The Danish legislature passed a law allowing authorities to require migrants and refugees to turn over any cash in excess of 10,000 kroner (about US $1455) and hand over any valuables that are not of sentimental value such as watches or computers. Wedding rings, engagement rings, family portraits and badges of honor and other sentimental items are exempt. The purpose of this provide for the upkeep and maintenance of migrant and refugees whom have already entered Denmark, which are about 20,000 people right now. One tidbit which has been overlooked is, legislators in exchange for raising the threshold of cash to be seized (from 3000 to 10,000 kroner), the family reunification period has been increased from one year to three years. This means refugee and asylum seekers must wait a minimum of three years before they can reunify with their families, even if they establish themselves and become gainfully employed and financially independent before three years. Especially for people with young families, this is a punitively long time to be separated by arbitrary circumstances. The seizures of cash and valuables is Denmark’s way of making themselves as unattractive as possible for refugees and migrants so that they go elsewhere to claim asylum. It’s another way of saying ‘not in my backyard’.
The Danish government claim this isn’t discriminatory or racist. They require all Danish welfare applicants to do the same before they claim welfare benefits. They also allege, if their asylum claims are successful, they will become legal Danish citizens and will be entitled to all of the privileges and benefits of all Danes, which are quite generous. Free medical care from cradle to grave, free tuition until college, housing benefit, paid maternity and paternity leave and generous unemployment benefits are guaranteed for Danish citizens, except migrants and refugees didn’t pay into the Danish treasury like native Danes have done all their working lives. Denmark is also known for their eye watering tax rates to pay for all of these benefits. Denmark is socialist democratic country, Danes pay huge sums in taxes in exchange for the government taking care of all the citizens from cradle to grave. It is a mutually beneficial exchange. Law abiding Danes can expect a life of relative comfort and security even in the face of recessions, unemployment, sickness, disability and other unforeseen events because of everyone’s contribution to the purse and because of this taxpayer funded security, the Danish government in turn expect their citizens to be law abiding and peaceful. After all, what is there to complain about, along with with generous benefits, which nearly everyone contributes to, they live in a clean and orderly country, where all the infrastructure is functioning, they also have human rights and freedoms of speech and expression, people can live as they choose. Many people on the political left view countries like Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Finland as some sort of utopia, where the government takes care of its people and the people return that gratitude by being good and law abiding citizens. What is not explicitly expressed in this mutually beneficial arrangement between the government and its people is that it only works if all the people who contribute to and live with in this system are on the same page as to what’s expected of them.
One of the first lessons we learn as children is “there is no free lunch”, which translates to nothing in life (nothing good and worthwhile at least) is free. The same can be said for the socialist democracies of Scandinavia and to some extent Germany. In order to maintain this very generous social contract with its citizens, along with punitive tax rates, they also need a big tax base, where virtually everyone contributes, not just the rich, upper-class and middle class, even the working class must contribute from their meagre wages. This also means countries like Denmark cannot support a sudden influx of a large immigrant population and while they learn to speak the language, integrate into a very western society and become gainfully employed preferably with a skilled trade and during which they bring over the rest of their families, which are probably larger than an average Danish family all on the Danish dime. Learning the language is hard enough and could take years for some and for others it may be impossible to fully master, as I understand Danish isn’t the easiest of languages to learn. If a refugee knows some English, it can help them in learning German, not so with Danish or Swedish. The second choice would be to master English but it’s not the dominant language in non-English speaking countries. I mentioned in a previous post the generosity of the more welcoming nations to refugees will run out sooner rather than later. And now it’s happening. Migrants and refugees have been entering Europe in large numbers for the last two years or so and enough time has passed where numbers and statistics can be collected. And in light of those numbers and recent events of women being assaulted in public places, night clubs; countries who were once willing to take on refugees and migrants are taking a pause.
- 38% of migrants and refugees in Europe are from Syria, which technically means, countries can eject 62% percent of their refugee and migrant population.
- Denmark has accepted 20,000 people in 2015
- Sweden has accepted 120,000 in 2015
- Germany has accepted 1.1 million people in 2015
- Switzerland has received 45,000 refugees but they are not part of the EU and can do what they like.
According to authorities in Austria, Germany is turning back a lot more people. They are holding persons who are not of Syrian, Iraqi or Afghani origin at the Austrian border. There is already some talk in the EU governing body, where they will deport economic migrants from peaceful nations such as Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia.
