Lanterns: Merkel Backs Off 'C'mon In' Migrant Policy

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Merkel Backs Off 'C'mon In' Migrant Policy

Photo by Mstyslav Chernov via Wikimedia Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license.

After three years of Migrant Madness—welcoming all migrants seeking to enter Germany, which brought a record 1.3 million migrants to Europe in 2015 (per Pew Research), and some 300,000 more in 2016—Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel has finally backed off on her cheery slogan, “We can do it.”

Perhaps she meant “We can destroy Germany and much of Europe.”

Of the 1.3 million, Gatestone Institute’s Soeren Kern wrote that at least 80% were Muslims, citing the Central Council of Muslims in Germany. That comes to 1.04 million, though Kern uses the lower figure of 800,000.

Like the United States, “Europe has also seen a spike in the number of unaccompanied minors,” reported Pew Research. “Over half (53%) of asylum seekers to the European Union, Norway and Switzerland in 2015 were young adults—those ages 18 to 34.… In addition, men made up nearly three-fourths (73%) of Europe’s asylum seekers in 2015.”

Merkel long refused to cap the number of migrants to be admitted, even as her country, and most of Europe suffered irreversible damage to their culture and society, wrought by an unending stream of Muslim migrants from the Middle East and Africa. This has had a dire effect on Europe. Kern wrote:

“Mass migration from the Muslim world is fast-tracking the Islamization of Germany, as evidenced by the proliferation of no-go zonesSharia courtspolygamy and child marriages. Mass migration has also been responsible for a host of social disruptions, including jihadist attacks, a migrant rape epidemic, a public health crisisrising crime and a rush by German citizens to purchase weapons for self-defense—and even to abandon Germany altogether.”

He described a vigorous crackdown on journalists, to keep these changes from the public: "There are written instructions ... today we are not allowed to say anything negative about the refugees. This is government journalism, and this leads to a situation in which the public loses their trust in us. This is scandalous."—Wolfgang Herles, Deutschlandfunkpublic radio.

One of the loudest voices repeatedly calling for a limit on migrants has been Interior Minister Horst Seehofer, chairman of the Bavarian Christian Social Union, sister party to Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union. Bavaria, being in the south of Germany, was hit hardest by the migrant influx.

By the end of 2015, even the Central Council of Muslims called for a cap on migrants. Yet Merkel steadfastly refused to even tap the brake pedal. Until now, that is. The Wall Street Journal reports that Seehofer had ratcheted up pressure on Merkel, as “The CSU is itself being squeezed from the right by the anti-immigrant Alternative for Germany party, or AfD, whose rise was fueled by the migrant influx three years ago."

“Polls show the AfD is sapping votes from the CSU ahead of Bavarian elections in October and suggesting Ms. Merkel’s allies will lose their absolute majority in the state legislature,” said The Journal, which quoted Seehofer from an interview prior to the conference: “We have had the worst election results of all time,” Mr. Seehofer said in a televised interview before the meeting, “After such an electoral defeat, one cannot continue with the same policy.”

The Journal also reported that Merkel’s migrant policy reshaped the political map of Europe, as it provoked “a backlash against outsiders [that] helped drive Britain’s vote to leave the EU and recently helped win elections for antiestablishment or nativist parties in the Czech Republic, Hungary and Slovenia, as well as in Rome and Vienna.”

Sound familiar, Trump supporters? There’s no question that his election also had a strong influence on Europe’s migrant stance. But I digress.

Seehofer presented Merkel with a deal she couldn’t refuse: “broker a hardening of Europe’s porous southern rim or accept unilateral closure of Germany’s own borders. Since [this] would have very likely crashed her government, “she launched a frantic diplomatic campaign last week that laid the groundwork for Friday’s deal” with other European leaders. Now, Merkel’s slogan has become: “No asylum seeker has the right to choose which country he will apply in.”

“Under Friday’s deal, arriving asylum seekers would be kept in new detention centers in member countries along the Mediterranean Sea, such as Greece and Spain, and potentially in Africa as well, until their asylum claims are reviewed.”

The EU would likely distribute migrants from detention to EU states, “but the agreement doesn’t require member countries to accept them,” said the WSJ.This provision was insisted upon by countries like Hungary and Poland, who have long rejected any migrant resettlement on their soil.

Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, whose government [has refused] to take migrants, said he was pleased with the agreement because migrants would be distributed on a “voluntary basis”—not in forced relocations, as Ms. Merkel had previously advocated—and any future decisions on the bloc’s asylum system would be taken by consensus among all EU countries.”

“Austria’s conservative Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, one of Ms. Merkel’s most vocal European critics,” was elated that Merkel and other leaders have at last accepted his proposal for detention centers:

“Finally, there is support from all sides for what we demanded already in 2015,” Mr. Kurz said. He will be assuming the EU rotating presidency on Monday. He further said:

“This is a crucial step—only if we ensure that people who have been rescued at sea are brought to third countries can we destroy the business model of smugglers and massively reduce the number of refugees coming to Europe.”

The detention camp concept originated in Australia, “which turns back all migrant boats and sends them to third-country centers run by local authorities,” said the Journal. European leaders have agreed to have detention centers in third countries, run by UN entities.

It’s implicit that the EU would wind up bankrolling the plan.

Vincent Cochetel, special envoy of the UNHCR for the Central Mediterranean, has said that detaining immigrants is legal. He added that more than 70% of asylum applications are rejected, but the applicants remain in Europe.

Numbers of Muslims would continue to rise, even if migration were to be halted.

Soeren Kern writes: "The rate of population increase of the Muslim community already living in Germany is around 1.6% per year (or 77,000), according to data extrapolated from a Pew Research Center study on the growth of the Muslim population in Europe.

"Adding the [~] 800,000 Muslim migrants who arrived in Germany in 2015, and the 240,000 who arrived in 2016, combined with the 77,000 natural increase, the Muslim population of Germany jumped by 1,117,000, to reach an estimated 6,262,000 by the end of 2016. This amounts to approximately 7.5% of Germany's overall population of 82 million."

The brontosaurus in the room is that Europe’s experience is very similar to what we’re seeing in America, and the Europeans’ new solution points the way to our own: house illegal immigrants away from our mainland while their asylum claims—most just as invalid as migrants’ claims in Europe—can be adjudicated. If they’re rejected, they must be returned to their home countries.

Europe’s move has come too late to preserve its culture, but it is not too late for America. It is imperative that this be done immediately—not after our country has been irreparably damaged, as Europe has been.

Written by Bob Bennett

Bob Bennett, a NY-based writer, has written op-eds for the WSJ and a cancer medical journal; op-eds and travel pieces for the NY Post and a cover article for the Jewish Press. He has also appeared with his wife on Fox News, discussing Obamacare.

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