Two Latin American women who've been living in Spain without papers - Source
We recently had some family visitors from Germany, and at one point I was asked how life is here in Slovenia for immigrants.
This is a tough question. I gave a few anecdotes about poor pay, about other people of various backgrounds and their experiences, about how I get the sense that the Slovenian market doesn't really seem to know what to do with immigrants unless they are uneducated Bosnians here to do manual labour. All in all, it is very tough to say exactly how things are. It is one thing to talk about The Erased, but yet another thing to talk about The Invisible -- those who do not appear on public register, and even when they do, they cannot materialize on the social register. The immigrant experience is so very personal in so many ways that I would never be able to (and am not really interested to) comment on. But on the public scale, I rarely see immigrants on television except for the few times that the cart out some fortunate (usually European) foreigner who has triumphantly learned the language. So it's all so tough to say.
Today I came across this fantastic survey of immigration in Malta, Cyprus, and Slovenia. It is only 17 pages and certainly worth a read. Very illuminating.
"Where Slovenia is defined as a country of immigration there is an implicit understanding that this refers to mainly European migrants. People from outside of Europe (i.e. ‘Asians’ as defined in the table) are deemed at best to be a transient population, on their way further west to Italy, France or the UK. The experience of 2000 served to reinforce this perception. Asians, it was suggested during one of the interviews, are not attracted to Slovenia because of its image as a ‘communist’ country.
The distinction between the two migrant groups is problematic for two reasons. There is first and foremost the risk of racially profiling migrants. It is the non-white population who seem not to form part of the Slovenia’s immigration profile. In the case of some Asian migrants residing in Slovenia, this has led to questioning their motives for being there. The recent growth in the number of Chinese migrants, who work mainly in Chinese restaurants, has become a source of intrigue and suspicion. There are doubts over the economic viability of the restaurants, and an assumption that the businesses are simply fronts for illegal activities."
Read more here.