June 6th, 2012
03:07 PM ET

'The GPS Roadmap for Making Immigration Work'

Fareed Zakaria looks at how the immigration systems work – and don't work – in Japan, Europe, Canada and the U.S. in the TV special: "Global Lessons: The GPS Roadmap for Making Immigration Work" on CNN at 8 p.m. ET on Sunday, June 10. Watch on CNN International on Saturday, June 16, at 4 a.m. and 9 p.m. ET

Few topics are more provocative than immigration. In this special, I look around the world for insightful immigration policies in Japan, Europe, and Canada – and explore what the United States can learn from each.

America is an immigrant society. What I was struck by, though, was a lot of other countries have learned our tricks and bettered them.

So, did you know, for example, that Canada has more foreign-born nationals than we do? And Australia has more immigrants than we do? Those societies have become, in 10 or 15 years, genuinely pluralistic, diverse immigrant societies. And here's the kicker: They have figured out a way to do immigration right, where they take smart, hardworking, talented people whom their economy needs.

In the Sunday special, we look at these lessons. Also joining me are two thought leaders on immigration politics and policy – New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg (I-NY) and Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach (R-KS).

More from Global Lessons: Immigration

What do you think? What can the U.S. learn from other countries' immigration policies? Share you comments below.

Bloomberg on immigration:

Canada's Muslim mayor

soundoff (424 Responses)
  1. miscreantsall

    I find it quite amazing to hear all the negative comments about the USA, it's laws, taxes and people by the VERY same people who want to come to this country.

    I have two possible solutions:

    1. Stay the FRAK in your own country (don't worry about what we need, we will be okay……trust me)


    2. ASAP, let us copy Mexico's immigration policy………….no one will EVER get in!!!!!!!!!


    June 11, 2012 at 2:52 am | Reply
  2. TripQz

    I have a SERIOUS PROBLEM with and resent a 'naturalized immigrant' - Fareed Zakaria - telling US that we need more immigration! I live in the Bay Area and there are so many Asian Indians, Vietnamese and Mexicans (mostly illegals) that, this once beautiful city resembles the same rat hole, Third World countries that they left! You will be hard-pressed to see and white and black people - let alone hear English! Enough with the immigration already...vote these spineless politicians out and demand a better education for OUR KIDS so we no longer need to hear the excuses about immigration. WAKE-UP AMERICANS, this is still a nice country to live in, but will it be in 10 years????

    June 11, 2012 at 3:38 am | Reply
    • Brenda

      TripQz. You said it in a nut shell. I found this article white washed and just not the way it actually is. There are entirely too many immigrants here that cost us dearly in tax dollars. I would rather watch a production that shows the truth about what is really going on. A very serious situation for sure.

      June 11, 2012 at 4:01 am | Reply
  3. Brenda

    There seems to be alot of immigrants that come to the western countries and live off welfare, I mean alot. I can't understand how that happens for the life of me. Either work or get OUT! No more anchor babies too. Simple.

    June 11, 2012 at 4:09 am | Reply
  4. Morohwold

    Is any connection between where people stay or are they asked the same way information about their races been known
    or is this offer products to virtual money and hire and fire ?

    June 11, 2012 at 7:51 am | Reply
  5. Ron Williams

    The issue that Americans have is NOT with immigrants, we are a land of immigrants, it is ILLEGAL immigrants. People that work for so little that they can't pay for medical care, etc.. They and their employers are destroying the middle class in this country, which have not seen an increase in real income in the last 30+ years. This is about corporate GREED which as seen astronomical wage increases in the same time period. The current attacks on unions (lowest membership in 70 years) making too much, but could and should be turned around into why non union worker making less than 30+ years ago. As a consumer based economy Americans should be concerned about WHAT HAPPENED TO THE MIDDLE CLASS.

    June 11, 2012 at 2:56 pm | Reply
  6. ItalianAmerican

    I personally have no problem with immigrants. However, I do have a problem with ILLEGAL immigrants. Since most illegals are Hispanic, I will comment regarding them, but my comments generally apply to all. I have found most Hispanics to be hard-working, pleasant, and respectful. It is not their work ethic or personalities that cause the problems. It is the fact that our government supposedly limits the numbers of immigrants, yet does not enforce that law and even punishes States that attempt to enforce the Federal laws. The immigrants need more education, since most don't speak our language, and most come from under-educated families from their home countries. This is a drain on our resources at a time when the government can't pay its current bills. Allowing immigrants to come here at a reasonable, controllable rate will benefit our country. Placing no limits on immigration will destroy it. Ask the Indians.

