Archive for ‘immigration’


Theresa May Says U.K. May Improve Visa System for Indians – India Real Time – WSJ

British Prime Minister Theresa May on Monday said the U.K. may make improvements to its visa system for Indians, as she sought to lay the foundations for a future trade deal once Britain leaves the European Union.

On a two-day trip to India focused on trade, Mrs. May, speaking alongside Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, said the partnership between the U.K. and India was natural, since the countries have shared values and culture. But a key sticking point in U.K.-India relations has been Britain’s reluctance to loosen restrictions for Indians wanting to work or study in the U.K., and this will likely be a difficult point to settle in any free-trade negotiations.

“The U.K. will consider further improvements to our visa offer if at the same time we can step up the speed and volume of returns of Indians with no right to remain in the U.K.,” she said.

Mrs. May is unlikely to implement any changes that would result in big increases of Indians entering the U.K. She has said the June vote to leave the EU was underpinned by frustrations about rising levels of immigration and has pledged to reduce numbers.The U.K. is seeking to go beyond its traditional trading partners in Europe as it prepares to leave the European Union. While it can’t finalize trade deals while still a member of the EU, Britain is in preliminary discussions on trade with countries including Australia and India, the world’s fastest-growing major economy. Any deal is likely to take years to complete.

Source: Theresa May Says U.K. May Improve Visa System for Indians – India Real Time – WSJ


So What Does Obama’s Immigration Reform Mean For India’s High-Skilled Workers? – India Real Time – WSJ

President Barack Obama’s immigration reforms unveiled Thursday in the United States bring little sunshine for those in India’s technology outsourcing industry who are waiting for him to boost the number of skilled-work visas or H-1Bs.

The president’s reform plan bypassed Congress to protect millions of illegal immigrants from deportation.

To be sure, the reform measures also contained minor benefits for businesses with workers from overseas. “We will make it easier and faster for high-skilled immigrants, graduates, and entrepreneurs to stay and contribute to our economy, as so many business leaders have proposed,” said Mr. Obama in a prime-time address in the U.S.

But that means very little for India’s outsourcing firms that have long been lobbying to increase the number of H-1B visas so they can send more Indian programmers and engineers to their clients in the U.S.

Indian software exporters such as Tata Consultancy Services 532540.BY +0.35%, Infosys and Wipro send thousands of skilled Indian workers to the U.S. every year to cater to the technology needs of their clients.

The immigration reforms bill, introduced last year, sought to triple the number of H-1B visas available to 180,000 a year but was pulled after many lawmakers argued that the changes would result in an influx of illegal immigrants. It is still uncertain when the reform bill will be considered again.

As a result, industry and market watchers weren’t expecting the president to make any path-breaking changes to increase the number of skilled-worker visas issued annually. In fact, most of the changes announced are on expected lines.

via So What Does Obama’s Immigration Reform Mean For India’s High-Skilled Workers? – India Real Time – WSJ.


In China’s Xinjiang, poverty, exclusion are greater threat than Islam | Reuters

If the analysis in this report is correct, then it is good news for China and Xinjiang. Alleviating poverty is difficult, but far easier than eliminating religious extremism.

“In the dirty backstreets of the Uighur old quarter of Xinjiang\’s capital Urumqi in China\’s far west, Abuduwahapu frowns when asked what he thinks is the root cause of the region\’s festering problem with violence and unrest.

A police officer stops a car to check for identifications at a checkpoint near Lukqun town, in Xinjiang province in this October 30, 2013 file photo. REUTERS/Carlos Barria/Files

\”The Han Chinese don\’t have faith, and the Uighurs do. So they don\’t really understand each other,\” he said, referring to the Muslim religion the Turkic-speaking Uighur people follow, in contrast to the official atheism of the ruling Communist Party.

But for the teenage bread delivery boy, it\’s not Islam that\’s driving people to commit acts of violence, such as last week\’s deadly car crash in Beijing\’s Tiananmen Square – blamed by the government on Uighur Islamist extremists who want independence.

\”Some people there support independence and some do not. Mostly, those who support it are unsatisfied because they are poor,\” said Abuduwahapu, who came to Urumqi two years ago from the heavily Uighur old Silk Road city of Kashgar in Xinjiang\’s southwest, near the Pakistani and Afghan border.

\”The Han are afraid of Uighers. They are afraid if we had guns, we would kill them,\” he said, standing next to piles of smoldering garbage on plots of land where buildings have been demolished.

China\’s claims that it is fighting an Islamist insurgency in energy-rich Xinjiang – a vast area of deserts, mountains and forests geographically located in central Asia – are not new.”

via In China’s Xinjiang, poverty, exclusion are greater threat than Islam | Reuters.


* China Makes Inroads in Nepal, Stemming Tibetan Presence

NY Times: “The wind-scoured desert valley here, just south of Tibet, was once a famed transit point for the Tibetan yak caravans laden with salt that lumbered over the icy ramparts of the Himalayas. In the 1960s, it became a base for Tibetan guerrillas trained by the C.I.A. to attack Chinese troops occupying their homeland.

Prayer wheels at a temple in the Mustang area of Nepal. The Chinese are trying to restrain the flow of disaffected Tibetans fleeing to Nepal and to enlist the help of the Nepalese authorities.

