Focussing on the symptoms not the cause of the problem will not accomplish anything
The root cause of internal or external displacement of peoples is due to factors such as war, natural disaster, famine, poverty, persecution, or criminal violence. Recently an overwhelming number of refugees have been displaced mostly as a result of civil warfare across North Africa and Middle East. This situation cannot be dealt with cohesively or rationally without first addressing the reasons that these countries have had such long lasting periods of instability, and then acting on this with sensitivity and swiftness.
The need to address this issue is becoming increasingly apparent in light of the recent wave of anti-immigration movements to sweep Europe and the United States. The clear rise in popularity of nationalist right-wing parties in France, Holland, Germany and the success of the United Kingdoms Brexit campaign to leave the European Union are all examples of the popular backlash against increased immigration.
This shift in opinion is, in part, due to the open boarder policy adopted in German in 2015. It revealed a large cross section of Europeans are more concerned with security, and issues of national values and identity, than with humanitarian concerns or any long term economic benefits that immigration can have. This attitude may well put places like Europe in a position of greater political and economic instability, as individuals with little experience in politics and/or economics may be thrust into positions of power suddenly. Which can be seen at present in the US with Donald Trump. Europe should be watching Trumps presidency closely, and deciding if this isolationist nationalist rhetoric really stands true in the modern world.
Donald Trump marked the start of his presidency with an attempted executive order to ban travel from muslim majority countries. This approach to immigration has continued despite international indignation. Trump’s passing of a zero tolerance illegal immigration policy lead to thousands of migrant children being removed from their families and imprisoned in facilities to be deported at a later date. Trumps decisions continue to split families apart and cause devastating upheaval to individuals that are often fleeing violence and poverty.
The only solution to improving these situation has to involve improving international and intra-national diplomacy. Wars are started as a result of failed attempts to deal with political, social or economic disagreements. If diplomacy cannot be achieved locally, the global community should work together to try and find a resolution before the situation declines into a state of war. People become displaced first internally, and eventually flee their country if situations do not change. Diplomacy is key in dealing with any issue of mass migration before it becomes a problem. It is also imperative when dealing with displacement caused by persecution; outside groups such as the UN should be taking proactive steps, not just denouncing a situation indefinitely. Natural disaster and famine should be dealt with similarly, with humanitarian groups taking swift control of delicate situations.
Refusing entry, deporting refugees, or any other nationalist solution adopted by a country, will just lead to the problem festering and intensifying in time. This will not just lead to greater suffering, as refugees and migrants are sent back to dangerous environments, but will also complicate future issues as the number of displaced will rise. The UN is meant to function as an international intermediary, and anything that can speed up conflict resolution globally should lie within their hands. Changes to UN procedures, such as abandoning the UN’s veto system, should be the first point of call in dealing with current warfare catastrophes and, as a result, the immigration and refugee crises around the world. The situation will only worsen if the root cause is ignored.