Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Immigrants are a breed apart

April 27 018I was thinking thoughts like those posted below a couple of weeks ago when I attended a citizenship ceremony at the Auckland Town Hall to watch a close friend “get the operation,” as we say. (That’s the picture on the right.)

I’m not at all a fan of state ceremonies, but this one—held four times a year, for around 400 people—left me with a huge smile on my face for the reasons so well articulated below.

I thought of them again when I read John Key’s plans to save this nation of four-and-a-half million people from the tremendous dangers posed by a boatload or two of desperate and wretchedly poor brown people, in the unlikely event they ever reach here. (And I thought of Key and his fellow travellers with something akin to disgust when they characterised what are good, solid people yearning to breathe free—when the only words they can think of with which to describe them—is with the dismissive epithet ‘boat people.’)

So I thought of Jason Lockwood’s post a few times. So I figured I’d post an excerpt here, and commend all of it to your attention.

Those of us who choose to become immigrants are a breed apart. Not only do we uproot ourselves, leaving behind everything familiar and comfortable, but we do it with aplomb. We are adventurous souls in search of a better life, fully aware we may not find it, but fearless enough to light out anyway.
In the debates about immigration in Australia, [New Zealand] and America, the one thing left out of the discussion is actual immigrants and what they bring to their new countries. In Australia, [New Zealand] and America, immigrants are viewed as parasites at worst or unimportant at best.  ‘We don’t need more people,’ is the common refrain. Due to decades of welfare statism and environmentalist propaganda, immigrants are no longer welcomed as those who will enrich the societies they move to, but rather native-born locals view them with suspicion or, dare I say it, derision. It may be true that some immigrants are layabouts only seeking to live off of others, but I believe the vast majority are resourceful and hard working.
Think about it. To make the enormous effort to plan and then move to a new country, often without knowing much about the place he will call home, an immigrant must be more independent than the average person. When he arrives in the new country, he must begin the work of getting to know his way around, finding a place to live, meeting new friends, and the list goes on. The last thing on the mind of a new immigrant is how he can ‘game the system’ so he can sponge off of others. Even the dreaded ‘boat people’ (a term I find profoundly insulting to those who endure extreme hardship to find a better place to live) are far more virtuous than given credit…

Every person who came off the stage at the Town Hall was beaming. Everyone had come here by choice. Every one was, quite literally, consciously starting a new life.

As would be anyone so desperate as to struggle to these shores by boat.

John Key seems willing to demonise the non-problem of desperate people simply to divert attention from his government’s problems.

He is scum.

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24 Comments:

Anonymous Tom said...

Can't agree more. Are the first Maoris or the first Europeans to set foot on Aotearoa considered as "boat people" as well ?

For my partner and I who want to settle in NZ after having sailed from Europe (argh, some other "boat people"), we are suspects by default (especially about health, mainly because of the socialist health system) even if the probability is very high that we will end up being net contributors both in added value and taxes. Taxes that we already have to pay as any Kiwi without expecting any benefit at all, by the way.
The suspicion is at its greatest when the migrant-to-be does not want to be an employee but wants to create a business in NZ, although this is the way he can bring the most to the country.

The welfare state is as usual a source of tensions between people, as it can be expected in every - forced - redistributive system where "everyone tries to live at the expense of everyone".

5/02/2012 05:13:00 pm  
Blogger Lindsay Mitchell said...

Immigrants. The more, the merrier.

5/02/2012 08:23:00 pm  
Anonymous sewa mobil jakarta said...

Nice article, thanks for the information.

5/03/2012 04:41:00 am  
Blogger Paul Goodsort said...

Face it Pete the N.Z psyche is twisted. A family that leaves for Australia, tells all their mates back home “it’s great it is over here” every friggin' chance they get, yet are still regarded as Kiwi’s by the masses. Contrast this with a family arriving into N.Z from China with limited English, working their guts out, strugglng to assimilate, contributing to the economy/society – yet will always be regarded as a foreigner? The real foreigners are those that jumped ship, live in a foreign land not those that travelled tens of thousands of miles to become Kiwi’s like all of our ancestors did at one point.

5/03/2012 08:45:00 am  
Anonymous Alan said...

