Norman Bailey responds: There is no overall solution
The refugee “tsunami”, to use Angelo’s felicitous term is a humanitarian disaster of monumental proportions and is taking place at a time of disastrous lack of leadership in the West in general and Europe in particular. These people have no place to “go back to” and no place to go. In other words, they are trapped in their misery and the end of the tunnel is completely black. Quotas will not work, not just because some countries will not accept them but because 3% of 100,000 is one thing. 3% of 1,000,000 is quite something else. England can try to shut itself off geographically; so to some extent, can Norway and Sweden. The rest cannot. Schengen is effectively dead. The European integration dream is dying.
What should be done? Certainly not an invasion of Libya, as Francesco suggests. It will achieve nothing but monumental expenditures and thousands of casualties. There is no such country as Libya any more. Or Syria. Or Iraq. Or Lebanon. The best that can be hoped for is the immediate establishment of refugee camps and the careful vetting of refugees to try to identify criminal and terrorist elements. Islamic State is certainly infiltrating the refugee hordes as are probably other groups. Those genuine refugees with skills can be integrated. Those without skills will simply form another group to be sustained by international charity indefinitely, like the Palestinians. They can be helped and encouraged (as the Palestinians were not) to create economies and social structures within the camps.
Will all or any of this be simple and inexpensive? No. Will it solve the problem completely? No. But it would help, if coupled with a concerted effort to identify and destroy the criminal enterprises facilitating the refugee influx as well as interception at sea. The latter should be easy with modern surveillance techniques, but somehow seems to be beyond the capacity of the governments involved. Fences may help–see Israel in recent years. But again, not against huge numbers, which will simply overwhelm them.
There is no overall solution as such. If the disaster is managed that will be the best that can be hoped for. But even that looks like it is beyond the capacity of the current group of so-called “leaders”.
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