West Needs To Embrace It’s Role In The Refugee Crisis

Most of us proceed somewhat cautiously as we embark on new endeavors. After all there are always consequences and they may not always be good. But some of us have rather centric views of themselves, often never considering the effect their actions / inactions might have on others. Sadly, many of the international actions made on behalf of the governments of the US and Europe seem to fall into this category. President 45’s actions and policies, regarding immigration and particularly refugees, are classic in their total disregard for human life and circumstance.

The Vox article below, updated by Zack Beauchamp provides perspective details and many charts to help illustrate the causes and situations faced by millions in our “Global Refugee Crisis”. Here it is important to note the possessive use of “our”, because it IS OUR CRISIS. The United States should be assuming much greater ownership of this crisis as should much of Europe. After all our military actions as well as our support for corporate imperialism around the world are high on the list of the causes and continuation of most of these crises.

The US now finds itself with a president (45) who “has officially closed America’s doors to some of the world’s most desperate” and “his timing could hardly be worse.” The total disregard for the plight of others around the world, besides being cruel and cold, seems totally ignorant. “The world is currently in the midst of a refugee crisis unlike anything we’ve seen in the post–World War II era .. (and) … The crisis is swamping governments around the world with huge numbers of refugees they are either unwilling or unable to take in.” At the same time reaction in the wealthiest countries seems to illustrate, not our better selves but rather our colder worst selves. We want to look away, ignore, build walls, slip into what we think are safe places, just keep the bad away. Too many who are best situated to be able to help are choosing not to. The ascendance “of far-right populists” have led to Brexit and many similar waves of ignorance in Europe. Their counterpart in the USA has led to President 45 and all of these efforts attempt to create barriers to deflect or immunize certain groups from what is happening in the real world, in the Global Refugee Crisis. Even “the United Nations has also proven unable to support such a massive number of refugees, and the massive human suffering shows no signs of abating.”

So who is left dealing with the crisis? “The vast majority of refugees do not go to wealthy countries … because the countries wracked by civil war and violence are pretty far from the wealthy West. Refugees, who flee their countries with virtually nothing, often don’t have the resources or connections to get into a rich country. They generally settle in the first relatively stable country they can get to that borders their own nation.” The result “is that poor and middle-income countries are the ones being forced to feed and clothe these refugees” while the wealthy build their walls, spreading fear and hate.

Read the entire Vox article, but here are the main points to remember or at least consider:

  1. The number of displaced persons is the highest it’s been since World War II,
  2. Most of these people aren’t technically ‘refugees’ (they are “internally displaced people,” or IDPs, refugees and Asylum seekers),
  3. Syria is the single largest driver of the refugee crisis, but a whole lot of other problems are contributing,
  4. The refugee crisis is straining nearby states to the breaking point,
  5. International relief efforts are chronically underfunded,
  6. The result is that refugees are fleeing to Europe through some dangerous routes,
  7. Europe isn’t taking in a ton of people,
  8. And Europe’s citizens are voting for far-right anti-immigrant politicians in increasing numbers,
  9. Even before Trump’s order, America wasn’t taking in a ton of Syrian refugees.

As Europe and the USA continue to listen and succumb to the fears sold by far-right populists, “the global refugee crisis only gets worse.”


Posted in Compassion, Conflict, Immigration, Policy and tagged , , , .

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *