living in Japan—a country where many remain deeply apprehensive about immigration, even as it struggles with a severe labor shortage. But it’s also a workaround that has left thousands of workers vulnerable to exploitation by employers and the brokers who bring them over, as many of these trainees told lawmakers earlier this month.

Source: An Excel error could delay Japan’s massive immigration overhaul

And public opinion appears sceptical regarding the proposed changes:

Sixty-four percent of respondents said there is no rush to revise the immigration control law to expand the acceptance of foreign workers from next spring, according to an Asahi Shimbun poll released on Nov. 20.

They said it is not necessary to pass the revisions in the current extraordinary Diet session, while 22 percent of respondents believe it should be.

The nationwide poll was conducted Nov. 17 and 18.

The government and the ruling parties are seeking to pass the revisions to the immigration control law in the current Diet session.

However, even among supporters of the Liberal Democratic Party, the main force of the ruling coalition, 57 percent said that it is not necessary to do so. Only 31 percent replied that the revisions should be passed in the current session.

The survey also asked respondents about whether they support the expansion of acceptance of foreign workers. Forty-five percent, down from 49 percent in the previous survey in October, said they support it. Forty-three percent, up from 37 percent, expressed opposition.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has said that accepting more foreign workers into Japan is not a policy of accepting immigrants. As for Abe’s comment, 52 percent of respondents said that they don’t accept the explanation while 29 percent replied that they agree with it.

In the latest poll, the support rate for the Abe Cabinet stood at 43 percent, up from 40 percent of the previous survey, while the nonsupport rate was 34 percent, down from 40 percent.

The latest number means that the support rate for the Abe Cabinet recovered to the levels recorded in January and February polls, which were taken prior to the revelation of the alteration of Finance Ministry documents.

Respondents also were asked about the four islands off eastern Hokkaido that were occupied by the Soviet Union at the end of World War II in 1945. The islands, called the Northern Territories in Japan, are Etorofu, Kunashiri, Shikotan and Habomai.

Abe agreed with Russian President Vladimir Putin in their summit on Nov. 14 to accelerate peace treaty negotiations based on the 1956 Japan-Soviet joint declaration that stipulates the return of two islands, Shikotan and Habomai, to Japan after concluding a peace treaty.

The survey asked respondents if they expect an agreement to lead to a resolution of the long stalemate over the Northern Territories issue.

A total of 60 percent replied that they don’t expect that at all or very much. Thirty-eight percent responded that they very much expect it or at least to some degree.

The survey also asked about how Japan should deal with the Northern Territories issue.

Fifty-one percent replied that the government should first seek the return of Shikotan and Habomai and continue to hold negotiations on the return of the remaining two islands.

Meanwhile, 25 percent said Russia should return the four islands at the same time, and 11 percent said that Japan should conclude the Northern Territories issue with the return of the two islands. Six percent replied that Japan should not seek the return of any of the four islands.

The Asahi Shimbun conducted the survey through land-line telephones and mobile phones of eligible voters chosen randomly by computer.

Of 2,048 households contacted with land-line telephones, 991 people, or 48 percent, gave valid responses. As for mobile phone users, 949 of 2,022 people, or 47 percent, gave valid responses.

Land-line telephones do not include those located in a part of Fukushima Prefecture.

Source:  Poll: 64% say not necessary to rush revisions to immigration law November 20, 2018 Sixty-four percent of respondents said there is no rush to revise the 

 

Immigrants in Canada are turning to faith for settlement, support and sociability

Interesting research and findings on the generational shifts, with appropriate nuance on trends:

Upon arrival in Canada, newcomers often look to spiritual communities for support, whether for help learning a new language, locking down a job or simply to find a social circle as they make their way in a new country.

And, while some new immigrants find spiritual fulfilment in addition to material help from these communities, firmly held religious views — such as the role religion ought to play in public life — tend to sag over subsequent generations, says new research by the Angus Reid Institute, a non-profit opinion research organization, and Cardus, a non-partisan, faith-based think tank.

