Make becoming a German citizen easier, integration ministers urge

Of note:

Children born to foreigners living in Germany should be granted faster access by law to German citizenship, integration ministers from Germany’s 16 states have urged in a majority appeal

Meeting in the harbor city-state of Bremen Friday, ministers called on the federal government to reform Germany’s Nationality Act (StAG) by reducing a resident child’s waiting time for citizenship from the current eight years to six years.

A reduction to four years should apply to foreign families who show special integrative aptitude, urged ministers, who form Germany’s Integration Ministers’ Conference (IntMK). The group, whose rotating chair is currently held by Bremen’s Social and Integration Senator Anja Stahmann of Germany’s opposition Greens, was initiated under Chancellor Angela Merkel in 2007 to coordinate regional and federal policies, but often exposes major differences among state approaches.

Stahmann said ministers meeting Friday also urged for relaxing Germany’s legislated aversion to multiple nationalities and that German language acquisition at the mid-range B1 level be sufficient to test successfully for citizenship.

The IntMK also received a study showing trust migrants hold toward German authorities and urged the federal government to fully use EU-negotiated quotas to bring “subsidiary” family members and reunite them with refugees already in Germany. Of the 12,000 such entries possible last year only 5,300 visas were issued, it said.

Last week, a flight carrying 103 refugees landed in Hanover, raising to 2,765 the number of arrivals in Germany since April 2020, meeting the target of 2,750 that Germany had declared itself willing to accept.

Source: Make becoming a German citizen easier, integration ministers urge

Foreign-born doctors reignite Italy’s citizenship debate

Of note:

When the Italian government labeled Sicily a high-risk region last month over fears that the island’s limited resources would hamper its response to the second wave of the pandemic, Rumon Siddique got ready to help.

The region, one of Italy’s poorest, is struggling with a lack of doctors and nurses — and Siddique, a 29-year-old junior doctor born in Bangladesh and trained in Italy, has the necessary skills to step in. But because he doesn’t hold Italian citizenship, he’s unable to apply for open positions.

He was puzzled to learn that Sicilian authorities had instead asked the government of Cuba to deploy 60 health care workers.

“The paradox is that we already have doctors here, without having to ask Cuba,” said Siddique, who works at the Paolo Giaccone University Hospital in the Sicilian capital Palermo. “There are many foreign doctors already living in Italy, willing to fill that void. But because they don’t have Italian citizenship, they are often forgotten.”

At the height of the first wave of the pandemic, medical personnel from abroad, including teams from Cuba, Romania and Norway, were deployed in the hardest-hit northern regions of Italy. During the second wave, several regions have asked NGO workers, junior doctors — who have yet to complete their training — and retirees to prepare themselves to help out if needed.

In March, the government issued the so-called “Cure Italy” decree, which allowed hospitals and regional authorities to hire non-EU staff with legal permission to live and work in the country.

But many institutions have continued their decades-long practice of requiring either Italian or EU citizenship in their job openings, excluding foreigners trained and educated in Italy, even as the country’s intensive care units began filling up again this fall.

That has triggered a discussion on labor rights, with several immigrants’ organizations calling on the government to ensure the law is followed.

But beyond that, with first- and second-generation immigrants finding citizenship a core obstacle to employment, foreign doctors have reignited a longstanding debate on who gets to have an Italian passport — and the rights it bestows.

Paths to citizenship

In Italy, citizenship is acquired mainly through blood ties, as is the case throughout the European Union.

Most EU citizens attain that status through jus sanguinis, a principle that allows parents to pass on their citizenship to their children. Some EU countries allow for a limited version of jus soli, which in its unrestricted form — used in the United States, for example — bestows citizenship on anyone born in the country. Naturalization is usually possible via other routes, albeit subject to conditions.

But acquiring Italian citizenship without ancestral ties or marriage is a particularly lengthy process. The country is one of only five EU countries requiring non-EU citizens to document 10 years of residency to qualify for naturalization. (The EU average is seven years, according to 2018 data.)

Under the current citizenship law, which dates back to 1992, children born to immigrants can apply for citizenship — but only if they apply between ages 18 and 19, and if they can prove uninterrupted legal residency in Italy for their whole lives up to that point.

For children not born in Italy, like Siddique — who arrived in 1999 — naturalization often depends on the status of their parents. As he was already 18 by the time his parents could prove 10 years of uninterrupted legal residency in the country, he wasn’t eligible to apply as their dependent.

