Tuesday 1 September 2015

Talking refugee “quotas”

I think western countries … will make a big mistake in not accepting large numbers of these people.
They have proven their mettle by what they have gone through to get out of (e.g.) Syria. And they will
be among the most loyal advocates of “western civilisation” and toleration.

- Mario Rizzo, spotted by Cafe Hayek

Helen Clark says New Zealand can accept more refugees, and the NZ government should therefore raise NZ's refugee quota.

Former Prime Minister Helen Clark last night drew parallels between New Zealander settlers from humble beginnings in Britain and the thousands of boat people from Africa landing in Europe." …
    Where migration is properly organised and legal that will be of benefit to the country receiving people and of benefit to the country which is sending them. But we see so much pressure now for migration which is propelled by war and conflict and just by plain poverty.
    "And let's face it, a lot of our forebears left the United Kingdom because it was very difficult to get ahead so they saw an opportunity to go and start afresh somewhere else. That's pretty much the motivation that propels people ... to try the desperate journey across the Mediterranean."
    One of the ways the situation could be ameliorated was with more legal migration, she said…
    Lifting the refugee quota beyond 750 in New Zealand would help the extra 250 or so people who would come, she said.

I have to say, agree with her.

I agree at least with her main argument, if not her actual numerical conclusion.

There are 60 million refugees in the world today, many of them emanating from conflicts in which the NZ military played at least a small part. UN planners setting “quotas” for how many of these human beings will be carted around the planet (and to which parts) just further dehumanises people already brutalised by years of conflict.

My basic position is not that we should necessarily be encouraging these refugees to come here, or writing “quotas” for refugees that need to be either filled or closed off, but we should at least recognise that we have no moral reason to exclude these people should they elect to make their way here peacefully.

The basic fact is that many of the world’s new refugees come from war zones in which we bear some responsibility. We should then, along with others, take some responsibility for the people displaced.

A further basic fact is that, since you and I and every other New Zealander don’t own all of New Zealand—we, each of us, only own what we own—peaceful  people have every right to enter these islands freely, the only justifiable controls at the island’s boundaries being to exclude those who are provably not peaceful.

Those are the basic moral facts: that peaceful people should be able to bass borders freely, especially those in whom we have played some part in forcing that move.

The basic economic fact, on which so many get mired, is that migrants—refugees and otherwise—are far and away not a burden to their new country but a boon. Immigrants do not threaten our jobs — on the contrary, they create new possibilities and demand in our economy. Refugees and other migrants are not primarily consumers, but producers. They are not just mouths to feed, but human beings with brains, brawn and ability. Most refugees start with fewer skills on paper and lower incomes than so-called economic migrants, yet as US figures show within a short time “those refugees were making 20 percent more income and improved their language skills more than economic migrants.” After all, they have a far  greater dedication to their new home: unlike economic migrants, then can very rarely ever go back home.

Many recent refugees too come from the Syrian civil war. You may be interested to know that one measure of the integration of Syrians in the US economy is that “there are over 150,000 Americans of Syrian descent, with a median household income of over $65,000, compared to about $53,000 for native-born Americans.” That fact is near-universal. People with the get-up-and-go to get the hell out of a war zone will generally have more gumption and more producing power both than the native-born.

But, I hear you say, they’ll all come here to claim our welfare. True, many do. But even the way our settlement system thrusts welfare upon them, very quickly most suck off the bonds of state and trike out on their own. Reduce the state welfare at their arrival and encourage more private sponsorship instead ---and with greater average incomes their own compatriots here would be in a great position to act as sponsor—and you not only reduce the time these new NZers spend on the welfare teat, but encourage their more rapid assimilation into their new country. Because…

The humanitarian relief that refugees need isn’t food stamps once they arrive [here] – it’s an escape from violence and oppression.  Refugees aren’t fleeing Syria because their Syrian equivalent of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families benefits expired; they are fleeing because they are being murdered.  

Remember that too when you’re talking about refugee quotas.



Richard Wiig said...


Larry said...

It would be nice if the libertarian dogma on immigration had any connection with reality, but unfortunately, it doesn't.

The illegal immigrants in Europe are homeless, and they are not going to be making any economic contribution to their adopted countries in the foreseeable future.

The Syrians earning more than the average American would be highly skilled & educated; the reason American immigration allowed them into the country in the first place.

Richard's youtube vid shows the reality of refugees from backwards countries.

tm said...

Good thank you for posting this Article . Helping remove the ignorance around refugees. :-) bring them in now ! For everyone's sake

Richard Wiig said...

There is basically an Islamic invasion of Europe underway. Islam and freedom cannot coexist, so Europe is looking likely to be doomed.

Libertyscott said...

There is a distinct difference between several groups of people entering Europe. Refugees from Syria are deserving of entry, and need to be appropriately managed. There are also refugees from Eritrea, a forgotten totalitarian dictatorship (gaining independence is "self-determination" so gets ignored by its erstwhile fans, like Bob Geldof). However, there is also the lure of the European welfare states, which are attracting people from Africa and Pakistan, and which will throttle the continent. Yes, many of them want to work but when asked why they are going they variously say "I will get a big house, a new phone and good schools for my kids" with the expectation they will get housed and fed by the state. The removal of the Gaddafi dictatorship and the availability of mobile communications has created a business in people smuggling, and there is not the slightest sign that Europe will say no - except Hungary. They try for the UK because they know its socialist NHS charges no one for treatment and that councils are legally obliged to house whoever turns up. The other element are the terrorists that are slipping through, returning from ISIS and seeking to wage terror upon the continent. Islamist chatter talks about the great symbolic success that would come from letting off a bomb in the Vatican or destroying ancient monuments in Rome or Athens. Filtering out those people is another issue.

What the refugee crisis in Europe has exposed is what a complete Potemkin village the EU in terms of co-operation and policy for serious matters that affect Europe. It doesn't involve passing new laws to protect some loud vested interest or dish out largesse to some other vested interest (French farmers or Romanian construction firms), so they are frozen and stuck to insulting one another.

What is needed is for the EU to take control of its borders, to have a system to process those picked up fleeing, to NOT incentivise them to throw away identity papers, and to admit refugees and filter through the others on the basis of local Europeans sponsoring new migrants (and excluding them from access to the welfare state), and signing up to the basic values of the state they are to live in.

Larry said...

Signing up to the basic values of the state they are to live in would mean renouncing Islam, which is not going to happen. Muslim refugees need to be shipped back to where they came from via whatever means is most practical.

Richard Wiig said...

They should be. Devout muslims are at war with us. We should give refuge to christians who are fleeing Islam, and keep muslims out.

Anonymous said...

Libertarianz policy on immigration was 'let peaceful people pass thru borders freely' (or words to that effect). That would have only worked if other libz policies (eg, no Government welfare system) were in place.
The other problem is deciding who are bonafide peaceful people on a large scale.

B Whitehead