Liberty, Equality, Hypocrisy?
In immigration and integration policies, panel says America and Europe stray from fundamental principles
BRUSSELS (April 30, 2006) — In what became the most heated conversation at Brussels Forum, a diverse group of European and American politicians and academics agreed that European and American governmental failures to apply founding principles, like equality and liberty, when dealing with immigration and integration.
Citing France, which saw rioting by immigrant youth last year, as an example, Princeton’s K. Anthony Appiah and the University of Paris-Sorbonne’s Patrick Weil chided Western governments’ failures to adapt their national identities with changing demographics.
Governments’ responses to integration back them away even more from their fundamental commitments to traditions of freedom and equality, Appiah said. Weil added that French universalism is often used as a camouflage for ethnocentrism.
The “education system for example does not meet this need; every school system in Europe has failed to tackle the immigration issue,” said Daniel Cohn-Bendit, a member of the European Parliament. But even before immigrants deal with the education system, the paperwork burden for legal status can be unduly heavy, according to Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez (D-CA).