The Dalai Lama on Immigration

The Dalai Lama Speaks the Uncomfortable Truth about Immigration

Dalai LamaAlex Pietrowski, Staff
Waking Times

When a refugee crisis of such magnitude as the mass exodus from Syria occurs, it tends to draw out both the best and worst qualities of people. The progressive, humanitarian angle on a situation like this is to take the high of road of offering solace and aid to as many suffering people as possible. An understandable expression of human compassion, however, on the other hand, as a means of protecting and preserving their individual customs and culture, nationalistic movements come out swinging for an end to such destructive immigration policies.

Immigration is being used as a political weapon to destabilize the West. Western governments and political leaders are deliberately permitting unlimited unreasonable amounts of legal and illegal immigration as well as accepting hundreds of thousands of refugees from Muslim nations into their own states. Additionally, radical Islam is admittedly using immigration into Western nations as a tactic to achieve the publicly stated and oft-repeated goal of conquering non-Muslim nations from within their own borders by simply outgrowing them.

Typically known for his peaceful spiritual guidance and leadership in our troubled world, the Dalai Lama recently chimed in with his thoughts about the present refugee crisis in Europe. Without going into too much detail, he stated the simple and unavoidable truth of the situation: immigration, both legal and illegal, is not always a good thing.

Speaking from Dharamsala in northern India where the Tibetan government resides in exile, the Dalai Lama began by reminding us of the compassion normal people feel when seeing such terrible suffering as is happening in Syria and around the Middle East.

“When we look into the face of every single refugee, especially the children and women, we can feel their suffering.” – The Dalai Lama

He went a bit further then, commenting on our inherent human duty to help others, but pointing out that a even a policy of compassion has its limits:

“A human being who is a bit more fortunate has the duty to help them. On the other hand, there are too many now.”

Too many? As reported by RT, the refugee crisis is admitting so many people that there is no possible way to effectively integrate their wildly different political, social and religious beliefs into Europe. Regarding the Dalai Lama’s statements, RT notes:

“He said that countries taking in refugees should take a healthy look at the situation and realize that it’s not possible for all of the newcomers to be integrated into European society, stressing that the main goal for Europe’s leaders is to provide them with temporary shelter.” [Source]

In the age of political correctness and forced diversity, few in the corporate press are willing to speak on this unavoidable fact of life, but, people of different cultures have rarely historically been able to peacefully assimilate and combine their cultures, traditions and ways of life. The result is all too often conflict both political and physical, which we are already seeing spreading throughout Europe. In the present scenario, it is clear that many Muslim immigrants are not at all interested in assimilating into their refugee states, which is causing a clash of cultures.

The Dalai Lama touched on this issue, noting that the reality that unfettered immigration into Europe directly threatens to overpower long standing European culture:

“Europe, for example Germany, cannot become an Arab country. Germany is Germany… There are so many that in practice it becomes difficult.” – The Dalai Lama

The issue of immigration is complex and difficult, and even the most compassionate of leaders have little to say about an amicable and functional solution to the problem. While the Dalai Lama did indeed approach this issue with his comments, he offers no wisdom on how to manage the situation going forward, only stating the general sentiment that the immigration threatens Europe and that it should only be temporary.

The West, however is engaged in the mass destruction of the Middle East through the war on terror and the policies of regime change and nation-building. This offers little hope that refugee immigrants will have a livable place to return to any time soon.

We’re already see the first serious signs of the effects of weaponized immigration into Europe, and in some areas, major physical conflicts and dangerous lawlessness are already happening. Take, for example, recent footage from France that shows wild mobs of immigrants disrupting transit and attacking, robbing and vandalizing people.

Events of this nature add to testimony against policies of diversity and political correctness, which aim to conceal the truth and shame people into moulding their personal views and statements around the political agenda of the elite. You are not racist, nor are you xenophobic to speak the truth about the negative effects of uncontrolled immigration.

For someone in a position of spiritual leadership as is the Dalai Lama, it is rather incredible to hear truthful statements that speak to the fact that in order for human compassion to be of value to those who need it, there must be limits to protect those who are in a position to offer aid and solace. 

Peace is just not possible in a lawless environment where people of conflicting cultures are forced to coexist when neither group would have chosen to do so if not coerced to do so by agenda-driven politics.

For a broader perspective on the European immigration crisis and how it is affecting communities around Europe, take a look a this video of compiled footage of the immigration crisis in Europe.


Reaction in Arizona to SB 1070

Barrio Defense: How Arizona’s Immigrants are Standing Up to SB 1070

Beyond the Supreme Court: For immigrant communities in Arizona and beyond, the struggle against draconian laws begins at home.
posted Jun 21, 2012


Arizona, photo by Ken Lund

Update, June 25: Today the U.S. Supreme Court ruled much of SB 1070 unconstitutional, but upheld the law’s most controversial provision: the so-called “show me your papers” component, which directs police to check the immigration status of those they suspect might be undocumented. Puente and other supporters of Barrio Defense Committees say this ruling reaffirms their approach. “We never had faith in the #SCOTUS case,” the group tweeted. “We have faith in our people … WE WILL NOT COMPLY.”