He could apply individually as an adult, a route open to all immigrants after 10 years, but it’s a long and difficult path: The waiting time can be as long as four years. Applicants also need to prove regular employment or income — a vicious circle for medical staff that face difficulties obtaining steady employment due to their nationality. (A trainee scholarship, like Siddique has, is not enough.)

There have been efforts to change that. First- and second-generation immigrants have started pushing for citizenship rights, and in 2016 Matteo Renzi’s centrist government made an attempt to reform the 1992 law.

His coalition’s proposal — dubbed ius culturae (Latin for “cultural right”) to contrast with jus sanguinis, “blood right” — aimed to grant automatic citizenship to all children who are either born in Italy or arrived before the age of 12 and who completed at least five years of Italian schooling.

But the vote on the proposal was postponed in summer 2017 amid fierce opposition from both within the coalition and the far right, as the national mood on immigration shifted, with tens of thousands of migrants and refugees arriving in Italy that year.

Then, in early 2018, a populist coalition comprised of the anti-establishment 5Star Movement and the far-right League took power and enacted what critics have labeled as xenophobic laws. The new government also made it harder to apply for Italian citizenship by introducing longer approval times and higher application costs.

These days, the 5Stars — who have been since 2019 in a coalition with the center-left Democratic Party — are striking a different tone. The two parties have been involved in discussions to formally reopen the debate on citizenship reform by mid-2021.

“We recognize it is a lost opportunity when qualified doctors, or valid workers of any field, don’t have the same labor rights as Italians,” says Simona Suriano, a spokesperson for the party.

“We don’t have any prejudice regarding the ius culturae, times are now ripe to extend citizenship rights to those who mainly grew up and studied in Italy,” she added. “But I don’t think either that we would agree to go beyond that and accept, for instance, a ius soli model like that of the U.S.”

‘A loss for Italy’

Italy’s aging population means that the country’s medical staff shortage — more than 10,000, according to 2018 data — is only going to become more acute.

Foreign-born medics could boost their numbers, however. About 77,500 foreign-born health care professionals are qualified to work in Italy, according to data collected by the Association of Foreign Doctors in Italy (AMSI).

They include 22,000 doctors and 38,000 nurses, with the majority working in the private sector as only 10 percent of them managed to access the struggling public health care sector, said Foad Aodi, AMSI’s president.

“There have been around 13,500 [openings] for health care professionals across Italy since the pandemic, but we keep being excluded. We don’t want to take the jobs from Italians, we only ask to integrate in the country we’ve chosen to call home,” Aodi said.

After ASGI, the lawyers’ organization, sent a letter to the Italian interior ministry complaining that many regions were still not complying with the “Cure Italy” decree, some hospitals and regions changed their stance and opened jobs to non-EU applicants.

Yet Alberto Guariso, an immigration lawyer with ASGI, said the organization has found at least seven of Italy’s 20 regions are still not implementing the decree. Even in regions that changed their stance after ASGI’s intervention, the options often remain limited for foreign medics.

For example, Tuscany opened jobs for non-EU nationals recently. “But in terms of rights, it is insignificant,” says Hamilton Dollaku, an Albanian nurse and trade unionist based in Florence, who currently works in the private sector. “It offers a one-year contract with no possibility of renewal. It works through direct calls only” — meaning employment is dependent on the hospitals’ needs — “and many foreigners will rightly refuse.”

Byzantine hiring practices and a lack of suitable positions also present challenges to Italian medicine graduates. But the discrimination is a major factor in pushing foreign-born staff and students to seek their fortunes elsewhere in droves, said Siddique.

“It only damages the image of Italy’s health care system and disrupts our lives, forcing many of us to leave for elsewhere in Europe,” he said.

Plus, he pointed out, it’s a waste of money if the very institutions that spend thousands of euros on training him and others without EU citizenship don’t benefit from their investment.

“We are talking about €150,000 for every [medical student] for the whole duration of studies,” says Siddique. “Excluding us is a loss not just for us, but also for Italy.”

Source: Foreign-born doctors reignite Italy’s citizenship debate

In Italy, legal migrants renew fight to be true citizens

Restrictive second generation citizenship policies compared to jus soli:

Inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, Italy’s second generation of immigrants is renewing the fight for automatic citizenship in a land where migration is at the heart of the political debate.

