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CONNECT THE WORLD
Arizona Immigration Law Goes Into Effect
Aired July 29, 2010 - 16:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MAX FOSTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Mixed emotions of outrage and relief - - it's a story that divides a nation and resonates around the world -- a controversial Arizona law on immigration went into effect today and from New York City in the east to Phoenix in the west, the arguments on both sides of the issue are only getting louder. An entire country is gripped with the debate over how to deal with its -- with its 10 million strong population of illegal immigrants.
Welcome to a special edition of CONNECT THE WORLD.
I'm Max Foster in London.
And our focus tonight is immigration.
No other story links countries and borders with as much history and as much consequence. In the next hour, we're going to look at where things stand with Arizona's immigration law and then sweep around the globe, examining how other countries deal with the issue within their own borders.
During the hour, I'll be joined by a special panel of analysts.
In London, I have Philippe Legrain. His approach to immigration is driven by economics. He's the author of "Immigrants: Your Country Needs Them".
And we have two more guests via satellite.
From Washington, Roy Beck, the executive director of NumbersUSA. He'll present the case against immigration.
And from New York, Joseph Chamie. He works with the Center for Migration Studies.
But we're going to start in Arizona. Tensions ran high in downtown Phoenix today, a day after a federal judge blocked the most controversial part of a proposed immigration law from taking effect and protesters take to the streets with a mix of relief and of outrage.
CNN's Thelma Gutierrez has been in the middle of all of that scene all day and she joins us live now -- Thelma.
THELMA GUTIERREZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Max, I can tell you that there were several hundred people who gathered here in front of Sheriff Joe Arpaio's office. They actually blocked the street, one of the main thoroughfares through this area. And they say that they wanted to engage in an act of civil disobedience to protest S.B. 1070.
Now, one of those people who was out here all day today is the Reverend Nancy.
Nancy, your last name, please?
REV. NANCY PALMER JONES: I'm Reverend Nancy Palmer Jones.
GUTIERREZ: And you came from California. Tell me why people are willing to be arrested and what the message is.
JONES: The message is that we've got to stand on the side of love with our brothers and sisters here. This is an issue that needs to be handled by the federal government. It is not going to solve the problem to break up families, to ruin the chances of people who are going to college and following the American dream. And deportation is not the answer. It's not an law enforcement issue.
GUTIERREZ: But the judge issued a temporary injunction against the active provisions of this law, the controversial provisions.
Why are you still protesting since she issued that?
I mean wouldn't you be celebrating instead?
JONES: There is something to celebrate in the recognition that some of those portions of the law really are not constitutional.
However, it is a halfway measure to take out just some of those propositions without doing comprehensive immigration reform.
GUTIERREZ: OK, we noticed amidst all of these protesters that there were very few people who felt like they were on the other side who actually came out. But one of those people -- I just met him a few minutes ago -- is Jason Wells (ph), a construction worker here in Arizona.
Jason, tell me what you think about all of this.
JASON WELLS: Well, it's very upsetting to me because I think that a lot of people who are protesting here today don't even know exactly what they're protesting about. I also want to say that I agree with the Reverend Nancy that this is a federal government issue that they've been skating.
But I also want to say that the U.S. government has always welcomed immigrants in this country. And Arizona has also always welcomed Mexican immigrants in this country. I work in construction and I know that a majority on the job site is Mexican immigrants and they are welcome to be here. I don't think that there's a reason to protest because they're being asked to prove their citizenship or their right to be here.
GUTIERREZ: All right, Jason and Nancy.
And, clearly, so many people have differing views on this whole issue. But many people say they're out here today because they want to force the federal government to take a stand on comprehensive immigration reform -- Max.
FOSTER: Thank you so much, Thelma, for joining us from that -- that flashpoint in this immigration debate.
We're going to dig deeper into the issue now with our panel of analysts.
Philippe Legrain is here with me in London. He's the author of "Immigrants: Your Country Needs Them."
Joining me from Washington is Roy Beck. He's at CNN Washington. He's going to present the case against immigration.
And Joseph Chamie from CNN New York. He's the director of research for the Center for Research for Migration Studies.
And I want to start with you, Joseph, because I want to really find out about this -- this story that we've been covering all week in the United States.
What, at the end of the day, does it really say about the immigration -- the migration debate?
JOSEPH CHAMIE, DIRECTOR OF RESEARCH, CENTER FOR MIGRATION, FORMER CHIEF U.N. DEMOGRAPHER: Well, the migration debate is global. There's no debate among countries that they need to stop illegal immigration. There is a consensus among virtually all the countries. At the United Nations they've said this. They've said it repeatedly.
The difficulty comes in is what to do with the people who are the illegal immigrants living in those countries. It doesn't matter if it's Australia or Angola or Israel or Italy, the United States or the U.K., it's the same difficulty -- how to treat those people that are in the country unlawfully.
Now, if we had a...
FOSTER: Yes. Carry on.
CHAMIE: And in Arizona, the issue came in between who would implement the laws and carry out the laws to deal with those people that are in the country unlawfully and many of them working unlawfully.
Now, the issue is very emotional. We have to differentiate between the facts, fiction, emotion and people's desires.
It's very clear in the United States, as well as other countries, that coming into the country uninvited is not legal. The only exceptions relate to refugees, asylum seekers and those cases which are clearly established in international law.
But to say that the people who have come in are not unlawfully here, that's not correct.
