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Friday, July 16, 2004

In the middle of the night ...



Miami has the largest foreign-born population of any city in the world, a United Nations report says.

Some 59% of people in the city were not born in the US, the UN Development Programme report said.

The city is home to many Cubans, as well as migrants from the Caribbean and South America.

The report said Canada's Toronto had the second-highest proportion of foreign-born citizens (44%), while Los Angeles was a close third with 41%.

Another two North American cities - Canada's Vancouver (37%) and New York (36%) - made it into the top five, the report said.

Outside North America, the town-state of Singapore scored highest (33%), followed by Australia's Sydney (31%), Abidjan (30%) in Ivory Coast, London (28%) and Paris (23%).

The report said that due to globalisation, numbers of migrants had soared in the last decade, particularly in high-income countries in Europe and North America, and in Australia.

It said some people felt their identity was being threatened by so many foreigners, and it urged the promotion of cultural diversity as the key to development and stability.

Why is it that new faces everywhere, even if they aren't foreign born, threaten some small group of natives' sense of identity? Here in Mapleberry, there is this knot of people who are so totally invested in the ridiculous idea that "newcomers" are somehow not equal to "long-timers," and all the backward politics that goes with that. There's a chilling cautionary tale in today's Guardian about the persecution of newcomers on the Isle of Lewis. They were rounded up in the middle of the night and charged with being child-abusing Satan worshippers. You can read all about it here:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/g2/story/0,3604,1262400,00.html


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