There is a world of difference between voluntary immigration, and immigration to escape from a difficult or an impossible situation in one’s homeland.
Voluntary immigrants choose a particular country and have a great interest in learning as much as possible about it. They will embrace its culture, learn its language quickly, and try to blend in as much as possible. They will not deliberately seek the company of other nationals from their country of origin – simply because there is little to learn from them.
At least, that was my personal experience as an immigrant in Germany, where I resided very happily for 15 years before moving on.
I knew, however, that Germany had an immigrant problem with its Turkish population. Although single persons had been originally brought over on limited contracts of two or three years, circumstances changed, and families were allowed to join them. They tended to settle in ethnic enclaves (ghettos), and prefer the company of their own people.
There was no great desire on their part to integrate with the German culture, as they were in sufficient numbers to maintain their own. Add to that the fact that their religion is different to the Protestant and Catholic beliefs of the host country. In fact, more than any other manifestation of their cultural values, Islam is regarded as the one feature that most strongly differentiates them in terms of identity from the majority of the German population.
As time progressed, the immigrants produced off-spring that were born in Germany, and they in turn produced off-spring of their own. Germany has modified the regulations on citizenship for successive generations, and since 2000 children born in Germany are entitled to adopt German citizenship if certain conditions are fulfilled.
“Due to the geographic proximity of Germany and Turkey, cultural transfer and influence from the country of origin has remained considerable among the Turkish minority.
Furthermore, the majority of second-generation Turks appear to have developed emotional and cultural ties to their parents’ country and also to the country which they live in and intend to remain. Most Turks live in two conflicting cultures with contrasting behaviour codes and patterns of belonging.
At work or school, German culture tends to dominate, while during leisure time social networks divide along ethnic lines of the Turkish culture. In the first generation of migrants, social networks were almost exclusively Turkish, and now in the second and third generations this segregation line remains just as effective as ever.” (Wikipedia).
Although Germany does not seem to be experiencing problems to the same degree as England, there are certainly indications that a better situation was hoped for. See:-
“In an interview with the Guardian, Wolfgang Schäuble, Germany’s finance minister, said Germany had expected its 3.5 million Turkish minority to integrate better in the decades that followed the wave of immigration.
“When we decided 50 years ago to invite workers from Turkey, we expected that their children would integrate automatically. But the problems have increased with the third generation, not diminished, therefore we have to change the policy,” Schäuble said.
If we now look at England, we find that the situation is much worse; partially because of the “hands-off” attitude of successive governments, and partially because immigrants have been drawn from a wider range of countries.
“It is perfectly reasonable that immigrants, arriving in a strange land whose values and even language they do not fully understand, should prefer to be with people who are similar to them and who share their own language and values. But the effect of that preference is to create “diaspora” communities that do not integrate or adapt to the values of the new society.
Sir Paul Collier, a professor of development economics at Oxford University, has produced a model that shows that it inevitably becomes a self-reinforcing process: each diaspora community gets ever more entrenched in reproducing the values of the society from which the migrants to it come, which in turn attracts more migrants from that society to it, which then ensures that it is less integrated with the host society – and more attractive to the immigrants from the traditional society in Pakistan, India or wherever.
Professor Collier thinks that unless the state takes very definite steps to stop this process happening, it will continue more or less indefinitely, with the result that migrant communities become ever more alienated and remote from the society to which they are supposed to adapt.
That leads directly to the nightmare scenario: a Britain made up of mutually antagonistic “monocultures” that do not trust each other, do not work together and do not share the values of secular democracy, freedom of conscience and the equality of both sexes before the law.”
Another aspect of the problem that I was previously unaware of is explained here:-
“How many health professionals in Bradford are concerned, but never say so, that intermarriage in the Muslim community – 75 per cent of Pakistanis in the city are married to their first cousin – is causing babies to be born blind, deaf and with other disabilities?
Back in 2008, when Labour environment minister Phil Woolas said that British Pakistanis were fuelling the rate of birth defects, he was slapped down by Downing Street, with a spokesman for prime minister Gordon Brown saying the issue was not one for ministers to comment on. Government after government has filed this thorny issue in “The Too Difficult Box”, the title of a timely new book edited by former Cabinet minister Charles Clarke.”
Obviously, when cultural norms run counter to the law of the land, something has to give; but the problem is not even being openly discussed, let alone addressed.
“Sir Michael Wilshaw, the Ofsted chief, said that hardline Islamists wanted to impose a “narrow, faith-based ideology” on schools in Birmingham, though clearly the problem is not confined to one city. Now Bradford, Luton and east London are being investigated.”
How far has the problem got?
We can get an indication here:-
At least 1.1m pupils speak English as a second language
“Figures from the Department for Education show that a record 1.1 million pupils now speak English as a second language, with the proportion exceeding three-quarters in parts of east London.”
“Separate figures show that 29.5 per cent of primary pupils nationally are classed as ethnic minority, compared with 28.5 per cent a year earlier. Numbers increased from 24.2 to 25.3 per cent in secondary schools.”