Second, how to deal with them is the issue and that's what's being debated. And that is basically a political issue.
FOSTER: OK. How to deal with them is a big issue, it's a political issue. It's also an economics issue.
And, Philippe, I just want to talk to you about that, because the way that this is being dealt with in the United States has sparked such a big debate there and around the world.
Where do you stand on it?
PHILIPPE LEGRAIN, AUTHOR, "IMMIGRANTS: YOUR COUNTRY NEEDS THEM": Well, I think that the politicians are refusing to kind of address the fundamental issues. The reason why migrants are in the United States illegally is twofold. First of all, that they cannot seal the border. And secondly, and more importantly, that there is economic demand for them to do jobs that Americans don't want to do. And you'll find that even in a recession, when unemployment in the United States is 10 percent, how many Americans -- native born Americans -- want to work picking fields in the boiling hot sun...
FOSTER: But America isn't saying we don't want immigrants to -- to work in our fields and in our factories...
FOSTER: It's saying we don't want illegal immigrants.
LEGRAIN: But what is actually -- it's almost impossible to enter the United States to do those kind of low skill jobs. And therefore you have a mismatch between supply and demand. And it's met illegally.
FOSTER: OK, Roy Beck, you've got strong views on this and you talked about them in the United States and people in the United States will be aware of them. I want you to explain to our international audience why you have the views that you have.
ROY BECK, "THE CASE AGAINST IMMIGRATION," EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, NUMBERSUSA: Well, Philippe, I'm sorry, is just totally wrong on this. Only 4 percent of illegal aliens are working in the fields. We do not have a problem on getting foreign workers into the fields. We have an unlimited guest worker program.
The -- the reason we have illegal aliens in the fields is because farmers prefer to pay lower wages to illegal aliens than to go through the legal program.
Secondly, we don't need any extra foreign workers in this country. We've got 25 million Americans who want a full-time job and cannot find one. And most of those 25 million are -- are lower educated, lower skilled, competing in the same occupations -- construction, manufacturing, transportation service...
FOSTER: -- vacancies then, Roy, why -- why are there vacancies?
BECK: Were -- where -- there is no vacancy. I mean...
FOSTER: There are vacancies in jobs which...
FOSTER: -- immigrants are filling.
BECK: No, there are not vacancies. That's the -- that's the thing. There's -- except for -- except for the field work, which is a tiny little portion of -- of immigrant labor, there are no vacancies. The fact is, is that every occupation other than -- than farm labor, is -- is filled, the majority by Americans. And whenever you move illegal aliens out of them -- and in a lousy job like meatpacking, for instance, when they emptied those meatpacking companies out of their illegal workers, there are legal American workers lining up to do those jobs. In a few cases, they do have to raise the wages a little bit. But the market ought to be allowed to -- to raise the wages, improve the benefits. We do not have any kind of a -- a labor shortage in this country. We have a tremendous labor glut. And we -- we simply -- I think that what's happening in Arizona is the people there want the same thing that people in every country in the world want. And they want some control over how many foreign workers are brought in to their state or into their country.
BECK: And they have a federal government that refuses to monitor that.
FOSTER: So the -- aren't you looking at this in too much of a clinical way, too much of an economics way?
LEGRAIN: Well, I mean, you could also look at it from a point -- perspective -- a humanitarian perspective, which is, is that people who happened to have a misfortune to be born in a country where -- where the opportunities are much less than -- than we expect, should have the right to seek a better life in a foreign country. So you could also look at it from that perspective.
But I think, you know, the point about linking legal migration and unemployment is completely false. The first thing is, is that the reason why unen -- unemployment rose is because of the financial crisis and the (INAUDIBLE) recession. Secondly, those migrants who are in the United States and are working are not depriving Americans of jobs.
Because they don't just take jobs. They also create jobs. They create jobs when they spend their wages and they create jobs in complementary lines of work. So for every American -- or Honduran chambermaid, there is a hotel supervisor who, in most cases, is American.
FOSTER: There's much more to that debate and we'll be talking about that later on in the program with all of our three guests, as well.
Now, illegal immigration, of course, is not limited to Arizona or even the United States. And we want to turn our attention now to some other countries around the world and how they handle the issue. In a moment, we'll take you to Israel, which has become the destination for a modern day exodus out of Egypt.
But first, a look at Spain, where the government has responded to a wave of illegal immigrants by simply letting them stay.
AL GOODMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I'm Al Goodman in Madrid.
Immigrants account for about 10 percent of Spain's population. And that's a big change from 15 years ago. But when the economy was booming, they rushed in from Latin America, Eastern Europe and North Atlantic. Many were illegal and that caused political tensions.
So successive governments offered two big amnesties for illegal immigrants, essentially allowing those already established here to get legal status with certain conditions.
Still, tens of thousands of illegal immigrants remain, according to estimates. And now that the economy is in a downturn, immigrants especially are suffering and some are returning to their home countries.
BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I'm Ben Wedeman in Makanuda Market (ph) in downtown Jerusalem.
Israel, like the United States, is a country of immigrants. And like the U.S., illegal immigration is a hot topic here. More than 15,000 Africans have snuck over the border from Egypt trying to reach the land of milk and honey. And now, some Israelis are saying those people must go.
One Israeli government minister recently said that illegal African immigrant is a threat to the country's very existence. He said Southern Israel is under siege from illegal African immigrants.