This blog is vehemently anti-taxation yet you support bringing boat people in when they would cost millions in welfare, healthcare etc. A bit of a discrepancy there

5/03/2012 11:09:00 am  
Blogger Peter Cresswell said...

@Alan:

Three comments:

1. Learn to call human beings with demonstrable gumption something better than "boat people."

2. You appear not to have read the post.

5/03/2012 11:21:00 am  
Anonymous cheesefunnel said...

Where as you appear (again) to be avoiding the question.

5/03/2012 01:36:00 pm  
Blogger Peter Cresswell said...

@Cheesefunnel: What's with the "again," Cheezy? Or do you specialise in cheap shots?

Alan has asserted immigrants "would cost millions in welfare, healthcare etc."

Where's his evidence? He has none. None at all.

I referred him to the post above. In that post, Jason says, "Think about it. To make the enormous effort to plan and then move to a new country, often without knowing much about the place he will call home, an immigrant must be more independent than the average person. When he arrives in the new country, he must begin the work of getting to know his way around, finding a place to live, meeting new friends, and the list goes on. The last thing on the mind of a new immigrant is how he can ‘game the system’ so he can sponge off of others."

You can argue against that if you wish, but don't pretend it hasn't been pointed out.

And consider this: in the 19th Century millions upon millions of dirt-poor immigrants headed out to Australia, New Zealand, America and Canada in search a new life, all yearning to breathe free.

They didn't "cost" anyone millions--they built whole new countries.

Ask yourself what is different today?

5/03/2012 02:13:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Probably what is most different today, compared to those earlier times, is the excessive amount of regulation, stopping people from using their initiative, tenacity and survival skills in getting on with starting a new life. You only have to view early tools and machines at places like Motat and Matakohe museum to see these skills brought to fruition. NZ should be moving towards a confluence of peoples. Perhaps some sort of guaranty system could be used for refugees?

5/03/2012 03:19:00 pm  
Blogger Peter Cresswell said...

"Perhaps some sort of guaranty system could be used for refugees?"

Or even some sort of sponsorship scheme...

5/03/2012 04:34:00 pm  
Anonymous Alan said...

My comment wasn't regarding immigrants in general - it was pointing out the obvious incongruence between your stances on refugees and taxation.

Most, if not all Indonesian refugees will be unskilled and uneducated. The only realistic way they can get by is through welfare.

In your non-welfare utopia what happens when a boatload arrives and there aren't enough voluntary sponsors? Begging & stealing on Queen St probably

5/03/2012 06:24:00 pm  
Blogger James said...

Alan...you have a low and historically incorrect view of ordinary Kiwis and most people in general. People in REAL need are overwhelmed with charitable aid and benevolence here all the time...look what happens when tourists are robbed of all their stuff the first day off the plane...or a family's Christmas presents are taken in a burglary. People from all over send them replacement stuff,offers of accommodation and money to help...no state gun required.The same will happen for genuine refugees in need of help arriving here....never doubt it.The only problem is if the state is taking so much of peoples wealth that it hardens them against helping and makes them circle their wagons around what they have left...which is what a greedy state causes to happen.

5/03/2012 09:01:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Alan your suggestion that "refugees will be unskilled and uneducated. The only realistic way they can get by is through welfare" reveals your attitudes and beliefs and is part of the problem reflected in parts of NZ today. We have moved away from regarding skills (practical)and 'a wealth of experience' as highly valuable, and now require everyone to have a piece of paper to prove they 'know' something. To cite how eroneous this viewpoint is just look at the building industry. We have houses built in the 1920s by trade trained on-the-job labour (in your opinion these would be unskilled since they probably left formal schooling at age 11 or 12). These houses are still standing and are considered amoung the desirable types of residences to own and live in. today we have virtually done away with practical skills training and encouraged people to get 'pieces of paper' to prove they know about building - the result - leaky buildings, lack of building crew staff with practical skills and understanding of how things are put together. Some can't even read plans!
Also why do you think they want to end up on welfare? If refugees and immigrants have enough gumption to get up and mobilise to make it to the other side of the world to create a new life they sure as **** are going to sit on their bums receiving welfare. They create businesses, buy businesses, educate and care for their kids, maintain their culture and actually display many of the attributes many would like to see injected into the 'welfare' population.
Your view indicates a negative view of human potetial, and an abdication of decision making to top down government (who unfortunately, far from being wise, is often as ignorant as your views indicate)

5/04/2012 10:18:00 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just an idea - for sponsorship (guaranty) of refugees and immigrants - 'welfare' families could voluntarily be involved in order to learn from the immigrants. Okay its an idea that might a bit of working out, true

5/04/2012 10:23:00 am  
Blogger Peter Cresswell said...

