Interesting Editorial: As many of you may know, Katherine Kersten is a conservative columnist who writes for the StarTribune. This editorial (with 70+ comments as of this writing), "The pariahs of our college campuses," caught my eye, particularly because of the film, "Indoctrinate U," that will be showing. It would be very interesting to hear your views on this a year or two from today...
We'll kick off today with the "World Leaders" quiz. I clarified a couple items in the footer at the bottom of the quiz...
REMINDERS: Please have Chapter #8, "The Quiet Crisis," read before Tuesday's class. I'll ask that you complete Blog Entry #8 before class on Thursday, November 1st.
If you were gone on Tuesday, I've got some reading material to get to each "Great Decisions" group.
Migration - Adam, Will, Ross
War Crimes - Andrew G., Dan, Philip, Vance
Central Asia - Kiley, Roz
Mexico - Jake, Mark, Tom
South Africa - Alex, Anna, Chris, Rebecca
Children - Abbey, Christine, Ellen, Julia
Climate - Lindsey, Nicholas
Middle East is also available...
To be placed in groups: Mirdalys, Andrew J., Darren
"GREAT DECISIONS" Expectations:
Expect that this will be worth roughly the same as one of the two "take home" essays that you have done/will do.
We'll have a schedule set as soon as my guest speaker dates fall into place.
I figure you'll have roughly 45-60 minutes for your group. Anything short of 40 minutes will be viewed suspiciously...
Here's what I want from you:
* overview of the key issue(s) at stake
* presentation of necessary background information
* some sort of discussion or other activity
Yeah, that's pretty broad. You're teaching, so you decide how to do it. Remember that I have the 30-minute video excerpts on each topic available for you. (We'll say you can use 15-25 minutes from the DVD if you want, but I won't count any more than that toward your time.) Their website, which contains additional resources, is again linked above.
If you want to make a handout, go ahead. Want me to put something on the blog? Get it to me. Need something copied? I can do that. Most of you will be leaving home in about ten months. I think you can figure out how to do a nice job on a presentation...
Please ask with any questions or make any suggestions. I'll develop a more formal "score sheet" but it will be based on the comments above.
In my mind, at least, today's topic is a natural follow-up to last session's focus on population and demographics. Broadly speaking, I want us to take a look at migration. (No, not birds fleeing the oncoming cold, but rather different migrations among peoples around the world.) The issue raises a lot of different specific and interesting questions depending on where we look.
First, some definitions are probably in order. (No, I didn't just go to Wikipedia. I sought some more academic sources...)
migration: the movement of persons from one country or locality to another (Princeton)
Illegal Immigrant: Someone present in the country without authorization. People considered illegal immigrants can enter the United States in two ways: either by sneaking across the border, or by entering the country legally under a temporary visa but then failing to leave once their visa expires. (NPR website)
Refugee: Any person who, owing to a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion, is outside the country of his nationality and is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail himself of the protection of that country; or who, not having a nationality and being outside of the country of his former habitual residence as a result of such events, is unable or, owing to such fear, unwilling to return to it. (Source:UN Convention Related to the Status of Refugees and the 1967 Protocol)
Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs): Persons or groups of persons who have been forced or obliged to flee or to leave their homes or places of habitual residence, in particular as a result of or in order to avoid the effects of armed conflict, situations of generalized violence, violations of human rights or natural or man-made disasters, and who have not crossed an internationally recognized State border. (Source: "Guiding Principles on Internal Displacements" issued by the Special Representative of the UN Secretary General in 1998)
Asylum-seekers: Persons who file an application for asylum in a country other than their own. They remain in the status of asylum-seeker until their application is considered and adjudicated.
Foreign migrant workers: Foreigners admitted by the receiving State for the specific purpose of exercising an economic activity remunerated from within the receiving country. Their length of stay is usually restricted as is the type of employment they can hold.
Trafficking: When a migrant is illegally recruited, coerced and/or forcibly moved within national or across national borders. Traffickers are those who transport migrants and profit economically or otherwise from their relocation. (Source: International Organization for Migration).
Here's the website for Refugees International. This map is also interesting.
Here's a comprehensive site from Human Rights Watch: Refugees, Internally Displaced Persons, and Asylum Seekers
In case you were wondering, it looks like we currently make provisions for the admission of about 70,000 refugees a year into the US. Specific quotas are set for different areas of the world, and 20,000 spots are held "in reserve."
A New Century: Immigration and the US is an extensive article that provides a good overview of new issues and challenges in immigration policy that face the United States in the 21st Century.
Most estimates place the number of "undocumented" (illegal) immigrants in the country at any one time between 10 and 12 million.
NPR: The Immigration Debate is a very thorough website covering immigration and its status as a very important issue in American politics.
ISSUES FOR DISCUSSION:
1. China is experiencing an unprecedented internal migration. Estimates are that between 300 and 500 million Chinese will leave rural areas and migrate to the cities of China. What implications will these have for China's internal stability? How should Beijing deal with this movement?
2. By many estimates, the Palestinians make up one-quarter of the world's refugees. Based on your understanding of their situation, how does it compare with what you typically think of as a refugee issue? If you see it as different, explain why. What should the international community push for if they want to settle this issue?
3. How do you view the plights of refugees in comparison with those of internally displaced peoples? Should the international community treat them differently?
4. In the post-9/11 world, the United States has significantly altered its position on many immigration issues. Which do you think is the greater fear: allowing too much legal immigration or allowing too little? Why?
5. Congress is considering some broad immigration reforms. Assume that you are in charge. What would you do? In particular, what would you do regarding the southern border and the status of the 10-11 million illegal immigrants already in the country?