Now, against the opposition of some civil rights groups here, there's talk about rounding them all up and shipping them out. There are plans to build a barrier along the border between Egypt and Israel. This is one exodus from Egypt Israel wants no part of.
FOSTER: For the view, then, from Spain and Israel.
Next, we move to France and beyond. There's a law on the books in Europe that is meant to track asylum seekers and, if necessary, send them back home. It involves fingerprints. And we'll see the painful and pathetic way that some are trying to evade it.
FOSTER: Welcome back to our immigration special here on CONNECT THE WORLD.
We began this show looking at a controversial Arizona law.
In this next segment, we're going to examine the lengths to which people are willing to go to migrate.
There's a human tipping point where fear outweighs pain.
As Paula Newton tells us, the terror of returning to their homes is causing some asylum seekers to take drastic action.
PAULA NEWTON, CNN INTERNATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Self-mutilation -- fingers burned and cut in a useless attempt to avoid deportation from France.
(on camera): Have you done anything to your fingers?
Have you tried to -- what have you done to your fingers?
It must have hurt.
(voice-over): This man from Afghanistan says he burned and cut his own fingers deliberately, holding them over a hot fire again and again in an attempt to wipe out his fingerprints.
"I thought I was doing the right thing," he tells me, "to keep police from deporting me."
A European law requires asylum seekers be sent back to their first point of entry, where they were first fingerprinted. For many, that means Greece or Italy -- places they say that they are unlikely to be allowed to settle permanently.
(on camera): But you tried to burn your fingers, as well?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. Two years ago.
NEWTON: But they all grow...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They -- yes.
NEWTON: -- they all come back?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They will come back, yes. Two years ago.
NEWTON: Are -- are you sorry that you did it now, that you burned your fingers?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No.
NEWTON (voice-over): He's not sorry, but his painful ploy is for nothing. The fingerprints heal in a matter of months. What these people really want is to get to Britain without being caught first.
A belief that the British system is more likely to grant him asylum, more generous with payouts and an easier place to find a job. It's left thousands of asylum seekers literally roaming Europe.
And the transit point of choice, the shores of Northern France. Hundreds of trucks make the journey to Britain every day -- asylum seekers waiting for their chance to sneak on board. They waited in the jungle -- a sprawling makeshift camp on the edge of Calais. It was destroyed last year in the hopes it would encourage or force people to return to the first European country they entered. It hasn't worked.
(on camera): French authorities succeeded in tearing down that jungle, but the problem is still here. Dozens of other smaller jungles are springing up all over the French coastline. The problem is still here. It may not be as visible, but in story after story that we hear from asylum seekers, they are so convinced they must get to England.
(voice-over): And it's something smugglers prey on. Most asylum seekers pay thousands of dollars to smuggling rings that benefit from what aid organizations call a revolving door for asylum seekers in Europe.
WILLIAM SPINDER, UNHCR: What is happening is that many European countries are not willing to deal with the problem. They are just shifting it from one country to another. And that is not a solution. Unfortunately, it's difficult to have a rational debate about these issues at the moment because there's so much xenophobia and so much hatred around that sometimes people cannot really simply think straight.
NEWTON: And so thousands in Europe remain in limbo, some going as far as mutilating themselves to skirt laws that have done very little to stem the flow of asylum seekers.
Paula Newton, CNN, Calais, France.
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FOSTER: And we've just seen there what asylum seekers are prepared to do to make it across the Channel.
Atika Shubert picks up their sad stories on the English side.
But first, asylum seekers from Sri Lanka and Afghanistan think Australia is the promised land. Not everyone in Australia, though, agrees, as Anna Coren tells us, it's become a key issue in upcoming elections.
ANNA COREN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I'm Anna Coren in Sydney, Australia, where illegal immigration and asylum seekers is a highly contentious topic here at the moment. The Australian federal election has just been called for August 21. And one of the main campaign issues is how best to deal with the record number of asylum seekers trying to reach Australian shores.
Now, most of them come from Afghanistan and Sri Lanka, trying to flee prosecution or conflict. They travel in boats organized by people smugglers based in Indonesia, in the hope of reaching Australia and being granted refugee status.
This year, 80 boats carrying a total of 4,000 people have been intercepted by authorities. They are then taken to a detention center off the west coast of Australia, where they're processed. Some are sent straight back to their homelands, while others wait for years to be granted asylum.
Now the federal government has proposed establishing an offshore processing facility in a neighboring country here in the Asia-Pacific in the hope of stemming the tide of asylum seekers and the people smuggling trade.
ATIKA SHUBERT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I'm Atika Shubert.
And we're at a busy motorway just outside of London. And some of these commercial trucks and vehicles you're seeing pass by, these are some of the most popular ways for illegal immigrants to come here to the U.K.
The reason is that Britain is an island. The easiest way to get here, according to legal immigrants, is to come through France, cross the English Channel aboard a truck that's taking a ferry.
Now, that means either smuggling yourself inside a truck or even underneath a truck. It is an incredibly dangerous journey. But for thousands of illegal immigrants, they try it every year, many of them dying in the process.
FOSTER: Well, just consider those lengths that people actually go to actually get into countries like the U.K. because they're so desperate.
Let's bring in Roy Beck.
He's in Washington.
And, Roy, I think it's fair to say that you're anti-immigration. I may be sort of simplifying it a bit too much.
But what do you say to someone who's desperate to leave their life for a better life and you're on the other side of the border saying go home?
