As University of Washington economist Jacob Vigdor summed up in his research on recent immigrants, fears of a lack of assimilation in the United States are overblown. "Basic indicators … from naturalization to English ability, are if anything stronger now than they were" in the Ellis Island era. The law guaranteeing birthright citizenship is part of the reason. Far from ridiculous, it guarantees that immigrants and their children are woven tightly into the American fabric. Let's keep it in place, and the 14th Amendment intact.
Desperate for a better life, be it relief from war and persecution or simply an escape from grinding poverty and lack of opportunity, huge numbers of people from the Middle East and Africa have sought refuge in Europe in recent years - around 1.8 million of them since 2014. Sometimes their dreams of sanctuary and welcome are realised; they make it to the continent, are granted leave to stay and, with help, begin the slow and difficult process of establishing a place for themselves. And sometimes it all goes terribly wrong; the dangers, setbacks and obstacles on the journey are simply too great to overcome and they are forced to give up or turn back, or the reception they get on arrival is so hostile and unforgiving that eventually they are deported or disenchantment drives them home. In the first of two consecutive episodes exploring these contrasting experiences, People & Power has been to the small affluent city of Detmold, in north west Germany, the European country which under the government of Chancellor Angela Merkel, has taken in more refugees and migrants than any other and which, through generous state-funded welfare provision and language and job training, has sought to make a success of integration. Although this process is by no means universally popular across Germany - anti-migrant sentiment found in other parts of Europe is increasingly being echoed here too - in Detmold, at least, where the openheartedness of the local population is making a crucial difference, it appears to be working.
After Donald Trump signed his first executive order to ban refugees and immigrants from a number of Muslim-majority nations in January, I tweeted this photo of my dad riding the New York City Subway in a righteous afro and bell-bottoms. The point was to mock the notion that Muslims aren't capable of assimilating in the West. This is a sentiment I hear more than any other about why people like me don't belong in America--more than "vetting" dog whistles, more than fantasies about sleeper cells. It's one that reportedly has prominent sway in the White House right now. According to the Los Angeles Times, two of Trump's top advisers, Steve Bannon and Stephen Miller, "have pushed an ominous view of refugee and immigration flows, telling other policymakers that if large numbers of Muslims are allowed to enter the U.S., parts of American cities will begin to replicate marginalized immigrant neighborhoods in France, Germany and Belgium."
As the migrants' number grew, so did anti-Chinese sentiment over their economic successes. California passed a number of measures targeting Chinese migrants from requiring special business licenses and work permits aimed at preventing them from becoming U.S. citizens. Facing the exclusion into American life, Chinese migrants also faced criticism for an alleged lack of desire to adopt white mainstream customs from religion to learning English. Amid the discrimination, the migrants formed tight-knit communities as a means of support.
Stomata serve dual and often conflicting roles, facilitating carbon dioxide influx into the plant leaf for photosynthesis and restricting water efflux via transpiration. Strategies for reducing transpiration without incurring a cost for photosynthesis must circumvent this inherent coupling of carbon dioxide and water vapor diffusion. We expressed the synthetic, light-gated K channel BLINK1 in guard cells surrounding stomatal pores in Arabidopsis to enhance the solute fluxes that drive stomatal aperture. BLINK1 introduced a K conductance and accelerated both stomatal opening under light exposure and closing after irradiation. Integrated over the growth period, BLINK1 drove a 2.2-fold increase in biomass in fluctuating light without cost in water use by the plant.