March 8, 2007

A question for my Finnish readers

It's widely claimed that it's impossible to cut down on immigration across the American-Mexico border, since it is so long (1950 miles) and the GDP per capita ratio is so large (4.2x).

Yet, the Finnish-Russian land border is almost half as long and the income ratio is about 3x. And Finland, according to the CIA Factbook, is only 0.4% Russian.

What's going on? Is there actually a huge Russian illegal immigrant population in Finland that's not counted? Or, do the Finns contrive to keep Russians out? If so, how?

My published articles are archived at -- Steve Sailer


Anonymous said...

My understanding is they do it the same way the US would if we were serious about controlling our immigration: make it impossible to work if you're not properly documented. A better-designed green card with an instantly checkable database combined with real employer sanctions would moot the need for an ugly, ecologically destructive wall along the southern border.

Anonymous said...

On top of that,
no agriculture industry in Finland, or atleast no significant agriculture industry where you can work without documentation.

FishFace6000 said...

I've been to Finland and asked the guys I was staying with exactly this question. From what I understand there are a couple of factors at work (1) it is considerably more difficult to get work in Finland as an illegal immigrant than it is in the States, and Russian migrant labor is limited mainly to seasonal crop pickers in some places (2) the Finns, en masse, really dislike the Russians for historical reasons and aren't likely to go out of their way to welcome them, (3) the border region between Finland and Russia is (relatively) remote and difficult to get to - there are no population centers straddling the border like Ciudad Juarez or Tijuana that suck in large numbers of people who then think they'll take their chances across the border, and (4) the Russians aren't particularly inclined to migrate. Given the poverty of Russia compared to the countries further to the West, it is instructive that Russian migrant communities in Western Europe remain quite small. Certainly there are difficulties in getting visas, but that hasn't exactly stopped the Albanians or Serbs or Romanians (pre-2007) from moving west in massive numbers.

Belmont said...

The big invasion of Russians into the West has been the nouveau riche, throwing round money like the Arabs did in the 1970s and 80s.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps as a movie critic you remember films such as 'King Rat' and 'Bridge on the River Kwai' which featured POW camps without barbed wire enclosures. Completely reverse the weather conditions and you may get an idea of why so few Russians can sneak into Finland (or watch 'Doctor Zhivago' for more decidely unCalifornia conditions).

Of course you'll notice how few Russians try and enter Alaska either.

Anonymous said...

Nope, there is no huge Russian illegal immigrant population in Finland. I think the main reason is that there are no jobs for illegal immigrants. It's very hard to do any work if you're in the country without proper documentation. Also it's very hard to get an apartment and naturally you don't get any social benefits.

-Finn from Helsinki

Anonymous said...

A Russian is a Russian even if he's fried in butter.

joshrandall said...

Remember when Conan went there? heh heh heh,yep,that was something! :)

Anonymous said...

They don't want to come illegally. They could if they wanted to.
The Border Guard's manpower is only 3100 personnel and not all of them are at the eastern border.

Anonymous said...

Finland will be the last European country standing.
Take a look at these stats:
Finland is the world's second most competitive economy according to The Global Competitiveness Report 2006-2007.
A majority of Finns don't want more immigrants, legal or illegal. Thanks to the Internet and various Finnish anti-immigration blogs, ordinary Finns are already finding out what multiculturalism is causing in other European countries. The PC establishment doesn't have enough time to islamize Finland.

Steve Sailer said...

Greg Cochran points to this Wikipedia entry:

Simo Häyhä (December 17, 1905–April 1, 2002), nicknamed "Belaya Smert" (Russian Cyrillic Белая Смерть; in English, White Death; Finnish Valkoinen kuolema) by the Soviet army, was a Finnish soldier, and is widely considered to be the most successful sniper in history.

He was born in the small town of Rautjärvi near the present-day border with Russia, and started his military service in 1925. During the Winter War (1939 – 1940) between Finland and the Soviet Union, he began his duty as a sniper against the Red Army. Working in temperatures between −20 to −40 degrees Celsius, and dressed completely in a white camouflage suit, Häyhä was credited with 505 confirmed kills against Soviet soldiers.

