European Immigration Challenges: A Foreign Worker Perspective

Just yesterday, Norway has marked the fifth anniversary of the terror attacks in Oslo and Utøya, an island hundred of kilometers away from the capital. It was on this day when a Norwegian, opposed to increasing immigration and influx of Islam in the country, staged double attacks in the Government square and in a youth gathering related to the dominant political party that supports more relaxed immigration rules to usher fast integration of immigrants to the Norwegian society. The attacks were unique of its nature, given most of the victims were adolescents posed to be the future leaders of the pro-immigration political party. It also reflected the prevailing anxiety among the Norwegian society of the ballooning immigrant population, considered to threatened the values the country believes on.

The attacks in Norway in 2011 was not the last of its kind. France and Belgium have been plagued by terror attacks in public places, allegedly related to extreme Muslim groups. These Islamic groups are also responsible in staging war against the civilian populace in the Middle East, Asia and Africa, putting unnecessary pressure to European nations to open its borders as a kind gesture of help as part of the international community. However, instead of receiving people really requiring help, many so-called asylum seekers were actually economic asyl seekers, making an attempt to start a new life in Europe, the region of destination for many. This has put excessive burden in the European countries, obliging their population to allot a significant part of their tax revenues as aid for exponentially-increasing influx of economic migrants.

As a migrant myself, aiming to work in Norway, I myself is affected by the situation. The effect is not just an indirect influence, but a significant one. Although I am neither an asylum seeker nor an economic migrant, but I am included to the group threatening the conservative homogenous mix of people in the European society. Since I intend to work as skilled individual, many are considering me as villain, given that I am pushing myself to get the opportunities supposedly reserved for the locals themselves. Instead of giving the work to a local, the work is given to me, as well as other skilled workers. That is what the conservative view is trying to emphasize, immigration is not good in all levels, whether it is related to humanitarian purposes or work-related.

The situation is actually getting worse in the economic and political scenario for foreign workers, brought about by uncontrolled immigration and terror attacks done by radical foreign groups. The European locals ofcourse will protect its interests and safety, as a consequence all foreign individuals are put in the same disadvantage basket. This provides unnecessary pressure, stress, discrimination, marginalization and oppression of the full potential of legitimate foreign workers. Worse, the conservative locals do not care of the effects. They only want to tighten the belt even more, without thinking of the human cost of such measures. The conservative locals are determined to make significant distance between them and us, who genetically are different from them.

It is understandable the inevitable domino effect of the recent terror attacks, but politicians must be more prudent and empathic in drafting policies. They must think that prioritization their own locals should not mean closing all doors for foreigners' human right to pursue what they dream for. The locals'aspirations are equally important with those of the foreigners. They are of the same nature and level since both are human beings. Making laws seeming strict and demanding for foreigners must in reality, not a disguise for outright generalization and discrimination. These laws are worded carefully not to express its real intention, to get rid of foreigners in general. There are ways for foreigners to succeed, but the rules and requirements would make the pathway almost impossible to follow and accomplish.

The question remains what if in the near future, the tides will shift, such that the future generation of these conservative European locals would need to be foreign immigrants to a land they mocked before. History speaks that this is not an imagination or mere hypothetical situation, but a real probability. Europeans should remember they colonized foreign lands, as a compensation of the lack of resources in the continent. This is a recognition that resource-wise, foreign lands have more potentials than the countries in Europe themselves. The European nations'advantage lies that they dictate the rules to be followed and the superior perception of Europeans as a genetic group. Europeans colonized foreign lands against their will, changed the social structures, destroyed cultural order, subjected the populace in their dominion and authority, and now Europeans continue to discriminate the succeeding generations of their former slaves, victims and subjects. I guess that is plain greed and stubborness. That is simply adding more injury to a wound, Europeans inflicted deliberately to others.

What I mean is that Europeans actually should not complain about increasing immigration and change in their social demographics. Their forefathers have forced and introduced these changes also in other lands they colonized. Foreign workers may look stealing the opportunities of the European locals, but this is less kind of stealing and plunder Europeans made in their former colonies. The European economies are still afloat and functioning today, as a direct result of the loots and benefits they gained after hundreds of years of oppressing their colonized subjects. Europeans yes must not be punished of the wrongdoings of their forefathers, but Europeans must not forget them and not consider immigration as a socio-cultural threat, rather as an opportunity of social cooperation. Ofcourse, immigration policies and regulations must be crafted to maintain order, but not to intentionally put non-locals aside and below the privileges of the locals enjoy. Europeans must look back in history, and cooperate to ensure Europe's continued growth in a multi-cultural world.


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