The European Union has chosen for an incompetent and unsustainable response to the migration of refugees into the European continent. The idea to distribute refugees equally across European countries is unwise and hugely destructive, for a number of different reasons.
-Cultural clashes don’t disappear as soon as refugees enter Europe. Recent episodes of violence in Bern demonstrate that conflicts between Kurds and Turks persist in Europe. Persecution of Christians is also a common phenomenon in asylum centers. Sadly, even on the way to Europe conflicts emerge, as shown by one incident, where Christians were pushed overboard and left to drown by Muslims.
-The migration of asylum seekers throughout Europe is enormously costly. The border patrols now reinstituted in an attempt to regulate the process increase the time it takes companies to move goods across borders. The Dutch transport sector alone is thought to lose 600 million Euro a year merely from the reinstatement of border controls. The construction and maintenance of borders between different European nations also costs us dearly. European jails are crowded with thousands of people who have smuggled refugees across borders. Keeping someone in a Dutch jail costs an estimated 90,000 Euro a year. It’s often hard to prove whether someone knew he had refugees with him, which complicates the matter further.
-The settlement of refugees in Europe is enormously costly. Every asylum seekers is allowed to go through long legal processes to appeal decisions to cast them out of the country. There is no effective solution to handle rejected asylum seekers. Rejected asylum seekers often have no papers, as they dumped them to improve their chances to be accepted, thus it’s difficult to send them back to their country of origin. Even rejected asylum seekers who want to go back because peace has returned to their region often have difficulty jumping over all the legal hoops to end up back in their homeland. Many end up homeless, squatting or being thrown in jail, all of which poses tremendous costs to society.
-The migration of asylum seekers into Europe provides funds to terrorist organizations and organized crime groups. Stolen printers in Syria seized by rebel gangs are used to produce false passports, that are sold for high prices to people who wish to pass as Syrian. In other cases, Syrian refugees have their passports stolen by smugglers, which are then sold to other migrants. Migration itself turns into a lucrative industry that funds the groups whose activities encourage the mass migration of people in a vicious cycle that depopulates the entire region.
-Not all refugees have the ability to move to Europe. Those who can migrate tend to be those who are strong, bold and healthy, mostly young men. Besides the simple fact that people prefer being with their family members over wondering if they are still alive or not, in tribal cultures the exodus of men could put their female family members at risk of sexual violence. Those who can afford the costs associated with migration also tend to be relatively wealthier and more internationally oriented. The consequence is thus a brain drain, that robs the Middle East of its most promising share of the population.
-The refugees migrate to countries where people speak different languages and have vastly different cultures. As a result, they can not participate in these societies in any meaningful way. Children can’t properly follow education, adults can’t work. People are forced to spend their lives effectively waiting until the civil war ends, which could very well take decades.
-Many refugees end up dying on their way to the “promised land”. Some die in the back of trucks from lack of oxygen, others drown in the Mediterranean sea. As long as we declare that “refugees are welcome”, more refugees will die. For us to encourage these journeys by rewarding them is a form of stupidly cruel altruism.
-The refugee crisis creates enormous internal division in Europe. People lose faith in their leaders, who suddenly decide that asylum centers will be built in their town. Politicians grow angry at each other, as their are told by Germany that they will have to house refugees or face sanctions.
-Two million refugees of the Libyan civil war now live in Tunisia. Four million refugees of the Syrian civil war live outside of Syria. Millions of refugees come from Iraq, Somalia, Eritrea and South Sudan, countless more economic migrants are willing to migrate to Europe too, should they be allowed to. The vast majority of those people will have to handle whatever solution is available to them in their own region. It’s thus more useful to focus on improving the quality of the solution available to them in their own region, than to prove them with shelter in Europe, that might be of slightly higher quality but could never be available to all refugees.
What would be the preferable method then of handling the refugee crisis?
- Patrol Europe’s external borders and send people back at the earliest available opportunity. If boats are signaled on the sea, pick the passengers up and send them back to their place of origin. Boats that were used to transport refugees have to be destroyed. This creates a financial disincentive to smugglers as well as refugees to come to Europe.
- End the insane policy of funding rebel groups in an effort to overthrow foreign governments. Stop treating Syria and other nations as pawns on a giant chessboard. Analyze the weapon streams and place sanctions on countries that continue to pour weapons and money into the Syrian conflict. Try to negotiate a ceasefire in Syria that all parties can agree to.
- Pay Middle Eastern nations to accept refugees and deliver them the goods they need. Send soldiers and aid workers to oversee the refugee camps and ensure that these remain safe zones where refugees can flee. This will be many times cheaper than housing the refugees in Europe.
- Helping refugees where they live is ultimately a more effective way to increase their quality of life. In a hypothetical example where Lebanon spends a dollar a day per refugee to house ten refugees, for us to spend ten dollars to make two dollar available to every refugee would do more to help refugees, than to draw a lottery among them and spend a budget of ten dollars per day on one winning refugee. This is related to the concept of diminishing returns, which is visible in everything we do. The first 100 mg of Vitamin C you ingest per day do more to improve your health than the next 100 mg. The first 1000 dollars per capita spent on healthcare increase a country’s average life expectancy more than the next 1000 dollar. Similarly, our money is spent most effectively by investing in improving the quality of care of the most impoverished refugee camps.
- As many of the refugees are not even Syrian, it’s important to invest in birth control and abortion in the third world. Zero population growth is impossible to achieve without legal and easily accessibly abortion. This ends the incentive that people have to pass as Syrian in hopes of fleeing their overpopulated and impoverished nations.
No miracles will come from the above policy changes, but it should be possible for us to address this crisis in a more affordable, less cruel, more sustainable and less destabilizing manner. Alternatively, we can pose as if we are selfless humanitarians who are doing a good thing, while destabilizing our continent and luring people to their deaths in the Mediterranean sea.