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September 2, 2012 |  16 comments |  Print  Your Opinion  

Editorial Team

Border Policies: Lessons for Improvement

Editorial Team: The United States and the European Union both have their share of illegal immigration. During times like these, of economic crisis and high unemployment, tensions around illegal immigration restrictions become especially salient. Do the US and the EU stand to learn anything from each other? How can they move forward with just and fair policies?



Illegal immigration, also called irregular immigration, is a pertinent phenomenon occurring all across the most developed countries in which immigrants take up or maintain unauthorized residence. Economic vulnerability, political instability, and ecological pressures have been known to drive emigrants to leave the countries of their nationalities and head elsewhere, most often to find work. We cannot deny that this global phenomenon is of special importance to the transatlantic agenda; the European Union and the United States are amongst the largest illegal immigration destinations. Numbers indicate that the EU has between 2 and 4 million unauthorized immigrants; the US has 11 million.

Yet, neither are strangers to immigration. Both have served as major destinations since the middle of the 20th century, but illegal immigration no doubt begs a different approach. Even though illegal immigration levels have seen recent decreases, debates intensify, as economic crises in recipient countries exacerbate the productivity of the market, restricting the availability of state resources and employment opportunities. The solution should be policy-oriented, one that understands the pushes and pulls of immigration and prioritizes human rights and human dignity.

But policymakers remain far from consensus on how reform can be achieved. Over the past decades, various policy programs have been introduced, including tighter internal and external border security and other mechanisms meant to encourage legal immigration rather than illegal. They have, however, only seen partial success.

The purpose of our "Border Policies: Lessons for Improvement" theme week is to explore solutions to this dilemma. Atlantic-community.org calls upon its members to discuss: What policy lessons do the United States and the European Union stand to learn on illegal immigration and what policies will help them to reduce it?

Atlantic-community.org will publish daily articles from experts on both sides of the Atlantic. We count among our distinguished contributors:

As always, we invite all Atlantic Community members to make comments on these articles and on any issue bearing on the topic of illegal immigration. At the end of the "Border Policies: Lessons for Improvement" theme week we will present an Atlantic Memo bringing together the best policy recommendations from your articles and comments. We encourage you to make use of this opportunity to contribute fresh ideas and make an impact on this urgent transatlantic debate.

We kindly remind you to log in before commenting on articles, which you can do here. If you forget your password, please visit this page. To register as a member, visit here.

 

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Darrell Calvin Brown

August 28, 2012

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I think I like the point of view of an organization here in the United States of America called 67suenos (www.67suenos.org). The organization simply states that "No Human Being is Illegal."
 
Unregistered User

August 28, 2012

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thank you for this wonderful topic on the nagging issue bedevilling the world. the term illegal has been coined deliberately to abuse citizens of the third world country who are desparate to cross over the either europe, america and the middle east in search of better living, education and other life pursuit.. my position about this issue will not be diffrent from what have been proffered by some sorts of people. i don't support it at all, considering that those that make the whole concept a fancy one doesn't have any negative thing that drives them away from their birth place. people nowadays lives in animaginary life of deceit ad lies. main reasons being advanced is the lack of peace and to some extent harsh economic situations, especially for migrants from africa. however, if the world will rise up to genuinely pursues the fight against bad leaders, corruption, bribery, stealing of government money and exporting it to americas and europe, the mass exodus of africans to those countries would certainly be minimized; and life be more meaningful for them and their children at home. we need a proactive measures to stem bad leadership in africa, because bad leadership breeds all forms of social vices and insecurity to millions of people.
 
Bonnie C Tran

August 28, 2012

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As an American citizen from birth and a world traveler I have seen how many laws and borders restrict people's freedom around the world. I believe that people should really be free and that imaginary lines should not keep desperate people from finding a better life for themselves. It isn't just the U.S. and Europe. Every country has a border and laws that keep people out. If I wanted to move to China right now could I just go there and buy a home and start working there? No, I couldn't. I don't think its fair to restrict the movement of peoples. Nobody chooses where he or she is born, or what situation they are born into. Everyone has the right to live and chase their dreams. When will this world see that we are all in the same boat. By the way life in the U.S. isn't all that great right now anyway so it might be better for people not to even bother.
 
