It Is, But Other States and Countries Are Worse
When Arizona first started passing laws aimed at deporting immigrants – and let’s be very honest here; that’s exactly what they were – immigration lawyers everywhere gave a collective groan. How could any state want to keep people from living and working in America? But it turns out the rest of the world is a pretty scary place for undocumented workers and non-citizens as well.
To put things in perspective, we thought we’d take a look at some of the countries that make Arizona look like the most immigration-friendly place on earth. We think what we found may surprise you.
Australia: Despite its laid-back reputation, Australia has very strict laws regarding immigration. In fact, the government immediately detains any immigrant without a visa, and deports them back to their native countries. This has been especially hard on children who are refugees from other countries.
Japan: Japan actually pays immigrants to leave. The “Nikkei” Law (which means a Latin American immigrant of Japanese descent) allows the government to pay immigrants and their families up to $5000 to leave the country, as long as the immigrants promise never to return. As horrible as the law is, however, it’s voluntary; you don’t have to go unless you agree to it.
Denmark: Like Japan, Denmark offers payments to immigrants to convince them to leave. The country claims that it’s never had an immigrant culture, and therefore doesn’t want to become multi-ethnic. It also requires that married couples must be 24 years old to apply for citizenship – so if a Danish 25 year old marries a 22 year old Italian, the Italian spouse can’t apply for another 2 years.
United Arab Emirates: Even though the UAE doesn’t force immigrants out, it won’t let them unionize, either. That means that their workers live in terrible, unsafe conditions and can be forced to work up to 80 hours a week. They also don’t have to pay immigrant workers minimum wage.
United Kingdom: The UK claims that they have record numbers of people in their countries with expired visas. The government is currently considering a measure that would fine visa abusers more than $1500 if they’re caught.
America’s immigration policies are tough, but if you follow the rules, we welcome you with open arms. We’re proud to be part of the melting pot. We just wish other countries could see how much better it is when your culture is always expanding.
Perry A. Craft has dedicated his life to helping people in need. He has tried, settled, or resolved numerous civil and criminal cases in State and Federal courts, and has represented teachers and administrators before school boards, administrative judges, and the state Board of Education. Learn more about Attorney Craft.