"I have never welcomed the weakening of family ties by politics or pressure" - Nelson Mandela.
"He who travels for love finds a thousand miles no longer than one" - Japanese proverb.
"Everyone has the right to respect for his private and family life, his home and his correspondence." - Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights.
"When people's love is divided by law, it is the law that needs to change". -
David Cameron.

Thursday 1 October 2015

Rugby World Cup

Since the government brought in family immigration rules which divide rather than unite families, and it's promotion of an anti-migrant rhetoric, it's likely the ears of many readers perk up at the mention of immigration, with links seen everywhere in our daily lives - from the NHS doctors and nurses who help us get better, to teachers or professors who impart their knowledge on another generation; from bus drivers who take us to work to lawyers who stand up for our rights.

So with the rugby world cup in our backyard, it was hard not to notice the prevalence of migration in the tournament.  All but one of the participating nations is represented by players whose citizenship, place of birth or roots lie other than the team they are playing for. These players whilst not 'local', tend to qualify based on residency or having a parent or grandparent from the nation they now represent.
  • Samoa: 13 players born in New Zealand, qualifying through having Samoan parents
  • Tonga: 12 players born in Australia, Fiji or NZ
  • Wales: 11 players born in England, Australia or Tonga
  • Japan: 11 players born in NZ, Tonga, Australia or South Africa
  • Scotland: Also 11 born in other nations, including South Africa, England, NZ, Zimbabwe, Spain, USA or Netherlands
  • France: 10 born in South Africa, Belgium, NZ, Cote d'Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Burkina Faso, Algeria or Fiji
  • Australia: 9 born in Saudi Arabia, NZ, Zimbabwe, Papua New Guinea or Fiji
  • Italy: 9 players born in Argentina, South Africa, Australia or Fiji
  • USA: Also 9 players born abroad, in Australia, Ireland, South Africa or Zimbabwe
  • Canada: 5 players born in Nigeria, England, Scotland or South Africa
  • Ireland: 5 players born in South Africa, NZ, Israel or Spain
  • NZ: Also 5 players born overseas, including Australia, American Samoa, Tonga and Fiji
  • Romania: 4 players born overseas, in Georgia, South Africa, NZ or Tonga
  • England: 3 players are born in NZ, Australia or South Africa. The number would have been double, but for injuries
  • Fiji: Also 3 born in Australia or England
  • Namibia: 2 born in South Africa
  • Georgia: 1 player born in Russia
  • South Africa: 1 player born in Zimbabwe
  • Uruguay: Also 1, born in Argentina
You can read in more detail who the players are, here.

The only team to have the full squad native-born is Argentina, all other teams can thank immigration for its muscle.

The positives and options brought about by immigration are not unique to Rugby Union though - so many Team GB Olymipans also have foreign roots, but spare no effort in representing our nation.

Yeahie for movement of people - who knows which country some of your own kids will represent when they're all grown up, in whatever field they choose to participate.  With the increasingly global aspect to families, the world is truly our oyster.

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