European Angst Over Immigration

by Christopher Harper | January 16th, 2018

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European Angst Over Immigration

Although most of my Euro­pean friends tilt toward the left of the polit­i­cal spec­trum, immi­gra­tion is an issue where they agree firmly and res­olutely with the con­ser­v­a­tive perspective.

They don’t speak the lan­guage. They don’t under­stand the cul­ture. Many of them don’t work,” sniffs a French friend, who wants to see sig­nif­i­cant lim­its on the num­ber of peo­ple allowed into France.

A long­time British diplo­mat notes that more than 50 per­cent of Lon­don res­i­dents were born out­side the United Kingdom.

Even an Arab friend com­plains about those who wear Islamic garb in public.

If you think U.S. immi­gra­tion is a mess, just take a look at Europe.

Demog­ra­phers project more and more immi­grants for decades to come. Annual net immi­gra­tion into Europe is pro­jected to increase steadily from cur­rent lev­els for another 20 years. This year, just over one mil­lion immi­grants will arrive in Europe, accord­ing to Euro­stat, the sta­tis­ti­cal agency of the E.U. That fig­ure will reach nearly 1.5 mil­lion in 2036, the agency projects.

By 2080, these migrants and their fam­i­lies will have increased the pop­u­la­tion of the E.U. by 121 mil­lion, rel­a­tive to what the continent’s pop­u­la­tion would be then with­out any immi­gra­tion. The result will be a Europe that is sub­stan­tially dif­fer­ent than it is today.

For exam­ple, the num­ber of Euro­pean Chris­tians is pro­jected to decline by about 18 per­cent, to 454 mil­lion, by the mid­dle of the cen­tury, accord­ing to the Pew Research Cen­ter. The orga­ni­za­tion pre­dicts that the num­ber of Euro­pean Mus­lims will nearly dou­ble, to about 71 million.

In Lon­don, Brexit has stum­bled along toward imple­men­ta­tion, a pol­icy that came about almost entirely as a rejec­tion of the immi­gra­tion poli­cies of the E.U.
In Ger­many, Angela Merkel has had sig­nif­i­cant prob­lems as a result of her open-​door pol­icy toward immigrants.

In France, the gov­ern­ment has engaged in a sig­nif­i­cant crack­down on ille­gal immi­gra­tions. In a recent dis­patch from Paris, The Asso­ci­ated Press notes that French Pres­i­dent Emmanuel Macron, hardly a con­ser­v­a­tive, has launched sig­nif­i­cant changes in immi­gra­tion policy.

Crit­ics con­tend that increas­ingly tough pol­icy on migrants — though wrapped in a cloak of good­will — con­tra­dicts his image as a human­ist who defeated an anti-​immigrant pop­ulist for the pres­i­dency, and has crossed a line passed by no other pres­i­dent in the land that prides itself as the cra­dle of human rights,” The AP says.

Inte­rior Min­is­ter Ger­ard Col­lomb has ordered regional rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the state to crack down on ille­gal immi­gra­tion, to act quickly to expel those who fail to gain asy­lum, and to report results imme­di­ately, accord­ing to a Novem­ber order cited by the news­pa­per Le Monde.

Oppo­si­tion to Pres­i­dent Trump’s immi­gra­tion poli­cies may be get­ting a lot of bad press in the United States, but many of my Euro­pean friends would wel­come his approach in their own countries.

Although most of my European friends tilt toward the left of the political spectrum, immigration is an issue where they agree firmly and resolutely with the conservative perspective.

“They don’t speak the language. They don’t understand the culture. Many of them don’t work,” sniffs a French friend, who wants to see significant limits on the number of people allowed into France.

A longtime British diplomat notes that more than 50 percent of London residents were born outside the United Kingdom.

Even an Arab friend complains about those who wear Islamic garb in public.

If you think U.S. immigration is a mess, just take a look at Europe.

Demographers project more and more immigrants for decades to come. Annual net immigration into Europe is projected to increase steadily from current levels for another 20 years. This year, just over one million immigrants will arrive in Europe, according to Eurostat, the statistical agency of the E.U. That figure will reach nearly 1.5 million in 2036, the agency projects.

By 2080, these migrants and their families will have increased the population of the E.U. by 121 million, relative to what the continent’s population would be then without any immigration. The result will be a Europe that is substantially different than it is today.

For example, the number of European Christians is projected to decline by about 18 percent, to 454 million, by the middle of the century, according to the Pew Research Center. The organization predicts that the number of European Muslims will nearly double, to about 71 million.

In London, Brexit has stumbled along toward implementation, a policy that came about almost entirely as a rejection of the immigration policies of the E.U.
In Germany, Angela Merkel has had significant problems as a result of her open-door policy toward immigrants.

In France, the government has engaged in a significant crackdown on illegal immigrations. In a recent dispatch from Paris, The Associated Press notes that French President Emmanuel Macron, hardly a conservative, has launched significant changes in immigration policy.

“Critics contend that increasingly tough policy on migrants — though wrapped in a cloak of goodwill — contradicts his image as a humanist who defeated an anti-immigrant populist for the presidency, and has crossed a line passed by no other president in the land that prides itself as the cradle of human rights,” The AP says.

Interior Minister Gerard Collomb has ordered regional representatives of the state to crack down on illegal immigration, to act quickly to expel those who fail to gain asylum, and to report results immediately, according to a November order cited by the newspaper Le Monde.

Opposition to President Trump’s immigration policies may be getting a lot of bad press in the United States, but many of my European friends would welcome his approach in their own countries.

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