From Ruins to RefugeesThe Case In Favour of Refugees

We have written articles on how immigrants are not required to fill European jobs. A recent article discusses how they are a burden on the taxpayer. Multiple articles cover the topic that Europe’s demographics are changing.

All articles that say there really is no economic benefit of pulling immigrants into Europe. The other side of the topic is however that of helping people in need. Yes, these people request asylum. They are fleeing warzones, political prosecution, or other unsafe scenarios. So, it would definitely help these individuals to live their lives in safe, rich Europe instead. It would be very altruistic, to let them in.

Altruism – from ruins to refugees

Let’s agree that helping people is generally a good thing. If we are able to help a refugee, why wouldn’t we? Why shouldn’t we? The logic is simple, let someone from a country in a state of war come to your country that is safe. Afterwards, both of you can live happily together in the new country. So, let’s assume helping people in warzones is our goal. That is a great goal. But, before we conclude that this means we need to take in more immigrants… Is that correct?

Optimizing our reach

If our goal is helping people, we want to help as many people as we can. However, the funds available for this are limited. Let’s be honest, even though we want to help, nobody wants to sell their house and give all their money to charity. So, we want to use the money we have available in the best way possible. How do we do that?

Analyzing the costs

To be able to optimize, we need to know the costs for the different options. Allowing migrants to come to Europe is one option, with certain costs involved. Another option is local refugee camps, also with costs. Maybe even create a safezone within the warzone by UN intervention? These camps might be less comfortable, but they are safe. Let’s remember, our goal is not to provide luxury to people, it is prevent people from being killed.

To decide which option is best, we need to understand the costs for both. Which option is cheaper? The cheaper option allows our limited funds to be used in a way to help more people. Realistically, there may be no option that allows us to help everyone that suffers in the world. More is better.

What is missing is a debate discussing the costs involved of migrants coming to Europe. Politicians even claim that it is beneficial for our treasuries, but that appears to be a lie (or at least ignorance).

What if local refugee camps are cheaper?

Given a scenario that there are indeed costs involved for European states with regards to accepting migrants, these costs may be more than the costs for local refugee camps. If that is the case, local refugee camps will allow us to save more people. Funding can provide better shelter, food, and overall safety for more people.

Life for those saved will not be as nice as living in Europe on benefits, but it will allow us to reach more people.

Do we really want to help?

Apart from refugees, real help would start at the source. If we don’t want people having to flee warzones, we should not create warzones. Libya was destabilized after western air superiority aided the rebels. Libya is still in a state of anarchy, and even slavery resurfaced. Syrian rebels received western support and funding, leading to an ongoing civil war. Iraq and Afghanistan were not warzones until the United States invaded them.

Perhaps politicians should include the faith of the local populations in their decision before they start bombing a country. How will we care for the refugees? Should we really bomb this country? Is it worth our greater goals?

The question of ‘should we help people’ goes far beyond the moment where they arrive on the border. It is as if we do not recognize the problems we create, until they are standing on our doorstep. And suddenly then, when the drama becomes visible to us, does our compassion grow and we feel we should help.