    June 11, 2012 at 3:06 pm | Reply
  7. Andrea

    I would like to comment to the question what it takes to be German or in my case, what does it take to be American. I was born and raised in Germany. I'm a German citizen. I immigrated to the US for my husband, some 17 years ago. I didn't speak the language, I didn't understand the culture. Obviously, things have changed. You couldn't tell me from any other American. I love the USA, I'm proud of it and I'm willing to defend it. Nobody ever bothered trying to speak German to me. I had to learn English. When I attempted to teach my daugther to learn German she told me that this is America, this is where we speak English. She's right and so we speak English. We celebrate American holidays, we cook American food, we buy American – because we are an American family. I expect no less from anyone else looking to immigrate to the US. I'm still German and I always will be – it's something that will never change. I'm not forcing this upon anyone else, I do this in private because it's a private matter. It's between me and my homeland. Again, I expect no less from any other immigrant. You come here, you speak English, you play by the rules, you accept the society for what it is and you obey the law of the land. If that doesn't sit well, go back home.

    June 11, 2012 at 3:07 pm | Reply
    • Grim Reaper

      Exactly. The politically correct have demonized the American ethos as intolerant and maligned the hardest working people in history as poorly educate simpletons lacking a world grasp. For all of our shortcomings Fareed may point a finger at why then this remains the standard by which foreigners seek out instead of using a straw man argument of Canada or Australia as models for immigration. Ivy league education didn't rear its head in this article.

      June 11, 2012 at 3:25 pm | Reply
  8. BigguyinTexas

    It strikes me as very disingenuous that the entire article refers to LEGAL immigration issues. Am I wrong that the fight over immigration in the US is about ILLEGAL immigrants? Come on Fareed, stop blowing smoke up my state schooled behind.

    June 11, 2012 at 3:41 pm | Reply
  9. Shills

    Jobs have always been an 'issue' and a problem in U.S. history. Getting more people in a system that can't support it makes no sense. Give all immigrants and people a whole area of lands that they can go and make it what they want and get the governments out of the way. That's radical immigration!

    June 11, 2012 at 6:21 pm | Reply
  10. Texan

    If you abide by law, the life for a legal immigrant like Indians or Mexicans is miserable. Ask any Indian any Mexican or any migrant, most of the employers have found ways to exploit the immigrants because no one cares about them. They are made to work for the lower wages because they are scared to go back.

    Yes we migrants like to stay in USA, USA has been land of opportunity for years but things are changing. Current migration policies are suppressing. A legal immigrant has to go so much mental trauma, which you cant even think of whether its funding is living,masters education, paying off student loan by himself/herself, finding a job, working hard on his job so that he will not be laid off. Because guess what, if you are out of job you have to find a job in 2 months then sell your house and go back home.

    But its not like immigrants have taken your jobs, we work hard to get a job. We got a Masters degree, we invested in your education system. We are contributing to your society positively, we never ask question, we are never involved in crime. You will never find an Indian being arrested for any criminal activity. We have contributed massively to the technology superiority of this country. Its very disheartening when question are being asked about the loyalty of hard working community of people.

    USA needs broader immigration reforms, preventing Mexicans or Indians wont help. Efforts should be made so that migrants becomes part of society and contribute more to community.

    Mind you, its not like we migrants do not have option. If USA becomes like a Jail for us we will leave, but you might lose a potential Scientist or a talented Doctor. And people are leaving, people in India are not so much interested to come to USA as it used to be in 90's and 2000's.

    June 11, 2012 at 8:13 pm | Reply
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  14. Croation

    The illegal immagrants and their offspring who were illegally born here need to be sent back after paying back the goverment for schooling and medical costs. These people break the law and then demand rights, since when can you be a citizen if you are born here to illegal parents. I am sick of being told we need to pay for translators for these people when my own grown kids are now unemployed in construction and unable to get medical insurance or schooling paid for like these people do. My grandparents came here back in the early part of 1915. They were sponsored by their relatives having to pass a physical, and sign papers saying they wouldn't apply for any type of aid, then had to learn English on their own. Then they had to come up with money and housing at the end of WWII to sponsor their brother and sister in law who were freed from a Nazi concentration camp, they waited 5 years to come to America in a displaced concentration camp. I am tired of the discrimination and hypocrisy going on in this country while watching the US being wishy washy. We are not educating our children, or taking care of American homeless citizens, and no one is offering to teach our children their native tongue in school only spanish,if you want to live here provide money, skills and the english language or stay in your country, we don't ask you to come here you asked to come here, we speak English only, if you don't want to speak English you pay for a translator, and we believe in God and don't want to change to spanish or listen to it unless all other languages are also used in signs and on the phone, or take away our pledge of allegiance.

    July 24, 2012 at 4:53 pm | Reply
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