Migrants aren’t taking treacherous journeys in precarious dinghies because they were duped by crafty people smugglers...
Supply and demand is precisely the correct frame. We can't do anything about supply in the short term. So we need to concentrate on demand. What drives demand? Perception that they'll have a better life in Europe. What drives that? It isn't only that the quality of life is higher, but also that they know they'll be given access to social services, welfare, free housing, and all the rest. Not only that, but they know that any friction with the natives can be solved via incantation of the magic formula, "you're racist".
So, the answer is quite simple, really. Sink the boats with all aboard when they're found in the open seas. Those who get through are immediately deported. Those who have gotten through are also deported. Treat them badly. No free housing. No welfare. No support of any kind. Nothing but intolerance and abuse. Make sure they understand that they will not be welcome, that to the contrary, they will be greeted with nothing but hostility.
The problem is ultimately not the migrants, it's the white people who shriek when the r-word is spoken. As long as white people continue to react in this fashion, the problem will continue. China, Japan, and South Korea are also close to impoverished regions with large youth bulges, yet none of them are grappling with a migrant crisis.
Reading from Italy, and this really resonates.
Under our current Prime Minister, who's always had a far-right label attached despite being pretty milktoast on most issues, we've had more illegal migrants coming to our contry than under previous, supposedly more left-leaning governments.
Giorgia Meloni's rightism is all talk, and indeed part of her talk is about attacking individual migrants traffickers. Another part, which is the saddest, is about legalizing a huge chunk of the migrants we can't avoid having, so she can show figures to her electorate pretending to have solved the problem.
Basically both the mechanisms you have described.
Interesting piece this...particularly emphasising the demand and supply dimension and the comparison with 'The War on Drugs'. As a dyed-in-the-wool pessimist I would say that you could leave out the first 5 words of your final sentence: "Until our politicians understand this, there’s no hope of solving the crisis."
I have every sympathy with the situation faced by Greece, Italy and Spain but with regards to Britain, I take the opportunity to get something off my chest about its useless media coverage.....There is a BIG difference: the people smugglers in the Mediterranean are bringing people direct from dire N African states whereas in the English Channel they are bringing them from a first world country - France. This huge distinction never gets pointed out in the pusillanimous UK MSM coverage.
Well spoken. Just the end is as naive: Rest assured, our politicians (all of them) are smart enough to know and understand this - and did years ago. They just hope for this fairy tale of "evil smugglers" to work for a considerable part of the population, at least for a while. It does work for my mom (80+). - Oh, and I do not see even a hint of a "solution" in the piece. So, what epiphany should miraculously come to our poor politicians when they finally smarten up to the level of our dear author? - Thanks for the population-graphic Europe-Africa - usu. one only sees those country-wise.
At this point the far-right might want to consider a general policy of promised legal retaliation in the event it takes power against all senior figures who were on our side, but not really. The cheapening of valuable causes by cowardly rhetoric ('it's not the migrants, it's smugglers!') , sends un unmistakable signal that the west has already fallen and is worse for morale than anything the left says or does.
'Friends' like this are worse than enemies. We should just start assuming bad faith, and make it clear that no distinction will be made between this kind of rhetoric and total opposition. In fact it's worse, for the same reason that in warfare enemy soldiers get POW camps, while traitors get shot.
"The Camp of the Saints" Jean Raspail 1973 (that's 50 years ago for those arithmetically challenged).
Let's face it, the solution to this looks a lot like colonialism. Take over and protect a benighted and lawless part of Africa, protect it, and export these migrants back to it. It might sound "far right" but if nothing is done about the current situation, far right will soon be the new centre left.
The War on Drugs analogy is apt. It also sounds like Europe’s southern border is facing the same scenario as the US southern border. Both require a mix of border and workplace enforcement, immigration reform, and something to address demand-side factors. I’m not optimistic about the ability of Western governments to strike an effective and politically feasible policy mix.
A woman prime minister and an influx of illegal immigrants. I wonder if there's a correlation there?
A whole lot of can-kicking by the Centre-Right/Left across Europe on this issue, which is in-line with what their Boomer voters want. It's no surprise then that most populist right parties in Sweden, France and (East) Germany are heavily skewed towards younger demographics of support.
One can only hope that in 10-15 years the damage is still reversible. I'm inclined to think it will be, but how lamentable is it that we have to wait for things to get far worse before they can even get slightly better.
Yes, these people are rational actors. Which, if you want to reverse the process, make solutions straightforward: by removing their right to entitlements (asylum, work, social support, eventual citizenship).
INCREASE THE BIRTHRATE IN EUROPE .
The UN is behind these migration efforts worldwide. It's happening because most of the nations these immigrants are going to already agreed to take them in. They just lie about it to keep their citizens in the dark.
The boats need to be shot down. Full stop. Otherwise we will be shackled by our own morality and inundated by those who lack our intelligence and will exploit our kindness. Raspail vindicated
Why don't they go to Japan ?
There is logic to hitting supply, it increases costs and this should reduce quantity supplied. Probably it doesn't increase quantity supplied very much because firstly it isn't increasing costs very much, and secondly the demand is likely quite price inelastic.
For the UK specific example the real issue seems to be why the UK is so much more attractive than France for so many. Some of this is likely down to specific agglomeration effects of particular groups but part of it must be that so many of the asylum requests are granted.
A nitpick on the final point, to quote So well: there are no solutions, only trade-offs.