Whether we call them refugees or migrants, they’re coming – and they won’t stop

Two recent articles have highlighted the reality of modern so-called “refugees” – in reality, most of them are economic migrants – who are flooding into the First World any way they can.  Having lived and/or worked in some of the worst affected areas from which the migrants are coming, I think I can provide an informed perspective on them.

First, New Republic focuses on the migrant flow through South America, and tells the story of several individuals.  Here’s a brief excerpt from a lengthy article.

Today, more than 65 million people around the world have been forced from their homes—a higher number than ever recorded, as people flee war, political upheaval, extreme poverty, natural disasters, and the impacts of climate change. Since 2014, nearly 2 million migrants have crossed into Europe by sea, typically landing in Italy or Greece. They hail from dozens of countries, but most are from Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, and Nigeria—countries struggling with war, political repression, climate change, and endemic poverty.

Their passage to supposed safety, which takes them across Libya and the Sinai, as well as the Mediterranean, has become increasingly perilous. According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, nearly 150,000 people crossed the Mediterranean in 2017.

. . .

In response to the migrant crisis, European countries have sent strong messages that newcomers are no longer welcome; they’ve built fences to stop refugees from crossing their borders and elected far-right politicians with staunchly anti-immigrant messages. Meanwhile, most asylum cases are stalled in overburdened court systems, with slim prospects for any near-term resolution, which leaves many migrants stuck in the wicked limbo of a squalid, under-resourced refugee camp or austere detention facility. Today, European authorities have stiffened their resistance not only to new arrivals, but to the hundreds of thousands of asylum-seekers who arrived years before and remain in an eerie liminal zone: forbidden to live or work freely in Europe and unwilling, or often unable, to go home.

Because of the high risks of crossing and the low odds of being permitted to stay, more and more would-be asylum-seekers are now forgoing Europe, choosing instead to chance the journey through the Americas … It’s impossible to know how many migrants from outside the Americas begin the journey and do not make it to the United States, or how many make it to the country and slip through undetected. But the number of “irregular migrants”—they’re called extra-continentales in Tapachula—apprehended on the U.S. side of the border with Mexico has tripled since 2010.

. . .

All Europe has done is redirect the flow of vulnerable humanity, fostering the development of a global superhighway to move people over this great distance. The doors will not hold, and neither will the fences. You can build a wall, but it will not work. Desperate people find a way.

There’s more at the link.

Commenting on the New Republic article, and analyzing the issue further, David Goldman points out:

The problems of sub-Saharan Africa (as well as Pakistan and other troubled countries) are physically too large for the West to remedy: The sheer numbers of people in distress soon will exceed the total population of the industrial world.

. . .

President Trump’s reported comments about certain countries as sources of prospective immigrants may sound callous. He simply is ahead of the curve. The hour is already late to put a merit-based immigration system in place with effective enforcement against illegal immigration. Mexico solved its economic and social crisis of the late 1970s and early 1980s by exporting the poorest fifth of its population to the United States. With no prejudice to the Mexicans who chose to migrate, it is understandable why Americans feel put on. But that is tiny compared to what is headed towards us ten, twenty, or thirty years from now.

The mass of human misery headed towards the industrial countries simply is too great for us to bear. It is hard to see how humanitarian catastrophes of biblical proportions can be avoided. The responsibility of an American president is to make sure that they don’t happen to us.

Again, more at the link.  Bold, underlined text is my emphasis.

Two very different perspectives are portrayed in those articles.  The New Republic author is largely sympathetic to the “refugees”, portraying the hardships they’ve faced during their long and frequently dangerous journeys.  He paints a picture of people willing to work hard and make a success of their new lives, if only they’re given a chance.  The second article is not so sanguine, pointing out the sheer scale of the problem and the mathematical impossibility of solving it.

I can see both sides of the picture.  Having been in some of the countries mentioned, believe me, if I lived there today, I’d be doing anything and everything in my power to get the hell out!  I wouldn’t care about other countries’ laws or economic priorities.  Sheer desperation to have any sort of worthwhile life would drive me to join the migrant hordes heading for the First World.  I’d be willing to do anything, even commit the most heinous crimes, to escape the hell in which I was living.  On the other hand, I’m the product of a First World family, educated, working and living in that environment.  I can see and understand that such a flood of economic migrants will inevitably rob me and mine of the resources and opportunities on which we rely, forcing us to lower our standard of living to accommodate the “invaders”.  (For example, the USA is already spending $18.5 billion every year on providing health care to illegal aliens.  That’s coming out of your and my pockets, one way or another – and it’s completely unsustainable.  It’s got to stop.)

