[VIDEO] What ‘Scarface’ Can Teach Us About Immigration

“It makes sense politically, rationally, electorally, to gain political power by saying all sorts of terrible things about immigrant groups, but at a certain point, the math doesn’t work out,” says Joel Fetzer, a professor of Political Science at Pepperdine University*, and author of the new book new book Open Borders and International Migration Policy: The Effects of Unrestricted Immigration in the United States, France, and Ireland.

The bookexamines three cases of massive and at times nearly unrestricted immigration made famous in the movies: the influx of Central European immigrants to Ireland in the early 2000s as portrayed in the film Once, the flood of Algerians into Marseilles in the wake of the Algerian war as seen in the French film Samia, and the Cubans who ended up in South Florida after Castro’s purging of the so-called “scum” of Cuban society, some results of which are memorably portrayed in Scarface.

Fetzer, Fetzer sat down with us to discuss what these three natural experiments in mass migration tell us about the arguments for, and against, opening our borders. These are some of his key findings: Unrestricted migration does not lead to job loss for natives, and in some cases even may lead to reduced unemployment. Mass immigration is not a net drain on public resources. Only in the Cuban case did violent crime spike, a phenomenon Fetzer attributes to the fact that Castro purposely sent criminals to America. Burglaries did increase slightly in all cases for a short time, and in at least one case it appeared that migrants may have more often been victims than perpetrators of the crimes. Read the rest of this entry »


Cherchez la femme? French Debate: Punish Prostitutes or their Customers?

French actress Catherine Deneuve was among 70 French celebrities who signed a petition against cracking down on the clients of prostitutes. Here, Deneuve arrives at a Ralph Lauren Collection Show and private dinner in Paris, France, Oct. 8, 2013. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)

French actress Catherine Deneuve was among 70 French celebrities who signed a petition against cracking down on the clients of prostitutes. Here, Deneuve arrives at a Ralph Lauren Collection Show and private dinner in Paris, France.
(AP Photo/Francois Mori)

France’s ruling socialist party wants to punish the clients of prostitutes. But a group of French celebrities has signed a petition against the proposal.

Geert De Clercq writes:  A group of French celebrities including singer Charles Aznavour and actress Catherine Deneuve have signed a petition against a socialist proposal to punish clients of prostitutes.

Next week, a French parliament committee will review a proposal by the ruling socialist party faction to scrap sanctions on soliciting and instead punish prostitutes’ customers with fines. Parliament is expected to vote on the proposal in December.

“Without supporting or promoting prostitution, we refuse the criminalization of people who prostitute themselves and those who use their services,” some 70 French celebrities, including former socialist culture minister Jack Lang, said in a statement published in French media on Saturday. Read the rest of this entry »