Fears About Immigrants Deepen Divisions in Europe

Rachel Donadio, New York Times, April 12, 2011

Since the global financial crisis, the European Union has been deeply divided over economic policy. With the Libya intervention, it has split over foreign policy. But today few issues are proving more divisive within the bloc than immigration.

That much was clear this week, when the fractious 27-member European Union rejected Italy’s idea to make it easier for immigrants who first land in Italy to travel elsewhere in Europe. At a time when a wave of immigrants fleeing the unrest in North Africa shows no signs of abating, the rejection raised the possibility of tightened intra-European border controls for the first time since visa-free travel was introduced in the 1990s.

{snip}

Instead, Europe’s policy has been to hope that immigrants will not come and to try to persuade North African nations to compel their citizens to stay home. Although the collapse of governments in Tunisia and Egypt and the unrest in Libya have undone a variety of bilateral treaties with European countries, including agreements on migration, that policy is still in place.

Topics:

Share This

We welcome comments that add information or perspective, and we encourage polite debate. If you log in with a social media account, your comment should appear immediately. If you prefer to remain anonymous, you may comment as a guest, using a name and an e-mail address of convenience. Your comment will be moderated.
  • Schoolteacher

    Why was D-Day such a big deal? Apparently, anybody at all can land in Europe and take over. Maybe if those Airborne guys had left their guns at home they would have had an easier time.

  • AmericaFirst

    ” . . . a variety of bilateral treaties with European countries, including agreements on migration . . .”

    What a crock of diplomatically precious double-speak: this implies that immigration is a two-way street, that Europeans have a desire to migrate to the Maghreb, with its freedoms, prosperity, openness and social and economic welfare nets.

  • Anonymous

    Egyptians live 80 million in a barren wasteland of desert, with only one major river. They are so short of opportunities they go to Turkey or Lebanon to work for slave wages (while the Lebanese and Turks go abroad to earn better money).

    The Arabs won’t hire their own brethren, as long as they can hire a sub-Saharan Muslim or a poor Afghani for cheaper.

    Even if the Middle East achieved political stability, their unemployed would still be coming by the boatload.

  • Wayne

    I attended a lecture today on Culture Turn and the Military. The speaker was a British historian. I told him that culture was everything people hold dear, and turn signifies a change in course. I then asked if he could tell me what our culture has turned to, and where this new course is going to take us. I also through in that Western Culture is purposely being dismantled and where were English children going to go to be English, since the UK was now multi-cultural. Of course he was a very cheery old chap. Nothing to worry about, says he, just terms academia uses, no one has done this, it just happened. What is wrong with these people?

  • sbuffalonative

    The headline is a dead giveaway of the NYT’s leftist agenda.

    “Fear” about immigrants deepens division.

    It’s only a “fear”, not a real concern or actual threat. “Fear” is what irrational, ignorant bigots feel about “immigrants”.

    It’s only a ‘fear’ that Europe is losing it’s identity. It’s only a ‘fear’ that immigrants will dramatically and permanently change European nations.

    All they have to do is find a way to make us less ‘fearful’ and Europe is history, forgotten history.

  • Kenelm Digby

    As I’ve said before the EU is essentially evil.

    It is, to put it bluntly, a totalitarian, undemocratic, overbearing dictatorship, and what’s more it is not acting in the best interests of its member states – a fact which only now the citizens of the EU are becoming aware.

    The single currency regime is a slowly unfolding train-wreck, which the German people were conned into supporting.

    These ‘immigration proposals’ (ie dumping the unwanted problems of one nation onto innocent nations), are another abomination.

    There must be protests.

  • Anonymous

    “Fears” about immigrants? Well, yes. I “fear” to walk to a neighbor’s house after dark. I “fear” letting my 7-year -old daughter get on the same school bus with “high school students” (read: 19-yr-old, 6′ 2″, 200 lb. thugs.) I “fear” not locking all my doors and windows and running up a $200/mo. AC bill. I “fear” not making sure the car doors are locked when I drive to the grocery store. I “fear” for my elderly mother living alone, having to use the same elevator as rapists, robbers and murderers, all of whom see her as fair game because of her white skin and age-related frailty. I’d say the population of the European Union has reason to “fear” immigrants.

  • Anonymous

    As it stands – if they’re residents of Italy, by the laws that Italy and France agreed to, they have open passage anywhere they desire to go.

    Clearly Italy issued these north African refugees temporary residence visas to hasten their departure and dispersal throughout the EU. Kudos to France taking a stand – Lord knows they have certainly learned their lesson the hard way when it comes to roving Muslims , but where they should be taking a stand isn’t at a train station, it should be within the European Union itself.

  • brad

    I’m tired of fighting over left vs right.

    The majority of those that vote left wing parties is because they’re seen as being more working class

    People are just as much against immigration.

    I’m tired of sitting back and watching this continent descend into civil unrest. Here in the UK we’ve seen so many places transformed into Islamic ghettos. Tower hamlets is a good example of an Islamic ghetto. Non-Muslims are persecuted, gay free zone calling for sharia law etc…

    And the thing is these radicals cosy up to the left wing parties because they know that they dare not upset these Islamists.