Final Word from Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Hardly any Americans realize it, but it was the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965 that changed their country forever. That law, which was the handiwork of a first-time senator by the name of Edward Kennedy and a few others, abolished the quota system that favored northern and western Europeans. Instead, the new emphasis was on opening the gates to people from Asia, Africa and the Middle East. If Americans complain today of a sharp rise in the number of mosques, the legal changes made 50 years ago were a big part of the cause. At the time of passage, though, politicians and the media played down the significance of the cultural transformation that this was to bring. It's the same today in Europe. Once the decision-making power for asylum is centralized in Brussels, there will be no turning back. And although opposition from Czechs to new immigration grows according to the inability of the migrants to assimilate, the main Czech media are in fact most vocal in promoting the asylum rights of those who will have the biggest trouble fitting in. [Czech Republic asylum-seekers refugees]

Glossary of difficult words

handiwork - something that one has made or done;

to play down - to diminish the importance of; to make light of;

to fit in - to be socially compatible with other members of a group.

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