Miscellaneous Migration Matters

Indian Diaspora

Last week
Michael Monastyrskyj wrote us about the

Indian diaspora
. The Indian Government is thinking
of providing ID cards for

Persons of Indian Origin,
meaning the descendants of
people who emigrated from India, but probably not
including the descendants of the thousands of English
who were

born in India
during the days of Empire. According
to the

Indian Government,
[PDF] the card is being provided
at request of many Indian-Americans and Indian-Britons
who want some kind of

“dual citizenship”
to tie them to their ancestral

This week the
New York Times

[January 12, 2003, India Harvests Fruits
of a Diaspora
, By Amy Waldman] on the conference of
2,000 "nonresident Indians" and "people of Indian
origin" who were in India recently considering the
nature of the relationship between overseas Indians and
their Mother Country (India). V. S. Naipaul made a
speech telling India to "stop

blaming the British
for everything."  

There seemed to be as many opinions
as there were participants about what the conference was
for, what the meaning of diaspora was, where

should lie, and what India was and should


“What India was and should be” is a
worthwhile question for Indians. But shouldn`t
Indian-Americans, who after all have taken the

Oath of Allegiance
, in which they promise to

“renounce and abjure all allegiance
and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state or
sovereignty, of whom or which I have heretofore been a
subject or citizen”

be thinking about “What America is
and should be”?


Apparently both the Government of
India, and the many overseas Indians see this allegiance
thing as optional.


It`s worth noting that India has
internal problems that Americans don`t want imported to
the United States. According to the New York Times

Sixty percent of the Indians in
America are from Gujarat. Some at the conference said
they were tired of attacks on the state because of the
riots. "It`s high time Gujarat and even the center stop
apologizing for what happened in Gujarat," said Suvas G.
Desai, a doctor from Lexington, Ky.

You probably
haven`t heard of the Gujarat riots, what with the
massive coverage of the Middle East, but over a thousand
Muslims were killed by Hindus, while the

Hindu police
did very little to stop it. Of course,
the rioters were rioting in response to a Muslim mob

setting fire to a train full of Hindus.

Since these
riots only happened a few months ago, it`s a little
early to

forget about
it. It`s not like

for slavery, abolished 1865, or

Japanese internment
, ended in 1945. This is massive
slaughter that happened

last February.

it`s something that, on a smaller scale, could
happen in America, anywhere Muslims and Hindus live
side by side. Something to think about, when discussing



According to

the Supreme Court has a case on its docket (Denmore
v. Kim
) that will affect the war on terror, and
the fight against non-terrorist illegals.

A South Korean
named Hyung Joon Kim was a lawful permanent resident who
had been in the U.S. since he was six. He would have
been naturalised when he was 18, except that he
committed first degree burglary in California. A year
later, he was sentenced to prison in California for
“petty theft.” He served almost three years for that
offence, because he had a prior conviction. The INS
decided to deport him, for the obvious reason that he
was a non-citizen who was committing felonies, and he
didn`t want to go, because he was raised in California,
may not speak Korean well, and probably thinks of
himself as an American.

An American
criminal, mind you, but an American. However, the law
says he`s not.

This is the kind
of case for which

bleeding hearts bleed
, and is similar in that regard
to the

Jesus Apodaca case,
which had Congressmen and

falling all over themselves
to prevent the law from
being enforced.

There are
several issues involved, but the one that worries
immigration law enforcement is the issue of “due
process” which has repeatedly been turned into undue and
overdue process by the courts. One question is whether
aliens who have been ordered deported, but are
appealing, can be kept in

in the U.S.

According to
CNN, The INS is arguing that someone like Kim, who has
had two felony convictions, had all the due process he`s
entitled to when he was convicted:

In its legal
filings with the court, the INS said convicted aliens
"have enjoyed full due process protections in connection
with those convictions."

As it stands at
the moment, the Ninth Circuit has held [decision in

] that it is not necessarily unconstitutional to
detain alien criminals, especially since there`s a War
on Terrorism. The court said that

"No responsible court will leave an
`unprotected spot in the Nation`s armor,` and our
decision does not do so. We do not hold that a lawful
permanent resident alien in removal proceedings has an
absolute right to bail.”

They did,
however hold that he has the right to a bail hearing,
to determine if he`s dangerous or not. 

That may put a

major crimp
in the deportation of

criminal aliens.


All Myth
to Me

The New York

that theatre director and “visionary
polemicist” director Peter Sellars is producing

The Children of Heracles
(a.k.a Hercules) for
only the seventh time since the days of Euripides, in

. He`s using it to make an explicitly political
statement in favour of refugees. According to the


theatrical event
Mr. Sellars has staged in Cambridge
is unabashedly partisan. Lobby walls are covered with
photographs of refugees. The program denounces

"a crisis in our refugee program"
and warns, "The
children of Herakles are still wandering from city to
city, their homes lost."

January 14, 2003, “Peter Sellars
Returns With an Ancient Message”

But the

text of the play
indicates that the “Children of
Herakles” were related by blood to the rulers and
people of Athens. (Through the usual Greek mythological
genealogy.) Furthermore, Herakles qualifies as an
Athenian war hero.

(Feel free to
skip the next passage, which shows why Euripides
hasn`t been produced on Broadway lately.)

Heracles was son
of Zeus and Alcmena; Alcmena sprang from Pelops`
daughter; therefore thy father and their father would be
the sons of first cousins. Thus then art thou to them
related, O Demophon, but thy just debt to them beyond
the ties of kinship do I now declare to thee; for I
assert, in days gone by, I was with Theseus on the ship,
as their father`s squire, when they went to fetch that
girdle fraught with death; yea, and from Hades` murky
dungeons did Heracles bring thy father up; as all Hellas
doth attest.

Still with me?
What it means is that the “Children of Heracles`” claims
to shelter seem to resemble those of the white


South Africans,
who are the same kind of people as
the average American, and were on the same side as the
US in World War II and Korea. If the US

admitted them
, it would be following the vision of
Euripides as laid out in the play.  

As it is,
director Sellars seems to be upset that the US is not
admitting more refugees from enemy countries.

However, this
production does bring up one useful point: much of the

Refugee Industry
is based on



Themselves At Homeless


[January 10, 2003, Homeless Out-of-Towners
By Leslie Kaufman] that people from all
over are moving to New York, drawn by visions of free

York is the only city under court order to provide
shelter immediately to any people who can prove they
need it, regardless of their origin or immigration
status. As a result, it has perhaps the most tolerant
admissions policies and greatest array of services and
housing to offer its homeless clients. While that has
raised some concern that the city could become a magnet
for the poor, city officials remain sanguine.

"We are a city of immigrants, and the
fact that the homeless system reflects that diversity is
not surprising," said Linda I. Gibbs, the commissioner
of the Department of Homeless Services. "


court order

Callahan v. Carey
, a 1979 consent decree, which
requires the city to provide shelter for anyone at all
who`s homeless, no matter how much it costs. According
to the consent decree:

The City defendants shall provide
shelter and board to each homeless man who
applies for it provided that (a) the man meets the need
standard to qualify for the home relief program
established in New York State; or (b) the man by reason
to physical, mental or social dysfunction is in need of
temporary shelter.

But while the
consent decree does provide a lot of detail about
providing each homeless man a “pillow of average
and  “ten hours per week of group
it doesn`t say anything about harboring
illegal aliens.

In fact, it`s as

for the City of New York to maintain a
residence for homeless illegals as it is for the
proprietor of a Chinatown boarding house.


local officials
sometimes listen harder to
“advocates for the homeless” than they do to the laws.


January 15, 2003