Sheila  Luecht

August 28, 2012

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The idea to squash illegal immigration has always been a mixture of democracy planting and economic opportunity. In reality the greatest battle over this same kind of issue is being waged in the United States as we speak. Somehow the idea of democracy is being skewed away from the idea of economics. Corporations and the very human hallmarks of capitalism, the wealthy, are merging into a kind of corporate personhood, capitalistic cabal. This kind of economy does not need the people of the nation to support it; it needs workers from anywhere, any place where they are subservient to the cabal. If we understand what that means, it is that these corporations, the top tierr owners and executives, use other nation’s workers as prostitutes for their industry or manufacture or business. By doing this and making such an arrangement, these people are not protected under any kind of labor laws, safety rules, and are often in danger of being treated as or in effect being slaves. The countries where this cheap or free labor is found by the capitalistic cabals come under the agreement with them to be a part of the profit end of whatever the corporation is selling. They benefit financially and therefore to them it is a deal. People who wish to escape this kind of servitude, especially in countries like China; people who are not on the financial receiving end of the arrangement are the very people who would wish to escape to somewhere else, anywhere else to be able to make a fair and safe living.

In other nations it is a failure of democracy or complete lack of some kind of people infused government, where those governed have a real and legitimate voice in how things are managed. As a result of some of the existing governments in underdeveloped or poor third world countries, there is rampant violence, ethnic and otherwise and horrible living conditions as well as poor working conditions, if there is work. The problem always seems to point to an inability to bring good commerce to all. It is the minority situation, where a very small percent sits on top of the wealth and with it creates the society where they continue to benefit and others who are not a part of it simply cannot be successful. There is no middle class, no middle ground where people can strive to be a part of or exist in, with their needs being met.
In the United States there is a breakdown of the middle class and all it has represented. Influences which manifest when there is an economic breakdown and people do not have a sufficient lifestyle to meet their daily needs for food, housing and medical care, now exists a society with grave violence and disruption. As the members of the middle class continue to lose ground, it is possible that violence and conflict among ideologies and ethnicities will escalate. The reason is that there will significant anger and unrest that will force power to shift at all levels in the effort to stabilize what was once a stable nation.
In the past we have seen governments topple which have controlled by law certain kinds of ethnic disturbances and prejudices. The outward appearance of calm may have come at a high price, but the country was considered stable and economically functioning. I am thinking of Yugoslavia, Iraq, Iran, and various other nations. All I can say is that what is happening economically worldwide is pushing our civilization to its own destruction. Migration is the result of economic hardship which is brought on by climate change, over population, violence, unbalanced governments, and lack of leadership;
migration where illegal or legal is an emotional issue for all parties. The motivation to be an illegal immigrant is desperate and involves risks that appear worth taking. I sympathize with the illegal immigrant and find that it would be in everyone’s best interest if there was documentation and status for those wishing to immigrate. A registration and access to status might make the populations easier to handle and make them easier to assimilate.
Continuing to provide aid and assistance to other countries which are experiencing a drain of their peoples for various reasons might halt the process of migration. If we examine the reasons for migration, we can get a handle on how to prevent it, lessen it and manage it. For too long we have ignored a kind of world governing body thinking that we do not need the influence of such an organization. Many dismiss the United Nations and their efforts. In reality such a central seat of law and governing is needed to handle problems which cross the globe without respect to borders. Management of disease, population, response to climate change, are all things which would help direct and lessen some migration. The International Organization for Migration whose Constitution gives explicit recognition to the link between migration and economic, social and cultural development, as well as to the right of freedom of movement of persons does not have the strength and backing necessary to actually direct solutions to the issues which force migration.
We have all come to know each other too well. We know that our biggest problems in getting along with each other center on greed, economies, and who is going to be wealthy and who is not; how we manage our populations, who is deemed valued and of what value in our societies, such as women, certain ethnic groups, the poor, children, and what religion means in the entire mix. There are more things we know about each other, we learn more everyday due to new technology. The only way to prevent migration and therefore illegal immigration is to seek a world balance in how we manage and treat all these things. No need to migrate if your life is good for you and your family in your native country.
There is now the issue in the United States of people coming of age who were brought there as infants and underage youth. How to treat them fairly? The situation of people who have aborted the existing rules and laws in favor of their own needs and lives is difficult to understand to those who have been forced to follow the rules and for those who have paid for that structure with their taxes and defended the country and it’s immigration laws. These children, now becoming adults have a tenuous status legally and want their rights as they naturally perceive them. It is almost as if we must consider an amnesty for these groups of immigrants. Does that stay the flow of immigration? No, because it does not address the reasons for immigration.
There can be no real discussion of how to manage immigration, stop it or lessen it without a true discussion of why people do it and how to address those issues and what to do about them. We are putting a band aid on worldwide problem when we keep finding ways to accept and make legal in our societies those who have left their nations for a better life in others. We have to find the balance because every nation is limited on resources, economic opportunity and the people who built those nations stand to lose too. Many of them descendants of legal immigrants.
 