The message from the EU is clear. The gravy train is over. While German Chancellor Angela Merkel has maintained the “we’ll handle it” message to her detractors, she is slowly caving into the political reality and the actual reality that Germans do not want to “handle” it. No matter how she feels about the “humanitarian imperative”, she is an elected leader who is governing with a coalition and she cannot force her hand and go against the coalition and the people who elected her.
With the recent spate of crimes and social indecencies committed by a small number of migrants, the level of hysteria in the EU has been cranked up. Besides women being assaulted at refugee intake centers, these assaults have spread to the local population. Most prominent being the NYE assaults in Cologne, where women were encircled by marauding gangs of Arab or North African looking men, openly assaulted in public, groped and robbed of their mobile phones and cash. At least one woman was raped. There are reports of women being targeted by migrants and refugees in Hamburg and smaller incidents of inappropriate touching in other parts of Germany.
Until the German police and authorities can get a handle on the situation, migrants have been banned from certain nightclubs, because female patrons don’t feel safe. In Denmark, there’s been an ad hoc nationwide ban on migrants from night clubs because they don’t “know the rules” of nightclub etiquette (keep your hands to yourself unless invited). A public pool in Germany near a migrant intake center has temporarily banned migrants because they were harassing the women and were seen urinating in the pool and masterbating until, well, the desired results of such an action in the pool. Cartoon drawings have been made showing the migrants of appropriate social etiquette, such as not groping women in public, not staring at homosexuals holding hands in the streets and oddly, no shouting or abusing children in public. The bans on public pools and bathhouses are meant to be temporary. German authorities have dispatched social workers to speak to these migrants on what is appropriate public decorum and etiquette. I’d love to be a fly on the wall when the social worker is trying to explain to migrants how jerking off in public especially in a pool especially where others are present is considered poor form. I pity the person that has to impart this message.
Many on the left have spoken out about these exclusionary measures. Hysterically calling it an apartheid, instead of trying to integrate migrants into mainstream German society, they are being deliberately excluded. This notion is extraordinary, if people don’t know where they should use the toilet and handle their private biological urges in private, they should be banned until they learn the rules. I think what Germans and the Danes are doing is sensible. Their first duty is protect the rights and leisure of their own citizens. Nobody wants people urinating or jerking off in public pools or spaces. It’s disgusting and unsanitary. Women do not deserve to be groped on a Friday night out with friends at a nightclub. And if migrants don’t understand this or cannot abide by this, then they should be banned from places of leisure until at a such time they do understand. Banning migrants from bathhouses, public pools or nightclubs is not violating their basic human rights. They are not being tossed out in the street or deprived meals or basic necessities.
The tragic case of the murder of Alexandra Mezher, a case worker at a migrant intake center in Sweden for unaccompanied minors ages 15 to 19. She was stabbed to death by a 15 year old Syrian migrant. The circumstances of her murder are not clear except that a fight broke out and she was stabbed, she died of her injuries later in the hospital. In this case, the fear is justice for the Mezher family will be insufficient. The perpetrator is a minor, he cannot be deported back to Syria because of human rights laws which govern EU countries, at best he’ll serve a sentence for juvenile offenders and he’ll resume his freedom, all on the Swedish taxpayer. Alexandra Mezher’s family is from Lebanon, it is presumed that she chose to work at migrant shelter so she can help people from the Middle East adjust to Sweden, especially with her Arabic language skills and cultural familiarity. Her family said she was an “angel” who loved to help people.
Let’s look at another set of numbers. Presumably, there are 1.3-1.4 million or more migrants and refugees from North Africa, sub-Sahara Africa and the Middle East in Europe right now, and out of those numbers let’s say 14,000 have committed crimes or behaved inappropriately, that is only 1% of the migrants who’ve committed crimes. The way they committed some of these crime in mobs such as NYE in Cologne makes it seem like all of them are marauding gangs preying on vulnerable women, but if you breakdown the numbers, they are in the small minority. The level of hysteria whipped up about the migration crisis doesn’t commensurate with the actual numbers. The next hysteria is the diseases these people from third world countries are bringing. According to Danish health officials, migrants have brought diseases to Denmark which they haven’t seen in the last 20 years such as diphtheria, malaria and tuberculosis. Keep in mind Denmark has just 20,000 migrants compared to 1.1 million in Germany and 120,000 in Sweden. On top of their routine medical exam, it may be wise to give them a sleuth of vaccinations to prevent such hysteria. These people are from third world countries where health infrastructure is shoddy or nonexistent, of course they will bring third world country diseases. This is to be expected.
Another number, the total number of migrants in Europe right now is about 1-2% of the whole population of the European Union. For the purposes of comparison, the United States has about 11.1 million undocumented immigrants, most of whom are from Mexico or Central America, which accounts for 10% of the whole Latino population in the US. The Latino population in the US is between 10-15% of the total US population, which is about 50 million people, and more than one-fifth of the 50 million people are undocumented immigrants. What the EU is dealing with is peanuts.
I am no leftist apologist when it comes to immigration and crimes committed by immigrants. I do not apologize for or minimize violent crime against women or murder. I also believe that immigrants need to respect the laws, rules and customs of the country that is hosting them. Leering and groping at women in public is unacceptable, so is jerking off or urinating in a public pool. Telling migrants to not do these things isn’t imposing western ways on them, or ‘cultural imperialism’ – another wrong application of a very complicated and totally unrelated concept. If westerners did what migrants did in their home countries, we’d be arrested and jailed, perhaps in some extreme cases executed. So, let’s get a grip on all fronts here.
Between the hysteria of the political right and human rights violation bleatings from the political left, it’s up to sensible people in the middle to state the facts as they are, not what people wish them to be based on where they stand on the issues.
There is an underbelly of society in every country, even pretty places like Germany, Austria, Sweden, Denmark and and the pristine shores of Lake Geneva. There are jerk-offs (literal and metaphorical), public urinators, rapists, abusers and murderers in every country. The difference is, in the west, especially wealthy countries in Europe, U.K. and America, people with means can segregate themselves from these unsavory sides of society. People living in pretty middle class neighborhoods have the luxury of not seeing what we don’t want to see, which are the disenfranchised members of society. People whom mainstream and polite society have cast out as being unwanted and they’ve been left to rot in their crumbling neighborhoods. No one cares, no one takes a second look at the members of the underclass. The migrants who are popping up in European cities, most of whom are indigent, traumatized, perhaps lost many family members along the way, their backgrounds unknown or sketchy, perhaps they really are sociopaths – no one really knows, many perhaps are barely literate in their own language have landed in Europe are being shoved in the faces of traditionally civilized, orderly and clean cities. Where the rules and decorum of such societies are unspoken, unwritten but strictly observed. The poor and disenfranchised of the first world are hidden inner cities, ghettos and towns which people have forgotten. The disenfranchised of Germany, Denmark or elsewhere will not go to public pools, bathhouses or fancy nightclubs to embarrass themselves. They know better than that and unless they clean up or move up the social ladder, they aren’t welcome. Migrants and refugees don’t know that. The disenfranchised people of the first world is how a majority of the people in the third world live. The five Giant Evils of society as identified by Sir William Beveridge, the creator of the modern welfare state in the UK: ‘Want, Disease, Ignorance, Squalor and Idleness’. These five Giant Evils are staring at Europe in the face and they don’t like what they see.
Taking what little they have and flogging it to pay for their upkeep and maintenance is adding insult and injury to their current existence. The computer they want to take to pay for their one month’s rent for their bed at the refugee shelter could be a computer which helps them learn the language or find a job. The phone they want to take way could be his or her only way to contact their families. The jewelry and mementos which are deemed not of sentimental value could be their father or mother’s watch or jewelry, maybe the only thing they’ve left of their family. Taking the cash which exceeds a certain amount, did it ever occur to them that if they take their extra cash upfront and they run of money and they are ineligible to work yet, it’s the government who has to give them more cash? Taking from people who have the least is one of the most despicable things and the EU, as they proclaim themselves to be a bastion of human rights, they ought to know and do better. The argument which they are only enforcing the same rules on Danish citizens is false comparison because native Danes are clearly in the advantage in terms of finding new employment:
The Danish government has claimed they are just applying similar rules they do to Danish citizens on welfare benefits. But refugees are not in the same situation as Danish nationals. They don’t speak the language or have the same connections or social networks and they’re entering an unfamiliar country with different customs or ways of working – all of which affect their ability to find work and provide for their families. – Tania Cheung
Not to unfairly focus on Denmark; Switzerland, arguably the wealthiest nation in the world, also has ‘rules’ in place to ensure migrants pay their fair share by seizing their assets as well:
[Switzerland is] acting to seize financial assets over 1,000 Swiss Francs (£690) from refugees. The money will be returned to refugees, but only if they leave voluntarily within seven months. On top of that, refugees who are given the right to stay and work in Switzerland will have 10 per cent of their pay taken away from them until they “repay” 15,000 Swiss francs for the costs of processing asylum seeker applications and social assistance. – Tania Cheung
But Switzerland insists, of the 45,000 refugees they’ve received so far, this rule only applied to 112 people. So, not so bad then? Switzerland isn’t part of the EU or EEA (Europe Economic Area) but is part of the single market, which allows Swiss citizens to live and work anywhere in the Eurozone. Since they aren’t part of the EU or EEA and do not need to answer to Brussels, they are free to make their own rules and policies.
