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Immigration & Borders } Religion | Credit phb

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Germany has an immigration policy, and it’s undergoing significant changes in 2024. The new policies are aimed at making Germany less attractive for asylum-seekers while simplifying the process for skilled workers to immigrate. Some of the key changes include:

  • Deportations: There will be an increase in deportations for rejected asylum applicants, with reforms to make the process more efficient¹.
  • Asylum Detention: The duration of asylum detention is being extended to 28 days¹.
  • Migration Agreements: Germany is negotiating agreements with several countries to facilitate the return of individuals to their countries of origin¹.
  • Asylum Application Processing: The goal is to reduce the time it takes to process an asylum claim from over two years to between three to six months¹.
  • Welfare Benefits: Changes to welfare benefits for asylum-seekers include a delay in access to welfare payments and deductions for food from those living in state housing¹.

These changes reflect Germany’s efforts to manage immigration in a way that balances humanitarian obligations with economic and labor market interests³. For more detailed information, you can refer to the sources provided¹.


“The Childhood of Jesus” by J.M. Coetzee is a novel that follows a man named Simon and a young boy named David who arrive in a new land called Novilla. They have been given new names and taught Spanish to help them assimilate. Simon takes on the responsibility of finding David’s mother, despite having no information about her. He is convinced he will recognize her when he sees her. During their search, Simon becomes convinced that a woman named Ines is David’s mother and persuades her to take on the role. The novel explores themes of relocation, identity, and the nature of Jesus’ childhood through the experiences of Simon, David, and the people they encounter in Novilla¹². For a more detailed exploration, you might consider reading the full text or a comprehensive study guide..


The setting of Novilla in J.M. Coetzee’s “The Childhood of Jesus” is depicted as a fictional Spanish-speaking town where characters like Simon and David arrive to start anew. It’s a place of resettlement for refugees, offering them a chance to forge new identities and lives. Novilla is characterized by its simplicity and modesty, where basic needs are easily met, and the society functions on principles of decency and mutual support¹². The town serves as a backdrop for the philosophical and existential questions raised in the novel, as well as the challenges faced by the characters in their search for belonging and understanding². Novilla, with its echoes of ‘villa’ and ‘village,’ is portrayed as a no-place, a minimalistic stage set for the unfolding of the narrative³.


Novilla’s society, as depicted in J.M. Coetzee’s “The Childhood of Jesus,” is characterized by several key features:

  • Utopian Elements: The society is described as a utopian place where basic needs are met, and people live modestly but comfortably¹.
  • Simplicity and Order: Life in Novilla is simple and orderly, with public housing and basic food like bread being readily available³.
  • Socialist Undertones: The city operates on vaguely socialist principles, with an emphasis on community welfare and mutual support¹.
  • Austerity: There is an air of austerity and minimalism, reminiscent of Eastern-bloc countries, with little that is culturally distinctive⁵.
  • Contentedness: Despite the modest means, the residents of Novilla seem content with their lives, and the society functions smoothly⁴.

These features contribute to the setting’s role as a backdrop for exploring deeper philosophical and existential themes throughout the novel.


In J.M. Coetzee’s “The Childhood of Jesus,” the government of Novilla plays a mostly benevolent and ubiquitous role in society. It provides ample state services such as housing, education, and medicine, ensuring that jobs are available to all. The government also appears to maintain a social safety net, with a focus on the welfare of the community. Despite this pervasive presence, politics is notably absent from the narrative; there’s no mention of leaders, wars, or international rivalries¹. The society functions without the effulgences of capitalism or the trappings of bourgeois society, and there are hardly any class differences in this land of migrants¹. The government’s role aligns with the city’s drably utopian and vaguely socialist lines, where progress and technology seem to be intentionally limited¹⁴.


While J.M. Coetzee’s “The Childhood of Jesus” does not directly reference Lampedusa or African refugees, the novel’s themes of displacement, resettlement, and the search for a motherland resonate with the experiences of refugees worldwide. The story’s setting in Novilla, a place where characters arrive to start anew, stripped of their past identities, can be seen as an allegory for any refugee experience, including those arriving at Lampedusa from Africa¹².

The novel’s focus on the characters’ journey and their struggles to adapt to a new life parallels the challenges faced by refugees who cross the Mediterranean to reach European shores, often undergoing a transformation of identity in the process. Coetzee’s exploration of these universal themes through the lens of a fictional narrative invites reflection on the broader human condition and the plight of displaced individuals¹..


