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Posts Tagged ‘immigrants’

Movie !

Sunday, April 24th, 2016


Brooklyn !

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Ireland and migrants

Saturday, September 5th, 2015

Ireland’s record on migrants has been shameful since the State’s foundation
Hungarian refugees in the 1950s complained bitterly about their treatment and soon the vast majority had left Ireland to be resettled in the US and Canada

an article by Patsy McGarry Fri, Sep 4, 2015, published in The Irish Times

‘Last April, as the small group began their commemorative march to Dublin, it was reported that as many as 700 migrants had drowned off the Libyan coast in the Mediterranean.’ Above: Ciara Blanch from Tallaght welcomes the Famine re-enactment walk from Roscommon to Dublin. Photograph: Alan Betson
How quickly we forget.

When it suits.

Last April a small group completed a 155km walk from Strokestown, Co Roscommon, to Dublin, in memory of 1,490 people offered assisted passage to Canada by landlord Maj Denis Mahon as he cleared his lands during the Famine.

In 1847 they were frogmarched by his bailiffs along the banks of the Royal Canal to Dublin, where they boarded ships for Grosse Île in Quebec. Among the 1,490 was widow Mary Tighe (whose husband, Bernard, had already died of hunger), her brother and her five children.

They boarded the Naomi in Dublin, and by the time they arrived in Quebec, just two of the family survived: Daniel (12) and Catherine (nine).

Of the 1,490 of Maj Mahon’s tenants who boarded ships in Dublin, 700 died en route to Canada. Or almost half.

Last April, as the small group began their march to Dublin, it was reported that as many as 700 migrants had drowned off the Libyan coast in the Mediterranean. The resonance was not lost on the Strokestown walkers.

One of their number, Carolin Callery, recalled, on arrival in Dublin how, as they set out on April 20th last, she got a text telling her about the drowned 700 off Libya. It was “gut-wrenching”, she said, adding that “while exploring our past, we are always conscious that the experience is someone else’s present”.

Such sentiments were not lost on Taoiseach Enda Kenny. Speaking a month later to the crew of LÉ Eithne as they prepared to leave Cork to help rescue migrants in the Mediterranean, he highlighted Ireland’s historic familiarity with such tragedies.

“It is in our history and personality, and in our DNA, in Ireland, having dealt with coffin ships after the time of the Famine and the Great Hunger. The humanitarian personality of Ireland is extraordinary,” he said.

That may well be so, but Ireland’s, at least official Ireland’s, record in dealing with migrants/refugees has been shameful.

Jewish groups

After the second World War, Jewish groups in Dublin had great difficulty in securing refugee status for Jewish children to come to Ireland. In 1948 the Department of Justice offered a ludicrous explanation: “It has always been the policy of the minister for justice to restrict the admission of Jewish aliens, for the reason that any substantial increase in our Jewish population might give rise to an anti-Semitic problem.”

Then taoiseach Éamon de Valera overruled the department and 150 Jewish children were brought to Ireland.

In 1956 a group of 530 Hungarian refugees (how quickly that country forgets its own history too!) fleeing the Soviet invasion were accepted into Ireland and accommodated at an army camp in Knockalisheen, Co Clare.

The Irish government made the barest provision for them and considered their presence temporary. The Hungarian refugees complained bitterly about their treatment and soon the vast majority had left Ireland to be resettled in the US and Canada.

In 1973, after the president, Salvador Allende, was deposed in Chile, a group of Irish people lobbied for the acceptance of a quota of refugees from that country. At the time, Ireland and Luxembourg were the only members of the then EEC that had not accepted any Chilean refugees.

A Department of Justice memo of April 1974 expressed reservations about accepting such Chileans, due to their possible Marxist background. It was also felt that Ireland was not as cosmopolitan as other western European countries, and so “the absorption of even a limited number of foreigners of this kind could prove extremely difficult”.

This view was substantiated by reference to the Hungarian refugees who, it was claimed, had “failed to settle down” in Ireland and had re-emigrated to other countries.

Chilean refugees

Few of the 120 or so Chilean refugees who were eventually accepted by Ireland in the 1970s remained. They too experienced great difficulties.

As of February 16th last, there are 7,937 asylum seekers in Ireland, 55 per cent of them for five years or more. They live in inadequate conditions of forced dependency while allowed a weekly pittance and condemned to a limbo of unknown duration.

In the current migrant/ refugee crisis in Europe, Ireland has, to date, agreed with the European Commission to accept a quota of 600 of the estimated 40,000 being dealt with at the time of agreement, while separately arranging to resettle 520 refugees from outside the EU.

