by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
The growing refugee crisis in Europe is clearly a humanitarian issue. But if leaders don’t bring some common sense into the equation, the humanitarian problems could become a geopolitical crisis. The U.S. needs to heed the lessons of Europe because a similar situation could erupt on our borders.
Margot Wallström, Sweden’s Social Democratic foreign minister, declared this week that the refugee flow in her country, with its current population of 9.8 million, was enormous: “We cannot maintain a system where perhaps 190,000 people will arrive every year — in the long run, our system will collapse. And that welcome is not going to receive popular support.”
The 190,000 refugees expected in Sweden this year would be the equivalent of 6.5 million people arriving in the U.S. — the population of Indiana.
A major reason so many refugees want to settle in Sweden, Germany, and other Northern European countries is that they have generous welfare-state programs for non-citizens. Even so, some refugees can be picky. The Swedish newspaper Local reported last week that “more than 30 asylum seekers refused to get off a bus that took them to temporary accommodation at a holiday park on Sunday night because they didn’t want to stay in such a rural location.”