Discover more from Diane Francis
Global Refugee Mess
October 2, 2023
Sweden welcomed hundreds of thousands of migrants and asylum-seekers from the Middle East and Africa in recent years, and last week had to call in the military to stop the rampant warfare and drug-related violence between immigrant gangs. Now its third-largest city, Malmo, is Europe’s gun homicide capital. Likewise, ultra-liberal Canada has allowed millions of newcomers since 2015 and now deals with rising crime rates among unassimilated groups, fugitives, gang violence, and Sikh religious extremism. America is inundated with uninvited migrants. The world’s most liberal societies are not only afflicted with social problems following mass migration, but deal with those who know how to “game” the refugee asylum system. Unwilling to wait for approval through formal channels, they pose as “refugees”, in accordance with the definition in the UN Refugee Convention. Since 1951, a “refugee” is defined as “someone who is unable or unwilling to return to their country of origin owing to a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group, or political opinion.” Those who declare this needn’t provide evidence and are guaranteed entry and services — a loophole through which millions have passed. This is unsustainable and Britain is the first nation to demand immediate revision of the Refugee Convention.
Ironically, the Prime Minister and Interior Secretary of Britain spearhead the call for change and are the children of immigrants. “We live in a completely different time" since the Convention was signed 70 years ago and, because of loopholes and opportunism, it theoretically gives 780 million people the right to move to another country without permission, argues Britain’s Interior Secretary, Suella Braverman. This represents an “existential” threat because the numbers of arrivals are becoming economically and socially unsustainable. Nations are rubber stamping people as “refugees” for reasons that have nothing to do with fleeing persecution.
Braverman’s comments are shocking to some, but she’s on the mark. There has been “too much, too quick” migration in Britain and Europe in the past 25 years, she said. “Uncontrolled immigration, inadequate integration, and a misguided dogma of multiculturalism have proven a toxic combination for Europe over the last few decades,'" she added. “Multiculturalism makes no demands of the incomer to integrate. It has failed because it allowed people to come to our society and live parallel lives in it. They could be in the society but not of the society. And in extreme cases, they could pursue lives aimed at undermining the stability and threatening the security of society.”
France has been rocked for years by riots and turmoil arising from its huge population of “refugees” from former colonies. Canada now has problems arising from the huge influx of Sikhs it allowed into the country, some of whom are accused of violence and of fomenting trouble in India. Scandinavians, Germans, Hungarians, Italians and others deal daily with crime and social burdens as a result of “refugees”.
Braverman maintains that, without global reforms, the flood of people will turn into an unmanageable crisis. The numbers are already alarming. By the end of 2022, there were 108 million displaced persons as a result of war, weather, or climate events. Of these, 29 million were considered “refugees” (i.e. facing persecution or homeless) by the UN. Millions are now housed in camps in neighboring countries.
Some ask for asylum because they are gay, which alone doesn’t qualify in Britain and most other nations. For decades, Central and South Americans have illegally poured across America’s southern border, recently claiming they are “refugees” but they are not just because they live in lousy narco states with street violence. While tragic, they do not fit the Convention’s definition, but they pay smugglers thousands of dollar to get them to the border, ask for asylum as “refugees”, get in, and often disappear into America’s shadow economy. In Europe, Sub-Saharan Africans and North Africans board rickety boats by the hundreds of thousands to cross treacherous seas to claim asylum in Europe or Britain. Last year 126,000 arrived in Europe illegally by boat and 25,000 reach Britain annually. Untold thousands more have been lost at sea.
After a brief lull in border crossings in Texas following some reforms, there are now 9,000 illegals crossing daily into America again. Interdiction and adjudication of such large numbers of people is expensive, has strained the U.S. immigration system, and become the country’s biggest political issue. By the end of 2022, there were 1.9 million (asylum claim) cases pending in US immigration courts, and by mid-2023, that number had grown to more than 2 million, the most on record. Border state, Texas, is so overwhelmed and frustrated with mass migration that its Governor began bussing tens of thousands of migrants to New York City, Washington, Chicago, and Los Angeles where Democrats, who support lax “refugee” rules, govern. Recently, Mayor Eric Adams, of New York, declared “a state of emergency” as hotels, hostels, and public buildings now house 113,300 “refugees”.
In Europe, Sweden let in more than one million refugees from the war-torn Middle East. Now its government is changing laws to keep out migrants and asylum seekers. In January, its immigration minister held a press conference announcing that the country would launch a global awareness campaign to discourage migrants from coming to Sweden. Other countries as well as America consider doing the same and also ponder scrapping the UN Refugee Convention.
The world’s wealthiest regions are being gamed, but there are millions of displaced persons being supported in UN supported camps. Türkey, with four million refugees from Afghanistan, the Middle East, Ukraine, and Syria, is the largest refugee hosting country in the world. Bangladesh, Jordan, Sudan, and Kenya host millions more, and are also reimbursed for costs by the UN.
Britain’s Braverman is courageous and correct by demanding an end to refugee opportunism fostered by smugglers or weaponized by nation-states like Russia. Polls show that most countries respect and welcome diversity as well as curated immigration to help grow their economies. They also aim to help those who are truly persecuted. But loopholes must close to protect destination nations from fraud and criminality. Rich countries are not dinner parties that anyone can attend. Countries have a right to protect their borders and societies from undeserving intrusion.