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Post 23 Aug 2015, 8:09 pm

Unless some kind of miracle takes place within Syria, the millions of refugees fleeing from that mayhem will continue to flow from Turkey into Greece, Macedonia, Italy and beyond. With them will come new waves of ISIS who will use the chaos as cover to slip past whatever security safeguards put in place.

European countries are already stretched beyond their limits on keeping up with those suspected of terrorist ties and living within their countries. In the next couple of years they will become forever inundated and will lack the resources needed to stem the tide of violence that is sure to become the new norm inside Europe.

It will be interesting to see if European countries begin to outsource their security efforts in the years to come.
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Post 23 Aug 2015, 11:05 pm

Hi dag,

I forgot what a ray of sunshine you could be... :hide:
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Post 25 Aug 2015, 3:06 pm

Ye olde Dag hand grenade.
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Post 03 Sep 2015, 10:36 am

For all that this was a Dag thread and as such attracted no replies, this is a very significant crisis that's brewing and we probably ought to be talking about it instead of spending 7 million pages discussing the latest developments in the Hillary's hotmail scandal.

Germany has just announced that they're suspending the Dublin II agreement in respect of Syrian migrants who make it to their territory. Most of you won't really understand the technicalities of this move, but it's easily explained. In essence this is a protocol for the handling of asylum claims within Europe which states that where a migrant has first made an asylum claim is the country where their claim has to be handled, and if they subsequently move on and try to claim in another country they can be immediately removed back to the country they were initially registered. The overwhelming majority of the migrants flooding into Europe at present do not meet the proper definition of a refugee because they haven't sought refuge in the first safe country they reached (only Libyans would meet that criterion really, and then only if they claim asylum in Italy). Rather, what they're attempting to do is cherry pick the from the richest, most generous countries or those which offer the best opportunities for work. The Dublin conventions have resulted in hundreds of thousands of migrants doing everything in their power to avoid making an asylum claim in places like Hungary or Italy, or even France, because they're looking to transit through those places and reach Germany or the UK, and when they make a claim the first thing that happens is they're fingerprinted and their biometric details are logged across Europe, preventing them from making a claim where they really want to. By suspending this for Syrians the Germans have just opened a massive can of worms. It's instantly sent out a signal to potentially millions of people that it's worth taking the risk of moving to Europe because all you have to do is get to Germany and they'll let you stay.

And they will be allowed to stay. I snorted in disbelief when I read that the Germans expect to process 800000 asylum claims this year, up from 200000 last year. That's an absurdly high jump. It suggests that either the German immigration officials were sat around tossing off last year but are really capable of quadrupling their output or, more likely, they're all going to be issued with an industrial strength rubber stamp and instructed to grant everybody with minimal checks and don't spare the horses. The latter is far more likely. Asylum applications are complex and difficult and can take an awfully long time to process properly, given that you're dealing with undocumented people who have every incentive to lie about their circumstances. There's simply no way that the Germans are going to be able to cope with the tsunami that Merkel has just unleashed, the only solution will be to effectively waive all checks and grant almost everybody. It's going to make a complete mockery of the whole asylum system. Small wonder that they're now trying to force through proposals for mandatory quotas for all EU members so that the rest of us have to share the burden of German folly.

This is going to be a disaster quite frankly. It's not going to save any lives because this will simply encourage millions more desperate people to attempt the trip. What happens next year when 800000 applications has turned into 1.5million ? How on earth can they expect to maintain the pretence that only genuine refugees will be allowed to stay ? Everybody knows this is bullshit, not least the migrants themselves. How long will the people of Poland, Hungary, Estonia and for that Matter the UK and even France and Germany put up with this ? Emotional blackmail has a limited shelflife, and after its effects wear off we're going to be left with an angry reaction that will probably spur on the growth of far-right politics across Europe.
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Post 03 Sep 2015, 12:55 pm

While we and our allies are bombing the cities that Syrians are fleeing from, what are we supposed to do?

When they are so desperate they drown in the Aegean, what do we do?

Germany wants everyone else to help out and spread the load. Hungary seems to want to put them in camps. The UK has so far taken in a few thousand and far fewer per capita than many other countries.

When the first safe EU state is Greece, which has enough problems looking after itself, we need to be more realistic.