Unregistered User

August 28, 2012

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Nowadays, People tend to seek for a better life standards. One possible way to have such life standards come trough legal and illegal immigration. EU policymakers consider the illegal immigration is one of the main reason of EU economic crisis and tend to deal with this as soon as possible. There are several ways to prevent illegal deportation:

1) Improvement -Restrictions - Increase the control over borderline regions. Actually, it is not a good idea. In the most cases, the restrictions lead to break the rules and law again and again. On the other hand, this requires more cost in order to control the whole boundary regions.

2) Deportation - this kind of regulation would demand more time and cost in terms of finance. Moreover, many of illegal immigrants have families in EU. So they would be separated from their own family. It would lead to other problems respectively.

3) "Make it legal" principle - Approach to the past experience. "Labour Migration from Turkey to Western Europe, 1960-1974"
It means lauching new programmes like labour migration or other kind of migration programmes will lead to control over illegal immigrants and illegal immigration. Eventually, Eu would take more advantages from these kind of programmes in terms of labour. Especially, skilled and educated young people could prevent the financial crisis in some extent.
 
Unregistered User

August 30, 2012

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The current topic, at a glance, might rush people to prematurely say "unfortunately, we have formalized the environments we live in hence extend the same perception to the world we live in". It would not be possible for any one following the discourses in the variety of ways they are put across, to categorically say whether or not "Providence" meant or implied it so? And yet, at the same time, there are some, whether out of ignorance or in full consciousness, who might go some steps further to weigh and respond: saying, "but order there has to be"! Providence meant not chaos. For us humans in our different environments, with or not some possibilities within our reach, the body of associated problems has enormous branches and split-ends. We can only solve them if we act with one voice as we used to talk of one world!

There are so many issues raised implicit in the topic. Not seeing it in such depths might give rise to distortions in understanding, making the iceberg beneath un-noticeable. That would not be helpful either for all that we need to understand right so far as the issues are concerned. The case of illegal immigration is the 'bet' floating on surface of the discourses seen, whereas the icebergs are also parts of every participant in the discourse. You may need some spectacles: eye-classes to piece through the structurally different icebergs in each. One does not need to go into the sources or reference lists of discussants to make sense with response. Identification of the papers and thoroughly glossing through them, will be enough for one or the other form of "eclectic" response, by way of the comments called for.

It is a topic about everything disguised under US and EU transatlantic conception of interest spheres. Before I read a greater part of the associated papers, my mind was pre-occupied with the question of: what the differences and similarities between both are? The 'estimated' figures of illegal migrants are, in the former 11 million, and in the latter 4 million. The thirst to know what their differences and similarities are switched suddenly into the crave to conjecture them firm political entities, with common values and but unequal economic strengths. The US is a firm unequivocal federal state and the EU is not so firmly qualified even though it is a Union of states - differentiated indeed! The quest for what to know thus, is well captured in the 15 "risk-estimates' questions developed and given analytical answers to by Karsten Voigt: a man with execellent CV and now one of the members of the Atlantic Initiative Advisory Board. He graces this theme, both directly and indirectly, which I doubt not would make the "iceberg" dimension constructed by me sympathetically understandable. On the subject of differences and similarities, I praise him for the boldness on question 1: How are Americans reacting to income and wealth inequality? Go: read him please! One does not have to be excessively branded "subjective" feeling like many of the commentators across the papers found here do: linking the phenomenon of illegal immigration to inequality of wealth at national, regional and global levels and its impact on internal and external problems of legal migration and illegal immigration dilemmas and their various consequences to date!

Immigration as a theme is taken up by the editorial board: "Open Think Tank Article: Border Policies". Collective as these are, all are linked to the paper by Bastian Vollmer: "Where policies benefit politics and not society"; Anna Morticelli: "The EU has the wrong approach and wrong attitude"; Anna Triandafyllidou: "A more efficient and just EU Policy"; Elizabeth Collett: "Towards more strategic immigration enforcement in Europe"; Alice Pannier: "The EU frontier: Policy implications at the Spanish Border"; Edward Alden: "Immigration policy needs penalties and incentives"; etc. Chaos we do not need in our systems and sub-systems. But order, we do seriously need. These guys argue for balance, insight and order, These are well accounted for in all the EU official documents to that effect cited in many of the papers. One very important such says "NO TO THE AUTRAGEOUSS DIRECTIVE !

Who would dare say anything more. The UN and the American Constitution, all have in one or the other ways, just like the EU Directives, put human beings at the center, their safety, rights to mobility, dignity, etc. There writers see where things and ideologies take to the extreme, causing zenophobia and larger as well as smaller conflicts and misunderstandings: all of which make even some genuine efforts suspicious and questionable. Climatic problems, civil wars, conflicts, poverty and corrupt governments, ethinic hates, etc., all contribute to why certain desparate people embark on illegal immigration and associated criminal steps to help themselves out. An yet, one must be cautious even in the case of legally founded immigration reasonss for sake of, for example, 9/11. The problem partly is everyone is a part in driving the world to where it is at present. What do we all have to do? How must we join up to rethink how to make our world economically safe and progressive, environmentally allert and cautious, politically mature, carefully liberal and pragmatic... The world needs a new orientation, which is why we all have truly glamoured around the idea of change that OBAMA raised: very different from the spirit behind the way it was raised in the past. Immigration has become a serious problem with the economic downturn and crisis in Europe. The policy of supporting poor countries is partly unprogressive because of corruption and economic meltdown. Spain, before things went bad, was well commended, Italy faced the brunt, and Greece, now that it is all out of touch with access to funds, immgrants face the worst. Transit countries, criminal gangs, trafficking in humans, from what is seen and known hold no good promises. Sometimes repatration of alliens is done without taking the law into consideration. Some border guards have become avan-guardists, they listen not, sympathize not, all of which help us see and praise countries like SWEDEN. The country is now unlike others weathering the storms of Syrian refugees and immigrants as an EU Northern country.

This is a big problem and I stop here hoping that people read the works of the authors cited above to form their own picture of the calamity mankind is in, in a world without love and with love! Maybe we should pray more while trying to be objective as so-called scientists on the issues troubling us near and far.
 
Unregistered User

August 30, 2012

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Illegal migration, more country specific illegal immigration, cannot be separated from
unchallenged intellectual emmigration.
Recently, US Business Leaders recommended to bring the professionally Best from other countries to the US to return to real value economics.
The net result of these brain drains is a concentration of uneducated human capital, in more or less impoverished sovereigns, a welcoming means for corporate personhood and capitalistic cabal. Obviously there is no need for a stable Middle Class.....
Colonialism exists as much today as it has in the past, because of greed and desparation for
power are dominiering ingredients of the human psyche.
Todays colonialism, however, carries over to sovereign exploitation,for the ultimate objective,
world dominance, the ultimate in cabal.
Democracy planting is the path of minimum resistance to achieve the above.
At the end, illegal immigration wil develop into a strata of the willing for covert activities
and other means not only to control the masses, but also to fight and perhaps destroy each other.

HRF








Tags: | immigration/tx |
 
Pop Irina Ionela

August 31, 2012

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Migration: The Day after Tomorrow

Migration, legal or illegal usually is a necessity for the immigrants. In times of crisis, the immigrants are perceived as a threat in the host countries (see Myron Weiner, Reinhard Lohrman), being used in the political games.

The next years will bring massif movements of populations because of: demographic growth, scarcity of the resources - water, food, energy, internal conflicts, etc.

