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Across the west (and in parts of Asia, as well), there has been, in the last 10 years or so, a series of reactionary right-wing nationalist movements, driven largely by globalization and social strains caused by historically rapid immigration. US Trumpism and British Brexit are the two most notable examples, but similar movements are seen in France, the Netherlands, and Japan.

The locus of these movements seems to be anti-immigration sentiment. Many European (and other) democracies are under pressure from failure to successfully accommodate non-assimilating immigrant groups. A good portion of immigrant populations, in such countries, are coming from countries with different languages, cultures, and political traditions. Social science seems to confirm that social consensus is reduced during such periods.

So I'm trying to understand why these countries (including my own, the United States) do not slow or restrict immigration until the current waves of immigration have been "digested." If the alternative is the growth of disruptive, illiberal nationalist movements, this might be considered a failure of democracy.

I understand the economic imperatives of increasing immigration, but given the political and social strains that today's ahistoric rates of immigration seem to be causing, why are the Western democracies so unresponsive to the seeming wishes if its populace?

closed as primarily opinion-based by user1530, user9389, Federico, Alexei, tim Jun 7 '17 at 8:24

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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    They support multiculturalism ? They consider the economic benefits to be greater than perceived social dis-benefits? - BTW you must cite the points you are making "failure to succesfully accomadate non-assimilating immigrant group" must be refrenced along with "Social science seems to confirm...periods". Also democracy has long been criticized. Also does a majority of the population demand so? – SleepingGod Jun 6 '17 at 23:22
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    why these countries do not slow or restrict immigration -> Who says they don't? Talking just about the Netherlands here there have been a number of attempts to do exactly that in the last ~15 years. Certainly the current government has made a number of attempts to do so. – Martin Tournoij Jun 6 '17 at 23:26
  • "social consensus" all the sources mention something called social cohesion.. is this what you are talking about? – SleepingGod Jun 6 '17 at 23:41
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    Your question seems to imply they a) should and b) there is huge public demand that they do so, but that would merely be an opinion. As such, voting to close this question as opinion based. – user1530 Jun 7 '17 at 5:29
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    Saying that the US does not restrict immigration seems misguided at best. – Federico Jun 7 '17 at 7:32
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I might respond to this as an immigrant living in France.
Well they are imposing restrictions, you just don't happen to notice it. In France, the amount of income you should be justfying to prolong your residence permit keeps increasing each year, not with a lot of margin, but it does move up.

By the amount of income, i mean the monthly income that you've stated to produce in or bring into France. This is checked by the state officials by accessing progress receipts of your bank accounts within the three months of your application, that is you apply to state for prolonging your residence permit, they give you an appointement three months later, and you are suppose to bring in the progress receipts of your bank account for the three months that had passed between the application and the day of appointement. This way they determine if you have a steady income for living in France.

If you are doing studies, you are also suppose to have a letter from your professor, stating whether you are doing well or not. The state officials also reserve the right to interrogate you on your subject of study even with the existence of a letter from your professor.

Depending on the type of your residence permit, there are also some additional taxes you need to pay to prolong it. This prolonging your residence permit thing usually takes around 4 months and you are suppose to apply for the next appointment 3 months before the deadline of your residence permit, which gives you around 5-6 months of hassle free legal stay in France. If this is coupled with the regular dorm policies of universities, that is not letting foreign students stay during the summers, this hassle free period is down to a little above 2 months. For my case this has been going on for 4 years, i'll move out of my room in the dorm 9th time now, that is i'll take everything that constitue my personal life here and move out from the place i'd been living for 4 years, 9th time now not because i want to but because i have to. Please do take a moment to consider that. This also imposes restrictions on what you can or can't buy. For example you can't buy a hoover to clean your room, because you can't take it with you when you are leaving at the end of the scholarly year, etc.

I am doing my phd in application of artificial intelligence technologies to ancient languages, like greek, ancient egyptian, and so on, and i remember myself trying to explain what an algorithm is to a state official, who happened to doubt the authenticity of the letter of my professor, or once a state official told me, i quote "you have no money sir, you can't live in France".
If i may adress your question directly, though there is also a material increase in the restrictions imposed on us, the major leverage of the state against the immigrants is the creation of instable juridical positions and keeping the immigrants in that state in long periods of time, this fluidity of the juridical position has an effect in almost all the parts of my life, like applying to jobs, like enrollment to schools, even something minor as opening a bank account, or buying a sim card for a cellphone. Don't get me wrong it is not that i can not do these things, the thing is the time frame of these actions depend heavily on the date of the result of the administrative hassle.

To cut short, to resist to immigrants the governments don't have to do a thing, and that is exactly how they are resisting to immigrants, by letting them fluctuate between different juridical positions for long periods of time.

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I like to give the example of Puerto Rico fighting for more rights when answering this question:

Currently, PR is MASSIVELY against 'voter registration checking'

Democrats want to loosen this registration checking because they claim 'more people should voice their opinion'

What they're really doing is secretly gathering support for their own agenda.

They know that if more voting poll station don't really 'check' if a person is a citizen or not, then these people will vote for whatever the Democratic candidate will propose (this makes them wealthier as a result)

Republicans see through this and are considered 'bad guys' here because others see it as 'silencing free speech of the people living there.'

When in reality they are fighting against the corruption of unregistered voters voting for the democratic candidate.

Back to the question: Almost every western nation is democratic rather than republican, except it is called differently in every nation.

So if you DONT restrict immigration you get more ILLEGAL voters to vote for the DEMOCRATIC candidate, pushing their agenda (which also involves lots of transactions of money).

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    So ... Where is the evidence for these claims? Also checking ID when voting is done in almost all - if not all - countries in mainland Europe for all elections. – Martin Tournoij Jun 7 '17 at 3:12
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    This reads like it was written by a bear. Specifically, a bear that has a really rudimentary understanding of how voting works in the US. – user1530 Jun 7 '17 at 5:31
  • This was precisely the kind of response I was hoping to avoid... – Curt Jun 7 '17 at 15:51

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