These days, it is the Chinese who are showing up in this far tip of the Buddhist kingdom of Mustang, northwest of Katmandu, Nepal. Chinese officials are seeking to stem the flow of disaffected Tibetans fleeing to Nepal and to enlist the help of the Nepalese authorities in cracking down on the political activities of the 20,000 Tibetans already here.

China is exerting its influence across Nepal in a variety of ways, mostly involving financial incentives. In Mustang, China is providing $50,000 in annual food aid and sending military officials across the border to discuss with local Nepalese what the ceremonial prince of Mustang calls “border security.”

Their efforts across the country have borne fruit. The Nepalese police regularly detain Tibetans during anti-China protests in Katmandu, and they have even curbed celebrations of the birthday of the Dalai Lama, the Tibetan spiritual leader, according to Tibetans living in Nepal.

via China Makes Inroads in Nepal, Stemming Tibetan Presence –


* China dissident Chen Guangcheng arrives in the US

BBC News: “Chinese activist Chen Guangcheng has arrived in New York to begin a new life in the United States.

The blind human rights lawyer caused a diplomatic crisis when he escaped house arrest to arrive at the US embassy in Beijing last month. Speaking outside New York University, where he has been offered a fellowship, Mr Chen said China had dealt with the situation with “restraint and calm”. But he raised concerns about ongoing reprisals against his family. “Acts of retribution in Shandong have not been abated and my rights to practice law have been curbed – we hope to see a thorough investigation into this,” he said, referring to the province where he was kept under house arrest. The activist thanked US officials and his supporters for their help and said he had come to the United States for “recuperation in body and spirit”.

Chen Guangcheng and his family were taken from a Beijing hospital, where he was being treated for a foot injury, to the capitals airport on Saturday. A crowd of activists, supporters and curious New Yorkers greeted Chen at the university apartment block in Greenwich Village where he and his family will stay. Wearing dark glasses and hobbling on crutches, he may not have looked like a conquering hero, but that is how he was treated. There were cheers and screams of encouragement. Some had brought flowers, while one woman was led away in tears after failing to secure a hug from her idol.

Former House speaker Nancy Pelosi described his arrival in the US as “a milestone in the cause for human rights in China“.”

via BBC News – China dissident Chen Guangcheng arrives in the US.


* The world turned upside down: how workers are moving from PIIGS to BRICS

The Times: “The eurozone was dreamland for the formerly impoverished fringe of southern Europe. To share the same currency as the powerful Germans and French was a sure sign that the bad times — of dusty villages emptied of menfolk — were over. They bought German cars, borrowed money to build villas and said farewell to centuries of emigration.

BRICS counties. BRICS - Brazil, Russia, India,...

BRICS counties. BRICS – Brazil, Russia, India, People’s Republic of China, South Africa. Português: As Potências regionais. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Now, as dreamland turns to nightmare, young Portuguese, Spaniards and Greeks are on the move again, travelling in search of work and security to countries they had previously treated with contempt or indifference. People from the PIIGS — Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece and Spain — are heading for the BRICs — Brazil, India and China but not Russia — as the global turmoil creates a new trend: reverse migration.

The movement of peoples began in earnest at the outset of the financial crisis three years ago, as the strong-growth cultures became a magnet not only for European adventurers but for well-educated native-born emigrants returning home. The rapid unravelling of the PIIGS has, however, made this an act of desperation for many. Across the globe millions of people are on the move as who is rich, who is poor, who is up, who is down is defined anew. Remarkably, at least 10,000 Portuguese have left for Angola. …Angola was a Portuguese colony for three hundred years, a supplier of slaves to the mercantile class in the 17th century. Today it is Africa’s second-largest oil producer and while not exactly a BRIC — two thirds of its population live on £1.30 a day — it has an energy that has drained from its former colonial master.

Brazil has become a natural destination for the Portuguese — and the Spanish. In Madrid, a website, Pepas y Pepes, has been set up to guide would-be emigrants. Even its name is a sad echo, adapted from a famous Spanish film called ¡Vente a Alemania, Pepe! — Come to Germany, Pepe! — which was inspired by the exodus after the Spanish Civil War. … A Barcelona businessman, Jordi Camps, has set up a travel company in China, China a la Carta. “Here you can smell growth,” he says. “It is sad to hear the news from Spain.”

There are two trends unfolding in the world. The first is that many hundreds of thousands who emigrated from what was once called the developing world to Europe and the United States are now being drawn back by the resurgent economies of their homelands. … Nowadays it is an eerily quiet place with giant razor-wired pens all empty of Mexican illegals. Instead, as the US economy wobbles uncertainly, Mexicans are heading home for work. For the first time since the Great Depression more Mexicans are leaving the US than entering it — and most of them are finding jobs.

There is huge reverse migration, too, by overseas Chinese and Indians. Almost 135,000 Chinese students returned home in 2009-10 after finishing their education abroad, an increase of 24.7 per cent. Zhang Peizhuo, a 45-year-old chemical researcher who stayed in Britain for 12 years after graduating there, has now gone back to China, in part because of government incentives. “Huge growth potential and increasing government subsidies have made returning home to start a business an attractive option for many overseas Chinese,” he said.

According to the recruitment company Kelly Services India, as many as 300,000 Indian professionals are expected to return to their homeland in the next four years: “Hype or reality, people do believe that the BRICs are the future and that there are a lot more job opportunities in India than elsewhere.” …

via The world turned upside down: how workers are moving from PIIGS to BRICS | The Times.

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