ARTHUR CHRENKOFF IN THE NEW YORK OBSERVER: Europe’s Phony Compassion for Refugees: Intake should not be a real-life ‘Amazing Race.’ “The majority of the 350,000-400,000 immigrants who have arrived in Europe so far this year (these are the known numbers; no one knows how many enter undetected) are not Syrians. In fact, less than a third are, with the rest originating in a miscellany of African, Middle Eastern and South Asian countries. The majority seem to be single, healthy-looking young men, which traditionally suggests economic motives for migration, rather than the fear of death or persecution.”
According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, there are currently some 60 million forcibly displaced people in the world, of which the UNHCR considers 19.5 million to be refugees. While many of them pine for the day they can safely return to their homes, many, no doubt, would rather have a chance to start their new life somewhere safer and more prosperous.
When one includes those whose motivations are primarily economic, the numbers overwhelm. Some 1.2 billion people around the world survive on less than $1 a day, and 2.8 billion survive on less than $2. Even those not in dire poverty are attracted by the prospect of a better life in a developed country, whether through work or welfare. The prominent role played by people smugglers in facilitating the current wave of migration into Europe suggests that in fact many of the arrivals are far from “the tired, the poor and the hungry” of popular imagination. As the commentator John Schindler tweeted earlier this week, “If the answer to ‘my country is awful/war torn/poor’ is ‘just move right in’ the West better get ready for a couple billion new arrivals.”
It is now clear that all those currently entering Europe, be they economic migrants or political refugees, are shopping for their end destination.
It’s rational for them to do so. It’s not necessarily rational for destination-countries to cooperate.