PoliBlog (TM): A Rough Draft of my Thoughts


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  1. I suspect a simpler explanation: Country of origin.

    Most of the Islamist terrorists are Pakistani or Arab Muslims. Arabs in the US are disproportionately Christians; there are very few Arab Muslim communities in which potential terrorists might be bred and hidden. Most American Muslims are either native-born African-Americans or are from South and Southeast Asia (where radical Islam is less established). There are hardly any Pakistani communities in the US.

    Meanwhile, the UK has a huge Pakistani immigrant population and it is within those communities that most of the cells have formed or hid. There are also substantial communities from the former British colonies in the Arab world.

    Also, on many indicators, Britain’s Muslims are better integrated than America’s. One of the shadow ministers of the Conservative Party is a Muslim, for example. When will the Republicans have one of their leaders a Muslim? And there are several Muslim members of parliament in the UK, and nothing especially controversial about that. It was rather controversial in some quarters here when the first Muslim (native-born and African-American) was elected to Congress just last year.

    Are UK immigration laws as strict as you characterize? There is indeed no equivalent to the 14th Amendment. But there is the Commonwealth, and citizens of those countries (which include Pakistan) do have certain privileged access.

    Comment by MSS — Monday, July 9, 2007 @ 11:42 am

  2. All valid points.

    I wonder (because I really do not know) what the Commonwealth benefits are. To what degree is an about movement and residency and how much of it is about citizenship?

    I think that the issue about one’s children’s status is key.

    It is something to look into.

    Comment by Dr. Steven Taylor — Monday, July 9, 2007 @ 11:50 am

  3. Can’t help very much as to the UK, the issue has never really come up for me. But - from my passport - there are various types of citizenship and national status, in addition to British citizen: British national, British Dependent Territories citizen, British Nationals (Overseas), British Overseas citizen, British protected person and British subject. None of these, apart from British citizen, result in right of abode in the UK. I’ve not much time (exams) or I’d look into this further…

    As far as Portugal is concerned, acquiring Portuguese nationality seems to be fairly easy, even for first generation immigrants. Marriage to Portuguese person after 3 years will do it, or meeting a number of conditions such as:

    residam em território português ou sob administração portuguesa, com título válido de autorização de residência, há pelo menos, 6 ou 10 anos…;
    conheçam suficientemente a língua portuguesa;
    comprovem a existência de uma ligação efectiva à comunidade nacional;
    possuam capacidade para reger a sua pessoa e assegurar a sua subsistência; …

    As a rule, children born here automatically earn Portuguese nationality, even if both parents are foreign (happened to me.)

    Sorry about copy-pasting in Portuguese but I know you’ll understand it…


    Comment by james — Monday, July 9, 2007 @ 6:15 pm

  4. Ireland had a law written into its constitution allowing citizenship for anyone born while in the country and this law was a disaster during its last decade before being rescinded. A truly enormous number of London-resident young women (mostly young African women but also some other) slipped into Ireland during the last stages of pregancy since there is no passport control with the UK, quickly had their baby in a hospital in Ireland, and then demanded citizenship for their child, and associated legal residency for themself. It was such a huge wave of people doing this that 1 out of 3 births in Dublin during the latter stages of the law’s existence were in this category.

    Ireland had to go to enormous trouble and expense to re-write the constitution and have the changes to the law endorsed by national referendum. The tens of thousands of young women and their children who had gotten in before the changes are still there and unlikely to ever leave.

    Comment by Tom Connor — Tuesday, July 10, 2007 @ 4:24 am

  5. […] Cross-posted from PoliBlog: […]

    Pingback by Political Mavens » Terrorism, Immigration and Integration — Tuesday, July 10, 2007 @ 9:22 am

  6. […] Cross-posted from PoliBlog: […]

    Pingback by Political Mavens » Terrorism, Immigration and Integration — Tuesday, July 10, 2007 @ 9:22 am

  7. My sister married a Brit, and in order just to be legal there all of her immediate family had to give her affidavits of net worth, apparently to show that she wasn’t a Trojan Horse, just waiting to let us in to go on the dole.

    Comment by masaccio — Tuesday, July 10, 2007 @ 5:27 pm

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