We recently reported on the Obama administration’s plan admit 110,000 refugees into the United States in 2017, representing a 30% increase over 2016 and a 57% increase from 2015 (see “Hillbama Administration Plans To Admit At Least 110,000 Refugees In 2017“). But, apparently that is not enough for European Migration Commissioner, Dimitris Avramopoulos, who, according to the Wall Street Journal, recently said he expects more help from the U.S. and Canada.
“They are refugees so it is a problem that has to be addressed globally. The European Union has done a lot but we are not there yet,” he said.
The commissioner, a former Greek diplomat, said he expects to see pledges to take in more refugees “not only from the U.S. government, also from Canada and maybe other big countries on the American continent.”
Rather than yielding to the obvious desires of European citizens to reduce the migrant influx (perhaps he has already forgotten the whole Brexit thing?), Avramopoulos, like Merkel, doubled down saying that “populism and nationalism are undermining the European project.” He also took the opportunity to admonish citizens to stop “almalgamating terroritst with refugees” and instead blamed recent migrant attacks on a failure of the European intelligence services.
“Populism and nationalism are undermining the European project, they are against the basic principles on which Europe is built. In the end, is not the economic crisis that is putting the European project at stake, but the refugee crisis management,” he said.
“We must avoid amalgamating terrorists with refugees and migrants.”
But he noted, “if the intelligence services of Europe had established [a closer] cooperation, many of the perpetrators would have been arrested and hindered from committing those crimes.”
So the fault lies with the cops and intelligence community and not the reckless actions of a few politicians, got it.
It sounds like Avramopoulos has been spending too much time with Peter Sutherland (United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary-General for International Migration) who recently declared in an interview with the UN News Center that “sovereignty is an absolute illusion that has to be put behind us.” Sutherland also drew upon the standard progressive narrative that anyone who disagrees that “sovereignty is an absolute illusion” is just “racist and xenophobic, and [ought] to be condemned.”
“I will ask the governments to cooperate, to recognize that sovereignty is an illusion — that sovereignty is an absolute illusion that has to be put behind us. The days of hiding behind borders and fences are long gone. We have to work together and cooperate together to make a better world. And that means taking on some of the old shibboleths, taking on some of the old historic memories and images of our own country and recognizing that we’re part of humankind.”
“Refugees are the responsibility of the world. They’re the responsibility of the United States, of Canada, of Latin America and of Asia, as well as Europe. Proximity doesn’t define responsibility.”
Wow, won’t you please tell us how you really feel?
Avramopoulos also weighed in on the U.S. presidential election taking the opportunity to slam Trump’s immigration policies by saying “we are against whatever divides people, we are against walls.”
“The positive response of the Canadians is showing the way. I understand that migration is a domestic issue these days in the U.S., with the election campaign. I hope after the elections we’ll find a way to cooperate with the American government on this issue,” Mr. Avramopoulos said.
“Given the basic democratic principles on which the postwar European architecture is made, we are against whatever divides people, we are against walls. We must find human and legal ways to treat these desperate people who flee war and poverty.”
Meanwhile, Avramopoulos points out that Europe is in the process of implementing migration policies modeled after the U.S. border-screening system. Well isn’t that convenient?
“In Europe we didn’t have this experience before. Some member states, yes, but not Europe as such. Now we have learned. In order to better protect our borders we have decided—and are now finalizing a European Border and Coast Guard, to better protect Europe’s borders,” the commissioner said.
He said the EU has learned from the U.S. border-screening system on checking the identity of people entering and leaving its territory. The bloc is now discussing putting in a similar system at the EU level.
The EU’s focus on border protection marks a shift in policy from last year, when its main response to the unchecked wave of migrants was to set up a quota system under which member countries would be obliged to take in a certain number of refugees based on the size of their economy and population.
We would kindly suggest that Avramopoulos take the opportunity to review a couple of polls from around Europe sampling public opinion on the influx of migrants and consider that data when reflecting upon who he is intended to serve.