I understand the moral obligation to help others.  I’m a pastor, after all.  I’ve spent much of my life trying to help others, in many different ways, in many parts of the world.  I’m not blind to the reality of the misery suffered by untold millions in their countries of origin.  However, I’m also not blind to the need to balance that with our responsibilities to our own country and people.  One can’t go overboard in either direction.

I can only repeat what I’ve said before.  It would be completely irresponsible, a dereliction of our duty to our own people and our own descendants, to allow ourselves to be overrun by a horde of indigents who will leech away our economic, social, cultural and national life blood in their desperation to find a better life for themselves.  At the same time, it would be immoral – sinful, from a Christian perspective – to abandon refugees and/or economic migrants to the despair in which they find themselves.  We can’t have one side of the coin without the other.

We should by all means provide help to them;  but let that help be assistance to make their own nations more livable, more humane, a better home for them and their fellow countrymen.  Get rid of the corrupt, graft-ridden current international aid system.  Insist on accountability for every dollar we send.  If a government proves too greedy and grasping, retaining much of the aid for its own members rather than passing it through to its people, then let that government be cut off from all further funding.  If necessary, take active steps to remove it.

That said, I have no problem at all in strengthening our border defenses (including walls, fences, technological barriers, etc.) and increasing law enforcement within our borders to find, arrest and deport any and all illegal aliens.  Genuine refugees, who are in demonstrable, verifiable fear of their lives, should be accommodated;  but there aren’t that many of them compared to economic migrants.  Furthermore, we should act against the corrupt “immigration industry” that (among other things) coaches illegal aliens in how to present their case (in other words, how to lie) in order to get permission to stay.  As far as I’m concerned, those involved in such schemes are criminals, and should be prosecuted as such.

We also need to acknowledge that this isn’t a short-term problem.  It’ll get worse as time goes on.  What we face now is going to be a lot worse in ten, or twenty, or thirty years’ time.  We’d better settle down for the long haul, and be prepared to stand our ground.

What say you, readers?



  1. Not sure where to go with this that has a happy or morally optimal ending. If you can’t stop them from trying to come here and you can’t accommodate them if they arrive, then your options dwindle fast. At what point does “shoot anything that attempts to climb the wall and sink any ship carrying migrants” stop being a monstrous sentiment and start being common sense?

  2. I would have a lot less of a problem with the current crop of immigrants, legal and otherwise, if so many of them were not insistent on bringing the very things that made their country of origin a chithole with them.
    Somehow work hard, learn the language, and raise your kids to be citizens of your new home seems to have fallen out of favor. Now it's more build an oasis of where you came from, milk the welfare system for everything you can get, and demand that your new neighbors obey your rules not the ones that caused them to create the refuge you came in search of.

  3. The solution:

    – No government help, including financial and housing.
    – No real estate purchases, leases, hotel accommodations, or temporary shelter without a valid identification with a photograph.
    – Felony charges for aiding, or abetting aliens.

    Until this happens, it won't stop, unless the citizens revolt and take matters in their own hands.

    It might seem cruel, but the government philanthropy is destroying the United States. Too many aliens don't have the willingness to assimilate, abuse tax dollars, and in many situations, are involved with activities to subvert the Constitution and destroy the country.

    I have little, to no sympathy. That, and I think many of the last administration are guilty of treason for their active encouragement of illegal immigration/invasion.

  4. They are neither refugees nor migrants, they are invaders and history has long shown there is only one way to deal with those.

    Africa's problems are due to being full of Africans, if we let them come here we will be just as fucked up as they are.

  5. How much of this problem is because the west intervened with medical care and food? The population problem was self solving in the past.

    South Africa apparently has just said they will amend their constitution to allow land to be seized without compensation ala Zimbabwe.

    There is no cure for this- you either fight to maintain what you have, or it will be taken from you.

  6. I think someone is trying to make an argument for re-colonizing Africa.

    I'm not entirely opposed. I already think Venezuela will have to be re-colonized, as a superior overall solution than having the inevitable uprising of the starving/crackdown by the elite/assassination/power struggle/revolutionary takeover/Marxist utopia/hell-on-earth cycle.

  7. given the results, it looks like the anti apartheid work Peter did was wrong. the Africans simply can't be civilized or live in civilized places without ruining them. they've been in america 400 years and they still can't act right. I'm not sure that there is a solution that doesn't involve lots of dead bodies, but the only moral course of action means making sure the dead bodies aren't on American, European, or Australian soil.

  8. I am all for immigration, legal or illegal, if, IF the immigrant tries to integrate into our society, learn ENGLISH, pay taxes, become a productive person, enter the path to citizenship as soon as they can. Basically, if you want to become one of us, okay.

