Originally posted on July 24, 2018.
Today, Gilbert Sewall explains to readers of The American Conservative the current situation in Italy, and across the Mediterranean. Over the last four years, 600,000 Africans have immigrated illegally to Italy. The country doesn’t know what to do with these migrants. Sewall suggests that Europeans, especially those in Berlin and Brussels, come up with a plan on how to deal with future migrations. He writes:
Turns out that shaming countries like Hungary and Italy over their rejection of mass migration isn’t quite working.
Pressure to tighten borders and ease migrant costs is transforming European politics. The near collapse of German chancellor Angela Merkel’s government last month exposed the spreading conflict between the European Union and its sovereign nations. Americans torn by vicious immigration battles of their own might consider some disturbing parallels with events across the Atlantic.
Transnationalists, technocrats, and secularists control the EU and its migrant policies, such as they are. Popular nationalism stuns and offends them.
For the most part, Europe’s ruling class considers immigration restriction immoral and politically poisonous.
Nationalist parties in Europe attract middle- and working-class taxpayers who feel the uneven burden of the impacts of immigration: on wages, health services, schools, and crime.
Into this hive strode the inimitable Donald J. Trump, stirring the pot, accused of undercutting NATO and the EU. In Brussels, he asked Western Europe to pay more for its own defense and noted that Germany was on its way to becoming an energy “captive of Russia.”
In London, he told the Sun newspaper that unrestricted immigration was “very bad for Europe,” and added, “you are changing the culture, you are changing a lot of things, you’re changing security.
Their ascendant nationalism is not bellicose but defensive. In fact, Gallup reports that only 29 percent of French, 20 percent of Italians, and 18 percent of Germans say they’re willing to fight for their country.
In 2015, about one million “refugees,” carrying no identification papers and without visas, boldly crossed Europe’s southeastern borders as might an invading army.
Three years ago, Germany did not know who it was letting in, and it is uncertain who is living in there now. Too trusting in accepting asylum applicants’ made-up backstories.
A growing number of European voters are tired of multicultural concessions.
Bavaria wants crosses in schools and public buildings. “Parallel societies, political Islam and radicalization have no place in our country,” said Austrian chancellor Sebastian Kurz, closing mosques and kicking out belligerent imams.
Also rejecting parallel cultures, Denmark is adopting strong integrationist measures, trying to force migrant children to acculturate to Danish standards. Defending borders and national integrity, Hungary’s foreign minister recently faced down on air a deeply hostile BBC interviewer seeking to humiliate the exclusionist view.
Italy too is in flux, having no clue what to do with its sub-Saharan African immigrants.
During the last four years, an estimated 600,000 Africans have entered Italy uninvited, assisted by open-borders transporters. They come, destitute and semi-literate, from vast urban slums with no sanitation and barely electrified villages. And as everyone knows, there are hundreds of millions more back home, some of whom are surely itching to migrate
Facing porous borders and its own immigrant tide, Americans should hope that hardheaded realists in Berlin and Brussels—and their colleagues in Washington D.C.—are developing strategies to contain future migrations.
Read more here.