An illegal migrant is not a refugee and a refugee is not an asylum seeker. The press is reinforcing the confusion by parroting political leaders who have brushed the true meaning of asylum under the rug.
The asylum seeker, traditionally, is someone who tried to change things in his country, usually for the better, and faced persecution or worse for his activities. He fled his country and sought protection. At times, countries which offered asylum to the persecuted saw them as a joker to use if the country of origin fell into crisis or changed regimes such as South Africans fighting apartheid in the 1980s. More often than not, the exile would sit out his life in the host nation.
A refugee, on the other hand, is usually someone fleeing for his safety and who deserves relief until the situation in his country is safe again. This is the argument being made for Syrians, Iraqis and Afghans. They are supposed to be cared for in neighboring countries and not migrate across the globe by their hundreds of thousands. And while they flood Europe, not just seeking safety, but a better life, much like the illegal migrants, wealthy neighboring countries refuse to admit them. Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, all countries which support Islamist fighters, have not taken in refugees. And, of course, Israel is always let off the hook, even when they shoot at migrants.
Moreover, half the ‘refugees’ entering Europe illegally are ‘fighting-age single males’ who left their families behind. The question I ask is, if they like our system so much, why are they not fighting for it in their home countries? I do not believe most are coming to save their skin, nor because they love our system of democracy. I was told, for example, that an Afghan about to be expelled from France threatened: “If you send me back, I will join the Taliban.” Most are coming simply because, like illegal migrants, they want a better life.
The illegal migrant is the one who enters your house uninvited, helps himself to the fridge and then sits on the sofa to watch TV. This may sound brutal because so many work very hard for little money in our countries. Do-gooders argue that people should be able to go and live wherever they want, that “No-one is illegal.” There are at least five billion people in the world who would love to come and sit on your sofa if given the chance. No country can survive with such a massive influx of unskilled and uneducated people who come from a completely different culture.
Europe does not see it, but its economies, cultures and even social harmony are in danger. They will be no more successful at assimilating the hundreds of thousands of new, largely Muslim, arrivals than were the Romans who tried to assimilate the barbarians fleeing the Huns. The Visigoths et al. refugees ended up sacking Rome only a few years later. There is nothing for the unskilled, uneducated youth entering a Europe with high unemployment and stagnating economies. There will be violence. There will be blood. There will be a far right backlash.
Many Germans justify Angela Merkel’s fateful invitation to migrants by pointing out that millions of Germans themselves were refugees after World War Two and that they paid dearly for reunification. I argue this is normal because as Germans, they got themselves into the Nazi mess collectively, and have a collective obligation to each other to bring themselves out of the consequences of those bad decisions.
We care for our own first. I am willing to sacrifice to help my brother, even accept a fall in my standard of living for those close to me, but why would I do so for hundreds of thousands of others from failed countries? We can only do so much. Think about it. How many homeless on the street ask you for a buck or a euro? If you gave each one what they wanted with what you have left over after paying your rent, taxes and other charges, how long would it be before you are in the street yourself?
Of course, the best solution is upstream. Finance countries in the region who have to care for refugees. Help developing nations develop and police their borders. Stop intervening: Iraq, Libya and now Syria are all situations we created and which have come back to haunt us.
But back to the question of asylum seekers. Isn’t it strange they no longer exist in the news? That only “refugees” are spoken about, whether they be Syrians fleeing war or Nigerians fleeing poverty? European administrations are so overwhelmed with the migrants, that an asylum seeker fleeing persecution for his beliefs or activities, would have to stand at the end of the line and remain in risk of harm while the other cases are being treated.
I believe most of those arriving in Europe should be home fighting for their country. I know I would. But what really angers me about the opportunists and the cowards is that they are hurting the noble asylum seeker who was willing to risk all to change things for the better.
In the ‘new-speak’ everyone is an asylum seeker. No they are not!