Monday, February 08, 2016
Forum: Is There A Refugee Crisis? If So, How Would You Solve It?
Every week on Monday morning , the Council and our invited guests weigh in at the Watcher's Forum, short takes on a major issue of the day, the culture, or daily living. This week's question: Is There A Refugee Crisis? If So, How Would You Solve It?
The Razor : I would argue that there isn’t a refugee crisis, there is a European identity crisis and that’s what is causing all the trouble.
The end of World War 2 and resulting institutions in Western Europe like the EEC built a myth of a European identity. This myth papered over the differences between the Germans and the French, and tried to portray Europe as one entity. The European Union was the culmination of this myth. Like all myths it contained a seed of Truth: there are commonalities between the EU countries. But it ignored the deep cultural, social, economic and historical differences between nations. As the citizen of a relatively young country like the US I’m a bit amazed that countries that are a millennia and a half older such as France and Germany sought unity, completely ignoring their unique characters.
The root of this error, I believe, is the pernicious fallacy that “people are people” and the assumption that everyone is just like us, they just look different, speak a different language or worship a different god. It is a fallacy based on ignorance, and worse, is rooted in elitism whereby the believer assumes s/he knows enough to make an accurate judgment with only a cursory understanding of the facts.
This viewpoint built the EU and is now witnessing its slow unraveling as the differences between the nations assert themselves, tearing it apart. It was also applied to the refugees fleeing the Middle East and North Africa. German Chancellor Merkel is a leading proponent of this view, and failed to appreciate the significant differences between the Syrians and her own people. She now faces a Pandora's box whereby Germany must force its refugee population to assimilate German values (a politically correct no-go), deport the refugees back to where they came from (which would result in a significant hit to Germany’s international standing) or to assimilate the values of the refugees (force women to cover up, avoid travel alone). So far Merkel has followed the last course which will only lead to the eventual deportation of the refugees and the collapse of her government.
JoshuaPundit: There's a crisis,all right, but it has nothing to do with 'refugees.' The truth is quite a bit darker. And while the reasons for what's going on are somewhat different in Europe and America, they stem from similar sources.
What's being imported to the EU under the banner of 'refugees' are predominantly young men of military age rather than helpless families, and many of these people already had safe havens in places like Jordan, Turkey, Lebanon and even parts of Syria. The vast majority are coming for one reason - the extremely generous welfare benefits they can get.
Europe's elites are seeking to import vast amount of young Muslim men for one primary reason. Many old and famous nations have simply stopped having children in anything like replacement numbers, something quite common in socialist countries. The Germans, the Scots, the Italians, the Greeks, the Spaniards and others could simply disappear in a couple of generations. Europe's native population is rapidly graying, and someone has to stoke Germany's export driven economy and pay the taxes to support the huge welfare state infrastructure the Germans and other countries have come to take for granted to keep the EU afloat. To add to the turmoil, the Germans actually did this before in a much more moderate fashion by bringing in Kurds, Turks and Iranians into Germany as guest workers. That was largely successful, but Muslims from these groups have a vastly different culture than the ones coming in now, there are a lot more of them and the ones coming in now have no intention of assimilating. That matters less to the EU's elites since many of these 'refugees' can also be expected to vote for the existing Socialist political order. Hollande and the Socialists were elected in France in no small part because of a bloc Muslim vote. It's an open bet which is going to prevail in Europe and in which countries, the manipulation and repression by the EU's cynical czars and czarinas or the nativist parties seeking to preserve their historic culture.
In America, the situation is somewhat different. Our own birth rate in America is at historic lows, but still at replacement rates and is also augmented by somewhat higher birthrates among Latinos, South Asian and East Asian who are legal migrants.
The illegal migrants are a whole different situation. We now effectively have open borders by diktat of our president, and even gang members are not being stopped from crossing... not to mention potential terrorists from countries in the Middle East.
President Obama has two reasons for doing this, and both are ideological. If you look at how the Obama Regime has attacked America's institutions, you will see that two methods have been used...lawfare, and simply changing the demographics. Let's dispose of the wholesale importation of illegal migrants by saying that President Obama and his party want to create a permanent far left Democrat majority by inundating red and battle ground states with them, after which the cry can go out to fast track them to citizenship. This also suits the well connected elites in both parties who seek to continue the flow of cheap labor and H1B recipients who can be hired at lower rates to keep American wages down.
But it's the second reason that has the most to do with our question at hand. Since he entered office, President Obama has brought almost a million Muslims into America using refugee programs and diversity visas, mostly from the countries like Somalia, Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Eritrea, 'Palestine,' and the Sudan. More will undoubtedly be allowed entry thanks to our very liberal family unification programs. By some estimates 90% of these refugees are on welfare, and not only are they mostly not interested in assimilating but hold views actually antithetical to America's Constitution and its culture. And he now wants to bring in many more, again by executive order.
