Credit: Takver, Flicklr

Thoughts on mass migration

In search of a new life, safety and some semblance of peace. Many can be seen with kids on their shoulders, helping their elderly family members along and taking with them as much of their life’s possessions as they can carry. The refugees come in droves of over 10,000 a day and there are many more that are heading for Europe.

In October, Home Secretary Theresa May stated that mass migration would ‘threaten the social cohesion’ in society and new arrivals would ‘cost Britons jobs’. She has proposed closing the ‘doors’ to refugees/migrants from other EU countries if they did not have job offers in Britain. The Home Secretary pointed out that migration helped to fill skill gaps but warned that not ever person coming to Britain right now is a “skilled electrician, engineer or doctor”.

How some in the public felt about the Home Secretary’s statement:

Feelings in the public sphere about these ‘foreigners’ entering Europe are mixed. In the wake of the terrorist attacks in Paris (at least two of the suicide bombers disguised themselves as Syrian refugees), nations are unsure where they stand on the matter. Some leaders across Europe have used the terrorist attacks in Paris to cement their stance against the influx of migrants. France has joined many other EU nations calling for deeper immigration restrictions.

Protest. Credit: commons.wikimedia.org

Ayes/Noes: who has it?

On November 25th, German Chancellor Angela Merkel stood by her open-door refugee policy. The Chancellor believes that Germany could accept up to 1 million migrants in 2015 and called on other European nations to also accept quotas of refugees. Ms. Merkel felt that protecting the droves of people displaced and escaping conflict in the Middle East was Germany’s duty. However, French Prime Minister, Manuel Valls, stated that the nation could not accept more refugees from the Middle East into Europe” and rejected Chancellor Merkel’s redistribution plan. Polish Prime Minister, Beata Szydlo, has also responded to the terrorist attacks, stating that the nation would not accept the 4,500 refugees which were part of an EU quota agreement. Ms. Szydlo informed that the killings in Paris had ‘changed the situation.’ On the other side of the world, Canada announced that plans to accept 25,000 Syrian refugees were stalled.

In September, the Government announced that the refugee resettlement scheme would be expanded and 20,000 refugees would be resettled in the UK by 2020. 1,000 refugees are scheduled to arrive in the UK by Christmas. The largest group of refugees to the UK(about 100) arrived on a chartered flight in Glasgow in November.

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