Around the world, citizens of war torn countries in the Middle East (Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan), Africa (Libya, Sudan), Central & South America and others are fleeing oppression and death to reach freedom and safety. Europe is being overrun with these refugees. This experience is adding greater fuel to the already passionate immigration debate in the US by the needs of these refugees. We must remember that refugees are a portion of the immigration issue. Compassionately, the plight of refugees needs to be prioritized over all other types of immigration. Realistically, the vetting of legitimate refugees is still required, given the violent turmoil in the world, the infiltration of the extremists into the refugee population and that threats directly at the United States.

Geert Wilders’s Warning for Joe Biden

from The Wall Street Journal,
Few Americans follow the politics of the Netherlands, a small European country with a population of 17.5 million. But recent political developments in the country have important implications for the Continent and the U.S. After the previous Dutch coalition collapsed over disagreements on surging immigration, national elections were held on Nov. 22. The Party for Freedom, or PVV, led by Geert Wilders—a far-right politician who has campaigned on anti-immigrant policies for more than a decade—shocked veteran observers by finishing first with 23.6% of the vote, raising its number of parliamentary seats to 37 from 17. It isn’t hard to see why Mr. Wilders’s stance resonated with Dutch voters. Net immigration to the Netherlands rose to nearly 223,000 in 2022 and is on track to rise further this year. (That is proportionate to more than four million immigrants entering the U.S. in a year.) Of these immigrants, about 46,400 sought asylum in 2022; more than 70,000 are projected to do so in 2023. Mr. Wilders saw an opportunity and seized it, calling for strict limits on overall immigration and an end to admission by asylum seekers into the Netherlands. He also linked excessive immigration rates to high prices and the lack of affordable housing. Whether or not he succeeds in forming a governing coalition, he has shifted the political balance in his country to the populist right. Immigration has re-emerged as an important issue in the U.S. to boot. As asylum seekers have surged at the southern border, President Biden has struggled to forge an effective response. Large numbers of entrants awaiting asylum hearings have been released into the states, creating new fiscal and social pressures across the country. New York Mayor Eric Adams’s complaints about the burdens on his city have made him persona non grata at the White House, but other, less-outspoken Democratic leaders share his views. The Biden administration and congressional Democrats are similarly divided. Some believe that morality and international law require continuing or even expanding current policies, while others, including Sens. Michael Bennet of Colorado and Chris Murphy of Connecticut, are working with Republicans to craft a compromise. Meanwhile, polls indicate increasing concern about immigration, even among rank-and-file Democrats. George Friedman of the Maudlin Economics says:
  • Dutch politician Geert Wilders and his Party for Freedom took the lead in an election whose main issues were immigration and climate change.
  • This result appears to repudiate some core EU principles, but Wilders’ desired policies could also give the Netherlands an economic advantage.
  • Looser environmental rules could reduce business costs while curbs on immigration might enable lower public spending.
  • This is more significant than similar trends in places like Poland and Hungary because the Netherlands has long exemplified how a European nation “should” act.
  • Europe will become a very different place if this shift holds and spreads.
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