    But, but, but… So many 'Economic Immigrants' come here for our social programs, not to actually work. So many 'Economic Immigrants' pay up to $50,000 dollars to come here. Most places they come from, $10,000 is a good life, as in 60+ years of living a decent low-middle class life. I don't buy the 'Economic Immigrant' theory. That transit money would be better off being spent in the places where they came from.

    As to South Africa, well, I am all for kicking out all of La Raza we find and bringing the whites from SA here. I'd rather help someone truly in need that will better themselves as soon as they can than put up with a foreign invasion intent on taking over my country (which is what the Somalians, the various CA and SA groups that make up La Raza, various Islamic 'refugee' groups, all want to do. Not assimilate, but to take over.)

    Thanks, Dead Ted Kennedy. Burn in Hell forever for what you've done to the country that made you and your family rich beyond the wildest dreams. Burn, burn, burn. (Not that I'm a bitter hateful man but…)

  9. You, LawDog, and Kim DuToit all use the phrase "Africa Wins Again" to express the futility of expecting Western European/US behavior in Africa, and nothing is likely to change until the population of Africa itself changes.

    It is their country, their culture, their problem. They should be responsible for fixing the problems, not the West. If not, we have to go Full Imperialist, colonize them all and enforce honest and balanced legal and commercial cultures by force.

    Same issue with Venezuela. They are getting the socialism they voted for good and hard.

    We should enforce our borders the way Mexico enforces theirs: no services, no voting rights, and arrest leads to immediate deportation (no catch and release). A felony rap for the hiring manager and HR rep and a $1,000,000 fine to the company that hires them or pays them under the table would go a long way towards fixing the problem as well.

  10. One of the problems (or rather, THE problem) is that they have zero intention of assimilating and just want to leech off the welfare system.

    Here is an interview with a German woman that welcomed "refugees" and apparently worked with them to help them integrate into Germany but has drastically changed her opinion:


    It is a long but chilling read and the politicians and authorities refuse to tell the truth.

    Phil B

  11. "We should by all means provide help to them"…

    You say should, which means an obligation or duty. According to what standard "should" any country become involved in the internal affairs of another sovereign nation?

    Again, according to what standard, and why does that standard have sufficient authority to make it a "should"?

    You also claim that they cannot be stopped. Wrong.

    If you viewed these acts as what they are, an invasion in relatively slow motion, but an invasion nonetheless, then it becomes perfectly clear how to "stop" it.

    Please stop being disingenuous. Are you really saying that it is not possible to use sufficient force to deter these actions, or that you are just unwilling to use force to protect a country from invasion?

  12. This is a huge problem, too big I'm thinking for it to end with pain for everybody.
    I have to face the fact than many are embracing this and grabbing what they can.
    You mentioned $18.5 billion in health care to illegal immigrants. That $18.5 billion goes in the the pockets of the US health care industry and I'll bet they are not part of wanting to stop that.

    There was a wise old gentleman on the old homestead email list, he called himself tvoivozhd. He would sometimes point out that if we don't deal with these population problems, the technology and all that the modern world has brought the "world" will institute "retroactive birth control".

  13. "I would have a lot less of a problem with the current crop of immigrants, legal and otherwise, if so many of them were not insistent on bringing the very things that made their country of origin a chithole with them."

    First, they don't know any better.
    Second, they ignore what they see working.
    Three, you can't change a persons culture.
    Result is you CAN'T fix the problem INHERENT in immigration.
    Assimilation is not a feasible expectation between First world and Third world people.

    I expect that at some point, research will come up with a way to remotely sterilize a population. It will be used in self defense.

  14. I think Jess is on the right track. Provide no government benefits – state or federal – until the individual proves that he or she is here to work, contribute, and be a good citizen who believes in the Constitution and Declaration of Independence. And restrict property ownership for the same reason. AND find ways of spreading the word to the rest of the world that these are the new rules, and they need to be ready, willing, and able to abide by those rules.

    At the same time, encourage (although not necessarily with govt funds) those organizations and groups who focus on helping people improve their lives where they are and making their own lands better places. Reduce the push factor and the pull factor at the same time.


  15. The most humane situation for the US is at least a 75 year moratorium on immigration with an extremely low number of exceptions, like possibly an annual thousand or so, those exceptions made for people from 1st world countries with critical skills or vast wealth etc. Then for starters those that are here illegally, ever were here illegally or have committed a crime since getting citizenship should have their citizenship stripped, their progeny have their citizenship stripped and be sent back. Recent immigrants could not vote or hold public office nor could their descendants for at least 4 generations. Holders of so-called dual citizenship would be deported to whatever other country they hold allegiance to. End the h1b visa system and send them back. Build the wall. The attempted breaching of the border be treated as a hostile invasion and dealt with accordingly. Put extremely harsh penalties in place for those who knowingly hire illegals. 5 years in prison and 500,000 dollar fines for each instance be they agrigiant CEOs or rich people in Beverley Hills or Georgetown hiring Guatemalan nannies or contractors in Tennessee hiring cheap roofers. Churches and other organizations that encourage illegal immigration or assist, harbour or hide illegals would be subject to imprisonment and seizure of all organizational assets. The inability to speak intelligible English would result in deportation. Official forms, ballots etc would only be in English. Foreign language radio and television stations would be prohibited from obtaining FCC licenses. Put an 80% tax on remittances to foreign countries. That'd be a start and just might avoid the future fracture and likely violent partition of the US.

