Sunday, November 4, 2007

immigration overload

We’ve had an intensive immigration focus this week. It’s been a bit challenging for the education team, because we weren’t a part of planning the curriculum (as it was all set months ago) yet we were in charge of making it happen during each day. The idea was to learn through a series of speakers, visits to a refugee center, a Turkish mosque or a Moroccan mosque, and some readings, about the Dutch immigration and integration policies. We had a group of high school students (that were very bright—all debate team members) join us for the three days, and we were divided into six groups. Each group created five laws to be an immigration policy for a fictional country, and then had 10 minutes to present their policy. Today, I, along with two other road staff members and four people from the refugee center, made up a panel that determined which immigration plan was the most realistic, that also considered both the humanitarian perspective and the host country’s practical needs & costs. I was impressed by the thoroughness of the proposals, and how seriously the teams took the assignment. I sat with a group who all determined that there was no way they ever wanted to work in immigration policies or law after this experience, because making decisions that affect people’s lives so consequentially was too hard!

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