Saturday, November 21, 2015

Some Refugee Questions

Before we decide to (Democrat) compassionately take in the "Syrian" refugees or (Republican) hawkishly keep them out, there are some questions about the refugees that I, for one, would like to see answered.

1)  The Syrian civil war has been going on for over eight years.  Why are refugees from the conflict flooding Europe in great numbers only now?

2)  If these refugees are fleeing the violence in Syria, why are so many of them from Pakistan, Afghanistan, Chad, Niger, Somalia, Mali and Libya?  What motivated them to suddenly leave those places?

3)  Despite the attacks in the middle-east on the few remaining Christians and Jews, all the refugees are Muslim.  Why haven't the numerous Muslim countries taken them in?  Why are they running to Europe?

4)  If these are simple refugees fleeing violence at home, why are so few of them women, children and old folks?  Why are the great majority of them military-age men?

5)  How have these "pitiful" refugees behaved in the countries -- like Britain, Germany and Sweden -- that have taken them in?  Have they shown any gratitude for the free blankets, food, clothing, shelter, money, cars and TV sets that the host countries have given them?  Have they bothered to conform to the local laws and customs of their hosts?  How many of them have bothered to learn the local languages?

6)  Wherever the refugees have been even temporarily settled in refugee camps, large numbers of them have mysteriously vanished.  Where have they gone?

7)  Where the refugees have been settled in Europe, they usually haven't gotten jobs but have gone on "the dole"/Welfare, and they boast of having sent some of the money back to their families in the old countries.  Just how much money does that come to, and exactly where is it going?

I really think we should get accurate and complete answers to these questions before we take in any more of these "Syrian" refugees.  In fact, I think that when we get the answers we should seriously consider deporting the ones who are already here.

--Leslie <;)))><  



tagryn said...

Hi Leslie,

I'm not trying to be purposefully contentious, but I'm also unclear about how you are reaching some of your conclusions.

1) The Syrian civil war started in 2011, marked by the first large-scale protests in Damascus and the Assad regime's subsequent violent reaction. That's four years. To the larger point, "why now?", likely it is because the countries which have absorbed most of the refugees to date, mainly Turkey, Lebanon, and Jordan, are reaching capacity and the continuous generation of new refugees is creating a need that more-local countries can't meet anymore, hence why the flow is heading further afield. This link has some good graphic depictions of the numbers:
2) As per the historical EU asylum numbers at and those countries have been among the top sending countries for years, its not just a sudden thing. Causality should be easy to see: they are all places which are experiencing unrest, war, and instability. Its an age-old tale, like the wave of the Irish, Germans, etc. which came over to the U.S. during the first part of the 20th century.
3) I doubt they're "all Muslim," and I can't find any numbers to that effect. The Christian communities in the ME, such as the Copts, have been shrinking for decades as younger people migrate to the West where there's much more opportunity.
4) At a guess, the long journey to the EU is too difficult for most women, children, and the elderly to make (borne out by the numbers at ). They also have poorer job prospects than young men once they arrive: historically, migrant flows have tended towards having a higher proportion of men than women, and younger than older. A lot of the jobs that are available to new migrants are physically laborious/lower-skilled/lower-paid ones that are more likely to hire men in their 20s than otherwise, so if a choice has to be made about who gets sent, its rational that men in prime labor force ages would get picked.
5) Its an open question, but assimilation like that generally takes a generation to take. I don't know how one would measure gratitude. Maybe look at whether refugees and asylum grantees have higher or lower crime rates than natives, controlling for economic status?
6) and 7) Do we *know* this has happened with hard numbers? I'm always suspicious of conclusions based on anecdotes and impressions, since they're so often wrong, sometimes dangerously so.

I'm in complete agreement that decisions should be made on accurate, complete data, where it is available. These are difficult issues which can often have good arguments for each side, and I think any politician who tries to simplify them into easily digested soundbites should be looked at with suspicion.

Technomad said...

Leslie: The Muslim countries in the ME have taken in many refugees. The limiting factor is usually water. You live in an arid area yourself; you can understand that in places like that, you can't have more people than you've water for.

Leslie Fish said...

Hi, Tag. Good points, but they still leave room for suspicion. You say Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan have taken in all the refugees they can hold (and, as Technomad says, the limiting factor is water), but what about the other ME and Muslim countries? I'm thinking of Saudi Arabia and all the countries around the gulf coast; they're all wealthy, have miles of sea-coast and plenty of capacity for solar-distilling water; why haven't they taken in more of their distressed fellow-religionists?

Also, those ME Christian (not to mention Jewish, or Pagan!) communities have been shrinking a lot faster recently because the local Muslims have been attacking them with unusual enthusiasm. Yet they're not among the hordes flooding Europe, according to various EU police reports. We can guess where the Jewish refugees are going, but the others? I'd like to know where they've wound up.

The demographics of refugee movements have historically depended on just how bad things are in the Old Country. People running for their lives bring the women, the kids and the grandparents rather than leave them to die. People running for *opportunity* tend to be sturdy young males. That's what bothers me particularly about the current flood of "refugees". Just what opportunity are they looking for?

And yes, the crime-rates (particularly rapes and robbery-assaults) for migrants are considerably higher than for non-migrants in their host countries. This is what I mean by ingratitude.

Lacking further evidence, I conclude that the best thing to do with the migrants is to round them all up and send them to Mecca. Let them become the Saudis' problem; after all, the Saudis have enough $$ to take care of them.

KateGladstone said...

I like the way the Netherlands handles refugees who ask (or demand) to settle there — show them a two-hour slide-show of everyday life in the Netherlands, focusing on things terrorists disapprove (everything from nude beaches to Christmas trees), while the refugees are hooked to polygraphs ... and only those who DON'T show physiological reactions of anger/fear are allowed in!