refugees

European immigration problems make ours look like a walk in the park.  According to the Washington Post:

Thousands of refugees, most fleeing wars in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan, have been snaking northward through the Balkans in recent days, confronting a Europe woefully unprepared to deal with them at every step.

Most endured a perilous crossing to Greece aboard rafts and boats, some barely fit to sail. They traversed Greece, a nation paralyzed by economic crisis and too poor to handle a flow of people that in July hit a record high. At the border with Macedonia late last week, they trudged through a wall of riot police, who fought them back with tear gas before relenting. Now, the asylum-seekers, thousands a day, are racing into Hungary, which is rushing to complete a barbed-wire border fence by the end of the month to force them to seek other routes.

It is a long parade of misery unparalleled in Europe in recent years. But the continent has so far failed to agree how to respond. Amid a refugee crisis that by some measures is the worst since World War II, individual nations are being left to improvise their own measures. In Hungary, that is taking the form of 108 miles of barbed wire and fencing.

The crisis is shaking fundamental tenets of European life, including the principle of free movement between most of the nations of the European Union. It is fueling a surge of anti-migrant sentiment in the countries that are housing the bulk of the asylum-seekers, Germany and Sweden. And it is straining the weakest countries, such as Greece, that are on migration’s front lines.

“Unless we do something, we will become a lifeboat sinking under the weight of people holding on to it and drowning everybody, both those seeking help and those offering help,” said Janos Lazar, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s chief of staff, at a ceremony last week celebrating the founding of Hungary.

Those are scary thoughts when one considers the length of the various conflicts in the middle east.  ISIS, civil war in Syria, war-torn Afghanistan and Iraq.  All of these unsettled areas are producing an immigration crisis such as Europe hasn’t seen in decades.

On the other hand, Europeans have been fairly uppity about the United States and its immigration issues.  The open borders approach that govern most countries in the Euro-zone might just be coming to a screeching halt.

Meanwhile, if we were to emulate Hungary, that would be a lot of barbed wire to secure the American border.  I postulate that it simply cannot be done.

The United States will be always be able to handle immigration problems better than Europe.  Why?  For obvious reasons, we have more land to accommodate fluctuations in population.  We are a nation of immigrants ant the built-in tribalism just isn’t as much of a part of our national DNA as one finds in Europe.  European countries already have little communities of immigrants with their own issues.  To add more people to these already besieged areas just spells trouble.

Meanwhile, what will become of people who flee their homelands because of the ravages of war?  They have risked almost everything and have little left other than the clothes on their backs.  The will to survive is etched into their faces.  Solutions to this humanitarian crisis seem few as the immigrants to Europe, hoping to escape war, violence and starvation continue to flood into various countries along their escape route.

The immigration issues in Europe dwarf our U.S. immigration issues.   While various politicians here attempt to flummox the voters about repealing the 14th amendment to get rid of birth right citizenship, desperate immigrates overpower police to get into European countries.   They storm barricades and sneak through tunnels and other connectors.  Meanwhile,  various European countries scramble to secure their borders and to block entrances.  It’s too soon to tell who might be hitch-hiking in with these pathetic refugees.  Is this a new source of emergence for ISIS?

 

16 thoughts on “European immigration problems approach critical mass

  1. New York Times:

    Is the smart phone the new North Star?

    BELGRADE, Serbia — The tens of thousands of migrants who have flooded into the Balkans in recent weeks need food, water and shelter, just like the millions displaced by war the world over. But there is also one other thing they swear they cannot live without: a smartphone charging station.

    “Every time I go to a new country, I buy a SIM card and activate the Internet and download the map to locate myself,” Osama Aljasem, a 32-year-old music teacher from Deir al-Zour, Syria, explained as he sat on a broken park bench in Belgrade, staring at his smartphone and plotting his next move into northern Europe.

    “I would never have been able to arrive at my destination without my smartphone,” he added. “I get stressed out when the battery even starts to get low.”

  2. Cargosquid

    I predict that this problem will result in Europe returning to border enforcement.

