Anti-immigrant sentiments are rampant all over the world, especially today.
Which brings us to:
Suketu Mehta’s This Land Is Our Land is an important text for anyone to understand who immigrants are, why they move, and why we should welcome them.
Here are three points from the book which stood out to us:
1. Today’s migration descended from colonialism.
Migrants move mostly because their homelands are uninhabitable, and Mehta argues that this has its roots in colonialism. The continent of Africa is just one of many horrible examples mentioned:
“After shipping off slaves, after plundering its resources, the colonizers left, drawing up borders that had almost no relevance to the tribal nations that the continent was composed of.”
As a result, political violence and tribal conflicts erupted, fuelled by arms sold to them by former colonisers. Is it any wonder why people have to move?
2. Corporate greed is the new colonialism
You don’t choose where you’re born, and yet it determines your opportunities, safety and future. Many poor and vulnerable nations have been plundered by multinational companies. This is just one example:
“Guinea’s population lives in extreme poverty, but it is not a poor country. It has from a quarter to half of the world’s bauxite reserves, and gold, and diamonds. A series of Western corporations… have systematically exploited the country’s enormous mineral wealth by ‘negotiated’ contracts with the country’s leadership that siphon off an extortionate share of the profits.”
3. Immigrants are good for the economy
Immigrants are often blamed for stealing jobs and resources. But in so many examples, Mehta demonstrates just the opposite. In fact, many of the world’s most talented people are immigrants.
Here are some ways they have benefited America:
● “Of the twenty-five biggest tech companies in 2013, immigrants or their children founded 60 percent of them.”
● “In 2008, Bill Gates stated before Congress that for every tech worker that the country lets in, five American jobs are created.”
In an era of Brexit, you’ll want to equip yourself with the historical knowledge and strong evidence this book offers. It’s also a bonus that it’s incredibly punchy and easy to read. Let us know your thoughts!
Get the book here: Physical Copy
National Reading Movement
National Library Board