Posts Tagged ‘India’


Migrants: Where from, where to and local impact

Originally posted at Journalism, Journalists and the World

If you ever wondered why there is a better selection of tortillas in your local store or why getting good garam masala is suddenly much easier, the Pew Research Group has a quick way to look at immigration and emigration.

The Pew Group has a GREAT interactive graphic to look at immigrant and emigrant movements during the past 25 years at Origins and Destinations of the World’s Migrants, from 1990-2015

Along with an interactive map, the Pew Group added a table so you can see with real numbers migration movement.

I’ll let the Pew Group explain what its wonderful graphic depicts:

The figures in this interactive feature refer to the total number (or cumulative “stocks”) of migrants living around the world as of 1990, 2000, 2010 or 2015 rather than to the annual rate of migration (or current “flows”) in a given year. Since migrants have both an origin and a destination, international migrants can be viewed from two directions – as an emigrant (leaving an origin country) or as an immigrant (entering a destination country).

According to the United Nations Population Division, an international migrant is someone who has been living for one year or longer in a country other than the one in which he or she was born. This means that many foreign workers and international students are counted as migrants. Additionally, the UN considers refugees and, in some cases, their descendants (such as Palestinians born in refugee camps outside of the Palestinian territories) to be international migrants. For the purposes of this interactive feature, estimates of the number of unauthorized immigrants living in various countries also are included in the total counts. On the other hand, tourists, foreign-aid workers, temporary workers employed abroad for less than a year and overseas military personnel typically are not counted as migrants.

And for those wondering, the total number of migrants living in the United States in 2015 came from:

  1. Mexico – 12 million
  2. China – 2.1 million
  3. India – 1.9 million
  4. Philippines – 1.7 million
  5. Puerto Rico – 1.7 million
  6. Viet Nam – 1.3 million
  7. El Salvador – 1.2 million
  8. Cuba – 1.1 million
  9. South Korea – 1.1 million
  10. Dominican Republic – 940,000
  11. Guatemala – 880,000

Remember, this is the TOTAL number of people from these countries living in the United States, NOT the number arriving in 2015. And I would personally put the migration from Puerto Rico to the U.S. mainland as internal migration rather than international. (That is why I have a Top 11, rather than Top 10). Seems the United Nations has its own way of looking at these things.

And in case you are wondering, in 2015 there were 180,000 people from Iraqi living in the United States and 70,000 from Syria, both up from 40,000 each in 1990.

Local reporters can follow-up on this information for a local angle by using material from the U.S. Census Bureau.

For example, I know from the American FactFinder, there are a lot of Ethiopian restaurants in Fairfax County, Virginia (population 1.1 million) because Ethiopian immigrants are the largest African group in Fairfax – 6,000 out of 31,000 African native-born residents.

You can get good papusas because Salvadorans make up the largest single group of Latin American residents — 32,000 out of 102,000 from Latin America.

We all know Annandale, Va., is known as Little Seoul. Well, the Census numbers bear that out, of the 170,000 people born in Asia in Fairfax County, 30,000 are from Korea. But what should be evident to anyone paying attention, the Indian and Vietnamese presence is also big. Fairfax has 29,000 people who were born in Indian and 23,000 born in Vietnam.

Not to leave out Europe, but let’s face it, the numbers are weak compared to the rest of the world. Fairfax has 25,000 people born in Europe. The single largest group are the Germans with 3,600.

Bottom line, if you are looking for a foreign story, start in your own neighborhood.

Visas used to harass journalists

Visas are basically applications to enter a country.

The most common visa is for tourism. Brazilians coming to Florida to visit Disney World. Americans going to Xian to see the Terra Cotta Soldiers. And so on…

And then there are specialty visas.

If a person is coming to the States for just a few days for business — to attend a conference, attend company meetings, participate in corporate training — the visa is straight forward and is included in the same category as a tourism visa.

Different visas are needed if a person is going to live and work in the US. And within that group there are different categories.

Most countries have a special category for journalists.

The United States has the I visa for journalists visiting the US for a short period. (Living and working in the US as a journalists — as in other countries — is a whole other issue and category.)

While deportations of journalists arriving on a tourism visa and then doing journalism in the States are rare (and often involve issues other than journalism), other less open countries use the journalism visa to limit access to the world’s media or to punish news organizations for what they perceive as unfriendly coverage.

China has long been known as a real stickler for enforcing its various journalism visas.

The Chinese government has withheld visas from New York Times staffers assigned to its Beijing bureau to punish the paper for printing stories about corruption and favoritism in the government and ruling party. (New York Times journalist forced to leave China after visa row)

And for journalists wanting to go to China, the process is long, tedious and often ends in frustration.

