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Why Are European Leaders Dragging Their Feet on Migration Crisis?

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.

Here we go again. Earlier this week, a ship called Aquarius -- which has been ferrying primarily African asylum seekers across the Mediterranean to Europe -- once again was looking for a European port in which to dock. This time, the ship reported 141 people aboard. Earlier this summer, it was 629. Is this ever going to end?


For years, Aquarius and other humanitarian rescue ships have quietly snuck undocumented immigrants into Europe at ports such as the Italian island of Lampedusa. A Pew Research survey shows that 80 percent of Italians are unhappy with the way Europe has been handling the refugee issue. Italy's new interior minister, Matteo Salvini, has refused further shipments, closing Italian ports to rescue ships.

Spain and France have been white knights on mass migration. Spain opened its port of Valencia to the 629 migrants aboard the Aquarius in June. Barely a week later, a German nongovernmental organization, Lifeline, delivered 234 migrants to Malta. At least 52 of them disembarked at Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris shortly thereafter, preferring France as their final destination.

The French government is now allowing asylum seekers to come by airplane from other "safe" Western European countries. Meanwhile, space is running out. "Illegal migrants in Paris suburb soar to 400,000 as hundreds of migrant children sleep on streets," blared a recent headline in Britain's Daily Telegraph.

The French government ended up in a spat with the city of Paris this spring when city hall neglected to clear out the eyesore migrant camps along the Canal Saint Martin right in the middle of the city. Paris, which is rife with socialists, also supported the bright idea proposed by the city's Communist Party politicians to sponsor a migrant camp right in the heart of the Bois de Boulogne, in the city's swankiest postal district.

Why stop there? How about knocking on some doors and asking those wealthy folks to take a few migrants into their homes? Since no one in Paris wants to be seen as a closed-minded bigot, I'm sure they wouldn't object.


What exactly is the breaking point? You'd think that having to scan a map of the city to find places where you can set up camps for the flood of immigrants would be the first hint that you're already full.

Despite Italy's newfound willingness to turn off the tap, humanitarian groups have been relentless in pressuring European governments to abide by human rights law and the law of the sea, insisting that these rescue ships need a place to park and unload. What's wrong with the ports in Tunisia, Egypt or Algeria? Ocean rescue laws were meant for cases involving people in genuine and acute distress, not as loopholes for the no-borders crowd and human traffickers to exploit.

Europe is rapidly splitting into two over this issue. Countries such as Hungary, Poland, Slovakia and the Czech Republic insist on prioritizing national sovereignty over European values of openness, which have been perverted to the point of facilitating human trafficking. The left actually needs these human traffickers as business partners, because if the traffickers don't abandon migrants in a precarious position offshore, then the charity-run ships wouldn't be able to rescue them at sea. The left's entire open-borders model depends on these criminals. It also depends on the governments of European countries to keep their ports and borders open in the name of human rights.

Perhaps it shouldn't come as a surprise that it's the countries formerly within the sphere of the Soviet Union that are fearlessly rejecting cultural Marxism while much of Western Europe has been completely lobotomized by it. These countries have seen the disastrous result of the undemocratic imposition of leftist ideals firsthand, and they don't seem keen to experience it again courtesy of a supranational European government.


European officials ranging from French President Emmanuel Macron to the European Union Migration Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos have insisted on the need for European nations to remain in solidarity on this issue. In the long term, political will won't be enough for citizens of Europe to buy into this vision of governance when they sense it working against their interests in their daily lives. Then what? Will they clamp down on those who refuse to buy into the "vision"? Ramp up the rhetoric and the virtue-signaling and hope that people are too brainwashed to defend their own interests? These anti-democratic tactics are already commonplace in Europe and may soon be used elsewhere to perpetuate the same model.

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