BECK: Well, first of all, we've got to realize, there are 5.6 billion people in the world who live in countries whose average income is below that of Mexico's -- 5.6 billion people. I mean there's no way that any more than, say, one tenth of 1 percent of these people could ever, under the wildest imagination, be able to move to a rich country.
So why -- why ruin the countries that they're going to with mass immigration when it really doesn't make an appreciable effect on this misery of the world?
The answer to the misery of the world has to be where most people live. And -- and secondly, the answer to the misery of these people who -- who risk their lives to make these journeys is to make it clear to the whole world that if you come to the United Kingdom, if you come to France, if you come to Australia, if you come to the United States illegally, you won't be able to get a job. You take away the job magnet, most illegal immigration will stop. And most of the deaths and the -- and the disfigurement that happens from people trying to make these journeys will stop.
FOSTER: Philippe Legrain, is illegal immigration ruining countries?
LEGRAIN: Well, I mean that's precisely...
FOSTER: Or immigration even?
LEGRAIN: It's precisely the point. Immigrants don't ruin countries. And it's -- it's strange that, because, you know, the United States actually had a long history of open borders. We had 50 million poor, uneducated Europeans who migrated to the United States. And at a time, people like Roy Beck, 100 years ago, was saying this is the end of America. You know, these poor people, they're just going to drag it down. And, actually, it helped propel the United States from the ashes of the Civil War to being the leading global powerhouse it is today.
So, I mean that's just -- that's just completely false.
Secondly, the notion that there are 5.6 billion people waiting to move is simply false, too. Most people don't want to leave home at all, let alone forever. And the notion that everyone is going to come is completely false.
FOSTER: Roy, that's a pretty good point, isn't it?
Wasn't America born out of immigration?
BECK: I'm sorry, the last question?
FOSTER: I'm just wondering if -- if America was born out of immigration as a nation...
BECK: Oh, I'm sorry.
FOSTER: -- it's a nation of immigrants...
FOSTER: -- immigration?
BECK: No, the thing is, is that -- that when we had that mass immigration after the Civil War, it was very harmful to America. It drove down wages. We had our greatest economic disparity we ever had other than right now. And it was only after we cut immigration back to a reasonable level, about a quarter million a year, that the immigrants that had come during the great wave actually started to assimilate both economically, culturally and also politically.
So, no, the fact is, is that immigration has often been a big problem for America when it's been in giant waves, the way it is right now, uncontrolled. I mean you're certainly right, we did have uncontrolled immigration up until 1921. But since -- after 1921, we -- we were basically a mature country. And I think every country has the right to be the country it wants to be. I mean I -- I -- there's not a country in the world that does not think that it should determine what its quality of life is going to be.
FOSTER: OK, Roy, Philippe, back with you later in the program.
And you're watching a CONNECT THE WORLD special on immigration. And it's a problem that just affects -- doesn't just affect the West. It's a global issue.
Up next, the view from Asia. And we're also going to run your comments on the debate.
Stay with us.
FOSTER: Welcome back.
Today on CONNECT THE WORLD, we're taking a global view of immigration. It's an issue countries all over the world struggle with -- people looking for a new and a better life.
But at what cost to that new country?
Here's a look at some places in Asia.
In Japan, it's not a matter of illegal immigrants sneaking across borders, overstaying visas is the big problem there.
But we take you first to India, where it is a land border issue and the country is taking steps to seal it.
SARA SIDNER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I'm Sara Sidner in New Delhi, in one of the most popular marketplaces. Now, here, the country is most concerned about security. There are seven nations that border India and several of them have known militant groups, including Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh.
For decades, India has had soldiers along the Pakistan border. But it's now doing something new on the Bangladesh border -- it's believed that thousands of Bangladeshis cross that porous border every year and it's beginning to really upset the citizenry of the state where they believe that the Bangladeshis are taking jobs because they offer cheap labor.
What's India doing?
Well, it's building a huge fence that's 2,000 miles long.
KYUNG LAH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Water -- that's what all of Japan is surrounded by.
I'm Kyung Lah in Tokyo at the Tokyo Bay.
Because Japan is an island, illegal immigration here isn't so much about a porous border, but about immigrants overstaying their visas. They then disappear into Japan's population. The government estimates some 90,000 illegal immigrants live here -- too high for Japan's government, which, in a controversial move, has stepped up its attempts to expel illegal immigrants, such as the case with 13-year-old Noriko Calderon (ph), a 13-year-old Filipino girl who was born and raised in Japan. The government allowed her to remain in Japan, but deported her parents out of the country to the Philippines. The United Nations has denounced such family separations and says that Japan must do more to protect migrants' human rights.
FOSTER: OK, views there from Japan and India.
And we've got all our guests with us, as we move on with this special edition of CONNECT THE WORLD.
Roy Beck is at CNN Washington and Joseph Chamie is at CNN New York. Philippe Legrain is with me here in London. They're all debating all sides of the immigration issue.
And up next, we'll flip the idea of immigration on its head, as we look at the struggle of immigrants who've made it to their desired country and now want to leave.
FOSTER: Welcome back to a special edition of CONNECT THE WORLD.
We're taking a look at the issue of immigration tonight, from the story playing out in Phoenix, Arizona to countries around the globe.
So far, we've heard reports from the U.S., Spain, Israel, France, Australia and the U.K. Lots more to come with our special panel of guests, as well.