And perhaps a bit more compassionate. That 3 year old washed up on a beach in Turkey reminded me of my son. What a @#$! waste of a life (and Canada was the country his family were trying to get to, and could not get a visa for, so I want no morality lessons from Ricky)
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Post 03 Sep 2015, 2:01 pm

The child and his family had already arrived in a safe country, Turkey. They weren't getting bombed there. The people who have been crowding the boats in Libya are predominantly young men from Sub-Saharan Africa (80% men is the best estimate) who are not fleeing from Syria but instead looking for a better life in Europe. Setting up a ferry service for them hasn't made things any safer, it's just encouraged many more to risk the journey. Likewise opening the borders to anybody claiming to be Syrian isn't going to save any lives either, it's going to cost lives.

We can't just open up our borders to potentially millions of people. What the Germans are doing is going to turn the concept of asylum into a laughing stock. Policy should not be determined on the basis of 'that child reminds me of my son'. The child was perfectly safe in Turkey.
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Post 03 Sep 2015, 2:24 pm

danivon
and Canada was the country his family were trying to get to, and could not get a visa for, so I want no morality lessons from Ricky)

The Canadian government is an immoral fraud on this issue.To date only 1,300 have been accepted from Syria as refugees. (Thank goodness it looks like we'll be tossing the current fraudsters in the general election in 4 weeks)

I don't know what the answer is to the refugee issue. I think Merkels response is genuinely compassionate. I wonder, however, about the eventual state of the refugees in light of the second class citizenship Turkish migrants to Germany have been provided to date. Still, I'd guess second class German is better than life in Syria or bare bones camps in Turkey or Hungary.
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Post 04 Sep 2015, 7:51 am

Are there examples of modern societies that have been harmed long-term by accepting and settling large numbers of immigrants?
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Post 04 Sep 2015, 2:00 pm

Sassenach wrote:The child and his family had already arrived in a safe country, Turkey. They weren't getting bombed there.
They are Kurds. Turkey is not necessarily safe for Kurds, is not in the EU and has a poor human rights record.

The people who have been crowding the boats in Libya are predominantly young men from Sub-Saharan Africa (80% men is the best estimate) who are not fleeing from Syria but instead looking for a better life in Europe. Setting up a ferry service for them hasn't made things any safer, it's just encouraged many more to risk the journey. Likewise opening the borders to anybody claiming to be Syrian isn't going to save any lives either, it's going to cost lives.
Part of that is that for a lot of people in Africa, Libya was a place to go to work and get away from other regimes. But now it's a chaotic nation in a state of civil war.

Some of the people there have also fled from places like Somalia.

Yes, it is often men. Men are still also the most common victims in wars - whether drafted to fight, or killed in case they might fight in the future.

But the situations are different. Frankly, what we should be doing - and should have been for years - is to either support Turkey properly to deal with the many people fleeing that war. And part of that would be taking people from there in to our rich countries to relieve the pressure.

for Libya, and the people coming through there, I am not so sure what the solution is. But sending them back is not going to work either. Neither is ignoring maritime disasters. And we have had people crossing the Med into Europe for years already.

We can't just open up our borders to potentially millions of people. What the Germans are doing is going to turn the concept of asylum into a laughing stock. Policy should not be determined on the basis of 'that child reminds me of my son'. The child was perfectly safe in Turkey.
Please tell me how they were living in Turkey. Were they granted asylum? Were they able to work?

Also, it's not the policy that is based on what I see when I see that dead kid. It's the empathy that it invokes, that means I try to find policies that are humane.

A good friend of mine was a refugee from Afghanistan in period of the first civil war (when the Soviets then invaded to back up their friends). He could never go back, but was an asset to the UK as a professional. I despair at the way we now see the idea of people fleeing war as an existential threat rather than a human problem.
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Post 04 Sep 2015, 2:11 pm

geojanes wrote:Are there examples of modern societies that have been harmed long-term by accepting and settling large numbers of immigrants?
Lebanon is probably one. Of course Lebanese society was already divided on ethnic/sectarian lines and the country was being put under pressure by the Syrians.

Other than that I am not sure. We know that often refugees end up being very useful and productive members of a host society. Of course, I think a lot comes down to how well you treat people as they come through. I look at what Hungary is doing to people who just want to pass through and wonder if that really is the best way to deal with them. Seems like it's designed to make them fear and hate the West.
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Post 04 Sep 2015, 4:24 pm

They are Kurds. Turkey is not necessarily safe for Kurds, is not in the EU and has a poor human rights record.


There are millions of Kurds in Turkey and hundreds of thousands of Syrian Kurds taking refuge there already. As such the key point here is 'not in the EU'. They wanted to get to the EU, and it wasn't for reasons of immediate safety. The blame for the death of this child lies primarily with his parents, who chose to put him at enormous risk for no reason other than the prospect of a more comfortable life.

Part of that is that for a lot of people in Africa, Libya was a place to go to work and get away from other regimes. But now it's a chaotic nation in a state of civil war.


A very small part.

Some of the people there have also fled from places like Somalia.


The bulk of them are from Eritrea and West Africa. All of them, including the Somalis, will have already passed through a safe country prior to their arrival on the Libyan coast.

Yes, it is often men. Men are still also the most common victims in wars - whether drafted to fight, or killed in case they might fight in the future.


Let's cut to the chase here. The vast majority of the migrants trying to cross from Libya are not the victims of war. We both know this. Even those who are have transited through safe countries to get there so they're clearly trying to cherry pick. These are young men looking for a way to get into Europe so they can work and improve their economic circumstances.

But the situations are different. Frankly, what we should be doing - and should have been for years - is to either support Turkey properly to deal with the many people fleeing that war. And part of that would be taking people from there in to our rich countries to relieve the pressure.

for Libya, and the people coming through there, I am not so sure what the solution is. But sending them back is not going to work either. Neither is ignoring maritime disasters. And we have had people crossing the Med into Europe for years already.


As it happens we are doing a lot to help Turkey to cope with the refugees. Britain has spent more on aid for this purpose than the rest of the EU nations put together. Taking some refugees directly from the camps is one thing though, taking anybody who crosses the border illegally is quite another. For starters, it directly encourages others to risk the trip.This will ultimately lead to even more people dying at sea and in the long run will cause the complete breakdown of the asylum system. What the Germans have done is madness.

Please tell me how they were living in Turkey. Were they granted asylum? Were they able to work?


They were safe. Are you seriously trying to tell me that you think every displaced Syrian should be allowed to move to Europe and be given the right to work ? We're talking millions of people here.

Look, the fact is that there are tens of millions of people in Africa and the Middle East who will follow the current migration wave. I can tell from my own professional experience that once somebody is here it's extraordinarily expensive and difficult to remove them again, even if their asylum claim has been rejected. Most end up being allowed to stay once they get here, and the migrants know this full well. Opening up the floodgates is not a viable solution to the ills of the world. It's going to lead to an epic flow of people into Europe which will never be reversed and which will provoke a backlash.
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Post 05 Sep 2015, 1:20 am

Sassenach wrote:
They are Kurds. Turkey is not necessarily safe for Kurds, is not in the EU and has a poor human rights record.


There are millions of Kurds in Turkey and hundreds of thousands of Syrian Kurds taking refuge there already.
And the Turks have no form for oppressing Kurds, or bombing Syrian and Iraqi Kurds?


The blame for the death of this child lies primarily with his parents, who chose to put him at enormous risk for no reason other than the prospect of a more comfortable life.
Well, his mother is dead too in the same incident, so she got what she deserves, right?

There was also a desire to reunite with family involved.

As it happens we are doing a lot to help Turkey to cope with the refugees. Britain has spent more on aid for this purpose than the rest of the EU nations put together. Taking some refugees directly from the camps is one thing though, taking anybody who crosses the border illegally is quite another. For starters, it directly encourages others to risk the trip.This will ultimately lead to even more people dying at sea and in the long run will cause the complete breakdown of the asylum system. What the Germans have done is madness.
sending aid is one thing, but really just a sticking plaster. I agree we should start with those in camps.

But Germany has to deal with the problem they have, which is thousands of people arriving now. Absent going back in time and dealing with the Syrian refugee crisis properly (and also the Afghan one which seems to be a factor too), what should they do? Germany probably has an aversion to creating camps and forcing people into them to be processed and sent somewhere else. And where? Turkey? Will Turkey take "back" people who technically entered their country illegally when they fled the Syrian war?



Please tell me how they were living in Turkey. Were they granted asylum? Were they able to work?