For example, I applied for a journalism visa to cover a conference in Beijing. I was living in Brasilia at the time. The embassy held onto my passport for more than a month. Calls to the embassy about the status of my visa went unanswered, other than “It is in process.”

In the end, I got the visa, but on the day the conference started. Given that it takes more than 30 hours to get from Brasilia to Beijing, that meant I would not be going to cover the conference. (This was something I realized a few weeks earlier. I had to inform my publisher I most likely would not be going to Beijing.)

When I lived in Hong Kong, I often got e-mails from friends in the business asking if they should lie about their profession to avoid any drama with the Chinese government. I always advised people to tell the full truth. Beijing is notorious for using any discrepancy in a visa application to either deny a person a visa or to deport the person for “activity not in compliance with visa status” if the discrepancy is discovered later.

Unfortunately for journalists the “activity not in compliance” excuse is what is most often used to expel alleged spies. (Then again, the thinking in Beijing is that journalists are nothing but spies anyway.)

No one really expects anything less from the control freaks in Beijing.

And then there are governments such as the one in Indonesia that are officially open and democratic but that also freak out if journalists start asking too many questions.

The latest example is of a British journalist being held in Indonesia for filming while doing a documentary on piracy. Usually journalists are just expelled from the country for visa violations, this time, however, the journalists face five months in prison and a $3,700 fine. (Jail British journalists for five months, says Indonesian prosecutor)

There are examples of people who get away with coming in on a tourist visa, doing some journalism and getting out. However, once discovered, these same journalists can kiss goodbye the chance to get another visa. (India: Let us in!)

This item was first posted at Journalism, Journalists and the World.

Justice Breyer: US Laws Are Linked To The Rest Of The World

Just as the U.S. economy is connected to the rest of the world, so too are our laws and courts.

Many thanks to Nina Totenberg at NPR for her interview with  Supreme Court Stephen Breyer on the connections between the rest of the world and the United States. (Law Beyond Our Borders: Justice Breyer Is On A Mission)

“I began to understand the important divisions in the world are not on the basis of race or nationality or country or where you live,” Breyer said. “They are really between people who believe in a rule of law as a way of deciding significant issues and those who do not believe in a rule of law — who believe in force.”

In the following years, he began noticing that the Supreme Court docket was very different from when he first became a justice in 1994. Instead of just a handful of cases involving the interdependence of law in this and other countries, he estimates that the cases involving foreign law now have grown to as much as a fifth of the docket.

Just as Main Street USA is linked with factories in China and banks in England and companies in Brazil**, so too are many of our laws. This is just one more example of why local journalists need to be curious about how local events are directly affected by global events.

**Just in case you were wondering: Budweiser is owned by a Brazilian company. So people who enjoy a cold Bud while watching a game, you are also helping the Brazilian economy.

Criticism of Indian media ethics

The following linked item is a blistering attack on the lack of ethics in the Indian media by an Indian commentator.

Vanita Kohli-Khandekar: The ugly face of Indian news media

How much of what she describes is widespread is hard to tell. But she does make an case that there are some serious problems in India.

Most TV reporters are imposing their half-baked moral judgements on the audience because editors are allowing them to. Editors and publishers simply don’t have the time, energy or money, or all three, to take them through the ropes.

The result: In a market where the context of news was set by some really good brands, the drop in standards has been nauseatingly dizzy.

Oh, does some of this sound familiar to U.S. ears as well?

South Asia dangerous to independent journalists

Journalists in India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka have freedoms few in the region can enjoy. And at the same time, the threats to their lives is ever-present.

Mustafa Qadri reports in the Sunday Guardian (In south Asia, independent journalism is a real risk) that journalists are heavily restricted from independently reporting India’s continued crackdown on Kashmiri independence protests. And that journalists in Pakistan face greater threats. Earlier this month journalist and activist Abdul Hameed Hayatan was found dead in Balochistan after being kidnapped in October.

In September Umar Cheema was kidnapped by what appeared to be a police patrol while driving home in Islamabad.

“They stripped me naked and tortured me,” he recalled. Tied upside down, Cheema was badly beaten and had his eyebrows, moustache and hair shaved in a six-hour ordeal after which he was thrown on to a highway some 125 kilometres from his home in Islamabad.

Cheema realised his captors were in part of Pakistan’s secretive intelligence agencies. His transgression — in their eyes — was not the usual issue of military atrocities but rather its incompetence in prosecuting persons accused of killing army personnel.

Cheema had earlier faced the wrath of the army when he wrote about two commandos who were court-martialed because they suggested negotiating during a hostage situation in 2007.

Few think anything will get done even as the situation for journalists’ safety worsens.