“I’m not sure Canadians appreciate the story of what faith communities do,” says Ray Pennings, Cardus’s executive vice-president. “They actually play a pretty significant role in our day-to-day life.”

The report says nearly one-half of those born outside of Canada received material support from a faith-based group, while 63 per cent relied on them to form a social network.

“They don’t know anyone, so they go to their church, synagogue, temple or whatever, and that’s where they find people,” says Angus Reid, chairman of the Angus Reid Institute. The survey, Reid says, didn’t differentiate between services from religiously based organizations and those provided directly from congregations.

“You’re going back to the history of settlement in Canada. Churches always, always played a big role,” says Fariborz Birjandian, who heads the Calgary Catholic Immigration Society, which provides services ranging from child care and transitional shelter to employment services. He says many agencies, including his, started as specifically faith-based organizations and are now more religiously diverse, serving a wide array of religious and cultural backgrounds.

Ray Pennings is vice president of research for the Work Research Foundation, a think tank dedicated to the study of Canada’s social architecture.

“If you look at it deeply, the faith groups, part of the mandate is to help those (who are) vulnerable,” he says.

Birjandian, a Baha’i refugee from Iran, says he was helped by the Baha’i community when he arrived in Canada. “That’s was actually an amazing place for us to go, because we were accepted when we went to our faith group with no questions,” he says. “You want to be accepted … and definitely a faith group plays a big, big role.”

And, yes, 65 per cent of respondents — the sample included 1,509 adults who are members of the Angus Reid Forum, a community of opinion-givers, and 494 members of Ethnic Corner, a research group focusing on ethnic groups and new Canadians — said they found a spiritual home among Canada’s religious communities. The polling includes both refugees and those who immigrated for different reasons.

But the data suggest there is a change in religiosity between generations of immigrants: 20 per cent of those newly arrived, for example, say religion should have a major influence on public life. But among second-generation immigrants, it drops to 14 per cent and, among those the survey calls “third generation+” (those who trace their roots to their grandparents at least – so, most of the rest of us) that percentage drops to just 10 per cent.

Reid says that while “the political implications of all this remain something you can only speculate on,” the belief in the importance of religion in the public sphere could pose a challenge on issues such as abortion or public funding of religious schools.

On other metrics, too, some views fade, such as the importance of a formal welcoming into religious life, such as baptism. 60 per cent of those born outside of Canada say this is very or somewhat important, dropping to 50 per cent for second-generation Canadians and 47 per cent for everyone else.

As for believing in God or a higher power, 65 per cent of immigrants believe this is very or somewhat important for their children, while 57 per cent of the second generation and 51 per cent of the third generation say that’s the case.

Among those surveyed born outside of Canada, 57 per cent said religion has more positive than negative effects on Canada; by the second generation, 54 per cent say it’s a mix of good and bad and just 33 per cent agree with their parents on its positive effects.

Peter Beyer, a University of Ottawa professor who’s researched religion and migration, says these trends aren’t surprising, although he says some research suggests, among certain demographics, trends of declining religiosity among each generation doesn’t always hold true.

Still, he says, “in the history of migration studies … this has been noted again and again: Immigrants do not stay the same.”

Source: Immigrants in Canada are turning to faith for settlement, support and sociability

UK Immigration Scandal Offers Tories a Shot at Redemption – Bloomberg

Good overview with some polling data regarding UK attitudes towards immigration:

The resignation of U.K. Home Secretary Amber Rudd on Sunday is bad news for the Conservative government on several fronts. A close ally of British Prime Minister Theresa May who had her boss’s back on a number of occasions, Rudd was seen as a rising star in the Conservative Party, a potential prime minister herself and the most articulate opponent of Brexitin the cabinet.

The real problem her resignation raises, though, isn’t the damage to May’s already weakened government or the shifting cabinet balance toward more euroskeptic members. It is yet more confirmation that the Conservative Party’s immigration policy is a mess. It embraces a “target culture” that not only hurts Britain’s economic interests but damages its global reputation.

For most of the last decade Conservative immigration policy has been populist and ineffective. Officially and unofficially, the name of the game was keepy-outy. Rudd’s attempts to uphold the policies of her predecessors descended into the grotesque.