They were safe.
I did not ask you to repeat the same assertion as if that adds anything, if I wanted that we could get DF in here. I asked you to tell me how they were safe. What evidence did you have that tells you that was the case?

Are you seriously trying to tell me that you think every displaced Syrian should be allowed to move to Europe and be given the right to work ? We're talking millions of people here.
No, not every one. Let us not debate a false dichotomy here. I think we can and should stake more, and improve the way we handle people. That is not the same as "all".

Look, the fact is that there are tens of millions of people in Africa and the Middle East who will follow the current migration wave. I can tell from my own professional experience that once somebody is here it's extraordinarily expensive and difficult to remove them again, even if their asylum claim has been rejected. Most end up being allowed to stay once they get here, and the migrants know this full well. Opening up the floodgates is not a viable solution to the ills of the world. It's going to lead to an epic flow of people into Europe which will never be reversed and which will provoke a backlash.
We have a flow now even with restrictions, because the real problems are not here or on our borders, but in the countries they come from and those around them. There is a lot more we as the West can do to help, and not just use of military power.

And frankly, the way we deal with refused immigrants like shoving them into places like Yarls Wood has been shameful too.
Last edited by danivon on 05 Sep 2015, 3:14 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Post 05 Sep 2015, 2:30 am

geojanes wrote:Are there examples of modern societies that have been harmed long-term by accepting and settling large numbers of immigrants?


I like this question. It is very powerful. It may be that the society benefits tremendously -- after all, it is one of the reasons that the US is the major superpower -- but subgroups in that society do not, either because of their economic interests, or their cultural preference. The anti-immigration vibe (ala Trump and shared by the plumber we had over) is based on a combination of economic interest and their dislike at the perception that our society is changing from "anglo" to "Hispanic". I couldn't tell which it was for the plumber, but he's tired of being given the option to press "1" for Spanish.

I distinguish here between people who are against illegal immigration because they believe that laws should be followed vs. xenophobes who just don't like "the other" coming in.
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Post 05 Sep 2015, 3:43 am

And the Turks have no form for oppressing Kurds, or bombing Syrian and Iraqi Kurds?


In order to establish a legitimate asylum claim you need to do more than simply establish that some members of a particular group have suffered difficulties in a particular country in the past. Yes, the Turkish relations with their Kurdish minority have not been great, and continue not to be great, but we know that millions of Kurds manage to live quite safely in Turkey and hundreds of thousands of Syrian Kurds are living there right now without needing to fear for their lives. Absent any evidence to the contrary, which you have not provided, we have to assume that this family were in a safe country.

Well, his mother is dead too in the same incident, so she got what she deserves, right?

There was also a desire to reunite with family involved.


Grow up. Seriously Dan, it's not like you to bring such petty emotionalism into debates. I'll thank you to save the snark for the US politics threads that I know to avoid. My point, which I'm sure you understood full well, is that it's absurd to place the blame for the death of the child onto European politicians when it's quite obvious that the family chose to take an appalling risk.

And as for family reunion,I fail to see how getting to Kos was going to bring them very much closer to Canada.

sending aid is one thing, but really just a sticking plaster. I agree we should start with those in camps.

But Germany has to deal with the problem they have, which is thousands of people arriving now. Absent going back in time and dealing with the Syrian refugee crisis properly (and also the Afghan one which seems to be a factor too), what should they do? Germany probably has an aversion to creating camps and forcing people into them to be processed and sent somewhere else. And where? Turkey? Will Turkey take "back" people who technically entered their country illegally when they fled the Syrian war?


What the Germans have done is not to simply deal with the problem they have but to greatly magnify the scale of that problem by setting up an enormous pull factor which will encourage millions more to take the trip. Not just Syrians either. By all accounts there's already a thriving black market in fake Syrian passports. There's simply no way for them to efficiently process the torrent of asylum claims they're going to be subjected to. It's a fantasy to suggest that only genuine refugees will be allowed to stay. Everybody will be allowed to stay because the only way they can possibly even come close to processing those claims is to pretty much abandon any pretence at conducting a proper asylum screening process and simply grant everybody. Once word gets about that this is what's happening, and it IS going to happen that way, then next year's migrant crisis will make this one seem like a mere inconvenience.

I did not ask you to repeat the same assertion as if that adds anything, if I wanted that we could get DF in here. I asked you to tell me how they were safe. What evidence did you have that tells you that was the case?