First, we're going to get a check of the headlines this hour, though.
Prosecutors in France say a woman admitting killing eight of her newborn babies over a 17-year period. They charged Dominique Cottrez with murder a day after the bodies were discovered in a village in northern France.
In Pakistan, at least 90 people are dead because of a -- heavy flooding in the northwest. Officials tell CNN the waters swept away hundreds of mud houses, dozens of government buildings, and thousands of hectares of crops.
Much of Greece is at a standstill as striking truckers stay put despite a government order to go back to work. Gas stations are running out of fuel, so motorists and vacationers are stuck, too. Truckers went on strike over government plans to open the industry and issue licenses.
Britain's prime minister today said Pakistan is working to combat terror a day after he called Pakistan's government lax on terrorism. David Cameron's comments came during a trade mission to India and angered Pakistani officials.
Police are investigating a deadly boat accident in the Democratic Republic of Congo. At least 80 people died when the vessel capsized in the western part of the country. A government spokesman says the overloaded boat probably ran aground.
Welcome back to our special show on immigration. Before we move onto a fascinating case of an illegal immigrant who wants to go back to his country but can't, let me reintroduce you to our special panel of guests who've been with us for the last 30 minutes and will see us through to the end of the show as well.
In London, I have Philippe Legrain. His approach to immigration is driven by economics. I have two more guests by satellite. In Washington, Roy Beck, the executive director of NumbersUSA, and from New York we have Joseph Chamie.
But do stay with us. We showed you the incredible steps that people take to leave their homelands for a better life, and that's one side of the immigration coin. But what about the flip side? People who made it to their new place, but now want to return home. Our Soledad O'Brien now tells us they sometimes face an equally difficult struggle.
SOLEDAD O'BRIEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Edwin Andrade first came to the US from Ecuador because his daughter Dominca was dying. Her heart ailment could only be treated here. When their visas ran out, his family stayed illegally.
EDWIN ANDRADE, ILLEGAL IMMIGRANT FROM ECUADOR: I made the decision to stay here. I left everything for coming here to save her life.
O'BRIEN (voice-over): Even after Dominca got better, the Andrades continued to stay. They had good jobs. They had a second daughter with US citizenship.
O'BRIEN (on camera): You want to go home.
ANDRADE: I've got to go home. In my country, I'm citizen. I get to go wherever I need to go. I have like a free -- I have freedom there.
O'BRIEN (voice-over): After 13 years, the Andrades are doing the unthinkable, trying to leave. But they say they feel trapped, unable to find work in a recession. They're part of an estimated half a million illegal immigrants who are struggling to go back home.
O'BRIEN (on camera): Are you stuck?
ANDRADE: Yes. I'm stuck. I don't have hands -- what I have is like -- tie my hands.
O'BRIEN (voice-over): If Andrade tries to fly out using his Ecuadoran passport, officials will discover he's overstayed his visa. He'll face potential fines and expulsion from the US for years.
Leaving isn't so easy.
PABLO CALLE, ECUADORIAN GOVERNMENT OFFICIAL: We have a case of an Ecuadorian that went to us and they said, "Listen. I have nothing left in this country. I have no money for my air ticket. I just want to go back to my country." And they told him no.
O'BRIEN (on camera): Are you saying that some people say, "I'd love to go home, but I can't."
CALLE: Yes, that's the reality.
O'BRIEN (voice-over): Some illegal immigrants even face detention if they try to leave.
JOHN DE LEON, MIAMI IMMIGRATION LAWYER: If you want to stay, they get you out very quick. If you want to leave, they try to make it hard for you to leave.
O'BRIEN (voice-over): Immigration authorities declined to be interviewed on camera. They say people facing deportation orders may be detained while they're processed. The only way to come and go without a penalty, sneak back across the border.
At a center for day laborers in Los Angeles, undocumented immigrants can't fathom paying a coyote thousands of dollars to go backwards in their American dream.
LUIS ALBERTO FIGUEROA, DAY LABORER (through translator): He says "I've been wanting to go for a long time, but I make the decision, and I don't even have enough money for a ticket."
O'BRIEN (voice-over): And if they aren't Mexican citizens, it's more complicated. For example, Guatemalans face arrest if they enter Mexico illegally. Guatemala is one of the countries that helps its citizens get back home, giving two people each week a bus ticket and negotiating safe passage.
PABLO GARCIA SAENZ, GUATEMALAN CONSUL GENERAL IN LA: This year, 50 people take tickets for return to Guatemala.
O'BRIEN (voice-over): Edwin Andrade says the immigration crackdown has made it hard for him to get any work. But once he raises the money, he's taking his family back to Ecuador.
ANDRADE: I want to say thank you very much for the opportunities that I had these 13 years in the United States, but I want to see my country again. I want to start at zero again. For "In America," Soledad O'Brien, CNN, New York.
FOSTER: OK, let's talk about this with our panel. Philippe Legrain is author of "Immigrants: Your Country Needs Them." He's here in London. Roy Beck, who wrote "The Case Against Immigration," is in Washington. Joseph Chamie, director of research for the Center for Migration is in New York.
Joseph, I want to come to you now, because I want to get a sense, really, of migration around the world. Is it increasing? Is it decreasing? And where are the key flows?
JOSEPH CHAMIE, FORMER CHIEF UN DEMOGRAPHER: Yes, it's increased over the last few decades. Right now, it's around 214 million people are living outside the country they were born in. These are international migrants, including refugees and illegal immigrants as well.