The first sign of serious trouble concerned a generation of immigrants who were invited between 1948 and 1971 to help rebuild Britain after World War II during a time of labor shortage. Members of the so-called Windrush generation (named for one ship on which many arrived) came from Caribbean countries and were told they could stay indefinitely. But the Home Office didn’t keep records of those granted a right to stay — by some estimates, about 500,000 people. And in 2010 the Windrush landing cards, proving arrival for many, were destroyed as part of a cull of old paperwork.

This shoddy management became a more serious problem when landmark changes to immigration law — overseen by May herself when she was home secretary — made the lives of the Windrush generation untenable.

Immigrants, even those who had been there decades, faced new requirements for detailed documentation in order to access employment or benefits and health care. May’s “hostile environment” for illegal immigrants was meant to encourage self-deportations. (Remember that idea, Americans?)

It didn’t seem to result in many self-deportations, but it did lead to widespread injustices. Migrants faced demands that they prove their immigration status; landlords and employers risked large fines for renting to or employing illegal immigrants. A Law Society report found “clear evidence of serious flaws in the way visa and asylum applications are being dealt with.”

Some Windrush immigrants faced inhumane treatment by the country that had been their home for decades. They were denied re-entry into the U.K., health care and other rights. A media and public opinion outcry in recent weeks forced by both May and Rudd to apologize and promise justice and compensation.

They looked likely to ride out the Windrush storm until it emerged that the Home Office had set targets for illegal deportations. Rudd denied the existence of targets to a parliamentary committee, before leaked Home Office documents confirmed them. Five public apologies in a week were too many. Either she wasn’t in command (something many suspected) or she simply misled Parliament.

In immigration control, when officials are ordered to meet deportation targets, ugly things happen. Asylum case workers have described a system that is arbitrary and rushed, in which workers are trained to find ways to say no.

British Conservatives may be more socially minded than their American counterparts — nobody questions universal health care here, for example — but they ostensibly stand for innovation, entrepreneurship, individual freedom and opportunity. And yet for years, dating back to David Cameron’s government in 2010, this party has made it harder — sometimes with just the sheer expense and bureaucratic hassle — for foreign workers, students and family members to settle in the U.K. with increasingly stringent immigration policy and populist rhetoric. In the race for global talent, Britain has slowed its pace to a languid walk.

It was left to Labour’s Diane Abbott to make the case for a more reasonable migration policy: “In trade negotiations our priorities favor growth, jobs and prosperity. We make no apologies for putting these aims before bogus immigration targets.”

Meanwhile, the government’s target to reduce net immigration to the “tens of thousands” is so unrealistic that very few Britons are under any illusion that it will be met. Net immigration has declined — but the biggest declineshave come from European Union citizens, without whom the health service and other parts of the economy couldn’t function. Migration from non-EU countries has continued to rise.

Sadly the government seems to be responding to a crude reading of public sentiment. Ask Britons if they want to see less immigration, and most will say yes — though notably views have softened somewhat since the Brexit referendum and the trend is toward greater acceptance.

But ask them about particular classes of immigrants — students, nurses, the Windrush generation — and their replies are far more magnanimous. They want border control and fewer immigrants, but also a system that is fair and humane and welcomes people who will contribute.

By many accounts Rudd, along with some other leading Conservatives, had been uncomfortable with the immigration targets; and yet she placed loyalty to her boss and the party first. Other Conservatives have challenged May over aspects of the Conservative immigration policy from the targets to the indefinite detention of immigrants that has led to appalling conditions.

The good news is that it’s never too late: The Conservatives now have an opportunity to clean up the mess. The new home secretary, Sajid Javid, is the son of a Pakistani immigrant and a Muslim; his father arrived in Britain with 1 pound in his pocket in the 1960s, according to Javid.