See above. Absent evidence to the contrary, the logical conclusion is that they were safe. I'm afraid the ball is in your court here.

No, not every one. Let us not debate a false dichotomy here. I think we can and should stake more, and improve the way we handle people. That is not the same as "all".


Ok, so how many ? How many should we take, and what would you do once that number is reached ? I can assure you that it will be reached a lot more quickly than you expect.

We have a flow now even with restrictions, because the real problems are not here or on our borders, but in the countries they come from and those around them. There is a lot more we as the West can do to help, and not just use of military power.


Agreed, we can and should be doing a lot more at source, no objections there.

And frankly, the way we deal with refused immigrants like shoving them into places like Yarls Wood has been shameful too.


I'm not sure you really understand how Yarl's Wood works, or why it's there. The reality of the situation is that we detain a tiny proportion of illegal migrants, and usually for a very short period of time. Detention centres exist as a way of holding people for a short period while we go through the process of arranging for their removal. Usually these will be people who are already documented or who we've managed to obtain an agreement from their home country to issue an emergency travel document (a tortuous process which can take months and is easily frustrated by somebody refuses to cooperate). If they don't meet these requirements then we won't normally detain them, we simply set them up with requirements to report once a fortnight or so. Most detainees end up getting released back into the community again after a month or so as well, because they inevitably file for a judicial review or make an asylum claim, which makes them unremovable and as such a waste of limited bed space. It's simply not true that we just lock people up indiscriminately. It's done for a specific purpose and intended to be of very limited duration.

And what exactly is your alternative ? The reason people are detained is because they can't otherwise be removed. We always try every possible avenue of encouraging people to make a voluntary departure before detention is considered. There are even schemes for assisted voluntary return where they get given money to help them set back up in their home country (paying people to leave in effect). If somebody still refuses to go home then how else are we supposed to enforce removal ? Most of the inmates of Yarl's Wood would disappear into the black economy as soon as they get the chance and none of them would ever consent to going home voluntarily. By arguing for the closure of the detention centres you're effectively saying that the power to remove illegal migrants should be taken away.

It would be nice if the bleeding hearts would just come clean and admit that they don't actually want to control immigration. It's frankly laughable to on the one hand make out that you're in favour of a fair system which will refuse economic migrants and on the other hand to denounce any and all methods we attempt to use to control them.
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Post 05 Sep 2015, 4:23 am

I was watching Bill Mahre and a conservative guest said Republicans have to decide whether they are a party of so-called classic liberals just trying to promote freedom of everyone or are they a party of White identity politics. Which I think nailed it on the head

RJ distinguishes people who are xenophobes and those who want laws enforced. I think I would characterize it more as conscious xenophobes (they don't want more immigrants coming in because they don't like the other) and unconscious xenophobes (they do really think they are concerned about enforcement of the laws but they are actually concerned about the other). Net immigration from Mexico has recently been if not zero close to it the past several years. http://www.politifact.com/punditfact/st ... xico-2010/

I can understand concerns about assimilating immigrants when we are getting too many but what are we worried about when as many are leaving as are coming in?

The Republican Party is in a bind with regard to presidential elections. It has a deficit with female voters, understandable since women tend to favor a strong safety net. And it has not been able to appeal to minority voters. So they have to keep those white male voters. Hence we have White identity politics, because Republicans sure are not appealing to White voters making less than $50K on economic grounds.

And for about the first time I am a bit disappointed in Sass because he is sounding a bit xenophobic. There is a crisis and we should be seeking a solution, which I think would involve some kind of shared sacrifice of Europeans (and other wealthy countries like Canada , the US, even Japan) taking these refugees in. I guess I am thinking that there are million of refugees from the Syrian conflict and that Turkey should not be the only one stuck with the problem.

I can see why Dublin II is being suspended by Germany. It is not as if refugees coming from Syria into Europe can choose from a set of doors, one for each European country, to make an asylum claim. They're stuck with one country--Turkey . So Turkey should be the sole country having to deal with the refugees? Well, of course they couldn't handle it. Germany has come up with the only sensible solution--which is other European countries have to pitch in by accepting their share of refugees.
Last edited by freeman3 on 05 Sep 2015, 4:46 am, edited 1 time in total.