Lead­ers pres­sured to stem refugee surge.

The Washington Times Daily - - FRONT PAGE - BY S.A. MILLER

Pres­i­dent Trump had some­thing in com­mon with the other world lead­ers at the NATO sum­mit in Brus­sels — an im­mi­gra­tion emer­gency on their doorsteps.

The il­le­gal im­mi­gra­tion and bor­der se­cu­rity cri­sis that tops Mr. Trump’s do­mes­tic agenda is part of a world­wide mi­gra­tion surge that is roil­ing gov­ern­ments across the North­ern Hemi­sphere.

From Canada to Mex­ico to Bri­tain and through­out Europe, gov­ern­ments are un­der pres­sure from their ci­ti­zens to turn back a flood of refugees, asy­lum seek­ers and im­mi­grants who cross the bor­der il­le­gally.

Whether its lo­cal gov­ern­ments chid­ing Cana­dian Prime Min­is­ter Justin Trudeau for invit­ing an on­slaught of refugees to their com­mu­ni­ties or Ger­man Chan­cel­lor An­gela Merkel be­ing forced to slam shut her “open-door pol­icy,” a pub­lic back­lash against unchecked im­mi­gra­tion has gov­ern­ments re­think­ing their bor­der poli­cies.

“The ci­ti­zens of these coun­tries start to re­sent the pol­i­cy­mak­ers and bu­reau­crats and politi­cians who have not seen fit to en­force im­mi­gra­tion laws and seem to be ab­di­cat­ing the coun­try’s sovereignty to pro­mote these feel-good asy­lum poli­cies,” said Jes­sica M. Vaughan, di­rec­tor of pol­icy stud­ies at the Cen­ter for Im­mi­gra­tion Stud­ies.

The elected of­fi­cials brought the cri­sis upon them­selves with poli­cies on asy­lum seek­ers, guest work­ers and even stu­dent visas that draw mi­grants to their bor­ders, she said.

“They of­ten are com­ing not so much be­cause they are be­ing pushed by con­di­tions in their own coun­try but be­cause they are be­ing pulled by the lure of loop­holes in county’s asy­lum laws. Asy­lum is cover for mi­grat­ing for bet­ter op­por­tu­nity,” said Ms. Vaughan. “If we cre­ate the op­por­tu­nity, peo­ple are go­ing to take ad­van­tage of it.”

Mr. Trump is un­der fire in the U.S. for sep­a­rat­ing par­ents from their chil­dren who are among the tens of thou­sands of im­mi­grants jump­ing the south­ern bor­der each month. U.S. Bor­der Pa­trol in June nabbed nearly 35,000 peo­ple en­ter­ing the coun­try il­le­gally from Mex­ico.

Mr. Trump sees an easy so­lu­tion. “Don’t come to our coun­try il­le­gally. Come like other peo­ple do. Come legally,” he said.

Lead­ers in other coun­tries face a sim­i­lar dilemma, balanc­ing the urge to wel­come refugees against the need to con­trol im­mi­gra­tion and pro­tect ci­ti­zens.

Vic­tor Asal, a home­land se­cu­rity scholar at the Uni­ver­sity at Al­banyS­tate Uni­ver­sity of New York, said there is “no easy an­swer” to the refugee prob­lem fac­ing wealthy coun­tries. He said the big­ger dan­ger came from pop­ulist re­volts against im­mi­gra­tion.

“It’s an easy tool for peo­ple who want to push ethno­graphic na­tion­al­ist agen­das,” Mr. Asal said.

With more than 3,000 refugees crowd­ing fa­cil­i­ties in Toronto of­fi­cials in the prov­ince are blast­ing Mr. Trudeau for set­ting out the wel­come mat in a tweet last year, say­ing Canada will wel­come refugees turned away by Mr. Trump.

“This mess was 100 per­cent the re­sult of the fed­eral govern­ment, and the fed­eral govern­ment should foot 100 per­cent of the bills,” said a spokesman for the On­tario govern­ment.

Mr. Trudeau shrugged off the crit­i­cism.

So far this year, the Royal Cana­dian Mounted Po­lice caught more than 9,400 asy­lum seek­ers cross­ing the CanadaU.S. bor­der. That’s on top of 20,000 refugees, mostly from Haiti, who ar­rived at the bor­der last year say­ing they feared de­por­ta­tion in the U.S.

Mex­ico, his­tor­i­cally a pass-through county for Cen­tral Amer­i­cans headed for the U.S., finds it­self want­ing to turn back the tide of im­mi­grants who some­times end up stay­ing in Mex­ico.

Pres­i­dent-elect An­dres Manuel Lopez Obrador is plan­ning a new bor­der force to stop il­le­gal im­mi­grants cross­ing from Cen­tral Amer­ica.

The Euro­pean Union has strug­gled with a flood of refugees since 2015 as peo­ple fled war in Syria and vi­o­lence in Africa. The num­bers have sub­sided, but hun­dreds of thou­sands ar­rived last year and the ef­fects of wave af­ter wave of refugees con­tin­ues to wash across the re­gion.

Since 2014, about 650,000 im­mi­grants have landed on Ital­ian shores, with many of them tak­ing ad­van­tage of open bor­ders within the EU to travel to Ger­many, Bri­tain and other coun­tries.

The new pop­ulist govern­ment in Italy wants to refuse boats car­ry­ing refugees. Last week, a boat car­ry­ing 60 refugees was turned away from Italy and Malta, even­tu­ally land­ing in Barcelona, Spain.

Ital­ian In­te­rior Min­is­ter Mat­teo Salvini said the new govern­ment is not hon­or­ing past agree­ments to par­tic­i­pate in EU sea res­cues.

“With our govern­ment, the mu­sic has changed and will change,” said Mr. Salvini.

The im­mi­gra­tion helped fuel the Brexit vote in the U.K. Now, British Prime Min­is­ter Theresa May is tak­ing heat for engi­neer­ing a “soft” exit from the EU that crit­ics say doesn’t re­claim com­plete sovereignty over im­mi­gra­tion.

In Ger­many, back­lash against Ms. Merkel’s “open-door pol­icy” for refugees nearly frac­tured her govern­ment.

To save her gov­ern­ing coali­tion, Ms. Merkel re­cently re­lented af­ter years of buck­ing vot­ers alarmed by the crime and cul­tural im­pact of the more than 1.4 mil­lion refugees en­ter­ing Ger­many since 2015, mostly from war-torn Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan.

Ger­man In­te­rior Min­is­ter Horst See­hofer this week pre­sented a “mas­ter plan” for the refugee crack­down, in­clud­ing en­hanced se­cu­rity on the Ger­man-Aus­tria bor­der, more “an­chor cen­ters” to process refugees and tougher penal­ties for asy­lum seek­ers who break the rules.

But Mr. See­hofer, an im­mi­gra­tion hard-liner who forced Ms. Merkel’s hand on the is­sue, faced res­ig­na­tion calls Wednes­day af­ter a de­ported Afghan man killed him­self.

The man was among 68 peo­ple flown by Ger­many to Afghanistan a day ear­lier on Mr. See­hofer’s 69th birth­day, a co­in­ci­dence that, at the time, de­lighted the in­te­rior min­is­ter.

In re­sponse to the sui­cide, Mr. See­hofer re­fused to ad­dress his birth­day com­ments, say­ing his op­po­nents would twist his words.

“The whole pro­ce­dure is very re­gret­table,” Mr. See­hofer said. “But you have to ask the Ham­burg au­thor­i­ties why they sug­gested him” for de­por­ta­tion.

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