In his first remarks Monday, he promised to look into injustices at the Home Office and promised a full review of the policies that led to Rudd’s embarrassment. That review shouldn’t end with the Windrush scandal. An honest review will mean changing the policies that May and her party have been so closely associated with for years. That will not be easy, but the country will be better off if neither of them flinch. It just might save the Conservative Party from the embarrassment of more such scandals.

via Immigration Scandal Offers Tories a Shot at Redemption – Bloomberg

Poll: Discrimination Against Women Is Common Across Races, Ethnicities, Identities : NPR

Another in the series of NPR polls on discrimination, with the usual richness of data including the “intersectionality” between race and gender:

Discrimination in the form of sexual harassment has been in the headlines for weeks now, but new poll results being released by NPR show that other forms of discrimination against women are also pervasive in American society. The poll is a collaboration with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

For example, a majority (56 percent) of women believe that where they live, women are paid less than men for equal work. And roughly a third (31 percent) say they’ve been discriminated against when applying for jobs because they are women.

Overall, 68 percent of women believe that there is discrimination against women in America today.

The chart below shows that the experience of gender discrimination is not monolithic — women in each racial, ethnic and identity group have particular problems in employment, education, housing and interactions with law enforcement, the courts and government. Several groups of women also avoid seeking health care out of concern they will face discrimination.

On nearly every measure, Native American women had the highest levels of discrimination based on gender. In our series, “You, Me and Them: Experiencing Discrimination in America,” we have highlighted several of these situations, including unfair treatment by the courts in majority-Native areas.

NPR will livestream an expert panel discussion on Native American issues at noon ET on Tuesday.

One of the patterns that emerged from the poll and our subsequent reporting is a gulf between high- and low-income areas when it comes to experiences of discrimination. This gap is also apparent in the gender data crunched by our Harvard team. The graph below illustrates the stark differences based on income when it comes to several everyday experiences people have in their own neighborhoods.

A snapshot in time

Our poll — which was fielded from late January to early April — before this fall’s intense news coverage of sexual harassment — also captures what women were feeling and experiencing before the recent scandals.

We found that 37 percent women overall reported they or a female family member had been sexually harassed because they are women at some point in their lives. But there was a wide range of responses based on age, with 60 percent of those 18 to 29 years old saying they or a female family member had been sexually harassed because they are women, versus 17 percent of women 65 and over.

“Our survey highlights the extraordinary level of personal experiences of harassment facing women today, as reflected in the news,” says Robert Blendon, co-director of the poll and professor of health policy and political analysis at the Harvard Chan School. “These national conversations may have affected how people viewed or responded to their own experiences in our survey, or their willingness to disclose these experiences.”

Indeed, a poll released last week by Quinnipiac University, asking specifically about sexual assault, suggests women may be more comfortable reporting such experiences now that more women are coming forward and revealing past abuse. (Our poll differs from Quinnipiac in that we asked a broader question: “Do you believe that you or someone in your family who is also a female has experience sexual harassment because you or they are female?”)

The survey from NPR, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard Chan School was conducted from Jan. 26 to April 9, 2017 among a nationally representative probability-based telephone (cell and landline) sample of 1,596 women. The margin of error for total female respondents is 4.6 percentage points at the 95 percent confidence interval. Complete methodological information is in the full poll report.

via Poll: Discrimination Against Women Is Common Across Races, Ethnicities, Identities : NPR

EUROPP – The question of citizenship in the Brexit divorce: UK and EU citizens’ rights compared

Some interesting polling data. No surprise that “on average British citizens are more supportive of their rights abroad compared to EU-27 citizens’ rights in the UK:”

One of the key priorities for the EU during the Brexit negotiations is safeguarding citizens’ rights. This refers to 3.5 million EU citizens living in the UK and 1.2 million UK nationals living in EU countries. The EU supports equal treatment in the UK of EU27 citizens as compared to UK nationals, and in the EU27 of UK nationals as compared to EU27 citizens, in accordance with Union law. In her Florence speech on 22 September, the UK Prime Minster, Theresa May, offered to incorporate legal protections for EU citizens living in the UK into UK law as part of the exit treaty.

