Is it racist to oppose unlimited, unchecked immigration? Elites sure seem to think so.
Following last month’s Brexit vote, editorialists and politicians all over the world declared that people who oppose open borders and reject mass migration suffer from xenophobia and bigotry.
Instead of listening to the people, many thought-leaders would rather simply call the average voter stupid.
But if they took the time to understand the motivations behind Brexit or Donald Trump’s popularity, they might realize the populist uprisings in the U.K. and U.S. are not an outright rejection of immigration.
They are a rejection of a specific type of reckless and irresponsible immigration policy.
In 2015, German Chancellor Angela Merkel opened Germany’s borders and declared her country would accept hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees.
But European governments failed to create any process or mechanism for screening and admitting refugees.
Europe had no way of distinguishing true refugees from opportunistic migrants, and no plan to integrate newcomers into the economy or welcome them into local communities.
Instead, many of the millions of newcomers to Europe continue to form their own parallel societies, often completely at odds with the values and norms of their host society.
Angry and violent young men joined the incoming migrants and radical jihadists have been able to enter Europe amidst the chaos.
Concern about this type of migration is not about race or ethnicity.
It’s scarcely about religion.
Rather, people throughout the Western world are concerned about the consequences of mass migration without security checks and proper integration.
These fears are completely legitimate.
But rather than listening to these genuine concerns, the response from the political and media elite has been dismissive, pejorative and flat out hostile.
These trends are not confined to Europe and the U.S. The same phenomenon exists in Canada.
Despite continual failures within our own refugee resettlement program, many would prefer to turn a blind eye.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is quick to accept praise for his Syrian refugee pledge. Immigration Minister John McCallum called it “mission accomplished.”
But when serious problems surface — lack of resources for newcomers, refugees relying on food banks, violence within the Syrian refugee community, and so on — the Trudeau government is missing in action.
When news stories surfaced about Syrian refugees bullying Canadians students, first in Nova Scotia and then last week in New Brunswick, most media outlets ignored the news.
Sun Media Parliamentary Bureau Chief David Akin was one of very few reporters in the mainstream media to cover the story after it was initially reported by TheRebel.media.
Similarly, much media attention was given to an assault against a woman wearing a hijab in London, Ont.
But when radio host Andrew Lawton reported the alleged perpetrator was a Farsi-speaking woman from Iran, most media members ignored his report for The
Iran is a Muslim country. About 90%-95% of Iran’s population are Shiite Muslims, while Sunni Muslims comprise the other 5%-10%.
Assaulting anyone is unacceptable.
But while we don’t know the circumstances of this assault, it may have had more to do with tensions within the Muslim world, than Islamophobia.
When we ignore important news and bury the problematic elements of immigration, we inevitably drive people to become even more skeptical of mass migration.
Ignoring problems won’t make them go away.
It usually makes them worse.
That’s exactly what is happening with the problem of immigration mismanagement all over the world.
This column appeared in Sun papers on July 7, 2016