According to the Committee to Protect Journalists no one has been prosecuted for murdering a journalist in Pakistan except in the Daniel Pearl case. Civilian authorities set up a judicial commission to investigate Cheema’s abduction, but it appears to be languishing and there have been no significant investigations of army authorities.

Understanding the cost of Obama’s trip to India

We have all seen the story: Cost of Obama trip to India is $200 million a day.

Too bad none of it is true.

It all started with an Indian newspaper quoting an unnamed local provincial source.

And now Jon Stewart explains it all:

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c
Doubtsourced
www.thedailyshow.com
Daily Show Full Episodes Political Humor Rally to Restore Sanity

Getting a local grip on trade issues

First posted at Journalism, Journalists and the World.

President Obama wrapped up his visit to India with signed deals that — he said — would mean more than 50,000 new American jobs.

This is no small feat. India is notorious within the global trading community as being protectionist. The visit by Obama at least got Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to agree that protectionism is not good for either country. (Of course, he worded his statement to make it sound as if both sides were equally at fault, when in fact India has massive restrictions on imports and the U.S. hardly any.)

But the 50,000 or so jobs being created (maybe protected) in the trade deals signed this week are just the tip of the iceberg.

Despite the rhetoric of isolationists on the left and right in the United States, trade is good for America and American jobs.

Back in September Bruce Katz, Brookings Institution vice president and Jonathan T. Rothwell, Brookings senior research analyst, wrote about the five myths about U.S. exports.

Some key points in their article:

  • U.S. exports grew 14.1 percent from the second quarter of 2009 to the second quarter of 2010, a pace far outstripping the 3 percent growth of the economy overall.
  • While domestic consumers struggle with unemployment and debt, demand in many other countries is booming, and that demand could be translated into U.S. job growth.
  • Our exports include not only manufactured objects but also services and intellectual property. Indeed, services account for roughly a third of all U.S. exports, and this share has been growing.
  • Our other service exports include travel and tourism (the services we sell to international tourists, from restaurant meals to hotel stays, count as exports, even though they are enjoyed on U.S. soil)
  • Although exports make up a smaller share of our economy than in export-oriented Germany and China, our strength in high-quality services and high-value goods shows that we can compete in the fields where innovation matters most. The U.S. metropolitan areas with the highest rates of innovation (as measured by the number of patents issued per worker) are also the most export-oriented.
  • For every $1 billion in exports by a given industry in a given metropolitan area, wages in that industry in that area increase 2 percent over the wages paid to other workers in the region, regardless of workers’ education levels.
  • The rise of developing countries has created a substantial number of jobs in the United States. In research we…found that from 2003 to 2008, the value of U.S. exports to Brazil, India and China doubled in inflation-adjusted dollars, accounting for 8.8 percent of U.S. exports in 2008. Put another way, our exports to these countries increased 121 percent over that time period, compared with a 46 percent increase in U.S. exports overall.
  • We have many ways of boosting exports, and we don’t exploit all of them.
  • Wichita doubled its exports between 2003 and 2008…supported by a variety of federal, state and local institutions, including nonprofits and private-public partnerships.

It would be nice to see more reporting from local news outlets about how local products are being sold overseas. Of course that might also mean these same news organizations will have to report on the economic, social and political situations in those countries that are now vital trading partners. (After all, if a big buying country suddenly has an economic melt down or an unstable government, they won’t be buying from the local company any more.)

And as I pointed out a while back, for every 80 or so visas issued to Brazilians to visit the United States, one job is created in the U.S. economy. And the U.S. mission in Brazil issues A LOT of visas each week. (Maybe the news outlets in Orlando and Miami — top sites for Brazilian visitors — might want to take notice.)

Gibbs lays down law to ensure press access

First posted at Journalism, Journalists and the World.

The president’s press secretary may not always like the White House press corps but when they are being cut out of a meeting they were promised access to, he becomes a serious force to reckon with.

Gibbs threatens to pull Obama from India talks after press dispute

Indian officials would let only five reporters into Hyderabad House in New Delhi instead of the agreed-upon eight.

The Washington Post’s Scott Wilson—who was on White House pool duty Monday and filed the report for the White House press corps—wrote that “Gibbs announced loudly and persistently on steps of Hyderabad House that he would pull” President Obama out of the meeting “unless ‘the White House 8,’ as we’ve come to be known, were all allowed in.”

As the discussion continued, Gibbs grew more animated.

“At one point, Gibbs literally had his foot lodged in the closing front door, asking if the Indian security officials pushing hard to shut it were going to break his foot,” Wilson continued. “More angry words ensued, and after Gibbs convinced them, through high volume and repetition, that he was serious” about pulling Obama, the press secretary had the security retinue’s full attention.

Story includes video from AP showing Gibbs making sure the pool of eight reporters get into the meeting.

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