President Obama may or may not be a Muslim, and I frankly don't care. But it is a fact that a common thread that runs through his foreign policy and many of his domestic ones is the empowerment and enhancement of Islamists, a number of whom have low profile but influential positions in administration in a way that will smell familiar to those familiar with the Soviet infiltration of the Roosevelt and Truman administrations. He has even gone out of his way to protect Islamists guilty of material aid to terrorism. And to aggressively to use his Justice Department to force communities to violate their own zoning laws to allow the construction of foreign funded, Muslim Brotherhood run 'mega mosques' far larger than needed to service any existing Muslims in the area.
Even the Islamic Society of Baltimore, which the president chose as the first mosque in America that he's ever visited, and where he made an outspoken speech on the subject of Islamophobia is a Muslim Brotherhood controlled mosque. It's run by the Islamist front group The Islamist Society of North America (ISNA) and has a long history of involvement with radical Islamists. Given that, our president's remarks sent a very different message than the one most of the media picked up.
That's the crisis in both Europe and America involving 'refugees.' It's one is one of cynical, destructive leadership.
The Glittering Eye : Turkey, Jordan, and Lebanon have a refugee problem. The OECD countries, e.g. Germany, France, the UK, US, etc. don't. We have a migration problem.
For the last thirty years or so the United States has maintained a policy of low wages fostered by mass immigration. As a consequence of that policy Hispanic population has grown from 4% of the total to 17%.
Migrants aren't just workers; they're people and like all people for good or ill they bring with them their social, political, and religious views. Our recent migrants, mostly from Mexico but increasingly from India and China, have brought their social, political, and religious views with them, it's affecting our society, and the non-migrant population here is starting to push back.
For some reason or other Germany's elites have decided to follow the US's lead, fostering mass immigration from the Middle East. The attitudes of the new immigrants are incompatible with those of the native Germans but the native Germans, highly predisposed to rely on the judgment and good will of their authorities, are not yet pushing back against the new migrants. They will either need to surrender their own preferences or fight back against the new migrants. They don't seem to have reached that point yet.
Turkey has decided to mitigate the consequences of their refugee problem by passing them on to Europe. So far the Europeans have gone along with the gag. My preferred solution is for the Europeans to start paying the Turks to maintain their refugee populations but so far the Europeans haven't realized just how serious their situation has become.
The migration problem is lot bigger than just Syrian, Iraqi, and Afghan refugees and it's a lot bigger than the Middle East. There are tens or even hundreds of millions of people who would happily leave their native countries mostly in Asia and Africa but also in Latin America to move to Europe or North America, a prospect which has become much cheaper and easier than in the past due to modern communications and transportation technology. Nowadays you don't abandon the Old Country when you migrate. Mom and dad, your best friend, and your uncle are just a phone call away.
Frankly, no country in the world, not the United States or the United Kingdom or France or Germany can stand up against that sort of mass migration without domestic social upheaval and, just as frankly, none of those countries has much use for unskilled, non-skilled, or semi-skilled workers who don't speak the language. Sweden's experience with its Middle Eastern immigrants has been that twenty years later the majority are still unemployed and living off the country's generous welfare.
I don't have a handy solution for the migration problem. IMO many of the problems that are driving mass migration are caused by bad government and we're importing the new migrants' bad views on government right along with the migrants themselves.
My only advice is put your trust in God, my boys, and keep your powder dry! It's going to be a difficult century.
The Right Planet: I certainly think there is a manufactured refugee crisis, especially in Western Europe and the United States. Perhaps it would be easier to explain my position by using an analogy—something that hits closer to home, so to speak. If I were a person who left the doors to my home unlocked, and came home to find a family had set up shop in my own home, without my permission, would that not be "problematic"—to borrow one of the favored terms from the "social justice warriors" (SJWs)? And what if this family who had decided to make my home theirs started making demands? For example, demanding I provide cash assistance, or providing food fare that is more to their liking. And what if this family that has decided to make my home theirs decided to make the part of my home where they've set up shop "off-limits" to me and my family? Does that sound reasonable or acceptable? It's one thing if I had agreed to allow a family to live in my home. But under such an arrangement conditions would apply. And, at the end of the day, I make the rules, not the other way around.
