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Europe's Immigration Crisis
The Roots of Europe’s Immigration Dilemma

Leaked documents suggest that Europe’s high-profile meeting tomorrow to discuss its refugee crisis in the wake of the tragic drowning of 900-plus emigrants in the Mediterranean is likely to lead to nothing beyond a bureaucratic fudge. According to The Financial Times:

When EU leaders meet in Brussels on Thursday for a hastily-called summit to address the rash of migrant drownings in the Mediterranean, the most concrete “deliverable” is likely to be a pledge to “at least” double resources to the bloc’s two maritime operations along Europe’s southern coast.

According to a draft communiqué sent to national capitals late Wednesday, which Brussels Blog got its hands on and has posted here, the commitment to double the financial resources will go through 2016. But the text is a bit more unclear on what exactly the Triton and Poseidon missions’ mandate will be.

That’s not the only thing it’s unclear on. It dodges giving the Frontex patrols search-and rescue authority, discusses but does not order missions to destroy smuggling boats while they’re still in port, and puts off a 5,000 person pilot resettlement project—which would in any case be a drop in the bucket of the nearly 220,000 refugees who made the Mediterranean crossing last year.

So what explains Europe’s paralysis in the face of what almost every leader on the Continent now agrees is a major crisis? Several factors, some of Europe’s own making and others the increasingly common lot of all developed nations. For one thing, European law and the EU interpretation of an old UN agreement prohibits the returning of refugees to the port they came from. That puts Europe’s leaders in a position where picking up the refugees is equivalent to agreeing to accept all of them, but to do nothing means watching hundreds of people drown.

Europe is reluctant to accept them all, for reasons that go beyond general assimilation concerns. (Though those are significant—and Europe’s leaders are increasingly wary of stoking the nativist-populist parties springing up all over the Continent.) The EU’s unique supranational structures make it difficult to rationally plan to accommodate a large population inflow, as Gideon Rachman pointed out in the FT earlier this week:

Since politicians do not know the numbers of potential refugees involved, they cannot know what agreeing to take a “fair share” might ultimately involve. Free movement of people within the EU means that, even if refugees are settled in Bulgaria or Poland, there is nothing to stop them getting on the bus to Germany or France.

And tackling the “root sources” and “root causes” of the refugee problem are fiendishly difficult. Firstly, there is no government controlling the coast of Libya because Europe and America destroyed the last one—a foreign policy failure whose true dimensions even now are not fully appreciated.

Beyond that, the refugees are coming from as far away as Somalia and Eritrea. Conditions in countries such as that are so dire, and the contrast with the first world so stark, that the incentives to migrate even knowing the risks (which go beyond drowning—imagine what it takes to get from Somalia to Libya to begin with) will always be strong.

This is ultimately, as we’ve pointed out, a problem confronting rich and rich-ish countries all over the world, and one to which no great answers have emerged. Meanwhile, Europe’s legal situation is unlikely to change tomorrow and refugees are likely still to come: more tragedies most likely lie ahead.

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  • fastrackn1

    So instead of these people trying to correct their own screwed up culture they just try to go somewhere else and pollute the culture and gene pool of the successful countries….
    Take Somalia for example. Their gene pool originated from a group of people who back sometime in history decided to start a country in a place that is just dirt and rocks and where nothing grows…that says something…and thousands of years later it is still just dirt and rocks and nothing grows….

    • johngbarker

      The Jews, Germans, Italians and others who made it to these shores have done rather well and I see the rise of Hispanic people in our day as full of promise. I haven’t noticed any deterioration in the gene pool.

      • fastrackn1

        Jews, Germans, Italians, and most of the others that came here back in early US history had already created great cultures and civilizations long before, and up to, the point they began to migrate here (good genetics). Those who are migrating to Europe now have not.

        “full of promise”

        As a home builder in Texas I work with Hispanics directly every day and I see anything but ‘promise’ for a variety of reasons which is too lengthy to list. Most Americans, except maybe for the extreme left, are not happy with the large influx of Hispanics over the last 30 years and the problems it is creating…again, too lengthy to list….

        • johngbarker

          The 19th and early 20th century immigrants were mostly poor peasants or the urban proletariat without education or advanced training in the crafts and trades. Also, the promoters of the eugenics movements believed that most non Anglo-Saxon immigrants were genetically inferior sought to prohibit “mixed marriages.”

          • fastrackn1

            Those immigrants still came from a gene pool that created great cultures and civilizations up until the time they came here, even if the individuals themselves were not high in socioeconomic status.
            When it comes to genetics and how it affects humans no one likes to talk about it…unless they have something positive to say about how certain races are better at athletics. But when it comes to anything else people just want to sweep genetics under the rug and pretend that it doesn’t apply to humans, at least not in any negative form…which would make us about the only organism on the planet that is not defined by it’s genetics. What a bunch of crap. Why do people deny the truth? They think they can just explain things away with a bunch of intellectual, abstruse jargon, or by blaming ‘culture’, or living conditions, etc. It is a group’s genetics that have created it’s culture.
            Sorry if that’s crass, but I just call’em like I see’em. I operate in a world the way it is, not in a world the way it should be.