Shortly after the 2010 passage of SB 1070, Arizona’s notorious immigration bill, 20,000 people gathered in Phoenix for a May Day march to protest the new law. Instead of ending with speakers or a formal program, as political marches often do, organizers broke the crowd into small groups and asked them two questions:

How will the new law impact you and your neighbors? What can you do about it?

And with that, a new phase of the migrant rights movement, based on an age-old model of community organizing, was born.

The U.S. Supreme Court will decide very soon whether to strike down SB 1070, but few observers expect that it will choose to do so based on the Department of Justice arguments. That’s one reason local capacity development methods, such as Barrio Defense Committees, are crucial, organizers say. “We went to Congress for reform and were treated like a political football,” says Carlos Garcia, an organizer with the grassroots group Puente Arizona. “We asked the president for relief and instead got record deportations. Now even the courts may give SB 1070 the green light. It’s time we realize we have only each other and start organizing deeper in our own community.”

In the weeks and months after those small group discussions, communities across Arizona formed Barrio Defense Committees, neighborhood-based groups focused on resolving local problems, building resilience in the face of attack, and building organic leadership for broader social movements.

The committees are based on neighbor-to-neighbor relations where people commit to support each other to mitigate the negative impacts of deportations. Families sign power of attorney so that someone is prepared to take care of kids, pay bills, and communicate with an employer in the case of being taken away and placed in detention. They develop neighbor watch efforts to watch for abusive police behavior, warn of check-points, and report abuse. Health projects, English classes, and supportive businesses weave together for self-sufficiency. In addition to survival aspects, committees grow to remedy local issues like landlords refusing to make repairs or discrimination within schools. These daily building blocks lay a foundation for dealing with big problems like the anti-immigrant laws.

“Coming out was our only option.”

That 2010 march represented a fundamental change from the way advocacy groups had been approaching immigration reform: hammering out compromises in an effort to pass an omnibus piece of Congressional legislation. After that effort failed, many concluded that the compromise effort had conceded too much ground, ushering in new anti-immigrant measures, more border militarization, and a harder road to legalization.

Migrant families in Phoenix and across the state refused to run. Instead, they responded to the new law with a groundswell of public participation in civic life and a celebration of the cultures the state was set on banning.

Diana Perez Ramirez of Puente Arizona, explains, “SB1070 was a symbol of how far to the right the needle on immigration had moved. It was a wake up call that we needed to do something big to haul it back toward something sensible.”

Francisco Pacheco, an organizer for the National Day Laborer Organizing network and a former participant in Salvadoran social movements who migrated to the US after that country’s civil war, is a driving force behind the Barrio Defense model.  He explains, “The committees are built off the model of movements in Latin America where people come together to resolve their local problems and join peaceful resistance efforts. By focusing on local problems, local leadership is created. The protagonist shifts from an elected official to the mother or worker next door.”

Though under great duress—SB 1070’s authors called the law a declaration of a “war of attrition” on immigrants—migrant families in Phoenix and across the state refused to run. Instead, they responded to the new law with a groundswell of public participation in civic life and a celebration of the cultures the state was set on banning.

“For a long time we would only go take the kids to school, to work, and run errands,” said Leticia Ramirez, an undocumented mother of three. “Other than that we had become prisoners hidden in our own homes. But with the laws they were passing, even that wasn’t safe anymore. We realized the only safe community is an organized one. Coming out was our only option.”

The power within

Since 2010, the harsh model of SB 1070 has spread to other states—but so has the barrio defense method of responding to it. After Georgia passed HB87, a copycat of Arizona’s law, the Georgia Latino Alliance for Human Rights (GLAHR) responded with a series of actions to empower immigrant communities. The group partnered with day laborer networks for a “human rights summer” that included mass mobilization and the establishment of local comités populares of mutual support. They also organized businesses and institutions to publicly declare themselves “Sanctuary Zones” that would not allow law enforcement to enter to check migrants’ papers without a warrant.

How young immigrant activists are learning from the the civil rights campaigners who came before them.

In January of this year, committee members from ten Georgia towns gathered for a state-wide assembly. Together they decided that the pathway to immigration reform should be through challenging local officials who take advantage of its absence. Adelina Nicholls of the Georgia Latino Alliance for Human Rights explains that, “We don’t have to wait for Congress to stop police from mistreating our community and real reform is unlikely as long as we allow that mistreatment to continue.” In Fayetteville, outside of Atlanta, a hundred people marched to the police department to demand that daily checkpoints, erected under the guise of fighting crime and drugs but frequently used to check papers, be taken down.

As in Arizona, the committee model has turned people from a strategy of hiding in their homes to taking to the streets with clipboards and cameras to monitor and turn back abuses. The idea is to transition from challenging the powers that be, and instead cultivate the power within.

Because the process charges those affected by the laws with combating them, a new form of leadership tends to develop, says Pacheco. “Instead of asking people to attend a march, members of committees are asked to assess the moment, decide when a march is necessary, and plan accordingly. Through that process people’s political development is sharpened. They become more critical, more lucid. It makes strategists out of all of us.”

In the Puente office in Phoenix, where committees meet on a weekly basis, hangs a sign with a quote by the legendary organizer, Cesar Chavez: “Once social change begins, it cannot be reversed. You cannot un-educate the person who has learned to read. You cannot humiliate the person who feels pride. You cannot oppress the people who are not afraid anymore. We have seen the future, and the future is ours.”