The control of the borders is a solution in the medium term because complete security against illegal immigration can never be achieved. Therefore we must encourage legal migration, but also the illegal immigrants must be helped in a constructive way. In general, the immigrants, legal or not, need a fair treatment in the society and in the media.

The concept of "human security", defined by the UNDP, means: economic security, food security, health security, environmental security, personal security, community security and political security, being people-centered, multidimensional, interconnected and universal.

In this sense, the EU-USA cooperation regarding the regularization of the migration is not enough. The Overseas Development Assistance has also limited results.

I consider that the immigrants must be encouraged to stay in their countries of origin and that they have the right to a decent life.

I propose to return to the Millennium Development Goals. The global economic crisis represented a misfortune for this initiative. The targets fixed for 2015 seem a naive dream. For example: Sub-Saharian Africa's population is projected to exceed 2 billion shortly after 2050; more than one in four Africans is undernourished, and universal primary education can be achieved after 2100.

In conclusion, to fill these gaps and slow migration we need: more reason and temperance at home, and a (global) integrated approach to migration and its problems.

By Dr. Irina Ionela POP, Lecturer, Western University "Vasile Goldis" of Arad, Romania.
 
leila  Dabir

August 31, 2012

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At the beginning of the 21st century, globalization has made a new world for us. national borders are losing their significance, whereas the International trade is expanding. people, ideas and goods transfer easily across the borders. United State will stand out as an example , which attract people through out the world as they symbolize a culture that embraces many cultures. Immigration make the US to come familiar with people preferences and their tastes from different part of the world, and give the US companies an opportunity to open up their market to the world.The united states has always been the land of opportunity for people outside the borders. Even though most immigrants are from poor countries but they could come from a rich variety of cultures and regions. even those lacking a formal education are driven by a strong sense of initiative and an unshakable work ethic. they move to the United State, with the idea of having a better future and because they think that the united state is the land of opportunity. they know that the United State will rewards their hard-work and talent. and at the same time, the talents, the ambition and dreams they bring will benefit all Americans. So if the United States keep the doors open for the legal immigration, the rate of the illegal immigration will come down and not only the immigrants but also the American people will benefit from this opportunity. US should adjust immigration laws to permit greater immigration from countries whose people are suffering from persecution and dictatorship and to those that have been the victims of unfair restrictions in the past. providing immigrants with more opportunities, job training, English language learning will speed their adjustment to American life.
At the same time there are some arguments against this idea, If immigration continues like this, many people will flood into the united States, and will overload the schools, hospitals and other social services. they will deprive American workers of job and forcing government to spend more attention to the need of immigrants. opening up the door to unskilled immigrants at the time when the U.S economy offers them few opportunities will only add to the societies problems. but we should keep in mind that countries can not close their borders , so at least they could do something that people immigrate legally instead of illegally.
 
Vikas  Kumar

August 31, 2012

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Most immigrants who come from the Third World (even Christians) do not share the post-Christian (for want of a better word I have used this term) cultural ethos of Northern and Western Europe. The British and French experience has shown that improving education levels and extended stay do not necessarily make integration easier. So, I think a key issue that remains to be addressed explicitly in the case of Northern and Western Europe is cultural integration of immigrants. To be more precise it is not clear to me if at all post-Christian Europe can put together a package for integration that would make sense to immigrants, who continue to be more religious than an average North/West European. (But I am not suggesting that Europe, which has fought bitterly to banish religious extremism from its soil, is obliged to appease the religiosity of immigrants.)
 