Leonard said...

The sniper is not particularly relevant, but the war might be. Finns were at war with Russians 63 years ago; that's in living human memory. That may affect the level of welcome they get in Finland.

I'd also like to second a suggestion upthread, that for illegals it's convenient to have a mild climate such that one can spend the night outdoors at times if one is between lodging. To the extent that a nation does try to enforce its immigration laws, illegals will sometimes have to run to escape capture.

Anonymous said...

As a legacy of Soviet Union the Russian border control is extremely strict. It is simply much more difficult to get from Russia to Finland than from Mexico to USA. It would also be much more difficult to hide yourself in (virtually non-existent) russian masses here in Finland than to live as an illegal immigrant in a LA latino suburb. Furthermore, it is difficult to get an illegal job in Finland, and even your prospects as a professional criminal are bad, although the prison sentences are lenient compared to USA.

Finland is a great decent country to live in and most of us would like to keep it that way, but leftist liberals are ferwently working on creating a "multicultural" society and especially welcoming muslims. Somalis, Iraqis and Iranians are top favourites. It is incomprehensible.

Anonymous said...

The border is still a military border. There are guards and guns on both sides. Especially the guards on Russian side will aim and shoot even if the person is trying to go to Finnish side. The same happens on Finnish side if you do not stop when told by Finnish Border Guards.

Anonymous said...

Actually, legal immigrants from Russia (about 30 000) form the largest foreign-born community in Finland.It's just not much noticed,even by us Finns, because attention tends to be focused on Somalis (less than 10 000) and other non-Western,non-white immigrants.

About illegal immigration in Finland:the first comment was spot on.Here,you can't really hold a job,or find yourself a place to live,without possessing proper ID.Employers have tried though, even in one case using illegals from China to do construction work,but the chances of getting away with it are smaller than in the U.S. or Britain.(Plus the unions won't stand for it).

Anonymous said...

How it looks from Russian side: I've never met (or heard of) a person who'd like to immigrate/come to work to Finland. People immigrate to USA, UK and Germany, professionals immigrate to Canada and Australia (they've got specific programs for that), also lot's of people buy real estate in ex-Warsaw Pact countries, criminals flee south... Looks like Finland is loosing competition as an immigration target, badly. Finns are probably happy with that:)

Anonymous said...

About the Finnish-Russian border:Most of it goes through scarcely populated countryside and wilderness on both sides.It's not that heavily guarded,if by "heavily guarded" you mean something like the old GDR-West German border.

But imagine trying to come in from the Russian side:once you get past the fence,you'll end up walking,say, 20 miles only to get to a village where everyone speaks Finnish and no tourists ever stop by.The reason few people used the Finnish route to escape from the old Soviet Union was that the Finnish government would turn them back if caught.(Oleg Gordievski comes to mind,but he had help from the British intelligence).

Anonymous said...

1. economy is booming in big cities of russia, so not need to come here.

2. border is guarded well on both sides.

3. It is hard to work as illegal in finland.

4. Finland is too expensive live as illegal cheap worker.

tommy said...

I think part of the reason immigration isn't much of a problem for Finland is the very fact that Russian population only constitutes 0.4% to begin with and no specific industry has been demanding inexpensive Russian labor.

In the United States, there has always been a Hispanic population in the Southwest. What is more, agriculture in California and ranching in Texas and other border states have traditionally served as engines for further immigration, even if only seasonally. That Hispanic population helped provide a more comfortable social environment for further waves of Hispanic immigrants.

Anonymous said...

I'm a Finn and living in Finland. I know many Russians living in Finland as well, although there are not many of them (about 0.4% of pop.). The Russians living in Finland are mostly legal. They have gotten a visa by getting a job first before migration (usually from Nokia or other big company), or, they belog to a group that are considered Finnish by old relatives even they are Russians by citizenship (ex-president of Finland, Kovisto, made it legal for the so called Inkeri-Finns to move back to Finland). But I happen to know one "illegal" Russian imigrant that is working in Finland having a tourist visa... He just visits Russia every weekend. Anyway, taxes are high in Finland and to have the system working with high taxation the regulation and control has to work. That's why you don't get a job in Finland if you are an illegal imigrant. Trade unions, for example, are also strong so if there are employees not getting the minimum wages "someone" will just inform the officials and the employer is in trouble. So if you have no job, how can you get an appartment? If you have no job and no appartment where do you sleep and where do you get money? Getting into Finland is easy (the low imigration is not about border control)... tourist visa is just enough.

paulie said...

I wrote some of that Simo Häyhä article. When he was in action, the Russians were just throwing thousands of barely trained troops at at Finland - literally just running at the border. They Russians thought their far greater numbers would eventually break through. A Russian general later said, "We have won enough ground to bury our dead."

To put Häyhä's 700-ish kills (including his machine-gun kills) in perspective: in the first Gulf war, coalition forces suffered 378 deaths.

paulie said...

I agree with the anonymous Finn above - it's high taxes and high minimum wages that keep Russians out. Anti-immigrant activists in the U.S are probably too short-sighted (and stereotypically conservative) to take this on board.

Your Finnish reader said...

It is about the enforcement of United States immigration laws. As far as i know, Maricopa County sheriff Joe Arpaio is the only law enforcement official, who is enforcing the federal statutes in a comprehensive manner.

Put the spics inside 110 F hot tents in middle of Arizona desert for couple of years, and the flow of illegals will dry up to near zero.

Anonymous said...

How it looks from Russian side: I've never met (or heard of) a person who'd like to immigrate/come to work to Finland.

Now you have: my wife. I met her about seven years after she'd emigrated to Finland to study and work. She's an engineer. No Ingrian roots.

People immigrate to USA, UK and Germany, professionals immigrate to Canada and Australia (they've got specific programs for that), also lot's of people buy real estate in ex-Warsaw Pact countries, criminals flee south... Looks like Finland is loosing competition as an immigration target, badly. Finns are probably happy with that:)

There are two groups of Russians for whom Finland is very attractive: middle class tourists mainly from the St. Petersburg are and prostitutes. Both come with tourist visas. The tourists appreciate the cleanliness, peace, and calm. (My wife's uncle from St. Petersburg remarked once after a fishing trip in the southeast of the country over a weekend that he felt as if he'd come to a land of sleepwalkers compared to home.)

Incidentally, the Russian mafia is not very active in Finland, either. They do, however, organize the prostitution rings on the Russian side, but they're not involved in racketeering or anything like that on the Finnish side.

Anonymous said...

I've been to Mexico and Finland and lived in US and Russia. Statistics don't tell the whole story. There's a world of difference between US and Mexico. The worst US poverty is unimaginable wealth for most Mexicans.

The gap between Finland and Russia on average is quite a lot narrower. Of course, Finns earn more, live in better houses, enjoy much higher quality healthcare and smoother roads, but this incremental improvement is not enough to persuade Russians to come work there en masse.

Interestingly, Finland is the easiest EU country for a Russian national to get a visa to.

Anonymous said...

"I agree with the anonymous Finn above - it's high taxes and high minimum wages that keep Russians out. Anti-immigrant activists in the U.S are probably too short-sighted (and stereotypically conservative) to take this on board."

I doubt that higher taxes and higher minimum wages would stop or slow illegal immigration to the US. With its permanent image as the land of opportunity, the US is just too big, attractive and prospering for all kinds of immigrants, no matter what the tax rate.
The US has to build the fence, secure it with soldiers and armed volunteers, drop all plans for amnesty and start a nation-wide search and deport project.

Michael Farris said...

Lots of factors appear to be at work here. If I were to guess, I'd say the biggest (or most critical) factor is that Finland doesn't have a significant market for cheap, off-the-books labor. The US does and as long as it does the flow of immigrants legal or otherwise won't stop and in fact cannot be stopped.

Also concerning Finnland, a few months ago a Polish newspaper sent six reporters to six different EU countries blind (no references or contacts) to see if they could find a job within a week.
Even though the Finnish labor market is open to Poles, the one sent to Finnland was the only one who didn't find a job within the week (and not through lack of trying).

Language was also an issue, the reporter sent to Finnland didn't speak any Finnish and made it very clear to employers that she had no intention of trying (her attitude was why should she since her potential employhers spoke English?). Had she at least pretended she was willing to learn she probably would have gotten the last job she tried for (hotel maid).

Anonymous said...

I posted the comment about high taxes and minimum wages. As pointed above, rasing taxes and min. wages would not improve situation in US. There is just a huge difference in the way system works in these countries. In Finland, there does not exist market for cheap labor (subprime Finns have difficulties to find jobs the would want to have, they tend to rather live on socal benefits). The same level of control (for working visas) could not be attcheved in US. Illegal imigrants can hide in US more easily and majority of the people do not care (actually the like to have them there for labor). Finnish economy just works like that... imigrants get visas easily but only for jobs that require some education.

Andy Wooster said...

Never underestimate what not having a massive fifth column, like the US has with its large Mestizo and Jewish populations, will do for a country's immigration policy/debate.

Every European country has liberals who can be expected to reliably work against the nation's best interests, but the real damage is done by hostile EGIs.

Conceivably, the majority of white Americans could be shown that the Mexification of America isn't in their best interests. However, the Mexicans already here will always oppose an illegal immigration crackdown, because the Mexification of America *is* in their best interests. The same goes for the Jews, the vast majority of whom will always support the ethnic balkanization of the US because it's good for the Jews.

To relate this back to Sailer's question, Finland doesn't have a large Russian population or an illegal immigrant problem because Finland doesn't want that. If the US felt the same way about its illegal immigrants, the problem would rapidly dissipate.

Anonymous said...

Because most poor Russians would rather stay in Russia rather than seek work in a country that hates them.

Anonymous said...

The gap between Finland and Russia on average is quite a lot narrower. Of course, Finns earn more, live in better houses, enjoy much higher quality healthcare and smoother roads, but this incremental improvement is not enough to persuade Russians to come work there en masse.

That's not quite true. In fact the area east of finnish border is extremely (and i mean EXTREMELY) poor. Probably poorer than poorest mexicans.

Add the -40'c temperature at wintertime and you have quite a worse environment than mexico.

Rosco MacDonalds said...

If there's any truth to that Jewish conspiracy theory, those pro-Mexican Jews are in for a rude awakening. Latinos are vocally anti-Semitic. Americanized Mexicans tend to add to that a pro-labor working class consciousness that is against middlemen and owners.

Another example of how mass society and politics is a crock. The only people who have any legitimate interest being pro-immigrant are companies who want cheaper labor. They should have a right to import people on a case-by-case basis, and then have the responsibility to arrange housing, language classes etc. Ditto for people who just love Latin culture: they can personally arrange to marry someone and bring them here.

Democracy is all about externalizing costs of pie-in-the-sky "personal beliefs" on "society" (everyone else). And that's modern liberal "freedom" (from responsibility for one's thoughts, words and deeds).

Neil said...

Who knew Steve had so many Finnish readers?

One issue not brought up yet is that of language. Does Finnish have any kinship with Russian?

Anonymous said...

One issue not brought up yet is that of language. Does Finnish have any kinship with Russian?\

Not in the least. Finnish is a non-Indo-European language of Asian origins. It is (very) distantly related to Hungarian and Estonian. Russian is an Indo-European language from the Slavic family.

Iron Rails & Iron Weights

Anonymous said...

And you can add to this, if someone hasnt already mentioned it, that you dont have two parties in Finland competing for the hispanic vote so they can continue to win elections and hold power.

Anonymous said...

About the language: while similarities to Hungarian pretty much only relate to grammar,the Estonian language is a lot closer to Finnish.In addition, there are still small nations living in Russia,like the Komi,who speak languages of the Fenno-Ugric family.

happyjuggler0 said...

Isn't it pretty easy to phsyically move within the EU once you are already there?

No offense to the Finns, but speaking as a hypothetical immigrant, why would anyone who doesn't speak Finnish choose to immigrate to Finland instead of another EU country, perhaps one that is warmer and has an easier language to learn?

Anonymous said...

im a neighbour of finland and finland just do not want immigrants from any country no matter what. of course you can live and work illegal in finland. like in sweden and norway and denmark. anyone who says not lives in a dream world of how immigration works out on street level. there are enough friends and dodgy employers to help them out without proper papers. sure life is alot more complex but those how have no choice can do it. compare yearly immigration in finland to the other scandinavian countries. finland do not do their fare share of helping them out. legally. neither does US. accepting around 9000 irakies this year is pathetic. compared to EU countries.

Anonymous said...

One factor that hasn't been mentioned yet is the Finnish government's thoroughness in collecting data on its citizens.You can't sneeze in this country without some data point being collected in the national registry.

The catch here is that,the sort of surveillance that enables the (national) authorities here to control illegal immigration (and catch all fugitives in a matter of days, at most) would be quite controversial in the US on federalist and civil liberties-grounds.

Of course,I haven't lived in the US,so maybe my impression is all wrong.What do you think?

alec said...

Wasn't Finland apart of the Russian empire before the Russian Revolution too?

Anonymous said...

Regarding the language, Estonian and Finnish are pretty similar, true. Estonian is my native language, and I have never learned Finnish, but can more or less understand the general points in written text, or well-spoken Finnish (e.g. TV news). The amount of similar words is large and language constructs often overlap. Hungarian on the other hand is as good as Japanese for me.

About the immigration question (in addition to the points mentioned above), I believe that Finns are generally more xenophobic than the average European (I don't mean to be judgemental in any way, this word often has negative connotations) and Russians especially are not held in high regard due to historical issues. I do believe that Nordic people in general are more suspicious and conservative as well about "outsiders". I think this tendency has caused predjudice between Finns and Estonians as well - Finns associating Estonians with crime and prostitution; Estonians associating Finns with loud-mouthed drunks coming to look for cheap booze and passing out in the street. Such notions are hopefully mostly a thing of the past now, as there are lots of contacts between Finns and Estonians on personal, governmental, business levels (had a Finnish girlfriend myself) But disdain for Russians is certainly present in Finland - which shouldn't be condemned easy-handedly without knowing the historic aspects.

jody said...

anybody who says a wall will not work simply does not know what they are talking about. walls do work. they worked in the past and they work today.

several nations have walls along their border, or are building walls. saudi arabia is spending 9 billion dollars to build a 900 kilometer wall along it's entire border with iraq to stop illegal immigrants and terrorists. saudi arabia is even contracting US companies like raytheon to do this.

the wall has a double fence, sensors, land mines, and automated machineguns. google "saudi arabia wall" if you don't believe me.

of course a wall along the mexican border would work, and, it would only cost 20 billion or so to build. that's about what the US wastes in iraq in a few months.

Igor said...

Hi, Steve!

I have lived in St. Petersburg and traveled to Finland several times in the 90s. Here're my thoughts:

1. There is no need to cross the border illegally, since it is very easy to get a tourist visa to Finland. I and my family got it several times, my friends even used to have a buisness visas that allowed them to freely travel between two countries. I don't know anyone who couldn't get a Finnish visa, and many St.Petersburd residents go there on vacations and holidays. It cost me 20$ for a visa and maybe $50 for a round trip bus tickets from St. Petersburg to Helsinki or Tampere. (It maybe more now.) The trip is comfortable and it takes only several hours. There are also daily flights, trains, ferry, not to mention going by car.

Unlike what was said about Russian side of the border, there is a Russian city Vyborg (previous Finnish name Viipury) near the border.

