Jared Taylor writes: In 1951, the world population was 2.5 billion. It is now 7.3 billion, and the overwhelming bulk of the growth has been in those very countries that are so miserable that huge numbers of their citizens want to leave.
The United States did not sign the convention. What it did sign, in 1968, was a protocol added to the convention, which removed the original geographic and time limits. This meant signatories were required to take in anyone from anywhere forever. Until 1968, however, the United States had no legal obligation to accept any refugees.
Virtually every member of the United Nations has signed both documents–Nauru signed in 2011–but countries like East Timor, Afghanistan, and Zimbabwe have little fear of being called on to fulfill their obligations.
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) sets up camps for refugees and does initial screening. Except under crazy circumstances like those in Europe today, countries decide how many refugees they will accept, and dicker with UNHCR over who they will take. The supply is essentially unlimited: Last year, UNHCR said there were more than 50 million displaced people around the world, of whom about 17 million were officially designated as refugees.
Except for the countries right next to the places people are trying to leave, white countries accept by far the most refugees. China completely ignores the “non-refoulement” rule, turning back Burmese tribal people whom the authorities are driving out of the country. In 2014, Japan accepted only 11 out of 5,000 applications for asylum. Mexico, which sends us millions of people, accepts even fewer: It now has a total of 1,677 refugees to Japan’s 2,649. And it’s not as though no one applies to Mexico. Central America has produced plenty of “refugees” but Mexico won’t take them.
Countries just do what they please, because the conventions have no enforcement mechanism. The only price for spurning refugees is accusations of heartlessness, and so long as a country isn’t white, there isn’t much of that.
There has been some clucking about Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and the rich Gulf States, which are selective and let Syrians in only on work visas. In fact, they are the most honest players in the game; they haven’t signed the conventions so they don’t have to accept refugees. At the same time, they have spent hundreds of millions of dollars on camps for displaced Syrians in Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan. The United Arab Emirates alone have splashed out more than half a billion to house their fellow Muslims. The UN and Western countries have also spent several billion dollars on those camps, where about 3.7 million displaced Syrians have been living safely–though not luxuriously–for years.
And that is what makes this “refugee crisis” not just a calamity for Europe but an absurdity. News reports routinely talk about Syrians “fleeing war and turmoil in the Middle East,” but it’s not as though the Syrian civil war suddenly turned brutal, and shell-shocked families are fleeing war zones with only the clothes on their backs. Many have decided they are just tired of refugee camps–and the ones in Lebanon have cut back somewhat on handouts. Those coming straight from Syria just want a chance at Europe, too. As one 35-year-old woman who brought two young children with her from Aleppo explained at the Hungarian border, “I decided to leave Syria because I want my kids to have a comfortable life, to study.”
In any case, it’s hardly the poor who are making the trip. Smugglers charge as much as $2,000 per adult to ferry people just a couple of miles from Turkey to a Greek island. It takes money to travel on to Germany or Sweden–though some European countries are laying on free travel, food, and shelter. These newcomers are not the needy; they are the greedy.
Finally, this “refugee crisis” is not just an absurdity; it’s absurdity on stilts. Syrians don’t qualify as refugees under the conventions. As noted above, a refugee has to have a well-founded fear of persecution. Being caught in a civil war is not persecution.
A government can choose to treat Syrians as if they were refugees, however, and most European countries have promised them special treatment. People are therefore throwing away their identity papers as soon as they get to Europe and are claiming to be Syrian. There is now a brisk market in fake Syrian passports; German authorities have confiscated hundreds of blank passports. A Dutch journalist in Syria paid $850 for a very convincing-looking custom-made fake, and they are now offered on the Internet. Syrians have been getting into fights with imposters who, they think, make it harder for real Syrians to register as refugees.
In any case, it is wrong for the press to call these people “migrants,” as if they were Canadian geese. Every one of them, wherever he came from, is an illegal immigrant. Israel calls such people “infiltrators.” It would not be incorrect to call them “invaders,” since they are an army of aliens come to occupy and transform Europe.