    Three or four of the nations are now restricting entry only to Christian refugees.

    France is buckling under the pressure.

    Great Britain is having to defend itself and their Labor Party is trying to open their borders.

    1. I would think that Great Britain would have natural borders. Is there an invasion from Scotland?

  3. Cargosquid

    @Moon-howler
    The Chunnel is providing access for illegal aliens…along with VERY liberal…..as in, almost non-existent immigration restrictions….along with the generous dole, providing for legal and illegal aliens once they arrive.

    1. I have posted that video for years. UK has had an ongoing problem that pre-dates the current issue.

  4. Scout

    There are different kinds of migration. This appears to be largely refugees, as opposed to migrants who are looking for work. They are fleeing the chaos of the Syrian battlefield and other areas in the Middle East where things have gone from bad to worse over the past few years.

    1. I am am not so sure that a lot of people coming out of Honduras and other places aren’t refugees. they are fleeing violence and war lords. Is there a difference in those people and people in the Middle East?

  5. Scout

    Fair point. There are differences, but I’m not sure how meaningful they are. To be sure, some of the emigration from places like Honduras and Guatemala is motivated by personal safety concerns, but I imagine the major driver for all northward migration from Central America is economic. In Europe, this wave is generally attributable to the fact that the lands where these people used to live are uninhabitable now. If ISIS and other strife-generators were to vanish tomorrow, a lot of these folks would want to go back. How Europe deals with this has to take into account that these people aren’t coming for jobs in a Volkswagen factory or whatever. They’re primarily trying to break out of the vast refugee camps in Turkey and Jordan and just find a way to live without getting blown up.

    1. Apparently their efforts failed here. What a horrible story!!!!

      NYTimes:

      The partly decomposing bodies of at least 20 people assumed to be migrants being smuggled across Europe were found in a truck abandoned on a highway east of Vienna on Thursday, the police said.
      The death toll could be as high as 50, said Hans-Peter Doskozil, director of police in the eastern state of Burgenland, speaking at a news conference live on the public broadcast.
      Mr. Doskozil said the bodies, some of which had started to decompose, had been discovered when the truck was opened after the police noticed it parked off the highway that links Budapest and Vienna. He declined to give further details.

  6. Steve Thomas

    @Moon-howler
    The UK is ready to fall…they have a HUGE immigrant problem.

    1. UK has had problems for years. Perhaps this is a result of the sun never setting on the British Isles or perhaps it is a result of allowing too much asylum.

  7. Scout

    Back to my distinction between migrants and refugees: After WWII treaties were put in place governing refugee treatment. The fact is that, under international law, a receiving country has to take care of them in ways that migrants would not be eligible. In a situation like this, where you have complete meltdown in the Middle East and parts of North Africa, this puts incredible pressure on all of Europe, simply because of the geography. The only answer, I think, is for every nation in the world to take some of these people and spread out the impact.

    1. I have no idea what should be done, to be perfectly honest. I think back after WWII, everyone had been involved and there was much more willingness to share in a humanitarian effort. Now, not so much.

      As for the distinction, I am not sure it really matters.

  8. Scout

    Well, there is a treaty in place governing treatment of refugees. The US is a signatory, as are the countries in Europe. I’m not sure that the situation now is that different than the situation in Europe post-WWII. Once we pledge our national honor to a treaty commitment, it makes a difference. Of course, we can skate a bit on this one if we are really Machiavellian, because all these people are washing up in Europe. But in a moral, ethical world where try to put America’s best foot forward, we would convene a short fuse international conference to agree on divvying up these refugees on some rational formula that keeps Greece, Italy and other southern Europe nations from bearing the full weight of this refugee influx.

    1. That seems like the fair thing to do, Scout. That would sure open up a hue and cry however.

      Skimming the news, I see that these deaths were caused by a cartel of crooks with little or no concern for fellow human beings. It sounds like scum bags are everywhere.

  9. Scout

    Human misery and misfortune always seems to spawn activity by people who can make it even worse by taking people’s meager treasure on the promise of hope.

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