However, since the UK triggered Article 50 on 29 March, there has been little substantive progress in the Brexit negotiations with the question of citizens’ rights being one of the primary sticking points. A European Parliament resolution criticised the lack of sufficient progress on this issue, with the Parliament’s Brexit chief, Guy Verhofstadt, arguing that ‘citizens’ rights are not being well-managed’ suggesting the possibility of a potential European Parliament veto of the Brexit deal.

Against this background of uncertainty, it is important to understand how citizens’ rights feature in the hearts and minds of the British public. To do so, we designed a survey, conducted by YouGov for the University of York on 29 June just a few days after official negotiations for departure began between the UK and the EU on 19 June. The key questions we sought to address were:

  • What is the opinion of British citizens on the rights of EU citizens in the UK as part of the Brexit divorce?
  • How do attitudes towards the rights of UK citizens abroad compare to attitudes towards the rights of EU citizens in the UK?

Our sample consisted of 1,698 individuals and was representative of the general British population in terms of age, gender, education, social grade, region, political attention and EU referendum vote. We broke down the question of citizens’ rights into four subsequent components that relate to freedom of movement in the EU, i.e. the right to freely work, reside and do business in another EU member state, as well as receive welfare.

UK citizens’ attitudes towards EU-27 citizens’ rights in the UK

Overall, British public opinion is dispersed on EU-27 citizens’ rights in the UK, as shown in Figure 1. There is much more support for doing business in the UK as opposed to working and living in the UK. The least support is observed on the question of access to welfare where we may observe comparatively much more disagreement and potentially a level of polarisation among the electorate.

On a scale from 0 to 10, where 0 denotes full disagreement and 10 full agreement, approximately a quarter of the respondents (24.16%) fully disagree that EU citizens should be allowed to claim welfare benefits in the UK. If we were to add those who have responded below 5, i.e. the middle point of the scale, then this proportion reaches 50% of the respondents. This shows that opposition to EU citizens’ accessing welfare benefits in the UK is much higher to opposition to EU citizens’ right to live, work and do business in the UK, which is at 20.84%, 19.57% and 9.25% respectively. Put differently, the majority of British citizens tend to be in favour of EU citizens living, working and doing business in the UK, but they are not as happy for them to claim welfare benefits in their country.

UK citizens’ attitudes toward UK citizens’ rights in the EU-27

How do these findings compare to how British citizens view their own rights abroad? Here the picture is slightly different. Figure 2 shows that on average British citizens are more supportive of their rights abroad compared to EU-27 citizens’ rights in the UK. Overall, fewer people disagree that UK citizens should have the right to live, work, do business and claim welfare benefits in other EU countries (responses below point 5 on the scale). These percentages range from 14.74% disagreeing that UK citizens should have the right to live in an EU country, 14.04% being hostile to UK citizens having the right to work in the EU, only 7.74% disagreeing that UK citizens should be able to do business in other EU countries, and 44.9% arguing that UK citizens should not receive welfare abroad. The latter number on UK citizens’ welfare rights in other EU countries is about 5 percentage points lower than those who oppose EU citizens’ welfare access in the UK. That being said, however, British citizens are similarly polarised on the question of welfare access even if this concerns their own nationals abroad.

Our findings suggest that although the question of EU immigration is very important among the public, and – as we know – contributed to how people voted in the Brexit referendum in 2016, it is much more nuanced and potentially contradictory than we had previously thought.

First, often – at least in the British case – some nationals may have ‘double standards’ not viewing non-nationals having equal rights to themselves. This might undermine the UK government’s popularity following a Brexit divorce deal that guarantees equal rights for both UK nationals in EU member states and EU-27 citizens in the UK.

Second, the British public is much more agreeable to EU citizens’ living, working and doing business in the UK, but they are considerably less comfortable with them sharing welfare. This suggests that it is the social aspect of EU citizenship that is the key issue featuring in the hearts and minds of the majority of the British public. This could be because the anti-EU campaigns, parties and individuals heavily politicised the welfare aspect of EU integration during the Brexit referendum, by for example associating EU membership costs with a deficit in the NHS.

via EUROPP – The question of citizenship in the Brexit divorce: UK and EU citizens’ rights compared