These are the facts. The difficulty comes in, both in Philippe and Roy's presentations, is that they often start with their goals or their objectives and marshal information and statistics that are only partial. We have to differentiate between refugees, asylum-seekers, displaced persons, people who are coming in for economic reasons, a good number. People are coming in for social, humanitarian, or cultural reasons, fleeing conflicts.
It's not simply economics. It's not simply the numbers. It's a complex mixture of these things, and you need to have a very well-informed, balanced discussion of this. Of course immigrants have come to America in the past, and they've been largely responsible for the growth of this country. And that will be continuing.
It's also true that the number of people who want to immigrate to developed countries far exceeds, many times exceeds, the number that the developed countries are willing to accept. Therefore, you have to have a system to receive them in an orderly and managed way.
Again, the people, I can understand, wish to leave. But you cannot have governments letting people coming in, they don't know who they are, they don't know their health conditions, they don't know their circumstances. Especially after 9/11, we need systems to deal with these cases.
Now, with the people that are already in the countries, it's a different matter, and you have to have a humane, legal, recognized system of dealing with this situation, regardless if it's the UK, Israel, Australia, Japan, or the US.
FOSTER: Yes, OK. And I want to bring Roy in on that, because how do you deal with illegal immigrants that you find in your country. Do you send them straight out of the country? Or do you try to work out whether or not they're going to suffer when they do leave that country?
ROY BECK, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, NUMBERSUSA: Well, we have a very complex asylum and refugee process. The fact is is that nearly everybody who finds themselves in deportation proceedings are not -- they're not asylees, they're not refugees. They're people who came to improve their standard of living. Their consumption levels.
I do think this last segment is very interesting, and I'd have to congratulate the network for your reporting. I think this is some of the best reporting I've seen from around the world. This is kind of ridiculous, isn't it? If you've got illegal aliens in any country, and they want to leave the country, you ought to make it possible for them to leave.
And I know that there's a little bit of concern that you don't want to make it easy to just revolving door, but certainly we at NumbersUSA are -- approve of an asy -- excuse me. Of an amnesty that would allow any illegal alien to cross the borders, to buy plane tickets and not have any penalties assessed to them because they'd been in the country illegally. This is -- I mean, that's a humane thing to do.
And a second thing is, I think this -- it has to do with humaneness that we believe is that we don't believe at this point we need what I would call a lot of hard enforcement. I think soft enforcement would take care of most of our illegal immigration problems.
That is, take away the jobs magnet. Pass the Save Act, which is a bill that's been introduced by Democrats in the House and the Senate in the US that would require verification of every job in the country. And basically, take away the jobs magnet and then allow the illegal immigrants to gather up their affairs, gather their family, and go home on their own.
You don't have people breaking down doors in the middle of the night, you're not really, for the most part, spending a lot of money on deportation. And certainly we ought to allow people to go through those gates, go back home to their own communities, where most people really are happier if maybe poorer.
FOSTER: Philippe, for the people that approve of economic migration, you want it to be responsive. So you want it to flow quite well. But as soon as you start installing laws on borders, then it becomes a controversial issue. So how do you get the balance right about allowing economic migration and not being unfair to people or inhumane?
PHILIPPE LEGRAIN, AUTHOR, "IMMIGRANTS: YOUR COUNTRY NEEDS THEM": Well, we have a very interesting experiment going on at the moment in the European Union across all 27 countries, 500 million people. Most and soon all of them can live and work freely wherever they want.
The European Union has countries such as Sweden, which are richer than the United States, and countries such as Romania, which are poorer than Mexico. And we see that one, most people haven't left. Second of all, those people who have left have generally left for a short period of time. They've gone to work, they've contributed to the economy that they've gone to, and they also contributed to their own economy.
There's none of this bureaucratic categorization of whether you're this kind of person or that kind of person. Which actually is mainly determined by government rules rather than by reality. Most people --
FOSTER: You see --
LEGRAIN: Most people move for a variety of reasons. They might want to experience a different country. They might want to earn extra cash. They might want to be with the person they love. People move for all sorts of reasons, and these abstract categories really don't capture what immigration is about.
FOSTER: When we talk about the benefits of economic migration, though, is it very simplistic to talk about allowing people in or out, isn't it? Surely someone extremely qualified being allowed into a country will add to that economy. Someone unqualified actually just adds an extra head count.
LEGRAIN: No. People contribute in different ways. Clearly people who have exceptional skills can make a very large contribution. Other people who you might not think --
FOSTER: Only the people with exceptional skills add to that economy.
LEGRAIN: That's not true. People do -- people who do jobs that need doing contribute to that economy. In Britain --
FOSTER: But they consume the same amount.
LEGRAIN: Excuse me. In Britain, we have a shortage of care workers. There are -- if you ask a person who runs a care home, they cannot find suitable British applicants. We have an aging population. Without immigration, people will have to make do with less care. That is a very real example in which -- of how people with less skills can contribute to the economy.
The broader point also is, you don't know how people are going to contribute. You look at Google, Yahoo, eBay, they were all co-founded by immigrants who arrived in the country as children. Not some people selected for their high skills, but people who happened, once they arrived in the United States, to contribute in a most remarkable way to America's prosperity.
So you can't just pick and choose and assume the governments can guess who's going to contribute and who isn't.
