A bad poem on an old French statue is not an immigration policy, no one ever pressed #2 for Yiddish — and it’s a thing called a cell phone. Maybe you’ve heard of it…?
Technological advances have also changed immigration. Travel accessibility has transformed journeys of months or years into hours or days. Major European air carriers offer direct flights connecting Europe to the Middle East and Asia. Even after the immigrant has arrived, he can keep in constant contact with his home country: by phone and the Internet or via satellite television. He can also return for summer vacations. Whereas immigrants of the past had little choice but to assimilate into their host countries, today, they can retain their native identities to the exclusion of the national identity of their new home.
In many cases, the immigrant “sojourns,” living in both countries, setting up two residences and splitting his time between his new country and his homeland. Sojourning not only retards integration but also ensures continuation of the immigration dynamic since the immigrant’s countrymen back home are continuously in touch and reminded of the wealth that immigration offers.
Immigrants tend to invest back in their home country, building palatial residences to show their success in Europe. There are entire neighborhoods in some countries that were built by emigrants who rarely live there: “Little Norway” in Gujarat, Pakistan, or the “Belgian Neighborhood” in Tangier. These neighborhoods usually only come to life in the summer when the immigrants return for annual vacations.
Investing in the home country also means less money to invest in day-to-day life in their new country. Immigrants might still be living in squalid conditions in Paris or Amsterdam, but their relatives in Morocco and Turkey can be satisfied with their success. Among Turkish immigrants in Belgium, there are those who borrow money to buy an expensive car for the summer trip to Turkey in order to show that they have succeeded in Europe. They then sell the car upon their return to Europe. The “Belgian neighborhood” in Tangier was supposedly built with the savings and child benefits of the immigrants.