This writer does not pretend to be any kind of expert nor offer miracle ideas. But sometimes it seems that important aspects are being overlooked or do not get sufficient attention.
The current flow of refugees is often being compared to the ones caused by WWII. But circumstances then were totally different.
As far as this writer knows or speculates, there were no government measures then in place to “take care” of the refugee problem in a centralised way.
The refugees themselves had to find a place where to stay, perhaps a kind of sponsor family, and they worked for their upkeeping, and moved to live on their own, when finally were able to do so, i.e. pay for it. They never started their lives in their new location enjoying full comforts and better living conditions than the natives. They did not enjoy that unimaginable feeling of security that comes from the feeling that your elementary life and expenses are guaranteed to you for months or perhaps years ahead, as they may not be for many of the natives.
It would actually help to integrate the refugees, if instead of immigrant ghettos they were assimialted into real, live families, and had the chance and opportunity to learn about the new country and its ways and customs, and even language, first-hand.
Like it happened to our emigrant or immigrant forefathers.
From that: the people who now loudest speak for and support the acceptance of refugees – would they actually invite a refugee family to live under their own roof? Would they give up a room or other customary conveniences for a refugee? Would they even simply invite and share a meal with a refugee family?
Most of those, this writer speculates, who seem to be financially successful intellectuals and similars, have a life standard where they will never even have to meet a refugee that has moved to their country. They have their homes in some of the best areas of the richest cities in their countries, and if they urge their governments to accept refugees and to find means to somehow finance it, they do not really care, where these finances come from or on whose account these will be spared, because surely not on their own account. They would not and will not be in any way affected…
It is very easy to be refugee-friendly in bare speech like this, and present yourself as such a humane, compassionate person. Because it does not cost you a dime, and you do not move a finger for them, in any real action. And perhaps you are indeed compassionate, but perhaps it is also simply trendy to show compassion as everyone else around you – a kind of peer pressure, but that does not really matter here. What matters is that those who invite refugees, themselves do not suffer in any way or give up anything.
The people who are against refugees (and it is no wonder that a lot seem to come from the new members of the EU), see the refugees as their direct competitors for their government’s scarce resources but also (what this writer misses in the discourse) – for a similar compassion of their own countrymen, that for some reason does not extend itself to embrace the compatriots to whom life has not been the kindest.
The people who oppose refugees, do not feel valued, and they do not get to enjoy that guarantee of problem-free life for months or perhaps years ahead, enjoy homes with all conveniences, and free monthly income, too.
They are perhaps jobless, or earning minimum pay at a monotonous job where their input, or they themselves as employees or even simply humans, are not really valued. They may live in half-derelict houses or apartments, where they perhaps still use dry toilets, because there is no wastewater system in their area yet or they lack means for joining one. They might be carrying their drinking water twice daily in a pail from the hand-operated well in the yard. And carry in firelogs twice daily, to feed the wood-burning oven that heats their house.
Who in their right mind could expect them to applaud to the refugees, who would get their living costs covered and modern conveniences offered to them for free, simply because life got messed up in their own country?
Europe cannot really accommodate immigrants right now. With the exception of essential foods, there is no production left in this continent that would be really necessitated and where people would still find employment. The only kind of production still alive is the kind that has to create artificial need for itself, by making people believe they actually need (or even simply desire) what is being produced.
The refugee input instead is most acutely needed right where they are fleeing from… The countries where they come from require so much yet to be built, produced, developed…
Perhaps not all areas of those countries are in danger. Not totally all. Then why not channel these people into areas near their own home, where they could start developing a new life already now. A refugee camp may become a seed for a new future city, and its first residents then have been its builders! While main attention of course should be paid to solving the root situation that is causing all the trouble.
If safe areas in the source country cannot be created, it would also help to clearly announce that immigration is allowed for a limited period only, like for example 2 or 3 years, and will then be reconsidered depending of the actual situation, and if all is clear, then a repatriation program implemented. Because there is a clear difference in hosting someone in need for a limited time, which is of course a noble thing to do, or someone arriving to, for good, take over your home that you yourself and your forefathers have built.
Finally, whatever way it is going, an absolute thumb rule is, that the receiving natives not be made feel they are being overlooked, or cared for less, than the incoming refugees are being cared for. Whatever aid or support is provided for the latter, should also be provided for the former, I do not see it can work in any other way over long term. Or, for the least – address the issue! Those responsible: meet your own people and show you care for them at least on a similar level!
Holds also for the compassionate intellectuals with their fine cosmopolitan values.