    As for what to do with Africa I'd say the Chinese are well on their way to solving that problem. As for the rest of the hordes let them stay home or go back there. Fix their own countries, with their own brains and their own ingenuity. They really don't need our help. They can figure out how to dig a well, not defecate in the streets, grow food and form a functioning society without 1st world assistance. If they require a well drilling rig, a tractor, a computer or even a rifle or tank to defend their nation by all means sell them one or trade for a commodity we don't have but don't interfere and for the love of God don't bring their people here. It's bad for them and it's destroying the American nation.

  16. The wall across our southern border, like the Great Wall Of China, should be so monumental as to be visible from space.
    And the Air Force, Navy, and Coast guard should have unrestricted shoot-down-or-sink-on-sight authority for anything as small as a pool lounger of a guy in a balloon-lifted lawn chair attempting to come her unauthorized.

    Only "No Trespassing" signs which are thusly enforced, are ever heeded.

    Anybody with a soft spot for the starving ignorant masses should be helping folks over there, not buying the world a Coke and moving them into your garage over here.

    And sooner or later, mankind's greatest cull ever, massive war (followed by the inevitable famine, pestilence, and death – because those four saddle partners always ride together) is going to take a hand, and thin out the herd.

    When they ride out, be ready to head them off at your property line, or you'll be roped into their herd.

  17. David Goldman: "The problems of sub-Saharan Africa (as well as Pakistan and other troubled countries) are physically too large for the West to remedy:"

    It is of course a problem of our own making. We propped up subsistence populations living in regions that CAN NOT support larger populations, with aid and famine relief and first world medical treatments. All the time ignoring the privations and suffering in our own countries.

    Result? Populations in countries that can only support small populations, exploded. In addition, these societies can not maintain the technological systems to permit them to provide for these populations.

    Now they are moving into the West. Where they still won't be able to be useful, because they are largely ignorant, disinclined or unable to understand what is required to live in a technological society.

    Our culture, and it's ability to provide the essentials of an advanced technological society is impaired as a result.

  18. Our biggest mistake is projecting our Judeo-Christian values onto these immigrants and assuming that they will assimilate with us and adopt those values. The reality is that their religion and tribalism will win every time. I would recommend reading 'Infidel' by Ayaan Ali Hirsi for anyone who wants some degree of insight into the Somalian mindset.

  19. decades ago my husband, who had been to central america several times and went regularly to mexico, told me that our government, for example, sent enough money every year to just one tiny central american country to provide each and every man, woman, and child with one million dollars apiece.
    none of that money nor any good of it [schools, clinics, roads, sewerage treatment, clean water] was ever seen by anyone in the general population.
    i conjecture that a lot of it ended up in our congresspersons' private foreign bank accounts.
    the rest went to the crooked politicians of this small country.
    multiply this by all the countries receiving foreign aid, then multiply that number by the years in all the decades this has been a practice.
    astounding number.
    my solution; our military.
    all our military can receive tremendous education by being sent into african and other countries to set up and build the roads, clinics, schools, et cetera. our men will learn invaluable skills, teach them to natives willing and able to learn.
    all natives taken into the program will be required to attend and pass classes in citizenship, morals, correct behavior and proper outlook. maybe they will teach their children that might does not make right. it may not change anything but they are ignorant and have no exposure to different outlooks. so maybe a ray of light may enter the heretofore unenlightened mind?
    also the clinics, with military doctors and nurses shall treat disease while teaching natives how to do so and teaching healthy living practices.
    military engineers will establish wells, and whatever type of waste treatment is practical for each climate and geology.
    and then there is birth control. i recommend vasectomies wholesale.
    these programs will be exponentially cheaper than foreign aid [you would see senators quitting in droves] and the military will have an education money cannot buy.
    then maybe some of them will run for public office here.

    the main thing is to ignore all the noise, bluster and red herrings and get on with it.

  20. deborah:


    You are still talking about spending OUR TREASURY on someone else. NO. Stop all financial support of other nations. Stop with the bleeding heart routine. It does no one any good, here or there. The CULTURE has to change for any of your ideas to work. We CAN'T change it. Not possible.

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