            Unfortunately eugenics isn’t practiced here anymore….

          • johngbarker

            If genetics is destiny, why do immigrants need to change countries and cultures to succeed?

          • fastrackn1

            Genetics is destiny for all creatures, including humans. It defines who we are. Not ‘all’ of any group would have a genetic make up that is causing the problem in their group, but most would. There are black rocket scientists just like there are white NBA stars. I am sure there are some Somalis who are intellectual in some way who could bring something of value to a European country, but not the majority of the population.
            You could always go and live in a predominantly (‘promising’ as you say) Hispanic immigrant neighborhood and see how you like it….just keep an eye on your hub caps and your daughter…and get some earplugs so the roosters don’t wake you at 4 AM….

            Immigrants don’t need to change countries to succeed, they choose to…and it is a completely different discussion than the first 4 words of your sentence.

          • johngbarker

            You mean an Irish tenant farmer and a Jew living in the Pale did not need to immigrate but could have achieved the success in their native haunts by virtue of their genes.

          • ToursLepantoVienna

            John, please research human bio-diversity, with an open mind. There are scientifically validated reasons why certain groups are, on average, desirable immigrants, and certain groups, on average, are not.

          • fastrackn1

            I don’t want to steer this conversation over from my original comments about the TAI article above, so see my last reply to jhp151 below.

            I am not trying to say that the sky is pink, just that genetics applies to all organisms equally, even humans….

  • Andrew Allison

    “Europe’s high-profile meeting tomorrow . . . is likely to lead to nothing beyond a bureaucratic fudge.” Surprise, surprise!

  • Frank Messmann

    Hundreds of immigrants drown as they flee Africa. But there is a safe and secure land route to safety. Its terminus is in the wealthiest and best-defended country in the Middle East — Israel. Immigrants could remain there for, say, a decade to see how diversity works out.

    • JR

      No thanks…

      • Frank Messmann

        JR: Many Jewish-Americans whom I know recommend increased Third-World immigration here. Why couldn’t Israel be, as it were, a trial project?

        • JR

          Israel is a trial project. It is a homeland for the Jewish people, whether they come from Ethiopia, Ukraine or France. Muslim refugees should go to other Muslim countries. That way they won’t have to suffer from Islamophobia. Surely you don’t want these refugees to suffer from Islamophobia, right?

          • Frank Messmann

            In 1917, the British created a homeland for Jews but specifically stated that this was not to be exclusively for them.
            Germany wanted to create a homeland just for Germans by removing “alien elements,” didn’t they?

          • adk

            So Zionists are new Nazis, is that what you are saying?

        • Dale Fayda

          Because there is no need for a “trial project”. The consequences of large-scale African immigration have ALWAYS been exactly the same, regardless of their final destination. Poverty, criminality, massive increase of those on the government dole, squalor, social rancor.

          Everything these people touch they destroy, degrade, diminish. I dare you to point me to a place that has become better (wealthier, safer, more attractive, better governed, more cultured) as a result of large numbers of Africans arriving there. Just one – I “double-dog” dare you.

          • fastrackn1

            I also dare anyone to name a civilized African country that is on par with anything in Europe or North America…even China or Brazil. Okay there was 4 thousand years ago – Egypt, but nothing since then.
            Let’s hear some excuses from the left on why that might be!
            Could it be …oh I don’t know…bad genetics??…no it can’t be that so let’s just ignore that statement and pretend bad genetics don’t exist. Let’s see…what else…how about lack of land, rain fall, natural resources…no that’s not it. It’s the fault of the rest of the world…nope, not that either. Come on lefties let’s hear some excuses why all of Africa is a cultural mess! They have had thousands of years to improve…what are they waiting for?
            I have been to several African countries, and for 5 to 9 weeks each trip, so I have a lot of first-hand experience there. I even speak a little Swahili and Kikuyu. Heck, I think that makes me more African than the so called African-Americans we have here…who have never even been to Africa…but I guess the liberal elites have brain washed us into believing we should call them that so we don’t offend them…and maybe even make us feel better about ourselves in the process…more liberal nonsense….

          • jhp151

            Egypt, at several times in the last 4 thousand years, was a world power. Last I checked it was still on the African continent.

            It is a mistake to look current history and national power and assume anything related to genetics. The simple truth is countries that can significantly reduce corruption and insure justice for their citizens will advance (or be invaded by their neighbors). Africa’s current failings are all about their cultural failings.

