We’ve heard more and more about the Migrant Crisis in Europe. The media story generally goes something like this: millions of civilians fleeing the civil war in Syria are fleeing to safety in Europe, and restrictive immigration laws are causing migrants to die while desperately seeking safety and sanctuary.
The story is actually more complicated than that. There are absolutely real refugees in need of real help. But some facts the media has overlooked:
1. Many of the people flooding Europe’s borders are not from Syria. According to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, only about half are from Syria. [Many that are from Syria were already in turkey, away from the war]. SEE THE DATA RIGHT HERE
. And that number is presumably based on those who say they are from Syria, with little way to verify it.
2. The poor young boy whose picture became infamous- he is an innocent victim to be sure, and it is terrible what happened to he and his family. If you were not heartbroken by the image, you are heartless. The facts of the story as originally presented, however, were skewed. The family was already safe in turkey for upwards of 3 years (depending on what account you read) before they decided to go to Europe so the father could receive more affordable dental treatment. I’m not seeking to place blame on a man in terrible mourning, just noting that the somewhat misleading story has convinced most people that all of the millions pushing into Europe are in fact fleeing the war. Regardless of the reasons this particular family chose to make the dangerous trip with smugglers, the boy had no choice in where he was going or why. The poor child is a crushing reminder that the victims of human trafficking and illegal immigration around the world are often those who had no choice in the matter.
3. Although many are families seeking a better life, the UN again notes that approximately 75% of the migrants are men with only 25% split between women and children. This again stands in contrast to what many believe, and adds a great deal of concern for the potential ramifications to host countries. As some have pointed out, demographic warfare is a real thing.
4. While hundreds of thousands, possibly numbering into the millions, surge into Europe, many of whom seek to go to Germany or Northern European countries that have better economies and better benefits, it is notable that the wealthy Arab nations do not step up and take refugees in. Why do the Saudis, qataris, the UAE not take in anybody? Wealthy Arab Muslim nations, the same language, solid economies and the same religion/culture. Germany is taking in some 380,000 per year. The Saudis? ZERO. Why is Europe where this surge is happening?
5. Another factor that few Americans take into account is that much of what has made the news lately is not migrants arriving in Europe but migrants pushing to go from countries such as Italy, Greece and Hungary to Germany, Sweden, and other countries further into europe. They are leaving countries with no war. And ostensibly many came from Turkey, where there is also no war. They are not pushing into Germany, Sweden, the UK etc because it’s safer, because they were already out of harm’s way. They’re pushing into those countries because there are better economies and welfare benefits
. And you could hardly blame someone- if you were going to go to a place where you’d have to start over, and one place was offering you cash and benefits, it’s not hard to see why you would choose that place. So whatever your beliefs on welfare, it must be acknowledged that this migration crisis is not entirely about seeking safety.
Now, pause there for a moment. I am NOT saying that none of the migrants trying to get into europe or elsewhere are genuinely in need of help. Again, there are absolutely those who are fleeing not only war, but genocide. The Christian minority in the middle east has been decimated, targeted, and slated for annihilation by the monsters of “ISIS”. So have the Yezidis. They need help. They need mercy. They are innocent and in need of rescue. Moreover, families in general. If you had a wife and children, wouldn’t you seek a place where you could start over and provide for them?
So how can this situation be approached? On the one hand, a real need and a pressing duty to help those in need. On the other hand, a very real threat and problem to the countries being overwhelmed with vast numbers of unidentified people, mostly military-aged-males from the middle east?
One potentially good example was set by Australia
. They are accepting refugees. But they have specified that they are focusing on women, children and families, giving greatest emphasis to those from persecuted minorities, Christians and Yezidis. And they have set one clear red line: no single men
. This simple rule may very well eliminate a huge amount of the danger inherent in this mass migration, and yet focuses in on providing mercy, protection and rescue for those who genuinely need it.
In the end, countries need to be very cautious about their policy toward refugees. And we as individuals need to do whatever we can to support bonafide charities that are helping those in genuine need of help. One clearcut effort that we should all get behind is the Nazarene Fund