Or let's just flip this around a bit. Let's say Americans were emigrating from the United States en masse. And let's just say I decided to take my family to Mexico by crossing the Mexican border illegally. If Mexican authorities caught me crossing their border without permission, and I ended up being deported, whose fault would that be? Would it be the fault of the Mexican government for having strict immigration laws, or would it be my fault for ignoring their laws? Naturally, by ignoring their laws and getting deported, it would certainly cause a significant amount of stress and consternation on me and my family. But whose fault is that? How would I solve this crisis? Well, here's a novel idea: I could respect and obey their laws concerning immigration.
One of the enumerated powers given to Congress under our Constitution is to control immigration. We have every right, as Americans, to preserve our way of life and culture; just as a homeowner has every right to decide who can and cannot live under their roof. Since 1965, the number of immigrants has skyrocketed from about 10 million to over 50 million. Consumption of welfare in immigrant households is nearly double that of American citizens. These welfare programs include Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), the Women Infants and Children food program (WIC), free or subsidized school lunches, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, i.e. food stamps), and public housing or rent subsidies, etc. The total expenditure for federal welfare programs, in 2012, amounted to around a half a trillion dollars! The States have spent around a $180 billion in Medicaid alone. The people who are benefiting from all this largess, on the whole, are paying little to no income tax—if they even report their income. A third of the population of Mexico is now living in the United States. And it is the American taxpayer who is footing the bill. And they have no choice in the matter. It's being shoved right down their throats. And if Americans dare voice their legitimate concerns and anger over being forced to finance the immigration boondoggle, they are simply shouted down as racists, xenophobes and Nazis by the "Open Borders" apparatchiks and SJWs.
I have a number of good friends who have emigrated legally to the United States. They love this country, and love being American citizens. And they are just as concerned as I am, if not more so, by the huge influx and cost of assimilating entire populations of illegal immigrants and refugees on the taxpayers' dime. This is unsustainable. One of the main responsibilities of the president of the United States is to enforce the laws that Congress has written. And yet, we see a president and a duplicitous Congress that has decided to ignore federal immigration laws by giving the green light to so-called "sanctuary cities."
How how would I solve all this? It's not easily solved now that millions have become dependent on the government dole. But I'd start by enforcing the laws and securing the borders. If we have no defensible borders, then we are no longer a nation. The goal of communism has always been to create a "borderless, classless world" where the state reigns supreme. But if the federal government has the ability and wherewithal to ship millions into this country illegally, they also have the ability to ship them back. I would also look closely at the legal immigration process, and whether the process needs to be streamlined and made more efficient, which I'm sure it does.
And as far as the current "refugee crisis" is concerned, I would like to know why it is that the United States and Europe are always expected to welcome, with open arms, entire populations from across the globe. I don't see Russia, China, Middle Eastern countries, etc. rolling out the welcome mat for immigrants and refugees. Why is that? Hmmmm? Spare me all the talk about equality and fairness. This is about as unequal and unfair as it gets.
Laura Rambeau Lee,Right Reason : Refugees fleeing from violence in Syria have reached a crisis for countries in the European Union. The increasing harassment, violence, rapes, and murders of citizens have created a backlash of protests in these countries. They are being asked to accept refugees who will never assimilate into Western culture. These refugees bring a culture of adherence to shari’ah and intolerance of non-Muslims. It is a culture of barbarism and misogyny the West has not seen in centuries and it is being forced on the people by their governments. We also must not forget these countries have strict gun control laws, so they have no way to defend themselves against violent attacks.
In an effort to protect themselves we are seeing borders being reestablished to prevent refugees from entering. United Nations Representative Peter Sutherland recently spoke out against the appearance of razor-wire fences. "The recreation of borders challenges the whole integration of the European Union,” he said. “More particularly, it challenges the moral responsibility of states to help refugees to provide asylum." We need to ask the question: Why is it the “moral” responsibility for countries of the E.U. to take in these refugees. What is the moral responsibility of the Arab countries in this crisis?
We do not have a refugee crisis here in America yet, but President Obama wants to bring tens of thousands or more refugees here and resettle them in states all over the country. Many of us see what is happening in Europe and do not want this brought into our country. We have already seen enough violence occur here in the name of radical Islam. We should not even consider bringing them here, especially since our government can give us no assurances that any of the refugees can or will be properly vetted to make certain they do not mean us harm. President Obama tells us our opposition to his plans to resettle refugees here is “not who we are.” He has no idea who we are, but by now every American should understand who he is. He promised to fundamentally transform our country and he has nearly succeeded. We must insist our representatives in Congress stop all plans by the Obama Administration to bring these refugees to America. It is government’s primary duty to assure that its citizens are protected and our laws followed. We must hold them to their sworn duty.
The civil war in Syria is horrific and those fleeing should be helped. But if resettlement is the answer the refugees should be welcomed by neighboring Arab countries where they share the same religion and culture. This is not our fight and we should not get involved.
Well, there you have it!
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