It also serves to remember, prior to migrants coming from Africa and Middle East, the last major ‘migration crisis’ were the Romanians and Bulgarians, specifically the Roma Gypsies in those countries. When on January 1, 2014, restrictions on the movements of Bulgarian and Romanian citizens were lifted and they were allowed to travel to any country in the Eurozone to work or live. The major concern was the Roma Gypsy populations in these countries would overrun countries with generous welfare benefits like France, Germany and the U.K. and these people could freely travel without having to slip through the Calais borders. They can jump on a bus, train or airplane and legally get to their destinations. Roma Gypsies were the nomadic peoples of Europe who didn’t conform to mainstream European society. Many aspersions and prejudices were cast on them, they were and to some extent still are marginalized members of European society. No country claims them as they don’t belong to any country, the are ethnically Roma. To survive and exist on the margins, some have turned to petty thieving, financial fraud and gang activities and enterprises, though many Romas have tried integrate into mainstream society with varying degrees of success. In the second half of 2013 and early 2014, newspaper upon newspaper article, especially from the UK hysterically reported on how Romas will ruin their towns and cities with their constant begging and loitering. They only come to UK to claim benefits because even people in their own countries don’t want them. Roma Gypsy camps in France, similar to The Jungle in Calais now but at a smaller scale were constantly being raided and razed by the police, forcing people living in the camps to scatter or go into hiding. Even Germany was exasperated with them as they turn to begging in every street corner. The same things being said about the migrants today are the same accusations being levied at Roma Gypsies. They are ill suited for modern society, their values are incompatible with European values, they beg and steal as a way of earning a living. They all live in caravans and live in filth. They have large families and they do not send their children to school. Their own standards for living and personal hygiene is low so they can live, sleep anywhere, in squalor and filth, even in the Marble Arch in London where any passerby can see you. These people have no pride because if they did, they’d sort themselves out and fast. Germany’s Der Spiegel sympathetically calls them “The Unwanted People of Europe”. They routinely suffer from discrimination and racism and the direct result of that discrimination is poverty and squalor. Roma Gypsies are excluded from legitimate employment, even menial and manual labor so they turn to selling scrap metals (often stolen), begging or pickpocketing to survive. This type of reporting went on and on until the new ‘migrant crisis’ emerged and that’s people from the Middle East, North Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa began to arrive in Europe in large numbers. Now the Roma Gypsy ‘crisis’ is barely a blip on the radar, a non-issue. In fact, the European leaders probably wished they could have the Roma Gypsy crisis back.
“A nation’s greatness is measured by how it treats its weakest members.”
~ Mahatma Ghandi
The most troublesome members of society are often the weakest members of society. Those with the least. The least education, the least access to education, least resources and employment opportunities, the least support from family and community and of course the most tangible, the least money. It’s very easy to toss these people aside with scorn and say they are unwilling to help themselves or they are beyond help. After all, do you have to tell grown men it’s unacceptable to grope and rape women or urinate or masterbate in public? Didn’t their parents tell them this? Many social pundits say ‘to cure crime first need to cure poverty’ as if ‘curing’ poverty is so easy.
The migrants and refugees in Europe stand out like sore thumb right now, just like the Roma Gypsies did in early 2014. These people are easy targets for what’s wrong with a country or how they are bringing a country down the tubes with them, when in fact, the same things refugees and migrants are being accused of already exist in said countries, but are out of sight.
Cleanliness is Godliness as the old saying goes. No it’s not. Cleanliness is a sign of wealth, luxury and stability or in religious terms, a blessing. A blessing most in the world can ill afford.
***Correction: The suspect in the stabbing of Alexandra Mezher is not a 15 year old Syrian migrant, but a 15 year old Somali migrant, who has made his first appearance in court.