In recent posts, I've looked at pollution and man-made disasters, volcanic eruptions, and the potential for disastrous mistakes if we become unreasonably dependent on the products or services of pharmaceutical companies (or any other enterprise, whether for our physical comfort -- the power companies-- or for our spiritual comfort.)
Immigration seems to be a hot topic from the Antipodes, almost to the Arctic. In fact, one eHow Contributor opines that Iceland's Immigration laws are among the most rigorous of all the Western Democracies. I expect that some of my colleagues will pay greater attention to immigration and the treatment of "illegal aliens" in their future alien romances.
I've always been fascinated by the local treatment of foreign royal spouses throughout European history. "Alien" wives haven't always been well received, and I had a little of that sort of thing as a sub-subplot in my alien romance "Knight's Fork" (no longer available unless through private vendors or second-hand).
However the wives of the rich, powerful and influential are probably not put through the frustrations, humiliations and stresses to which GI brides, mail-order brides, and ISP wives are subjected.... to say nothing of the hurdles facing regular good folks who wish to adopt a orphan child from overseas.
King Henry VIII's blind date with Ann of Cleves worked out pretty well for Ann, considering the fate of his other wives, and what the Princess's life might be like if she'd been sent home, rejected.
But... back to the futuristic fiction. I seem to recall that there was some sort of quarantine policy on Babylon 5, but Babylon 5 was more of a way station than a permanent destination for most of the characters who passed through its ports.
Much of the alien romance fiction that I've read hinges upon either conquest, colonization, or the forced importation of desirable captives who possess an ability, talent, skill or gift that is in demand in the aliens' world. If there is a shortage of breeding stock, for instance, local immigration policy is likely to be accommodating.
Lawbreakers and smugglers find themselves in trouble. There's a practical difficulty in terms of cost and logistics in deporting or repatriating inter-stellar stowaways and illegal immigrants. The local authorities' solution in Maria Doria Russell's The Sparrow to the problem of an unwelcome missionary was to use and abuse him for entertainment.
Jack Vance had an interesting and plausible mix of border controls and air traffic control in The Demon Princes.
What immigration policies have you seen in action in your science fiction and fantasy travels?
Footnotes and Links
German Immigration Law
Japanese Immigration Law
Russia's Immigration Laws
Iceland's Immigration Laws
Pakistan's Immigration Laws
Current Controversy in Australia about Australian Immigration
An anonymous correspondent's summary of Mexican immigration laws:
1 There will be no special bilingual programs in the schools.2. All ballots will be in this nation's language.3. All government business will be conducted in our language.4. Non-residents will NOT have the right to vote no matter how long they are here.5. Non-citizens will NEVER be able to hold political office.6 Foreigners will not be a burden to the taxpayers. No welfare, no food stamps, no health care, or other government assistance programs. Any burden will be deported.7. Foreigners can invest in this country, but it must be an amount at least equal to 40,000 times the daily minimum wage.8. If foreigners come here and buy land.... options will be restricted. Certain parcels including waterfront property are reserved for citizens naturally born into this country.9. Foreigners may have no protests; no demonstrations, no waving of a foreign flag, no political organizing, no bad-mouthing our president or his policies. These will lead to deportation.
10. If you do come to this country illegally, you will be actively hunted &, when caught, sent to jail until your deportation can be arranged. All assets will be taken from you.
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The above laws are the current immigration laws of Mexico