FOSTER: You can't break it down that easily. OK Philippe. We're going to speak to all three of you a lot more. We're going to take a short break now, though. But first, government rules and regulations on immigration.
Russia has experienced its own huge influx of immigrants who must fight a battle of perception as they try and fit in.
In South Africa, immigrants face the very real prospect of violence in a nation struggling to employ its citizens. We have two reports starting in Johannesburg.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROBYN CURNOW, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I'm Robyn Curnow here in South Africa, in Johannesburg, which is the economic hub of sub-Saharan Africa. And the issue here of immigration is very sensitive because many South Africans are resentful of the millions of non-South Africans who come through South Africa's northern border looking for work, for better opportunities.
South Africans feel that this is a battle for scarce resources, so much so that in 2008 we saw an outbreak of xenophobic violence. Basically, South Africans burning down the shops of foreigners, even killing foreigners because they were so angry at all these illegal immigrants.
And again, there are reports that this xenophobic violence could flare up again. The townships and many of the areas around South Africa where foreigners congregate are being policed very heavily.
MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I'm Matthew Chance in Moscow, and since the collapse of the Soviet Union, Russia has been a favorite destination for immigrants, mostly from central Asian states, like Tajikistan.
Many work in the country illegally and are viewed by many Russians as responsible for rising levels of crime. It's sparked ethnic unrest and xenophobic attacks. But in fact, the figures don't really support the accusations. Human rights groups say immigrant workers in Russia, who make up ten percent of the country's population, commit only three percent of the crime.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
FOSTER: Welcome back now. Some video has CONNECT THE WORLD and our special show on immigration. Some video emerging that we want to bring you. It demonstrates what can happen when a basic need of an immigrant community, such as shelter, clashes with the need of a state to maintain order.
And I have to warn you, I have yet to see someone watch this video and not react in some shock. It occurred about a week ago when police in a northeastern suburb of Paris tried to evict a group of squatters from a housing project scheduled for demolition. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
(INAUDIBLE SHOUTING, RIOTING)
(END VIDEO CLIP)
FOSTER: We are told that most of the demonstrators are from Ivory Coast. We want to make it very clear in showing this we are not accusing the police of racism, we are not implying that they used excessive force. Several people who saw this video questioned why mothers would have infants, children on their backs in such a protest. This is simply an example of the difficulty one region faces in dealing with its migrant community.
Now, in fact, French authorities have offered the protesters temporary accommodation in hotel rooms whilst their cases were evaluated. The video was shot by the group Right to Housing. I talked a short time ago with spokesman Michael Hoare and began by asking him what had led up to those pictures you saw at the demonstration.
MICHAEL HOARE, RIGHT TO HOUSING (via telephone): What led up to this was the police and the prefect of the Seine-Saint-Denis had decided to use force to clear the people out of their campsite, which was just in front of the building, which they'd been evacuated from.
The images themselves were taken by a militant of Droit au Logement, and he had the camera, and was taking pictures from within what was happening, from within the group. And a policeman came up -- the police had already evacuated the other journalists who were around. There was one photographer from the newspaper "Humanity," she got escorted out. And another camera had been taken away.
And the policemen sort of got hold of this camera and just sort of tore off the LCD screen. So, in fact, once that happened, the images stop. But before that happened, he was able to fill this close-up footage.
FOSTER: And before we talk about the footage, just explain to me why these protesters hadn't taken up the offer of alternative accommodation and would rather sit in the street.
HOARE: Well, the offer of alternative accommodation was very, very short-term. The first offer they had was just for three nights in a hotel. Then that got extended to 12 nights in a hotel. And they wanted some kind of guarantee or some kind of promise on the part of the authorities, be it the municipality or the prefect, or the region. That they would wind up being re-housed. And, of course, this wasn't forthcoming. And so they decided to stay until they could a little bit more than just 12 nights in a hotel.
FOSTER: OK, just explain where these people were from originally. Was it a mixed group, or are they from a particular community?
HOARE: No, most of them are from the Ivory Coast. Most of them have been in France for a period of three to ten years. Some of them have papers, some of them don't have papers. They have submitted demands and requests to have -- to be legalized. But those are the -- that's the situation of the families who are there.
FOSTER: And where are they now? What's happened to them?
HOARE: Well, they have accepted -- because the experience was so traumatic, they ended up accepting the offer of the prefecture to go into the hotels. There's a meeting going on right at the moment in the Seine- Saint-Denis about what's the future, and what kind of program is going to be opened up so that some kind of options for re-housing can appear. But that's very much up in the air at the moment.
FOSTER: Well, after speaking with Michael Hoare, we did receive a statement from the police commissioner there. He acknowledged that an eviction is never a simple procedure when there is resistance.
And regarding that disturbing video of a baby being dragged, he adds, "The officers weren't able to dislodge her by pulling on her arms because her arms were linked with people on both sides. Therefore, they moved her by pulling on her legs. Within a meter or so, the baby is dislodged, and it becomes apparent to another officer, who immediately picks it up."
Up next, our panelists wrap up the debate on immigration. It's a big debate. Stay here for that.
FOSTER: Welcome back to our immigration special here on CONNECT THE WORLD. In the last 45 minutes, we've taken you to Arizona, the site of a controversial immigration law that went into effect today. We've also visited France, Russia, South Africa, Australia, India, Japan, and more.
And next, what do people think? From July the 16th to the 21st, we conducted a CNN opinion research corporation poll, and we asked Americans about Arizona's law on illegal immigrants. Fifty-five percent of those who responded favored it. Forty percent oppose the measure. The poll has a sampling error of plus or minus three percentage points.
Let's gather our three panelists together again, ask them about the views of the people. Philippe Legrain is here with me in London, Roy Beck is standing by in Washington, and from CNN New York, we'll hear from Joseph Chamie.
First of you -- first of all, to you, Joseph. Isn't that the interesting point here, that the country where the migrants are going to is largely in favor of the law. Therefore, that should stand.
CHAMIE: That's correct. And it's not only the America in the position on this. It's global. There's actually a gap, a migration gap, between what the public thinks in countries around the world, and what the governments and the elites want. Many of them benefit directly for an economic growth, and their businesses in lower wages because of a large number of migrants coming in.
But the public surveys in countries around the world indicate the public would like to see decreased immigration, not increased immigration. Whereas, government officials and the elites would like to have more. So it's not surprising, the results in Arizona.
The issue it's going to come down to, how will you resolve this issue? Not illegal immigration, but how to resolve the presence of people who are unlawfully in the country. And that will take years to sort out in these countries, and it will not be any easy issue. And as that footage you showed in Paris, this will be happening around the world. You'll see more and more demonstrations of people who do not want to leave. It's not simply because of economics.
FOSTER: OK, Joseph, we're going to have to leave it there just for the moment, because we need get to the other two as well. And Philippe, there's the argument. If you had a vote in the United States, they'd be supporting this law that you oppose. And their voice is stronger on this matter.
LEGRAIN: Sure, and sometimes public opinion is wrong. I mean, until slavery was abolished --
FOSTER: Fifty-five percent of a very large poll.
LEGRAIN: The majority of the people were in favor of slavery until it was abolished, and the majority of people were against -- of men were against granting women the vote until it happened. We shouldn't only look at it in that terms. I think it's humanitarian terms, in terms of human rights, allowing people less fortunate than ourselves the right to move. A right that we take for granted. It's incredibly important.
And it's also in our economic self-interest. History shows it, Europe's experience now shows it. And America's stellar success over the years from immigration shows it.
FOSTER: OK, Roy. Americans could be stabbing themselves in the foot here, because their economy's not going to grow as fast as it would if it didn't have this law.
BECK: Well, what matters is not how big the economy is. What matters is the quality of life of each individual. Certainly, the median individual. And we know that if you add a lot of immigrants to a country, you will probably grow the economy. But does the life improve for the members of that national community?
Arizona's kind of taking a hit right now because they were brave enough and bold enough to say, "If the federal government's not going to protect our vulnerable workers in our vulnerable neighborhoods, then we'll do it." And right now, it's a war between the federal government, right now, and most of the citizens of this country. It's going to be quite a -- it's going to be quite the major political battle, and I think it'll go on for years.
FOSTER: I'd like to thank all of our guests throughout the program. You've been a great contributant -- contribution to this program. We appreciate it very much.
But up next, what some of you at home are thinking about the many issues surrounding immigration.
FOSTER: All this week on CONNECT THE WORLD, we've been soliciting your opinions on immigration policy, and loads of you have weighed in on our website, cnn.com/connect. Here's a selection of your views.
SCOTT VAN SLYCK, LONDON, ENGLAND: Well, I would say it's affecting me quite profoundly. I mean, I'm always considered myself, wherever I've been outside of Canada, as an immigrant. Which I rightly am.
I think that the biggest change, or the biggest thing I've noticed living in the UK is just kind of an underlying unwelcome feeling, I suppose. (Audio gap) Immigration.
One of the things that always seems to strike me as odd is, I often have people complaining to me about the level of immigration or the number of immigrants that live in the UK, and they seem to forget or don't count me among that lot. A lot of times I think it might have to do with the fact that I can speak English, or maybe the color of my skin.
But I just get a real sense that there's a general unease with the amount of immigrants that live in the UK.
CELIA DEKKER, KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA: I'm from South Africa, and I'm at the moment living in Malaysia, and we immigrated here because of my dad's work. And it's been quite difficult for me living over here, but with all the difficulties, it's been really nice as well.
I've gained a lot of knowledge and experience of a whole new culture and seeing all around the world, and seeing people and meeting things. Just experiencing a lot of things that you wouldn't normally experience in your own country.
For me, immigration is unknown, because you need to stay proud of who you are and where you were born, and you have to be proud of your own culture and not trying to change that. If you're looking for adventure, then go on holiday for a few weeks or months to another country, then experience the culture in that way. But keep your own culture.
FOSTER: We're also asking your views on immigration online. You've given us some emotional responses on our CONNECT THE WORLD blog. The controversy in Arizona is on the mind of d. shutt, who says, "All the problems are with illegal immigration. Those people broke our laws when they entered this country."
A similar view from David, who feels "Illegal immigration, or breaking and entering," as he calls it, "is the same when they do it in a country as when they do it to a house. Against the law, and it's a crime. Period."
Then there's this from Chris. "I am an immigrant," he says, "but I am not a criminal, just a small guy who wants to work and have a better life."
Get your voice heard on CNN. Head to our website on cnn.com/connect. The discussion, the debate, continues there. I'm Max Foster. Thank you for watching this special edition of CONNECT THE WORLD focusing on immigration. "BackStory" is next, but we're going to check the headlines first.