Sunday 4 August 2002

Ending 'Bootleg' Immigration (UPI)

M.D. Nalapat

WASHINGTON, India, Aug. 3 (UPI) -- What is inevitable cannot be prevented. It can only be redirected in ways either less harmful or actually helpful.
In the 1920s, several moralistic U.S. politicians enacted The Volsted Act, making the production and sale of alcohol illegal everywhere in American. Predictably, that prohibition led to the rise of nationwide organized crime and the proliferation of bootleg alcohol.
Three decades later, several states in newly independent India attempted the same experiment, only to lose hundreds of citizens through the consumption of illicit brew, and to watch crime syndicates multiply to meet the demand.
Modern demographic trends mandate significant migration into the European Union. Thanks to laws and procedures as unrealistic as Prohibition, traffickers in human beings, as opposed to bootleg hooch, are not in large part supplying the demands for labor, operating mainly out of North Africa, East Europe and the China coast
None of these three regions has institutions and societal habits that compare favorably to those found in western democracy. While most countries in East Europe are now democracies, at least partly, habits of the past five decades continue to infect the elites and the rest of the population -- further effecting their re-adjustment to societies where free choice is taken for granted.
It is not accidental, for instance, that the largely Italian "Mafia" that rule the criminal underworld in the United States and Europe from the 1920's on has, by the late-1990s, been replaced in several key European cities by their "Romanian"," Russian" and "Albanian" counterparts.