17 January 2010

Japan and illegal immigrants

I am putting this article up because I want to share it with my students in my 'Migration and World History' class. It is from the WaPo. Japan's problem with illegals, immigration in general, and a shrinking population are different from ours in major ways. Still, watching the way the government is enforcing the laws on immigration might be instructive.

Here is the gist of it in two paragraphs:
As a result, the number of illegal immigrants has been slashed, often by deportation, from 300,000 in 1995 to just 130,000, a minuscule number in comparison to other rich countries. The United States, whose population is 2 1/2 times that of Japan's, has about 90 times as many illegal immigrants (11.6 million). ...

...That policy, in a country running low on working-age people, is helping to push Japan off a demographic cliff. It already has fewer children and more elderly as a percentage of its population than any country in recorded history. If trends continue, the population of 127 million will shrink by a third in 50 years and by two-thirds in a century. By 2060, Japan will have two retirees for every three workers -- a ratio that will weaken and perhaps wreck pension and health-care systems.

Well, someone is going to have to pay our Social Security tax so I can retire in relative comfort.

beside, I am well on my way to learning Spanish (after a mere 45 years of trying).


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