I’m wondering what the author thinks about the possibility/probability that many people fleeing their countries will, in the future, be fleeing climate-related crop failures, dried up wells, rising seas?

Also, I rejoice that some people have little difficulty adjusting to their new cultures. Many others, however, arrive with such high levels of prolonged stress that learning the language of their new country is <neurologically> so challenging as to be nearly impossible. I volunteered to help resettle war refugees and watched their struggles to learn. In most of the ESL classes I witnessed, many refugees showed that “deer in the headlights” look (a sign that they were no longer able to learn) within less than 15 minutesThey struggled valiantly, but by the end of the class the room smelled like stress sweat. I also saw how they could only relax when they were able to speak their own language to people from their own culture.

And by the way, in my international travels, I saw ex-patriot Americans - who hung out only with other expatriate Americans. When I asked if they had learned the language or made friends with the people of their adopted country? They laughed. The answer was always NO.

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Are the Middle Eastern countries of origin for migrants to the EU open to seeing their citizens return to the region and resettle in countries that offer some better levels of freedom of thought and association? I have been concerned with the “silo” effect that I read about in EU cities. The USA is starting to see some of this, but with undocumented immigrants from the Southern border, are being disbursed around the country in a shamefully haphazard way. Seeing the increased numbers of those entering the US from the southern (and more than previously) northern borders being from many and disparate origins, I am concerned that we are creating these kind of “non assimilating” communities here as well. Thanks for your analysis of this issue with the EU as a likely paradigm of what can happen in the US. I am confident that these millions of people CAN become legal and assimilated, much like my own grandparents who emigrated from Poland in the late 19th Century and early 20th Century. I remember stories about how there was very little interaction between the Polish neighborhoods and the German neighborhoods, both being policed by Irish immigrants. The fact that I never learned to speak Polish (“we are Americans, David”) is a testimony to the reality my family saw about how to be successful in America in that time. Taking low-skill, physically demanding and low paying jobs made it possible for my father to graduate from high school, and now for his oldest son to have an earned doctorate. I want the same thing for the Mexican, Salvadoran, Chinese, and other groups who enter the workforce and assimilate (what ever happened to “melting pot America?”) into our culture by practicing their own faith, and maybe even intermarrying into a differently ethnic family (in spite of all of my grandmother’s warnings, I still married a “German” girl, and also traded my Roman Catholicism for Evangelical Catholicism as a Lutheran Pastor. Thanks again for your excellent writing!

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