This blog is intended to go along with Population: An Introduction to Concepts and Issues, by John R. Weeks, published by Cengage Learning. The latest edition is the 12th (it came out in 2015), but this blog is meant to complement any edition of the book by showing the way in which demographic issues are regularly in the news.

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Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Can We Blame the World's Troubles on Illegal Immigration?

It sounds like it came from Donald Trump, but in fact it was Suu Kyi, the leader of the country of Myanmar, who reportedly told a group of visiting foreign ministers that illegal immigration is a cause of a lot of the problems in the modern world. The story comes from the Associated Press:
Suu Kyi said the world is in a new period of instability as conflicts around the world give rise to new threats and emergencies, citing “Illegal immigration’s spread of terrorism and violent extremism, social disharmony and even the threat of nuclear war. Conflicts take away peace from societies, leaving behind underdevelopment and poverty, pushing peoples and even countries away from one another.”
This seems to be a classic case of blaming the victims, since Myanmar considers its predominantly Muslim Rohingya population to be "illegal immigrants" who have no legal status, despite the fact that Rohingyas have lived in what is now Myanmar for a very long time. 
Myanmar has been widely criticized for the military crackdown that has driven more than 620,000 Rohingya to flee Rakhine state into neighboring Bangladesh. The United Nations has said the crackdown appears to be a campaign of “ethnic cleansing,” and some have called for re-imposing international sanctions that were lifted as Myanmar transitioned from military rule to elected government.
I blogged yesterday about the UN's attempt to enumerate and provide aid to the Rohingya refugees now living in Bangladesh. Myanmar has, for all intents and purposes, violently expelled these people from their own country and is now claiming that they had it coming to them.

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