The refugee “return to sender” crisis

Stephen D'Abreau

By now, most people are aware of the so-called “refugee crisis,” where massive waves of refugees from the war-torn areas of Syria and Afghanistan have immigrated, as well as many other Muslim nations.

The immigrants are flooding from the “Islamic World” to Europe in massive numbers. There has been pressure on governments throughout the world to accept some of the migrants into their countries, including here in the United States.

Even more alarming for Europe is that many more migrants are coming illegally, usually via Turkey, through the Balkan region, or across the Mediterranean Sea. The total number of people entering Europe from the Muslim countries number in the millions since the crisis started to unfold in 2014.

The European Union has responded by pressuring member states to fulfill quotas for the official migrants and assimilate the illegal immigrants.

This policy has had some, in a certain perspective, disastrous consequences for Europe. Many migrants have been responsible for increasing crime rates, as well as causing significant political tension in Europe.

Eurosceptic (Anti-European Union) parties and politics have been on the rise in recent years, with the British Eurosceptic party—The United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) securing a major victory by winning the 2016 “Brexit” referendum, in large part due to frustrations of UK citizens over immigration.

German Prime Minister Angela Merkel has received major criticism in Germany, and the British Prime Minister David Cameron stepped down after his campaign to have the UK remain in the EU failed at the referendum.

Even with all the political tension, the wave of immigration continues. This has prompted some countries, including Sweden, as of recently, to pass stricter immigration policies—even going as far as to offer monetary payouts for immigrants and refugees to voluntarily return to their countries of origin.

This brings us to the crux of the issue: what will Europe—and by extension the world that is watching—do in response to the “refugee crisis” now?

Are we watching the beginning of the end for the European Union? Are the monetary payouts to have refugees leave going to become more common? Is Europe preparing to start returning the immigrants to the sender?

If “Brexit” is to be an indicator of things to come, the answer to this last question is probably “yes.” Amid growing anger and fear toward Muslims in the Western world, the next few years of global politics will be decisive in how the crisis will end up.

Ending the military conflicts that are pushing out refugees will only become more pressing as, if the recent trajectory of European politics continues, Europe begins to really wail “return to sender,” and undue anger, fear and contempt continue to be directed at Muslims as migrants continue fleeing to the West.