2. The main reason is that it is very difficult to get a job without documentation, unemployment maybe a factor too. In late 90s unemployment was at 18%, altough it less now.

3. Language as stated by others. Without ethnic businesses to attract non-Finnish speakers, how are they going to work in Finnish environment? The language is one of the most difficult to learn among European ones; Estonian by the way is pretty close to Finnish; that and historical connections and cultural affinity make it easier for Estonians to seek work in Finland.

4. Border is still well protected on the Russian side (not sure about the other side; in the past Finns knew that they did't hav eto worry much about their border since Russia ws doing pretty good job on her side.) In the Soviet past it was a serious crime to attempt to cross the national border illegally in any direction, border guards were instructed to shoot to kill. If apprehended, one might expect serious prison time. Tight border prevented Russians from seeping through over the years to form a significant Russian community. Hence not much help for those interested in coming now, in more liberal times.

5. Russions have small familes, 1-2 kids, if not less. So there are less chances one might find his relatives living abroad who might help him to come over there. There is also much less ethnic solidarity among Russian emigre communities.

6. Growing prosperity in Russia. While poor Russians in provinces are somehow not very interested in seeking employment abroad, that was the case even in previous more difficult times.

7. Life of an illegal immigrant in a foreign country with an incompehensible language is just not attractive to Russians. They are not that desperate I guess. Yes, there are many depressed regions in Russia, but if people there are really interested in better jobs, they choose to move to Russian big cities.

I one asked my Finnish host why there are so few restaurants in Finland, especially inexpensive ones. He said that with high minimum wage, it is difficult to make them inexpensive and expensive ones are just not needed in large numbers. Here goes one of the possible employment sectors for immigrants.

Anonymous said...

But which group is the NATIVE BORN WHITE CHRISTIANS?

rob said...

Considering their overall numbers and periods of extreme poverty, Russians have never gone in for large-scale emigration for economic reasons.

Anonymous said...

Actually, the flow is in the opposite direction: there is a huge number of Finns working across the border in St. P - as construction workers, mostly. They also come in tour buses, to get drunk (so-called "vodka tours"). When they are dead-drunk, they are indistinguishable from the locals. The biggest reason Russians don't move to Finland is that they don't fancy living among Finns. The GDP ratio is pure nonsense, by the way, because the ratio between Helsinki and St. P (across the border) is quite a bit smaller. As is the whole comparison of Mexico to Russia.

Anonymous said...

1. We don't like the Russians.
2. The border is mostly forest, with plenty of snow in the north and elk all around.
3. Why would anyone want to come to Finland? As many have said, the government isn't stupid, it's impossible to get an apartment, the homeless are all eventually arrested, and really, there isn't much in Finland other than jobs which are impossible to get.

Anonymous said...

I work in a company where there are at least 20 Russians, which would make it around 7% of total workforce.

All of them are very skilled professionals. So there are a lot of Russians working in Finland, they just keep their heads down and don't make noise of themselves.

Besides quite a few of them speak very good Finnish, and the accent is closer to English than Russian. So you would not recognize them, unless you knew in the first place.

ISBini said...


FishFace6000 had it correct.

Take it from a Finn

Ed Snible said...

The Swaziland / South Africa border has a similar per-capita GDP ratio and border size. Is there an illegal immigration problem there?

Anonymous said...

"Is there an illegal immigration problem there?"


Anonymous said...

"3. Why would anyone want to come to Finland? As many have said, the government isn't stupid, it's impossible to get an apartment, the homeless are all eventually arrested, and really, there isn't much in Finland other than jobs which are impossible to get."

I would think this is the main reason for so little illegal immigration. The fact is that getting a job in Finland is not easy (Finland has a high unemployment rate) and the cost of living is somewhat high. Illegal immigrants can't apply for benefits as well.

tommy said...

"The gap between Finland and Russia on average is quite a lot narrower. Of course, Finns earn more, live in better houses, enjoy..."