“Jus soli!”, the Latin term which literally means “right of soil,” or birthright citizenship, has become the new rallying cry among the children of Italy’s 5.3 million legal immigrants.

In early June, thousands of demonstrators marched in Rome in memory of African American George Floyd, who died on May 25 when a white policeman kneeled on his neck for more than eight minutes, triggering an outcry in the United States and around the world.

The march spurred renewed vigour among the children and grandchildren of migrants in Italy, who share the language and country’s cultural references but do not have the right to citizenship until they turn 18.

Even then, it is subject to strict conditions and often gained only after a lengthy and heavily bureaucratic process.

“In this country, citizenship is treated not as a right, but a concession,” said Fatima Maiga, who was born in Italy but is of Ivorian origin.

Legal immigrants say their plight has been overshadowed by the migrant crisis in the Mediterranean Sea, which since 2014 has seen more than half a million new immigrants arriving on Italy’s shores.

They claim their fight for citizenship is also weighed down by anti-immigrant sentiment at home, fomented by the far-right League party, which left government in 2019 after only a year in power.

Of the 5.3 million foreigners living in Italy in 2019, around 1.3 million were under 18 and three quarters of those were born in the country.

Among those most affected are the children of Albanians, Moroccans, Chinese, Indians and Pakistani immigrants.

– Italian/not Italian –

Maiga, 28, co-founded Italiani Senza Cittadinanza, or Italians Without Citizenship, in 2016 to help second-generation migrants — known as the G2 — become Italian.

Under a 1992 law, anyone born in Italy can apply for citizenship at the age of 18, on condition of having legally lived here “without interruption”.

However, the process must be launched before they turn 19.

Up until that point, they are given residence permits.

If that window is missed, people can also become a citizen on the grounds of legal residency for a decade and on the condition of a minimum income of 8,500 euros ($10,000) a year over three years.

Nevertheless, the process can take a long time and involve complicated paperwork.

“I applied when I was 18. I had to wait for four years before getting my papers,” Marwa Mahmoud, 35, told AFP.

“I know what it’s like to live as an Italian in everything but in law,” Egyptian-born Mahmoud said.

Mahmoud and others also worry the ongoing migrant crisis — in which hundreds continue to arrive on Italy’s shores every day — is pushing their own struggle further down the agenda.

The numbers of people arriving in this way have risen by nearly 150 percent over the past year, the majority coming by boat from Tunisia, Italy’s interior ministry said last week.

“Our situation is being passed over in silence,” Mahmoud lamented.

“Since Italy started getting embroiled in the migrant crisis it’s like we’re starting at zero again,” she said, adding that Italians “tend to put everyone in the same basket”.

“But the situation of an unaccompanied minor who arrived yesterday is not comparable with that of an immigrant child born and raised here,” she said.

– ‘Not a priority’ –

During his year-long tenure in 2018-2019 as interior minister, Matteo Salvini, the head of the League party, pushed through new rules extending the waiting time to process Italian nationality applications from two to four years.

“Nationality is not a ticket to the funfair,” Salvini said in 2017.

Supported by the G2 network, Italy’s governing centre-left Democratic Party (PD) is now pushing for reforms — among them, advocating for five-year continuous residency to qualify for citizenship.

But so far, the PD’s coalition partner, the anti-establishment Five Star Movement, has been non-committal.

Still, a fairer birthright citizenship system is under discussion in parliament.

But “it’s not a priority”, said Giuseppe Brescia, a Five Star deputy, who heads parliament’s committee on constitutional affairs.

The G2 movement now plans to hold a demonstration on September 19 in the hope of advancing the cause of what it calls Italy’s “forgotten non-citizens.”

Source: In Italy, legal migrants renew fight to be true citizens

Douglas Todd: Offspring of Chinese and South Asian immigrants reaping high-skilled jobs

The overall national numbers somewhat amplify the differences between visible minorities and not visible minority given rural Canada is overall not visible minority, and where levels of university education are lower. However, even at the city level, the differences are significant in terms of income but with the same relative pattern of visible minority groups that are doing better compared to those that are not:

Second-generation immigrants are proving adept at moving into high-skilled careers in Canada.

The offspring of Chinese and South Asian immigrants, especially women, stand out for obtaining a much higher percentage of high-skill careers in Canada than the rest of the population.

