Helping refugees

 10 Jan 2016 - 3:20

Acts of crime by a few migrants should not be used as an excuse to whip up hatred against all migrants.

Germany, which set an example to the rest of Europe by taking in large numbers of Syrian refugees, is now grappling with an unexpected fallout of that magnanimous decision – the alleged involvement of some migrants in an act of crime. Germany was shocked by reports that migrants were involved in mass assaults on women on New Year’s eve in Cologne. Unfortunately, the majority of suspects identified by federal police so far are migrants, adding fuel to criticism of Merkel’s liberal migrant policy that brought 1.1 million new asylum seekers to Germany last year. Police said the number of cases filed over violence had reached 379, and asylum seekers and illegal migrants – mostly people from North African countries and Arabs -- made up the majority of suspects. Outrage grew, and far-right groups opposed to Merkel’s asylum policy used the incident to attack her. Police fired water cannons to disperse protesters from the anti-Islamic PEGIDA movement which has seized on the incident to step up calls for a halt to the influx. It’s natural that some Germans could be feeling letdown as they didn’t expect people who had received asylum to indulge in such activities.
While the involvement of refugees in that heinous crime, if true, deserves condemnation, it should not be used as a ruse by the far-right groups to whip up hatred against migrants. Merkel is in a difficult situation over the incident – she was the main target of anti-immigrant parties because of her liberal policy. And this pressure was evident in a toughening of her stance on immigrants. She said migrants who committed crimes should lose their right to asylum. “The right to asylum can be lost if someone is convicted on probation or jailed,” Merkel said after a meeting of the leadership of her Christian Democrats (CDU) party. “Serial offenders who repeatedly rob or repeatedly affront women must feel the full force of the law,” she said, and also promised a reduction over the longer term in the flow of migrants to Germany. 
There is a need to create awareness among migrants that indulging in any act of crime, whether major or small, whether in Germany or any other country, is not the best way to say ‘thank you’ to a country that has given them asylum while so many countries are closing their borders against them. Last year, more than one million refugees and migrants made their way to Europe – the largest influx of people since the World War II. Europe and the rest of the world need to accept more refugees and acts of crime by a few should not deter others from taking in more refugees.

 

Acts of crime by a few migrants should not be used as an excuse to whip up hatred against all migrants.

Germany, which set an example to the rest of Europe by taking in large numbers of Syrian refugees, is now grappling with an unexpected fallout of that magnanimous decision – the alleged involvement of some migrants in an act of crime. Germany was shocked by reports that migrants were involved in mass assaults on women on New Year’s eve in Cologne. Unfortunately, the majority of suspects identified by federal police so far are migrants, adding fuel to criticism of Merkel’s liberal migrant policy that brought 1.1 million new asylum seekers to Germany last year. Police said the number of cases filed over violence had reached 379, and asylum seekers and illegal migrants – mostly people from North African countries and Arabs -- made up the majority of suspects. Outrage grew, and far-right groups opposed to Merkel’s asylum policy used the incident to attack her. Police fired water cannons to disperse protesters from the anti-Islamic PEGIDA movement which has seized on the incident to step up calls for a halt to the influx. It’s natural that some Germans could be feeling letdown as they didn’t expect people who had received asylum to indulge in such activities.
While the involvement of refugees in that heinous crime, if true, deserves condemnation, it should not be used as a ruse by the far-right groups to whip up hatred against migrants. Merkel is in a difficult situation over the incident – she was the main target of anti-immigrant parties because of her liberal policy. And this pressure was evident in a toughening of her stance on immigrants. She said migrants who committed crimes should lose their right to asylum. “The right to asylum can be lost if someone is convicted on probation or jailed,” Merkel said after a meeting of the leadership of her Christian Democrats (CDU) party. “Serial offenders who repeatedly rob or repeatedly affront women must feel the full force of the law,” she said, and also promised a reduction over the longer term in the flow of migrants to Germany. 
There is a need to create awareness among migrants that indulging in any act of crime, whether major or small, whether in Germany or any other country, is not the best way to say ‘thank you’ to a country that has given them asylum while so many countries are closing their borders against them. Last year, more than one million refugees and migrants made their way to Europe – the largest influx of people since the World War II. Europe and the rest of the world need to accept more refugees and acts of crime by a few should not deter others from taking in more refugees.