A Promised Land

Oct 03, 09 A Promised Land
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The BBC ran a very intriguing story about African immigrants and their desire to come to Europe.  Even though the European economy is experiencing its worst recession in decades, it has not deterred the many immigrants that still see the lands beyond its shores as the Promised Land.  One of the immigrants that they interviewed for the story said, “I hear times are tough there, but it must be better than here.”  This echoes a similar situation that is occurring in America.  Many people from impoverished nations will do anything to obtain a better life for them and their families.

The story reports on the people of Senegal and their desire to work and live in France.  Formerly a French colony, Senegal has witnessed Western opulence first hand.  However, they have been excluded from many of the economic benefits that having close ties to France should convey.  Many Senegalese people have been living and working in France.  Because many of them either send or spend their money back in Senegal, the economy has experienced resurgence.  The Senegalese economy is so depressed that the belt makers and shoemakers that work in Italy make enough money in a month to live for a year in Senegal.

The drive for a better life drives most people.  It is hard for many of us in America to fathom this drive.  We strive for acceptability, comfort, and financial gain.  However, the drive to move from your home country into a foreign land, work terrible jobs for a pittance, and send the money back to your family, is hard for us to understand.  Since we have the highest standard of living, there is nowhere else we would go in order to increase our living standards.  We choose to climb the ladder here.  Before we cavalierly dismiss the concerns of immigrants, legal and illegal, think about what you would do to ensure a better life for you and your family.

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