A new Statistics Canada analysis reveals more than 40 per cent of second-generation Canadians of Chinese or South Asian background — the two largest minority groups in Canada — have found mid-career jobs in high-skill sectors.

That compares to less than 30 per cent of second-generation male Southeast Asian or white immigrants — and 20 per cent of white males whose parents are not immigrants. The study’s surprising, mixed results may cause some public-policy makers to re-think their traditional understanding of employment equity.

The StatsCan analysis, by Wen-Hao Chen and Feng Hou, shows children of nearly all immigrants are significantly more educated than their parents. And second-generation Chinese, South Asian, Japanese, Korean and West Asians are obtaining the highest proportion of university degrees and strongest percentage of jobs that rely on such educations.

But other second-generation immigrants — particularly Filipinos, blacks and Latin Americans — are not doing nearly so well at snagging high-skill jobs.

Neither are whites whose parents are not immigrants, whom the report refers to as “third-plus generation whites.” The StatsCan analysis did not include data on Indigenous people, who tend to score low on educational and labour rankings.

“Second-generation Chinese and South Asians, in particular, are over-represented in high-skill occupations relative to third-plus generation whites,” say Chen and Hou.

“About 40 per cent or more of second-generation Chinese, South Asians and West Asian or Arabs worked in high-skill occupations, compared with 20 per cent of men and 31 per cent of women among third-plus generation whites,” says their February study, titled Intergenerational Education Mobility and Labour Market Outcomes.

“The shares of second-generation Filipinos, Latin Americans and blacks working in high-skill occupations were similar to or smaller than those of third-plus generation whites,” said the report, noting that less than 22 per cent of Filipino, Latin American, black immigrants, or white males of Canadian-born parents, were employed in the high-skill sector.

Canadian women are in general doing better than men at obtaining high-skilled work.

Especially excelling are second-generation women of Chinese, South Asian and West Asian/Iranian origins. More than 43 per cent of women in these cohorts work at high-skilled jobs, compared to just 31 per cent of white women who are not the children of immigrants.

The StatsCan report, based on the 2016 census, defines high-skill occupations as those that generally require a university education, such as senior and middle management roles, as well as professions in business, finance, health, applied sciences, education, law, community services, arts and culture.

The report shows a strong link between obtaining a university degree and, before age 45, getting a high-skilled job. The exception was among Filipino, Latin American and black women, whom the report suggested may be vulnerable “to a certain degree of over-education.”

Table 4: Percentage of workers aged 25 to 44 in high-skill occupations among second-generation groups. (Source: Excerpt from Statistics Canada analysis.)

One of the paradoxical findings in the report is that there is not always a direct parallel between getting a university education, obtaining a high-skill job and achieving a strong salary.

“All second-generation groups, both men and women, had higher university completion rates than third-plus generation whites,” write Chen and Hou. Many of the minority cohorts had twice the university completion rate of whites whose parents are not immigrants.

Yet the veteran researchers found university-educated second-generation male Chinese and South Asians end up having roughly the same annual earnings — in the low-$60,000 range — as male whites whose parents have resided in the country for decades.

The levelling out of annual wages among the different ethnic and immigrants cohorts is partly owed to the way the Statistics Canada report tallies only people who obtain university degrees, not those who finish college or technical-school degrees or diplomas.

Chen and Hou note the children of the Canadian-born tend to go to colleges. Other demographers point to how white Canadian males are increasingly avoiding university and finding employment in the trades, such as plumbing, carpentry and electronics, which can often be well compensated compared to jobs in the arts, community and culture sectors.

One factor that might hold back some second-generation Canadians could be language. Chen and Hou suggest male offspring of Latin American and Southeast Asian immigrants end up earning less per year than most males, roughly $45,000 annually, in part because they tend not to speak English at home.

Women in general also earn less per year than most males, regardless of immigration status, according to the Statistics Canada analysis, which suggests that “discrimination” and “cultural factors” could be relevant in regards to the differences between male and female annual earnings.

All in all, data show offspring of immigrants are doing either decently or exceptionally in both higher education and the job market. And this StatsCan analysis of the 2016 census complicates the picture of who is flourishing and struggling in the Canadian workplace.