This is a good point. GDP doesn't tell the whole story. Non-white Third World countries are not only poor but they really show it. Perhaps because of greater income inequality, more inefficiency, and more corruption.

Anonymous said...

I think language could be a factor. Lots of Mexicans must have some vague knowledge of English. They may not actually speak it. (The price of having the language of global cultural hegemony)

How many Russians know any Finnish?

I was in Finland recently. Whats with all the Turkish run Pizza-Kebab shops?

Anonymous said...

The government of the USA is dominated by people who have radically different goals than most of its citizens do. Illegal immigration is helping them achieve their goals. It's even further along in the EU.

I can only hope a few countries like Finland and New Zealand can avoid our fate.

Anonymous said...

"Perhaps because of greater income inequality, more inefficiency, and more corruption."

Russia is pretty fucking corrupt and inefficient. The main difference between Mexico and Russia is that the income inequality in Mexico is greater.

Anonymous said...

Russia's 2006 Transparency International Corruption Perceptions Index = 2.5

Mexico's 2006 Transparency International Corruption Perceptions Index = 3.3

Finland's 2006 Transparency International Corruption Perceptions Index = 9.6 (highest)

A higher number is better.

Anonymous said...

Russia’s 2006 Human Development Index = 0.797

Mexico’s 2006 Human Development Index = 0.821

Finland’s 2006 Human Development Index = 0.947 (11th highest)

Again, higher is better.

Anonymous said...

The only reason Mexico's income inequality, and thus its poverty rate, is higher that Russia's is because Mexico's Amerindians in Southern Mexico (30% of total Mexican population) are extremely poor. A majority of the people classified as "poor" in Mexican statistics are the Amerindians.

Anonymous said...

I can only hope a few countries like Finland and New Zealand can avoid our fate.

New Zealand already has a substantial nonwhite population. IIRC it's something like 15%, maybe more.

Interestingly, New Zealand is possibly the only country outside the United States that has a one-drop rule. Even the slightest degree of Maori ancestry qualifies people for special voting rights.

Iron Rails & Iron Weights

Steve Sailer said...

I have a _lot_ of Finnish readers.


heterodox said...

Yesterday we had an university lecture on integration (of immigrants). I was taught we are all nomads, and have been through history, so there are not really any immigrants. We are all immigrants. Immigration should be viewed as a positive thing instead of as a problem. You cant stop immigration, even if you wanted to. It would be immoral to try. We should think of all people as "We" and not about us and them. All religions are good, and are really the same.

Im just telling you this, since he seemed very insistent in preaching this to us, so it must be important. He was a priest before, but he seems to have found a higher calling.

Anonymous said...

The reason so many Finns are commenting might be that we've got parliamentary elections coming up, and discussion about immigration has been rife on the internet. I gave my vote to a immigration-cynical, law & order type.

According to government statistic, there are only about 2600 turks in Finland. Taking that into account, they must all work in the kebab industry.

heterodox said...

How can you best reform the thoughts of the Finnish people to make them enlightened?

"..., Finland will likely need a more pro-immigration mentality. Best practices for successfully changing the public's attitude will probably come from the more experienced and established immigration countries. ..."

Arno Tanner of the Finnish Directorate of Immigration,

Anonymous said...

Maybe the situation of Russian immigrants in Germany is able to throw some light on the alternatives available for Russians willing to immigrate.

The population of big cities in Germany consists of 13 percent immigrants from Russia. The Russians have adapted very rapidly to their host society and are indistinguishable from the native population except for their slight accent. Russian immigrants at retirement age sometimes have problems to learn the language and to adapt to the new environment. Male adolescents from Russia are known to consume more alcohol than the native population and sometimes to be involved in criminal activities. But mostly, the Russian immigrants are well-educated and hard-working individuals, a real advantage for the country.

And it is rather easy for them to get into Germany. To obtain a German passport, they only have to present a document indicating that they are descendants of Germans who immigrated to Russia a few centuries ago. Furthermore, they immediately obtain the right to free health care, free housing and social benefits. Why would Russians want to go through all the trouble to enter illegally Finland when - if necessary - a forged document is all that is is required for starting a new and better life in a big European city with many Russian inhabitants?

vanya said...