Germany has since said it will accept 800,000 such refugees this year, Austria 80,000, and we whinge when German chancellor Angela Merkel tells a press conference, as fact, that “some countries . . . are not participating in common European asylum policy; for instance, Britain, Ireland and Denmark”. Ireland of the Welcomes, how are ya!

Meanwhile, as with our ancestors and their children, desperate people and their children die as they try to escape horror for a better life.

Are we about to disgrace ourselves again?

Migrants can’t be left to die in the seas of Europe

Sunday, April 19th, 2015

The EU needs to find better answers on immigration as ending the Mare Nostrum search-and-rescue operation has not stopped desperate people from attempting this perilous journey

A rubber dinghy with 104 sub-Saharan Africans on board waiting to be rescued

I am an immigrant

Sunday, April 12th, 2015



These posters come from an Australian campaing against discrimination and xenophobia.






spaces and exchanges : population

Thursday, February 20th, 2014

Movement of people

– Immigration: how and why it began? Why did people emigrate to the USA, what is the American Dream …..

– Cultural interactions: the movement of people across borders  – Gap year, student exchange programs….


For more information here is another “prezi” to help you find some ideas to illustrate the notion of spaces and exchanges

Some 214 million people are international migrants, living in a different country from the one in which they were born. There are plenty with high-level skills who end up working for at least part of their careers outside their home country.

Some take work they are overqualified for, because it still pays better than what is available at home. This has led to a brain drain from some developing countries.

Watch the BBC 6-minute English report to learn more about global migration

spaces and exchanges : Ellis Island

Thursday, February 20th, 2014

Ellis Island

The Voyage to Freedom

Coming to America appealed to many immigrants from the southern and northern parts of Europe as they found a way out of situations of persecution and oppression as well as political and economic difficulties. Once they arrived in America, some passengers were allowed to go on shore without making their way through inspection. This privilege was given to those considered to be first and second class citizens. All the other “lower class” citizens were shipped off to Ellis Island to go through inspection.

To travel to America immigrants had to pay from twelve dollars to sixty dollars per person, which meant that families had to save their money for years before they could travel to America. Even when the money was available, families still had to go through the process of being screened before they could get on board a ship to sail to America. Once they made it to their destination, passengers had to go through a physical inspection by doctors before they were set free into their new life or were detained because of issues that the doctors found. Sometimes, what was supposed to be a happy ending to coming to America ended in disappointment. This happened when a family member was not allowed into America and was sent back to where he came from.

Ellis Island and the Immigrant- Annie Moore

On January 1, 1892, a ship coming in from Ireland, landed at Ellis Island with a load of Irish Immigrants. The first person to step foot on the island was Annie Moore, a 15 year old girl. The teenager was presented with a gold coin; its monetary value was worth ten dollars for being the first person to step foot on the newly constructed Ellis Island. Annie and her brothers had spent 12 days on the ship as they set out to join their parents who were already living comfortably in New York. This girl and her brothers are recognized as the first people to arrive on the renovated island. A statue with the image of Annie and her younger brothers now stands at the Ellis Island Museum.

Learn about Ellis Island in this History Channel report.

spaces and exchanges : the American Dream

Thursday, February 20th, 2014

What is the American dream?

The American dream is the notion that the American social, economic, and political system makes success possible for every individual. Someone who manages to achieve their version of the American dream is said to be “living the dream”.

Many people criticize the idea of the American dream because they say that it is impossible for everyone to be able to fulfill their dreams – there are still inequalities in class, race, religion and ethnicity preventing people from “living the dream”.

The idea of the American dream is older than the USA itself – it dates back to the 1600s, when people began to have hopes for what was a new and largely unexplored continent to European immigrants. People dreamt of owning land and establishing a prosperous business and hoped that this would make them happier.

Today’s the definition of the American dream is much different. Most people nowadays hope that they will get married, have two children and live in a three-bedroom traditional home. Rather than looking for great wealth or success, people hope to avoid poverty or loneliness.

Improve your listening comprehension!

You can listen to people talking about what the American dream is here

You can watch a political ad talking about the American dream here

You can watch a BBC report about the American dream here

You can listen to different people talking about the American dream on the Academie de Paris website

Ellis Island

Saturday, December 14th, 2013
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Interactive tour of Ellis Island here :

The Immigrant

Saturday, November 30th, 2013
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–> go to the cinema and watch it !

Fiche de Vocabulaire Immigration TSTG

Tuesday, September 7th, 2010

Welcome to the TSTG2 students on the blog !

Please feel free to visit and comment.

Our first theme for the year is immigration and The American Dream.

To start with, I would like you to watch several videos (included in previous articles) :




Finally , here is some vocabulary. Please download and print this page.