Source: Douglas Todd: Offspring of Chinese and South Asian immigrants reaping high-skilled jobs

How second-generation immigrants are transforming the landscape of Spanish society

One does not see too many articles on Spain, and even fewer on the second generation and many of the issues are similar to those experienced by the second generation in Canada:

Children born in Spain to immigrant parents have not had to go through the trials and tribulations of migration but they do have to live between two cultures. They belong to a new generation of Spaniards who have been brought up here and whose parents are predominantly from countries further to the south.

They are very often bilingual and their mixed identity allows them to enjoy links to their parents’ culture while positioning themselves within Spanish society, according to the report Spain in expansion: the integration of immigrant children, published in 2014 by La Caixa Foundation.

20% of babies born in Spain have a foreign parent

Fátima J., a criminology graduate from Pablo de Olavide University in Seville, explains that she has grown up with two very different mindsets, and this has helped make her more tolerant. She has two approaches to life and she says her visits to Morocco during the holidays have taught her the value of hospitality. “You are always welcome in anyone’s house,” she says. “In Spain, this seems strange because you have to be invited to eat at a relative’s home. But in Morocco, the doors are open to you any time of the day.”

In 2005, it wasn’t clear whether immigration would continue to grow in Spain or whether the trend would reverse. There are four million foreigners registered in the country, which is 10% of Spain’s 46.7 million population, and data from the National Statistics Institute (INE) shows that the new generation of Spaniards is the most diverse to date.

A study carried out by Verne on births, nationality and population reveals that 20% of the almost five million births in the last decade – amounting to 1,150,629 – have been to at least one foreign parent, according to INE data from 2007 to 2017.

Data gathered between 2006 and 2016 indicates that immigrant parentswho arrived in Spain during the last decade are predominantly Moroccan (around 26%), with Rumanians accounting for 12%, Ecuadorians 6% and Chinese 4%. It is their children who are transforming the landscape of Spanish society.

The Longitudinal study on the Second Generation by La Caixa, which carried out 7,000 interviews over the course of 10 years, suggests that the identities of the children of immigrants is fluid and changes over time and according to the context they are in, particularly during adolescence.

“The children of immigrants select the values from each culture that are worth preserving,” says Nathalie Hadj Handrim, doctor in Spanish and Latin American Civilization and Language at the University of Barcelona.

….

Born in Spain, but without Spanish nationality

Not all the children of foreigners born in Spain obtain Spanish nationality. It depends on the legal status of their parents. If neither parent has Spanish nationality, the children take the nationality of their parents unless they are stateless.

In legal terms, this is known as the right to nationality by blood versus the right to nationality according to place of birth. To be recognized as Spaniards on paper, either one of the parents must have Spanish nationality or the child must reside in Spain for a year, according to the country’s Civil Code.

According to the Algerian sociologist Abdelmalek Sayad, who studied the children of immigrants in France during the 1990s, administrative and social realities keep these children in between two worlds.

“On the one hand, there is an administrative reality which determines nationality […] and on the other hand, a social reality which keeps these children between two countries and two nationalities and two societies beyond the purely legal dimension […] so that they become products and victims of the same story,” he writes in his work The Double Absence. From the dreams of the emigrant to the suffering of the immigrant.

A glance at INE data from 2013 to 2017 shows there were 108,074 children of immigrants who acquired Spanish nationality in that period, 46,700 of whom were previously Moroccan, 8,556 Ecuadorian, 5,818 Bolivian, and 4,318 Nigerian.

Rosa Aparicio, from the José Ortega and Gasset Foundation’s Research Institute and co-author of The Longitudinal study on the Second Generation, points out a recent spike in Moroccans who are becoming Spanish citizens, having accumulated the 10 years of official uninterrupted residency.

This is because, according to INE data, Moroccan immigration peaked exactly 10 years ago, with the arrival of 70,000 migrants. Last year, 39,000 migrants arrived in Spain from Morocco, a similar number to 2009 figures.

Four million people, or around 10% of the population, are currently registered as foreign nationals, most of whom are either Moroccan or Romanian. This percentage was 3.85% in 2001, according to a report by the Ministry of Employment and Social Issues.

Forging identity through art

Born in 1995 in Spain, Kinue Tsubata has maintained close ties to her Japanese roots. Though her mother is from Alicante, both parents – her father is from Nagaoka in Japan – have instilled Japanese values in her, such as punctuality, perseverance and the importance of attention to detail.

