Bring Me Your Huddled Masses

“Bring me your huddled masses,” from the Economist:

Nine countries host most of the world’s refugees. None of them is wealthy. All border war zones, from Syria to South Sudan. The simplest way for rich countries to help the poor ones that shoulder the lion’s share of the global refugee burden is through resettlement, the UNHCR’s second “durable solution”: accepting refugees directly from the countries they have fled to. Many countries have had annual resettlement quotas for decades, agreed with and implemented through the UNHCR. America, for example, plans to take in 85,000 refugees this year. But the numbers are nothing like enough to accommodate the most acute refugee emergency: the 5m or so Syrians stranded in Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan, not to mention the 7m displaced inside Syria, many of whom could still flee.

That is why some Europeans have sought a new approach: eliminate, or at least drastically reduce, irregular migrant flows, and launch a mass refugee-resettlement scheme instead. It is a beguiling idea: replace chaos with order, destroy the business models of the smugglers who thrive on illegality, and have countries choose refugees rather than the other way around…

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