Liberals are scratching their heads, trying to figure out what set off the current flood. They note that the Syrian war hasn’t gotten worse, and that conditions in Turkish and Jordanian refugee camps are the same as ever.
The answer is simple: Waves of illegals are coming because they can. They saw hundreds of thousands of Africans from such places as Senegal and Nigeria–without even a fantasy claim to being “refugees”–swarming across the Mediterranean from Libya. Not only did the Italian Navy save their lives when their boats sank, it turned them loose on the continent to go wherever the handouts were most generous. Firm treatment early on–towing the boats back where they came from as the Australians do–would have stopped them right away. Instead, Europe foolishly opened the door and is shocked that more have followed.
Germany, especially, has been letting in anyone who wants to come, and people from wrecked countries all over the world know a good thing when they see it. That is why only about one in five of the people pouring into Europe over the last three months are even Syrian. The rest come from South Sudan, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Eritrea, and every other hell hole.
Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany made things much worse by announcing that she expects to take in 800,000 waifs this year. Now the government says it could be more like a million. Mrs. Merkel has even been so stupid as to say that “the right to political asylum has no limits on the number of asylum seekers.” Technically, she’s right–the conventions say nothing about limits–but this is an open invitation to every basket-case country everywhere. Here is an interactive graphic from the New York Times that gives a very dramatic sense of what some of these numbers mean.
Mrs. Merkel’s invitation explains why nearly a million illegals have already come to Europe, and countless more are on the way. It explains why 3,000 arrive every day on the tiny Greek Island of Lesbos. And why nearly 4,700 boat people were rescued off the coast of Libya just last Saturday (Sept. 20). And why the crush of “migrants” has so overwhelmed European transport systems that train service had to be stopped between Budapest and Vienna, and between Munich and Salzberg. It explains the mountains of rubbish, food, and feces the “migrants” have left behind wherever the gather.
It explains why we can look forward to such piquant ironies as 75,000 Muslims showing up in Munich just in time for Oktoberfest. Will they spoil the fun for the 6 million locals and tourists who are expected to swallow 1.7 millions of gallons of beer?
Trying to feed, house, clothe, mediate, and teach German to these illegals won’t be cheap, either. Current estimates are that if Germany takes in one million foreigners a year for two years the bill could run to €25 billion ($28 billion). Germany had been running a budget surplus of a few billion a year; it will go back into the red.
The German Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel, who is Mrs. Merkel’s deputy, has said what may be the most idiotic thing yet: “If we manage to quickly train those that come to us and to get them into work, then we will solve one of our biggest problems for the economic future of our country: the skills shortage.” Germany already has an indigestible mass of Turks who are a recognized scourge, and if Germany needed skilled immigrants it could select them rather than let in masses of whatever shows up.
But Germany is burnishing its credentials as officially post-Nazi. Polls show that a majority of Germans welcome the refugees and can’t get enough international praise. Meanwhile, officials in the German Länder, or states, that have actually have to handle the crowds, worry that they are already stretched to capacity.
The United States, which has so far let in only a couple of thousand Syrians, wants praise, too. Secretary of State John Kerry just announced an increase from 70,000 to 85,000 for next year’s refugee quota, with a goal of 100,000 for 2017. He explained we can’t let in more because it takes time to vet Syrians for terrorism. What does that say about the potential two million Germany could be in for?
The spinelessness of the Europeans is perfectly matched by the arrogance and aggressiveness of the illegals. One might think people who show up without permission in a foreign country would be grateful simply not to be turned back. Not these people. On the Greek islands they fought each and rioted because they didn’t think they were being treated well enough. On Kos, a tourist mecca, they blocked the main street of the town chanting, “We want papers. We want to eat.” On Lesbos, with 20,000 surly young men camping in streets and squares, locals were afraid to leave their homes or send children to school. “They have stolen our lives,” said one.