Olga  Papadopoulou

September 1, 2012

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First of all, thank you very much "Atlantic Community" for your interesting topic about migration. Issues such as migration and diversity are becoming poignant in an ever globalising world, which causes an important increase of inter- and trans-national migration flows. Consequently, never before have politicians and diplomats been concerned with migration. Never before have they made such efforts to avoid potential conflict among migrants and host-population.
However, I would like to highlight some points.
The challenge today is to manage perceptions in an increasingly multicultural world where some individuals feel that their identity is being eroded. Consequently, migration should be treated via an integrated approach, regardless migrants’ status, e.g. legal or illegal migrants.
To benefit from migration, we must make it work and introduce real reforms. We live in a global village. People leave their countries of origin to find new homes. We want a society proud of its democratic traditions and values. To learn to live together is to share the same rights and the same responsibilities. So, we can use diversity as a source of dynamism, innovation, creativity and growth.
Some proposals:
• Recognition of the need for a practical policy making to reach regional security and stability to send countries of migrants. The role of International Organization of Migration (IOM) & NATO and the collaboration with other stakeholders might be the key. Especially, the cooperation with the "Anna Lindh Euro-Mediterranean Foundation for the Dialogue Between Cultures" (ALF), which is a network of civil society organizations dedicated to promoting intercultural dialogue in the Mediterranean region. The ALF facilitates and supports the action of civil society of the Euro-Mediterranean Region in priority fields which affects the capacity for individuals and groups to share values and live together.
• The crucial point is to stop migration at its roots. A solution might be the opening of new companies in the countries of origin and general construction of factories / plants that could offer labor that will increase the employment rate. Just giving financial aid is not so effective, taking into account the high levels of corruption. All in all, co-operation between parts involved, host & origin countries of migrants is essential.
• Migration should not be used as a "communication trick" by politicians. Right people should hold the relevant work positions in sections related with migration. Additionally, decisions taken such as building fences to control the influx of illegal immigrants are not the solution. The USA case can confirm this.
We live in times of global change, but also in times of huge opportunities. In today's interlinked world, no country can solve problems by simply acting alone. We have recently experienced forceful reminders of our shared vulnerabilities and global responsibilities.
All in all, trying to evaluate what is right and what is wrong is extremely difficult. In our case, the situation is more complicated, since human beings involved and actions can have severe effects in their lives.
 
Mollie Joanne Liesner

September 3, 2012

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It is not just developed countries which suffer from illegal immigration. Unfortunately all it takes is to be more developed that your neighbours. South Africa, by most indicators Sub-Saharan Africa's second or third most economically developed country, suffers from masses of immigrants from Zimbabwe, the DRC and Malawi (amongst others). Whilst comparatively South Africa may be a more developed African state it still suffers high unemployment rates and more living standards for its own citizens. How can it be expected to carry the already large burden of its own citizens' needs as well as that of the citizens' of other countries? I agree no human being should be denied help where it is needed but in countries like South Africa this help comes at the expense of other human beings also in need.
 
Tabatha  Robinson

September 3, 2012

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Mr. Wudilawa,

You suggest that one way to decrease illegal or irregular immigration is to take proactive measures to reduce bad leadership because "bad leadership breeds social vices and insecurity", which in turn motivates unauthorized emigration.

How would you suggest EU and US policies go about doing this? My concern is that these measures to reduce bad leadership could easily turn an occasion where Western powers are helping their favorite leaders, who are not necessarily always the most qualified or best choices, to gain office. Memories of CIA-sponsored revolutions in El Salvador and Nicaragua come to mind. How can we avoid this and promote leadership that will be good for individual countries?

Best,
Tabatha
 
Unregistered User

September 4, 2012

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An extremely distinguished and edifying group of contributions. I'd also recommend contacting Sunder Katwala at the British Future organisation that he started. It is a think-tank designed to address the unhelpful hostility to immigrants in Britain and to help people recognise and understand the positive contributions made by immigrants in Britain.
 
Ramin Daniel Rezai

September 4, 2012

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Byron, thanks for the comment. I noticed that you are not a member. You can register for free here: http://www.atlantic-community.org/index/users/register
 
Unregistered User

September 4, 2012

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Thanks alot Ms Tabatha; in as much as i woild like to proffer my little contribution to this ugly trend, the issue remains that as long as the western countries will keep on encouraaging stolen funds be safely kept by third world leaders at EU and America; then we should just forget about this case and others. my suggestion borders on this; if the world wants to continue assisting Africa and its people, then genuinely and democratically elected people will be recognized by the west and given the needed support and encouragement. whearas, people who forced their way to power and enjoyed patronage because of religion or ethnic background should be kept at bay by western countries and their friends. this will serve as deterrent to sit tight leaders and promote good governance. it will also builds people's confidence in their leaders. western countries stands to benefit from this arrangement as people will have confdence in those ruling them, reduce corruption and explore economic potentials of these african countries. it will also afford the citizens, ample opportunities to stay back in their respective states and positively contribute to the building of their economy.
 

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