• adjust, work
  • borders, welcoming, melting-pot
  • creation of diversity, necessary
  • Culture, Language, Food
  • Debate, controversy
  • Difficult, Complex
  • Diversity, Borders
  • foreigners, borders, hardship
  • jobs, México, illegal immigrants
  • Language, Dreams/Hopes/Aspirations, Family
  • leaving, new beginnings, unwelcoming
  • legality, beneficial
  • melting pot, America, Ellis Island
  • Mexican, undocumented, rights
  • Mexico, controversy
  • mexico, illegal immigration, Ellis Island
  • Mexico, wall
  • opportunity, acceptance, tolerance
  • opportunity, Greencard, parents
  • Opportunity, Hope
  • politics, citizenship
  • Refugees, Suffering, Contentious
  • "les raisins de la colère" john steinbeck, "les désorientés" Amin maalouf , "Partir" Tahar Ben Jelloun
  • accueil, culture
  • Accueil, multiculturalisme
  • Accueillir, Entrer
  • Bénéfique
  • civilisation, découverte
  • culture, pauvreté, voyage
  • Départ,changement
  • discrimination, pauvreté
  • Flux, origines, découverte
  • Fuite, asile, Syrie
  • Mur, Mensonges, Espèce
  • opportunité, faiblesse, recherche, optimisme
  • Origine, Diversité
  • pauvreté, échange, culture
  • Riches, Pauvres, Injustice
  • Syrie, FN
  • Voyage, nécessité
  • voyage, étude


I noticed that both the American side and the French side had mixed associations. Some were positive, while others were negative; however, both sides said that it was necessary. Also, the American side mentioned Mexico quite often while Syria was mentioned a few times on the French side. I think this is a reflection of the different immigration issues that both our countries are facing.

The French side mentioned poverty several times. What do you think are the main factors (in France or in general) that make it hard for immigrants to reach the level of prosperity that others have?

What are your thoughts on how France is handling the Syrian immigrants?

There are a lot of opposing views on immigration on each side. Some believe it is beneficial, while others associate it with negative connotations.
Immigration is a complex political issue that both France and America are facing.
What are the types of response that the French have when interacting with a member of a different culture in France? Do French laws support or discourage immigration?

I find it interesting how Americans care a lot about who is immigrating into America without taking into account the benefits of immigration. I also find that there are many mixed emotions when it comes to immigrants and assimilating into the established culture of the society they are entering.

I think that both the French and the Americans are overall afraid of immigration because they dont think that immigration leads to equality in society and that it isnt the best thing for the society. Immigration has a pretty negative connotation.

Why do the French fear immigration when their society is based upon freedom and equality?

I noticed that on the American side words like “opportunity”, “hope”, and “aspiration” were mentioned frequently, while on the French side “poverty” was mentioned more often.

Perhaps in America the narrative of the “American dream” has conditioned us to think of immigrants more in terms of the positive opportunities waiting for them, rather than the poverty and misfortune they are currently suffering.

What do you think will happen to immigrants in America and France in the future? Do you believe they will benefit from the opportunities in their new country, or will they continue in a cycle of poverty?

Personnellement, je pense que l’immigration est toujours liée à la pauvreté, au rejet. Mes idées sont basées principalement sur le cinéma américain, là ou on voit les immigrants mexicains mènent une vie fort dure. Mais, je pense que la situation a changé maintenant et que le nombre de Mexicains partant aux Etats-Unis a diminué. Quel est l’état actuel de l’immigration aux États-Unis ? Et quellles sont les mesures prises par votre gouvernement ?

Il est bien connu que l’Immigration peut référencer à la découverte de cultures, apprentissage de langues/sciences …
Pourtant Je trouve ça bizarre que les Américains, parle, beaucoup, de Mexico dans ce qui concerne “Immigration” ?

In response to hanine and chaf.madkour, a major debate in the United States is that of “illegal vs. legal immigration.” We do like to say that we are a country of immigrants – in all of our short history, immigrants have shaped and molded this country. However, we are currently facing the major problem of illegal immigration – often, due to hard conditions in their country, people from Mexico sneak across the border without legal papers and start to live in the US. There are also illegal immigrants from countries other than Mexico (for example, people who overstay their visas). People in the government are very concerned with what we should do with the millions of illegal immigrants in our country. Should they stay? Should they be deported, even though they have established families and raised their children in this country? This is an important and complicated issue in the US.

