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Re: Patrick Cleburne's blog Spanish Socialists see Light: Close Immigration Door
From an anonymous retiree [Email her]
Spain is in turmoil now and the main reason is the high unemployment rate among the younger population. Only four years ago, when things were going great, the elite of Spain (governing Socialists and business leaders) thought that immigration was a wonderful thing. The pompous tone of this article from Business Week, written in 2007, is astounding.
"Over the past decade, the traditionally homogeneous country has become a sort of open-door laboratory on immigration. Spain has absorbed more than 3 million foreigners from places as diverse as Romania, Morocco, and South America. More than 11% of the country's 44 million residents are now foreign-born, one of the highest proportions in Europe. With hundreds of thousands more arriving each year, Spain could soon reach the U.S. rate of 12.9%.
And it doesn't seem to have hurt much. Spain is Europe's best-performing major economy, with growth averaging 3.1% over the past five years. Since 2002, the country has created half the new jobs in the euro zone. Unemployment has plummeted from more than 20% in the 1990s to 8.6%, within shooting distance of the 7.2% euro zone average. The government attributes more than half this stellar performance to immigration. "We are very thankful for all these people who have come here to work with us," says Javier Vallés, economic policy chief for Prime Minister José Luis Zapatero."[Spain: Immigrants Welcome, May 21, 2007]
The idea of imposing an "experiment" on a country, like rats in a lab, doesn't give them any pause. What if the experiment doesn't work? What if the country is changed forever, and not for the good? Former experiments in social engineering are never studied to see if they work out in the end.
And the sad part? The Spanish public seems to have no concept of the huge role that immigration, both legal and illegal, has played in their economic catastrophe. Or at least, the media is not acknowledging these concerns.
Of course, socialism is the main culprit, but unheard of levels of immigration have greatly exacerbated their woes. Will the center/right do anything about this mess? Many of the immigrants are now citizens, having been granted amnesty. Are they prepared to deport even the illegal immigrants? Unfortunately, I think we know the answer to that. But I'm willing to be pleasantly surprised.