“I think I definitely feel more Spanish because I grew up in Spain, but I also identify with Japanese values,” explains Kinue, who is currently in London getting a master’s degree in Japan-focused International Administration at the School of Oriental and African Studies. “I have a lot of contact with Japanese culture and I watch series and films in Japanese so I won’t forget the language.” She goes on to list Japanese animation movies including Howl’s Moving Castle and Spirited Away from Ghibli studios.

Since she was little, she has had to find her own cultural references as everyone on TV and in cartoons was white. “I was drawn to films such as Mulan and I had a Japanese Barbie that wore a kimono,” she says. Now, she tries to participate in as many cultural events and parties thrown by the Japanese community as possible.

According to the mothers of children of African descent, such as Sara Plaza and Kenia Ramos, second-generation children need references to help them identify – “both in the media and within institutions,” says Sara, the mother of a two-year-old whose father is Senegalese.

“Everything that reaches them contains images of white people and particularly the typical blonde girls with blue eyes,” says Kenia, who has a seven-year-old daughter.

In order to forge the identity of their children, both women try to find relevant cultural references in food, stories and toys. “It’s difficult because there’s no information,” says Kenia, who points out that there are many more books of this kind in English than in Spanish, such as Little Leaders: bold women in black history and Kirikú and the sorceress.

The Cross Border Project theater company, which began in New York and has since set up in Spain, addresses the issue with their play Fiesta, fiesta, fiesta,which tells the story of seven teenagers born in Spain to foreign parents.

The play covers themes such as wearing the headscarf, the culture clash between parents and their children, and the teenagers’ own dreams and fears. “What is happening in the classroom is what is happening in Spain,” says dramatist Lucia Miranda, who came up with the script base on real-life conversations and interviews.

“This is the big identity issue facing the country and Europe, not what is promoted by nationalists. I think it’s an issue that is still not being spoken about in debates. People who are very close to me still speak about Spain in a way that is completely outdated. Spain is no longer white and Catholic. It is very diverse.”

METHODOLOGY

This analysis is based on data from the INE and the Ministry of Education on the census, births and student numbers. We have classed any child with at least one foreign parent as the child of immigrants, in line with the broadest academic definition of the term and with the definition used by researcher Rosa Aparicio.

No distinction has been made between the terms immigrant and foreigner. We are aware that the word foreigner carries less political punch than the word immigrant. No distinction has been made as the data and conversations carried out by experts suggest that 73% of people coming from abroad to live in Spain are from the south while 27% come from countries further north such as Germany, Finland and the United Kingdom.

The analysis of school students is based on data from the Ministry of Education between 2010 and 2017. The data included preschool, primary, secondary, vocational training and pre-university schooling. The children of immigrants who have Spanish nationality have not been included as they are now registered as Spanish.

The analysis may be extrapolated since, according to researcher Rosa Aparicio, the economic status on which it is based is different to that of children with two Spanish parents. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OCDE) points out, “The different socio-economic levels account for more than a fifth of what differentiates immigrant students from native students when it comes to acquiring basic skills in OCDE countries and the European Union.”

For population data, provisional 2018 statistics have been used and subjects have been grouped as follows: children between 0 and 19, youths between 19 and 30, adults between 30 and 69, and the elderly. It is not possible to analyze minority nationalities, which are classed as “others” due to statistical confidentiality, according to the INE. Oceania is also treated as a country as no data exists apart from the statistical data.

English version by Heather Galloway.

Source: How second-generation immigrants are transforming the landscape of Spanish society

Preference for boys persists among 2nd generation South Asian parents, study finds

Alarming that preference carries through to the second generation:

Where are all the girls?

A new Ontario study has found the preference for boys among South Asian parents persists among second-generation families born and raised in Canada, pushing the male-to-female ratio to 280 boys born for every 100 girls.

Previous research showed that women born in India, who already had two daughters, gave birth in Ontario to 196 boys for every 100 girls — compared to just 104 boys per 100 girls among non-South Asians — but the new finding surprised even the researchers.

While immigrants tend to assimilate over time, “from the evidence we see, this suggests it is different when it comes to the preference for sons,” said the study’s lead author, Dr. Susitha Wanigaratne, a social epidemiologist and post-doctoral fellow at the Centre for Urban Health Solutions at St. Michael’s Hospital and the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences.