It’s interesting to me how often Americans say “Mexico” for this word, even though most of us immigrated here at one point (my great grandfather, etc). Every generation of immigrants doesn’t want to let in more immigrants, without even considering the economic consequences (possibly positive consequences).

mhk, le problème de l’immigration n’est pas limité aux états unis. Maintenant, l’Europe aussi souffre d’un flux énorme d’immigrants syriens. Je pense que le problème est devenu universel.

mhk, hanine: Toutefois le contrôle aux frontières est bien plus présent aux Etats-unis, ce qui laisse à penser que nous n’avons toujours pas été confronté à ” l’immigration ” telle que les Etats-unis l’a vécu. Peut-être que nous pourrions comprendre si la Syrie était un pays voisin…

pour mhk & sophieg:
Déjà, ta réponse ouvre un vrai débat sur l’immigration illégal, ce qui est un vrai problème pour la plupart des pays développés ou en développement. Les causes pour ce phénomène sont bien claires, c’est soit la pauvreté ou les guerres (comme à dit Hanine).
Personnellement, une vraie solution pour résoudre cela est de se réunir (entre pays développé et en développement), chacun selon les moyens qu’il possède, pour aider ces pays pauvres à rejoindre, au moins, la catégorie des pays en développement ou résoudre les problèmes qui causent des guerres pour ces pays. Avec ça, je pense que nous résolvons, un minimum de, 60% des causes de ce phénomène.

I appreciate your idealistic solution. I imagine that this would work in a perfect world, however our world is not perfect. Immigration is often caused by poor living conditions due to political instability, poor economy, high unemployment in countries of origin. All these problems cannot be solved by developed countries intervening and throwing money at the governments of these developing countries. These just leads to temporary solutions, if any, and huge debts and interest rates for these developing nations to pay back. The cycle continues. History has shown that these interventions have be unfruitful many times.

Fejiro, je pense que l’aide au développement peut prendre d’autres formes autre que l’aide financière, et je m’inspire du discours de Harry Truman 33ème président des Etats-unis:”I believe that we should make available to peace-loving peoples the benefits of our store of technical knowledge in order to help them realize their aspirations for a better life. And, in cooperation with other nations, we should foster capital investment in areas needing development.
Our aim should be to help the free peoples of the world, through their own efforts, to produce more food, more clothing, more materials for housing, and more mechanical power to lighten their burdens”.

Going off of what Fejiro has said, what about in the case of war, such as Syria? It is so complicated to get involved in others’ civil wars, and may cause more death/destruction if more countries intervene. Look at civilian casualties of the Iraqi war! It is a difficult question for sure.

What form would this development ‘aid’ take, without monetary input? Also, the spread of technical knowledge has been limited to certain privileged/’western’ nations. This remains the case today. In your opinion, how do you think better dissemination of technical knowledge can be achieved in our world today?

I agree that it is too difficult to try to come up with a solution for solving problems of immigration and reasons for people emmigrating from their home countries. It is definitely known that many Americans believe that we are the “police” of the world and need to help everyone that is suffering from poverty or civil war. However we fail to deal with our own problems within our own country. What do you think developed countries roles should be when dealing with countries that are suffering? Should there just be monetary aid?

@sophieg, je pense que l’intervention externe complique presque toujours la situation, car comme vous savez tous, aucune aide n’est gratuite. @Fejiro, i think that establishing peace in the world comes in the first place. In fact, i believe that “a better dissemination of technical knowledge” would not be efficient with this growing number of homeless and starving people.

@hanine: Personally, I do not believe it is the role of another country/countries to police the world. Also, better spread of technical knowledge from and to developing nations would boost economy, which world inadvertently provide more sources of livelihood for those suffering and unemployed. It can also provide better agricultural practice which can be adapted to improve crop productivity and reduce waste due to pests, weeds, or lack of proper storage in regions that require more food, lowering the cost of locally produced produce. I think this prevails over trying to intervene in other nations in the name of peace.

Je suis tombé l’autre jour sur un extrait du “Petit journal”, une émission télévisée quotidienne française. Le journaliste était présent aux Etats-Unis, et lisait des passages du Coran à des électeurs américains. Ceux-ci dénonçaient la violence des propos de ce livre saint, mais ils ont été bien surpris de constater que ces versets provenaient en réalité de la Bible:

Le problème n’est pas exclusivement présent aux Etats-Unis, mais je crains qu’il soit mondial.

Je trouve que cette vidéo illustre certains problèmes liés à l’immigration. Comme disait un grand homme, “L’ignorance mène à la peur, la peur mène à la haine et la haine conduit à la violence.” Je ne pense pas que l’on puisse foncièrement être raciste, dans le sens où cette haine ne trouverait aucune essence subjective. Personnellement en France, je conçois l’islamophobie latente comme une peur du français ignare, qui assimile à tord les musulmans à une poignée de terroristes qui justifient des actes injustifiables comme un acte divin.

Pour contraster mes propos, j’ai souvenir il y a quelques années d’un massacre dans un pays nordique revendiqué par un extrémiste chrétien. Ce n’est pas pour autant que les habitants de cette ville ont été terrorisés par le moindre chrétien qu’ils auraient croisé.

Pour terminer, je dirais que les médias jouent de cette mauvaise connaissance des autres cultures, une meilleure communication sur l’Islam et les musulmans, les pratiques et leurs croyances permettraient de montrer aux Français que l’Islam n’est qu’amour et paix.

Mon point de vue est totalement faussé étant donné que j’ai davantage appris de valeurs dans ma vie des musulmans que des pseudos-catholiques.