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Angry Immigrants Riot in…Sweden?

One of Europe’s most tolerant, immigrant-friendly countries is facing three nights of Paris-style riots from angry immigrants. The riots, which started when police gunned down an elderly man wielding a machete, have ignited a debate over how well the country is doing when it comes to integrating immigrants into Swedish society. The FT reports:

Experts say that while the Nordic country successfully integrated its immigrants in the 1960s and 1970s it has struggled to do so in the past decade, with many blaming a lack of jobs for low-skilled workers. Youth unemployment was 25.1 per cent in March, above the EU average, even as the overall rate was 8.4 per cent and below the average.

Tolerance and integration are completely different things, and progressive Northern Europe hasn’t figured out how to excel at both. Immigration policy is about more than how many people you let in; it’s also about channeling that flow.

The US handles much larger numbers of immigrants with much less stress, but this does not mean that we are exempt from the kinds of problems Sweden is having and others have had. Controlling the number of immigrants and thinking intelligently about the compatibility of immigrant cultures with one’s own society is, as the experience of country after country in Europe shows us, a necessity.

We favor a liberal and humane immigration policy, but that is not the same thing as a refusal to make immigration policy and to stick to it. Controlling the border is an essential aspect of sovereignty.

[Sweden fist image courtesy of Shutterstock]

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  • Philopoemen

    I thought rioting was rather common in Sweden, Malmo in particular.

  • Blaton Hardey

    America is an immigrant nation, the European countries aren’t. You can practice voodoo and dress up like Satan, people won’t give a damn in the US. If you run into trouble finding a job like this, that’s your problem, not anyone else’s.

    Lately, Europe likes to pretend it’s THE place to immigrate into. But in Europe, when things go bad, people expect the government to throw money at the problem until it’s gone. European societies love to protect and patronize Muslim immigrants (and their children), rather than treating them as citizens with duties and responsibilities like any other person. I think that’s undignified and disrespectful and at the very core of this disgraceful mess.

    • Corlyss

      “You can practice voodoo and dress up like Satan, people won’t give a damn in the US.”
      Well, let me be perfectly clear. It wasn’t the Santeria I objected to so much as the animal sacrifice . . . . They need to learn to take responsibility for their sins and stop slaughtering goats and chickens as a way of expiation.

    • NoNewt

      “European societies love to protect and patronize Muslim immigrants (and their children), rather than treating them as citizens with duties and responsibilities like any other person.”

      Isn’t that exactly what the US does when we have very high bars and criteria that we rigorously enforce for non-Hispanic immigrants … but for HIspanic immigrants we waive the law, proactively encourage them to break it, and promise the reward of citizenship for their law-breaking behavior?

      I don’t see that as dutiful or responsible behavior – the US and low-skilled Central American migrants is the exact same as Europe and low-skilled Muslims. The Hispanics just have a more reasonable religion.

  • Corlyss

    I favor a liberal and humane immigration policy too. I favor building up the sending nations’ economies so their huddled masses of uneducated and unskilled labor and culturally deviant practices like honor killings stay home.

  • Alexander Scipio

    America is integrating – mostly & mostly successfully – Westerners (Hispanics from various nations) and Chinese – from an old, traditional civilization. Sweden (and most of europe) is trying to integrate non-Westerners from failed barbaric “civilizations.” The difference is not insubstantial.

  • NoNewt

    It’s a question of skills. In a highly developed, post-industrial economy – whether Sweden, France or the US – there simply isn’t much of a place for low-skilled adult immigrants, be they from Somalia, Algeria, Bosnia, or Mexico/Central America.

    What low-skilled jobs there are are not highly value-add and are a zero-sum (i.e., more low-skilled workers don’t create more low-skilled jobs, the way that more high-skilled workers create businesses and innovations, therefore creating more jobs). So the low-skilled immigrants and low-skilled natives fight for jobs.

    The US is fooling itself when we say that “we integrate better.” Over 30% of third-generation (!!!) Hispanics in the US are in ESL programs. Huge income, education and IQ gaps persist through many generations of Mexican immigrants. They aren’t assimilating, they just are too docile and beholden to indentured-servant illegal jobs to revolt.

  • Atanu Maulik

    hope that the next time something similar happens in UK or US, the left
    will not look so gleeful and start lecturing about Gini coefficients.

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