"Just an idea - for sponsorship (guaranty) of refugees and immigrants - 'welfare' families could voluntarily be involved in order to learn from the immigrants."

I think that's a FANTASTIC idea!

"Okay its an idea that might a bit of working out, true..."

But worth it. And it would be absolutely splendid politics!

How about you start writing up the idea a little?

5/04/2012 10:48:00 am  
Anonymous Richard Wiig said...

Well, The boat people who gang rape, intimidate And make demands of their new country , Australia, while in detention waiting to be processed, certainly have gumption, but they are hardly desirable. A read of Ayan Hirsi Ali's "Nomad" and "Infidel" wouldn't go astray. It might shatter some Kumbaya illusions.

5/04/2012 01:34:00 pm  
Blogger Peter Cresswell said...

I'd endorse the recommendation of Hirsi Ali's books. But also point out that they're hardly relevant,

Also, the words "...in detention waiting to be processed..." hardly inspire a group hug.

And your use of the words "boast people" don't inspire me with any respect for their user.

5/04/2012 02:14:00 pm  
Anonymous Richard Wiig said...

It's just a phrase, Peter. I'm not against immigration, just indiscriminate migration. I dont think what Hirsi Ali describes in her books is irrelevant.

5/04/2012 02:31:00 pm  
Anonymous KP said...

Lets get rid of compulsory taxation first, then we can organise open immigration. I'm afraid the growth of the welfare state since the end of the fifties suggests our immigration policy has been an expensive one. There is a world of difference between someone coming in from the UK and someone from the third world in terms of their ability to slot into society easily become productive quickly.

5/04/2012 02:52:00 pm  
Blogger Peter Cresswell said...

@Richard:

And I’m not for indiscriminate immigration either.

As you should know.

I’m for open immigration, not open borders.

5/04/2012 03:13:00 pm  
Blogger Peter Cresswell said...

@KP: "Let's get rid of compulsory taxation first..."
Let's do what we can when we can.

"I'm afraid the growth of the welfare state since the end of the fifties suggests our immigration policy has been an expensive one..."

You imply that immigrants cost taxpayers more than they produce. You have evidence for this?

"There is a world of difference between someone coming in from the UK and someone from the third world in terms of their ability to slot into society easily become productive quickly."

Sure is. There are very few whinging trade unionists coming here from the third world.

But they're not educated properly! you say. And NZ born students are?!

But most are dirt poor shanty dweller who can't even read! you say. Well just what the fuck sort of people do you think it was who built North America and Australasia in the nineteenth century. They weren't exactly the cream of the crop, you know.

But we might catch diseases from them! you say. Yes, we might. Like the 'disease' of hard work.

5/04/2012 03:18:00 pm  
Blogger Peter Cresswell said...

@Richard and @KP: Some reading for you:

Fighting terrorism requires legalizing immigration - James Valliant

Immigration and the Welfare State - the real root of the problem - Brian Doherty [scroll down to bottom of page]

Who's milking who? - illegal aliens pay more in taxes than they impose in costsa - Shikha Dalmia

Immigration plus Welfare State equals Police State - George Reisman

5/04/2012 03:24:00 pm  
Anonymous Richard Wiig said...

I don't know that I do know that. Understandably you detest the detention centers, but they do not violate those illegal immigrants rights. They are housed, fed, clothed, given internet access, a library service, exercise facilities, and made comfortable, while authorities determine who is who. The alternative is to let them loose on Australian streets. An injustice to Australians. I don't know what your criteria is for rejection of would be immigrants, but even with open immigration you would still have illegals pouring in. Would you detain them in detention centers to be processed, or would you send them straight back to where they came from?

Btw, thanks for the reading material.

5/04/2012 10:44:00 pm  
Anonymous Bill said...

People need to understand that Peter's contradictory views on immigration stem from the fact that Ayn Rand had immigration issues back in the day.

Sounds ridiculous but it's true.

5/05/2012 12:18:00 pm  

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