The study, published Thursday in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, examined live births to first- and second-generation mothers of South Asian ethnicity between 1993 and 2014, based on data from the institute, the immigration department and the Canadian Institute for Health Information’s Discharge Abstract.

Almost 10,300 live births to second-generation South Asian mothers and 36,687 live births to their first-generation counterparts in Ontario were identified.

Among the second-generation South Asian mothers with two previous daughters and at least one prior abortion, 280 boys were born for every 100 girls, which was greater than the male-to-female ratio among their first-generation peers. The report suggests both groups of mothers are likely taking part in sex-selective abortion in Ontario.

The researchers looked at many different combinations of order, number and gender of births, but found third births among mothers with two previous daughters revealed a significant increase in the male-to-female ratios.

Born and raised in Brampton, Manvir Bhangu, founder of a non-profit group that promotes gender equity among South Asians in Greater Toronto, said she was both shocked and saddened by the findings.

“Even though you were born and grew up in Canada and are highly educated, you still can’t get away from the culture. You are surrounded by it. South Asian women carry the honour of the family on their shoulders for their parents and in-laws,” said Bhangu, 26, of Laadliyan Celebrating Daughters. (Laadliyan, in Punjabi and Hindi, means beloved daughters.)

“It comes down to having a place at home and in the community. It makes a big difference in your presence in the family whether you give birth to three boys or three girls. It’s easier to be loved and wanted by the people around you with three boys. People do make nasty comments if you have three girls,” added Bhangu, a co-author of the study. “The bottom line is keeping the family name alive.”

The report said it appears South Asian immigrant parents emphasize educating their second-generation daughters out of the need to uphold the image of a “model minority,” as hardworking, disciplined and successful, as well as the desire to restrict the girls’ social engagements outside of the home in order to limit western influence and improve marriageability.

“Studies in India have shown that higher maternal education is either not associated with son-biased sex ratios or that it is associated with greater knowledge of and access to sex-selective technology,” the report said.

“This situation among second-generation mothers certainly exemplifies a ‘double burden’ whereby women are educated and work outside the home but are also expected to maintain their traditional roles within the family.”

Both Wanigaratne and Bhangu hope the study can get the community to start a dialogue about gender equity and culture.

Source: Preference for boys persists among 2nd generation South Asian parents, study finds

Angry Second-generation Immigrants – New Canadian Media

Richard Landau on radicalization and second-generation immigrants. Not very conclusive, understandably, as there are no simple solutions.

And Leiken, the author of a recent Foreign Policy article cited, fails to link to the broader social and economic context of the various approaches to diversity:

And here we have arrived at a dangerous intersection. While young men may find an international conflict exotic, I have seen enough disaffected youths drawn to religious cults and extremism to know that it, too, has a special idealistic lure. Young men, drifting and unaccustomed to lives of prayer, obligation and fasting, may find the rituals alluring. Ritual + an exotic overseas conflict + romanticism may equal something like catnip for young men who are not well grounded. Et voila, radicalization!

Yes, there are extremist pied pipers who prey upon the young, the lonely and disaffected, telling them they are being disrespected and that the society at large hates them. Extremists like the late Anwar Al Awlaki tell young men that they will finally find meaning in their lives when they take up arms against the West. Simple, uneducated minds buy this drivel. The Boston Marathon bombers had a cult-like belief they were doing the Almighty’s will. The thing about fundamentalism, be it religious conversion or political, is that converts have an unending reservoir of zeal.

So how should Western societies deal with the roots of homegrown terrorism? With only limited successes, they have tried three approaches for dealing with immigrant populations:

  • Multiculturalism: Promotion and financing of integration, and equality of opportunity;
  • Assimilation: Forced assimilation/melting pot that leads to resentment;
  • Avoidance: Laissez faire benign neglect that produces a Balkanized and segregated society.

Writing in a Foreign Affairs article “Europe’s Angry Muslims,” Robert S. Leiken observed: “Yet it is far from clear whether top-down policies will work without bottom-up adjustments in social attitudes. Can Muslims become Europeans without Europe opening its social and political circles to them? So far, it appears that absolute assimilationism has failed in France, but so has segregation in Germany and multiculturalism in the Netherlands and the United Kingdom.”

It appears there is no simple, proven answer that will assuage the angry second generation. The answers may involve an amalgam of the three approaches and an educational system that addresses the issues of this generation head on.

Angry Second-generation Immigrants – New Canadian Media – NCM.