Migration is a complex phenomenon influenced by a multitude of factors. People may choose to leave their families, neighbors, country, and culture for various reasons:

  • Economic Opportunities: Many migrate in search of better job prospects, higher wages, and improved living conditions⁴.
  • Education: Access to quality education or advanced training opportunities can be a strong motivator.
  • Family Reunification: Some migrate to be with family members who have previously moved abroad.
  • Conflict and Persecution: Wars, political instability, and persecution can force people to seek safety in another country¹.
  • Environmental Factors: Natural disasters, climate change, and environmental degradation can make living conditions in one’s home country untenable.
  • Quality of Life: The desire for a better quality of life, including healthcare, social services, and personal freedoms, can drive migration.

These factors can be categorized as ‘push’ and ‘pull’ factors. Push factors are conditions that drive people to leave their home country, while pull factors are the attractions and opportunities that draw them to another country. Migration is often a strategy to overcome adversity or to improve one’s circumstances, but it can also result from the allure of perceived opportunities elsewhere. It’s a deeply personal decision that can involve significant emotional and physical challenges, including the loss of cultural identity and the need to adapt to new environments²³.


Borders pose significant challenges for refugees and migrants, especially those coming from less affluent regions. These challenges include:

  • Legal and Bureaucratic Hurdles: Navigating complex immigration laws and lengthy asylum procedures can be daunting¹.
  • Safety Risks: Migrants often face dangerous journeys and may fall victim to smugglers and traffickers³.
  • Healthcare Access: Once at the border, refugees and migrants may struggle to access healthcare and other essential services⁴.
  • Settlement Difficulties: Adapting to a new country can be difficult, with challenges in housing, employment, and integration into society¹.
  • Xenophobia and Discrimination: Refugees and migrants can encounter xenophobia and discrimination, impacting their ability to settle and feel welcome⁴.

These issues highlight the need for more compassionate and comprehensive immigration policies that respect the dignity and rights of all individuals³.


Indeed, the disparity in means between wealthy individuals and those with fewer resources is evident in how they navigate migration. Wealthy individuals can often obtain residency or citizenship in another country through investment programs known as “golden visas” or “golden passports.” These programs typically require a substantial financial investment in the host country, such as purchasing property or making a donation⁹[^10^].

On the other hand, individuals who cannot afford such programs and are desperate to escape adverse conditions in their home countries may resort to using people smugglers. These smugglers often facilitate illegal entry into a country, and the journey can be perilous and exploitative. Migrants may face extortion, violence, and life-threatening conditions during their journey¹³.

This stark contrast highlights the broader issues of inequality and the need for more equitable and safe migration pathways for all individuals, regardless of their economic status.


Countries can address the disparity in migration opportunities through a variety of strategies:

  • Creating More Legal Avenues: By providing more legal pathways for migration, countries can reduce the need for dangerous and illegal routes³.
  • Addressing Root Causes: Investing in stability, education, and employment opportunities in countries of origin can lessen the drivers of forced migration⁴.
  • Promoting Equality: International migration can be a force for equality under the right conditions, such as when migrants can use their skills productively and remittances can be sent home at a low cost².
  • Working with Labor Market Forces: Effective migration policies should align with labor market demands, such as temporary migration programs for seasonal work⁵.
  • International Cooperation: Collaborating with other nations and international organizations to manage migration in a way that benefits both sending and receiving countries¹.

These measures can help create a more balanced and fair global migration system, ensuring that people from all economic backgrounds have the opportunity to migrate safely and legally.

The economic implications of different immigration approaches are multifaceted and can vary significantly from one country to another. Here are some key points based on recent analyses and studies:

  • Economic Growth: Immigration can contribute to economic growth by increasing the labor force and adding to consumer demand. Skilled immigrants, in particular, can offset population aging and improve labor productivity¹⁴.
  • Fiscal Impact: Immigrants can have a positive fiscal impact by contributing more in taxes than they consume in public services, especially when they are young and employed¹⁴.
  • Productivity and Innovation: High-skill immigrants have been shown to increase innovation, as measured by patents, which can lead to growth in GDP per capita⁴.
  • Labor Market: Immigration can address labor shortages and help businesses find skills that are difficult to source locally. However, there can be challenges such as skills underutilization and potential impacts on local employment¹.
  • Public Confidence: The treatment of immigrants, particularly temporary ones, and the alignment of immigration policies with labor market needs are crucial for maintaining public support for immigration¹.
  • Social Services: While immigrants can place additional demands on social services, they also provide essential skills and labor that support these services².

Each country’s approach to immigration can have different economic outcomes, and policies need to be carefully crafted to maximize the benefits while mitigating any negative effects.

Borders & Legal Immigration

Author: Peter H Bloecker

Updated Thu 28 Mar 2024

–We all stand on the shoulders of intellectual Giants.

–Kafka and Schopenhauer and Nietzsche

–Become who you are (Goethe)

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