Abdallah Schleifer on the EU's 'Refugee' Crisis
Abdallah Schleifer, writing for Al Arabiya News, says, "EU migrant crisis: Enough rhetoric, time for solutions" (August 31, 2015), and he makes a couple of sensible points, the first about the trafficking of refugees from the Middle East to Europe:
The UNHCR said implementation this year of EU Search and Rescue Operations (SRO) has probably saved tens of thousands of lives. This is an attempt to make the EU look better compared to last year's supposed callousness, but it only deepens the crisis of massive illegal migration [because] . . . . for traffickers, SROs mean they can now cram even more migrants into even cheaper boats, because if they begin to sink they will transmit distress signals and a vessel will turn up to save the passengers.This means the trafficking of more 'refugees,' or "migrants," as Schleifer to call them. What's the solution? Schleifer looks ahead:
When peace comes to Syria, those who have fled to neighboring countries are far more likely to return home than those who have made it to Europe, and the Jordanian, Lebanese and Turkish authorities will do whatever is necessary to make them return. So the EU should massively invest in dramatically improving the conditions and size of refugee camps in those countries, while making it more difficult to cross into Europe.In other words, the EU should treat them as refugees deserving support if they've taken refuge in a neighboring country where refugee camps already exist, but treat them as illegal migrants if they avoid or leave those camps and head for Europe. This sounds like a sensible idea to me, far better in the long run.