The above post on Germany probably touches on the core issue - racially Russians are practically indistinguishable from Finns or Germans. Unlike Mexicans they blend very easily into the local populations if they do immigrate. Also Russians are traditinally not a very culturally cohesive people - there was a very large emigration of Russians to the Western Europe and the USA in 1918-20 and again in 1945-46, but they have left little trace. Compared to other ethnic groups (Jews, Italians, Armenians, even Ukrainians) the ethnic Russian emigrant populations have almost completely melted into the host populations. For example, how many of you know oscar winner Helen Mirren is descended from Russian emigres? Or that Natalie Wood was actually Natalia Zakharenko? How many people are aware that Mick Jones of the Clash has a Russian mother? There may well be more Russian immigrants in Finland than anyone knows.

It's probably more interesting to take a look at what is happening on the Russian-chinese border. That is a problem for both countries.

Al said...

[quote]For example, how many of you know oscar winner Helen Mirren is descended from Russian emigres?[/quote]

Next you'll be telling us that the British Royal family is descended from a bunch of Germans.

corvinus said...

1) How many non-Finns speak Finnish?

2) How many non-native speakers of English speak English?

(Britain has one of the worst illegal immigration problems in Europe...)

Anonymous said...

"Next you'll be telling us that the British Royal family is descended from a bunch of Germans."

What does the German descent of the British Royal family has to do with the question why few Russians immigrate to Finland?

Alex(ei) said...

On the Russian side, it would make sense to ask, Why does (sufficiently) cheap Russian labor seem in short supply in Russia's big cities? Perhaps the pool of Russians willing/able to move to another area of Russia or abroad, to take a job that requires no special skills and pays much better than anything available at home, is much smaller than one would expect.

Alex(ei) said...

By the way, one can't be "as poor as the poorest Mexican" and alive, in the rural areas of Russia east of Finland. Without a decent log cottage, a sheepskin and winter boots, you just can't survive the winter. Plus, there's access to clean water and forests. There's a big difference between rural poverty in cold and warm climates.

Anonymous said...

Finns are coming to the SF Bay ARea on tourist visas and finangling work permits, green cards and so on. The women try to marry (usually works, until the divorce, but then they've got the greencard by then). The men try to convince someone that they're specialists in sauna-building or another odd skill, then once they're in, they work as taxidrivers, limodrivers, in construction, etc. etc. So if there are Finns trying to get out of Finland, where the standard of living is high, then something must be wrong there. The women in particular seem to have a collective longing for decent (i.e. sober and expressive) men, which they think to find abroad; and the Finnish men long for freedom from government control and taxes.

In both genders these longings of youth are so intense that inevitably foreign countries are reached with saved-up markki/Euros. Then the realities of foreign men and "too-free" governments begin to penetrate: they're not used to that much emotion, openness in both private and public living, and they're not used to that much personal decision-making and multi-kulti chaos - e.g. many different cuisines, odd eating hours, no one educational structure for the kids, no subsidies, no security.

So back they go to Finland and settle into middle age, then old age, and curse the weakness of their youthful plunge abroad.

I love Finland but still, on my visit there last year, I realized that I could never live there. It was not just the freezing weather, it was the gloom in the Finnish soul that got to me, the silence, the closed faces and society. I was treated well, as I had been in the 1980's, but it was just too much. Coming from California, I couldn't take the emotional and physical coldness. The language had me flummoxed, as usual, and it really bugged me this time to be excluded from conversations (not unkindly, but inevitably).

I learned that the Finns hate the Russians with a passion. Some Finns are beginnign to hate Helsinki because it is full of foreigners, Somalis and Russians. They told me they'd move up to Keskisuomi (middle of the country) if the situation got worse.

Finns and Russians are very alike, if they only would admit it!

Mary Mekko