The United Nations special representative for international migration, Peter Sutherland, a former attorney general of Ireland, and chairman of the London School of Economics, said: “This year 700,000 people have come to Europe looking for sanctuary or jobs. Britain has pledged to take in 4,000 a year from camps near Syria, a tiny number compared with German and Swedish offers. Sutherland said Europe was more than capable of absorbing a problem which is “less than 1% of our population”.
“We have three alternatives. One, do we send them back? Two, do we leave them on the beaches or put them in insanitary camps getting bigger and bigger? Three, do we welcome them? There’s no way to dress this up. These are the questions and the moral answer is we take them in. You cannot solve this problem by building fences or moats.”
“This is not a transient issue. It challenges the moral fabric of the societies we live in. To think, to be told, that your country can in some way isolate itself from the crisis is insane. It’s completely wrong.” Sutherland added: “Are we going to allow refugees to stand in freezing rivers at our borders this winter, to live in freezing tents with their children?”
“If the national debate is all around the negatives, keeping people out, then of course it’s going to be polarised and xenophobic,” he said. “This is not me having an Anglophobic rant. Right across Europe the evidence is that migration makes a positive contribution, not a negative one. Migrants contribute far more than they take out and they are necessary to keep a balance between retirees and workers.”
If immigration has led to the rise of the far right groups - it is only through the racist tactic of blaming economic woes on them. The majority of informed opinion and study suggest otherwise. If you are unhappy about this why not condemn the far right groups as opposed to immigration itself? Building walls around Europe is the most xenophobic, impractical idea that shows a complete ignorance towards current social and economic factors (as well as historic). If you want to live in a inward looking walled off country, please do not include the rest of us in your suggested dystopia. The UK is 53rd in terms of population density, 2% overall land area taken by development and 160th in terms of birth rate. So we aren't full, and we aren't likely to be anytime soon. We are one of the richest countries in the world To suggest that we aren't capable of helping in the same magnitude today is simply wrong. To ignore it is ignorant.