What Everyone Is Missing About Immigration and the Refugee Crisis

(ANTIMEDIA) Since the Syrian refugee crisis began and terrorist attacks became the norm throughout the Western world, there has been a drastic change in the immigration debate.

The rise of Donald Trump in America has galvanized the mindset of fear that took over following the San Bernardino and Orlando shootings. Europe has also struggled to adapt as governments declare perpetual states of emergency and the popularity of nationalist parties spikes. The solutions being promoted to the public vary from open borders with taxpayer handouts to the other extreme of detaining and registering entire groups of people. Regardless, both sides of the political spectrum have chosen to ignore the underlying causes of this ordeal, instead aiming to expand the scope of government control wherever possible.

Following decades of failed domestic and foreign policies, Western nations have only themselves to blame for triggering this demographic blowback. Intervention in the Middle East and the ongoing war on drugs have destabilized dozens of countries across the globe, forcing millions to flee their homes. By orchestrating the collapse of sovereign nations for political gain and lining the pockets of cartels who ravage Latin America, the government — especially the United States — has set the stage for the ultimate fallout.

Despite the seriousness of the situation, governments have their own economic motivations to look the other way as new immigrant labor flows across the borders.

The Eurozone and the United States find themselves in an extremely vulnerable position in which increased immigration may be their last hope to keep their economies afloat. The stagnant GDP growth, record low birth rates, and aging populations that have accelerated since the 2008 Great Recession have left the financial future looking bleak. Large-scale increases in immigrant labor can generate the tax revenue needed to kick the can down the road and protect politicians from shouldering the blame of any austerity measures. This blatant conflict of interest is rarely covered, but it has undoubtedly contributed to the lack of effective leadership. The choice between what is good for the government and what is good for the people is often at odds, but this time, the effects can be seen first hand in our communities.

The free travel and tourist-friendly environment of the European Union has been completely transformed in just a few short years. In the panic to house the hundreds of thousands stuck in limbo with no documentation, detention centers have been quietly put into operation across the continent. The open door policies of Sweden and Germany have acted as a magnet for refugees and sparked tensions between the countries who have taken measures to secure their own borders, like England and Russia. This phenomenon is happening on a global scale, with 65 sovereign nations around the world erecting border fences to control the surge of people seeking safety and opportunity.

The Dalai Lama has even urged caution to Europe in handling the growing problem.

“When we look at the face of each refugee, but especially those of the children and women, we feel their suffering, and a human being who has a better situation in life has the responsibility to help them. But on the other hand, there are too many at the moment,” he said. “Europe, Germany in particular, cannot become an Arab country, Germany is Germany.”

Until now, the U.S. has been a passive observer in dealing with the Syrian refugees, accepting only about 10,000. The Obama administration, however, is pushing hard to expand that number, while Hillary Clinton wants a 550% increase to ensure America does its ‘fair share.’ Assimilating foreigners into our way of life through compassion and opportunity is a noble endeavor, and the majority of those leaving their homes to come here have no malicious intent. But the vast economic turmoil and clear threat ISIS represents force new precautions to be considered. When facing an enemy whose stated goal is to infiltrate and exploit the weaknesses of the western world, it is crucial to have a rock solid plan for the long-term steps that should be taken in response.

Unfortunately, however, the only other alternative course of action has been led by the Trump campaign and other nationalist movements around the world. This fanaticism of scapegoating immigrants has been seen repeatedly throughout history when clashes of civilizations occur. If the emotional pandering isn’t stopped, it could end up transforming the West into a 1984-style nightmare. The walls, restrictions, and oversight put in place will never be enough to cure the desperation of those walking hundreds of miles for a chance at a better life.

Immigration in a world of limited government can be one of the most powerful forces in expanding prosperity, but the centralized systems of today perpetuate a much different result. At the turn of the century, when America still held relatively true to its small government principles, immigration brought diversity and new industries that spurred an economic boom. But the open door policies championed by the left are reminiscent of the Cloward and Piven strategy while the Trump train is committed to portraying those who need help the most as the real threats to freedom.

Western countries have never been as in debt or divided as they are today, yet promises of free housing, education, and other services for resettling refugees seemingly have no limits. Questioning the motivations of your representatives is imperative, especially when the emotional heart strings of the public are being pulled. Those responsible for this growing catastrophe can be held accountable without all of Western civilization regressing back into despotism. No wall is big enough — or government strong enough — to control the wave of desperate people that has been unleashed. The only way forward is to recognize our limitations and mistakes of the past to lay a new foundation of stability to mitigate the fallout.

This article (What Everyone Is Missing About Immigration and the Refugee Crisis) by Shaun Bradley is free and open source. You have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Shaun Bradley and theAntiMedia.org. Anti-Media Radio airs weeknights at 11 pm Eastern/8 pm Pacific. Image credit: Gémes Sándor. If you spot a typo, please email the error and name of the article to edits@theantimedia.org.