Good-bye Multiculturalism — Hello Assimilation?
Shift in Approach Tops MPI List of Most Important Migration Issues of the Year
WASHINGTON — Multiculturalism is losing ground to an upsurge in support for immigrants to learn the language, values and history as well as play by the rules of their host countries, a top research organization said in its second-annual ranking of the year’s top global migration issues.
The December Special Issue of the Migration Information Source said that increasing skepticism about multiculturalism as the model for how diverse societies organize themselves ranked as the most noteworthy migration issue of 2006. The first-ever U.N. High-Level Dialogue on Migration and Development, stalled U.S. immigration reform, and worsening violence and displacement in Darfur followed closely behind.
Demetrios G. Papademetriou, president of the Migration Policy Institute, the nonpartisan think tank that publishes The Source, said his organization based its choices on the institute’s work with researchers from virtually all major immigrant-receiving countries, as well as ongoing news events and developments. He attributed the emerging shift toward assimilationism to concerns over the pace of social and cultural change caused by large-scale immigration.
“Host societies have become unnerved,” he noted, “over the effect rapid and substantial immigration has on their ability to maintain their basic social and cultural identity. They are beginning to demand that newcomers adhere to the receiving society’s values and institutional arrangements.”
Released in advance of U.N.-designated International Migrants’ Day on December 18, the Top 10 list is part of a special year-in-review issue of The Source, an online resource for data and analysis on migration. The issue includes predictions on what migration stories will dominate the next 12 months.
High-level policymakers and top experts from both sides of the U.S. immigration debate also weigh in on what surprised them most in the past year, including Peter Sutherland, the U.N. Secretary-General’s special representative on International Migration and Development; Frank Sharry, executive director of the National Immigration Forum; Mark Krikorian, executive director of the Center for Integration Studies; and Howard Duncan, head of the International Metropolis Project in Canada.
The Migration Information Source Top 10 Migration Issues for 2006 are:
- Good-bye Multiculturalism — Hello Assimilation?
- U.N. High-Level Dialogue on International Migration and Development
- U.S. Immigration Reform: Better Luck Next Year
- Darfur Situation Worsens, Violence Spreads to Chad
- All About the Border
- Growing Competition for the “Right” Skilled Workers
- Crisis in Lebanon Displaces Lebanese, Foreign Workers, and Refugees
- U.S. State and Local Governments Respond to Federal Inaction on Immigration
- Regional Migration in the Limelight
- How to Fight Homegrown Terrorism: Surveillance, Outreach, or Both?