Africans in Italian reception centers in Belluno, Sicily, and Rome went on hunger strikes because they were tired of Italian food and wanted African food. The strikers in Belluno slashed the tires of Italians who worked at the center.
At the Serbian/Hungarian frontier, migrants massed at a border fence, chanting “open the door.” They gave the Hungarians two hours to let them in, and then launched human-wave attacks on the fence to try to tear it down. When the Hungarians fired tear gas and water cannons, the illegals threw rock and sticks at the border police. There was a running battle of several hours before the illegals finally gave up and headed for Croatia.
Rail service from Germany to Austria through the Freilassing border crossing had to be suspended when illegals hit the emergency break to slow down the train so they could jump off. They then walked around the border crossing so they wouldn’t have to show papers. On all the rail routes leading to Germany, thousands of illegals have been sleeping in stations, filling the restrooms and platforms with filth, and cramming themselves onto any train that was passing through whether they had tickets or not. Mobs at the Keleti railroad station in central Budapest shouted “Fuck you,” and “Allahu Akbar” at Hungarian authorities.
Most of these illegals are young Muslim men who have never seen a woman in a bikini. There have already been reports of women and children being raped in some of the migrant centers, where Muslims consider unaccompanied women “fair game.” Even when they have segregated dormitories, women sleep fully dressed, and are afraid to walk around the centers. So many have been forced into prostitution that a social worker at a Bavarian shelter called it “the biggest brothel in Munich.” It’s no accident that in immigrant-happy Sweden the majority of rapists are immigrants–overwhelmingly Muslim. These are the people Mrs. Merkel’s deputy thinks he will make good Germans.
This is what Europe gets for its spinelessness. The illegals sense weakness, and they are right. They exploit that weakness, and their success inspires yet more hundreds of thousands–no doubt millions–from every wretched country. Only force will stop them, the force that any healthy people would have used immediately.
Fortunately, not all of Europe has gone insane. Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto pointed out that if Germany is worried about the plight of Syrians it could use a tiny fraction of the money it has budgeted for “migrants” to improve conditions in the camps in Jordan, Turkey, and Lebanon.
Hungary’s Prime Minister, Victor Orban has been the most consistently clear-headed European head of state throughout the crisis. He has warned that Muslims will destroy the Europe’s Christian identity and that Europeans have a right to refuse to become minorities on their own continent. His determination to keep illegals out has made him a hero to his people.
Slovakia said it would let in 200 Syrians but they had to be Christians. Interior Minister Ivan Netik explained that Slovakia doesn’t have a single mosque and that Muslims aren’t welcome.
Dutch political leader Geert Wilders has warned of an “Islamic invasion:”
Masses of young men in their twenties with beards singing ‘Allahu Akbar’ (God is greatest) across Europe–it’s an invasion that threatens our prosperity, our security, our culture and identity.
He’s right. Sheikh Muhammad Ayed, speaking at the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem, encouraged the illegals to pour into Europe and mate with Europeans. “We will breed children with them, because we shall conquer their countries,” he said. “We will trample them underfoot, God willing.”
Ironically, it is former Communists, who lived under an overtly anti-religious, anti-nationalist ideology, that are still able to think in terms of national and religious identity. When Mrs. Merkel said she wanted to assign mandatory “refugee” quotas to every EU member, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia and the Czech Republic refused. Communism protected them from something much worse: “tolerance” and “diversity.”
Perhaps the greatest irony, however, is that emasculated West Europeans are accusing East Europeans of not being European. French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said that Hungary’s efforts to keep out illegals shows it does not “respect Europe’s common values.” It is only because Europeans fought Muslim invaders for 1,000 years–from 732 at the Battle of Poitiers to 1683 at the gates of Vienna–that Europe as we know it even exists. Incredibly, Mr. Fabius wants to throw it all away in the name of what he calls “Europe’s common values.”