          • fastrackn1

            I mentioned Egypt, however I am not sure what a power they were since around the time of Ramesses, or what they have contributed to the betterment of mankind since then, but last time I checked 1 out of over 50 countries contributing anything of value to the betterment of mankind, and doing it a thousand+ years ago, is a pretty bad average.
            They won’t reduce corruption, and they won’t insure justice for their citizens…it’s not in their genetic make up. Just like it’s not in the genetic make up of a Pit Bull to get along with other dogs.
            The simple truth is that genetics play a large role in the creation of cultures. A country’s culture is a manifestation of the genetics of it’s people….

          • jhp151

            You might want to re-think that. The latest theories on skin color suggest that white skin is a combination of milk tolerance in adults and living in a cold winter environment for around 8000 years.


          • JR

            We are talking about the past 8000 years here.

          • fastrackn1

            Even if all peoples have originated from 1 type of humanoid, the genetics will have evolved differently for each group of people over the last thousands of years, of course. If genetics have created the differences in physical attributes, do you really think they have not created differences in mental attributes? And do you really not believe that some peoples have picked up more negative traits and some peoples have picked up more positive traits along the way as they mostly bread within their own group, because groups of peoples have through history, mostly bread within their group? If you do not think that genetics have created ALL the differences in the different groups of peoples in the world, then you are living in denial.
            So, back to the original TAI article above;…inviting a bunch of Africans to come and live in Europe is like inviting a Pit Bull to a Poodle party …no matter how well you had trained the Pit Bull, he still wants to eat the poodles…it is in his genetics….

        • adk

          Suppose (judging by your last name) you are a German-American. Further suppose, full of charitable spirit, you think Germany, being a wealthy developed country (and not under constant threat like Israel having to spend a lot more on defense than Germany), could take a lot more African refugees than it does now. How do you think Germans will receive your high-minded proposal?

  • mdmusterstone

    It all comes down to taking hostages and being a
    hostage. The refugees are saying to the
    EU we are taking you hostage to keep us from hurting ourselves. And the EU is accepting hostage status, fill
    in whatever blank you like for a reason, that is until some far right populist
    party takes the EU “more” hostage than the refugee hostage takers.

    Some many years ago there was a TV movie who’s grist was
    that a huge number of Third World people wanted to
    immigrate to the US
    because they found that we paid more to maintain our pets than they had
    available all year. So the idea was that
    they would assign all their human agency to our human agency and further there
    was an implicit idea they would take the goodies but don’t dare tell them what
    to do.

    Here’s the way it is.
    There is help and then there is solving the problem. We “helped” Germany,
    Japan and Korea;
    they solved the problems. We attempted
    to help and solve the problems in Iraq,
    Kosovo and Somalia,
    popularly known as nation building. Have
    we made some mistakes, certainly, does that mean we have to become eternally hostage
    to them, forced to move from “help” to open ended problem solving? Absurd!

  • mdmusterstone

    More, once an individual or a group embraces victimhood it’s
    all over. Help become entitlement which
    in turn becomes never enough. Whatever
    request you fulfill you always receive the reply, “Yes, but… ”

    As I recall Darfur. Do to some altercation with another culture
    (Jinjiweed), their whole universe has been destroyed and it is never coming
    back and can’t be recreated because even if you did find farm land again it’s
    been so long that no one remembers how to farm or even wants to learn.

    What’s to be done with them?
    Ship them to Argentina? Oh, no they will say, that many refugees will
    destroy the socio/economic fabric of our country. And so shall it be eventually with any
    hostage country, there is always a tipping point. But being a hostage means never being able to
    say no.

    I’m sure I’ll be asked what should be done. Ok, the boats are picked up right outside the
    originating port and towed back to land.
    Some people will drown, some will be women, some will be children. That’s the way of it.

  • gabrielsyme

    Well, destroying boats in harbour is absolutely necessary and relatively easy. Give Libyans two weeks to deliver all boats into European hands (you could even pay their owners) – then destroy everything that floats on the coast of Libya. Yes, it would be a little unfair to deprive Libyans of their fishing industry (at least for a time) – but the alternative is hundreds of deaths.

    • f1b0nacc1

      Destroying boats….which boats? Fishing smacks, coastal freighters, what? Maintaining any sort of economic activity on the Libyan coast is simply impossible without boats, and even a small boat can carry a LOT of refugees. If you have any doubts about this, take a look at the sort of transportation that refugees from Cuba use to escape that hellhole. Even if such a plan was implemented, all you are doing is providing an incentive for some individuals to hide their boats, then go back to work using them for smuggling, this time with less competition.
      Sadly the only way to deal with this is to hunt down the traffickers and provide them with horrible, VERY public deaths. Sink the boats before the reach shore, rescue those that you can, then ship them immediately back to Libya. Rinse and repeat. After enough dead traffickers (and sadly yes, dead refugees) show up, the word gets around and demand will drop. Not to zero, as there will always be those desperate enough to risk anything, but enough that the problem won’t be serious enough to worry about. As an aside, this would be an outstanding suggestion for our southern border as well…
      I take no pleasure in making this suggestion, but as you correctly point out, there are very few happy choices here…

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