The growing focus in Europe and the US is now on securing borders and refugees, especially as it appears at least one of the attackers in Paris may have come into Europe as a refugee from Syria.
My view is that you need to have secure borders, but that doesn’t mean not helping refugees.
We should take in refugees fleeing conflict from Syria, and other countries.
But we should only take those who have gone through the UNHCR process, and have had their backgrounds checked. This process needs to be done quicker, and more need to be approved. That way there is an incentive to go through the UNHCR process, rather than just trek into Europe.
It is worth noting that the right of asylum only applies to the first country a refugee arrives at. Once a refugee has got into Turkey, they have a right of asylum in Turkey. But if they then trek through half a dozen other countries to get to Germany or France, they are no longer an asylum seeker. They are what people call an economic refugee. Now it is understandable that people would rather be in Germany or France than in a refugee camp in Turkey. So the solution is to take more people from the refugee camps, and secure the borders to deter such huge hordes of people, which does make it easy for terrorists to exploit.
A poll has just come out in the US, which sadly shows that there is a backlash against taking in any refugees. The poll is here.
- 44% support sending US troops to fight Islamic State and 44% disagree
- 28% says Islam is an inherently violent religion and 64% say inherently peaceful, but some twist its teachings (I would choose neither option – it is inbetween)
- Only 28% support the plan to take in 10,000 Syrian refugees, 53% say accept no refugees from Syria and 11% Christian refugees only
- 53% say US should have a military coalition with Russia to fight Islamic terrorism, 35% disagree