What is the proper humanitarian response to the Mediterranean migrants crisis? Do other nations, beyond Europe, also bear a responsibility to do their part?
This is both a short-term and a long-term problem. Until solved at the roots it will not go away. If we are not careful it will become the modern world revolution. It is essential that we distinguish between refugees genuinely fleeing harsh oppression and economic migrants understandably seeking a better life.
The former should be helped pragmatically as long as it is possible to do so without destroying existing communities – even if the services have to be stretched. The latter should be subject to strict economic evaluation and should not be granted asylum just because they ‘turn up’. Distinguishing between the two is a sensitive and difficult job which will lead to friction. It nevertheless has to be done. The test of the former is ‘possibility for the receiving country’. The test of the latter is ‘prove your economic value to the community you wish to join’. Tough but essential.