International Law and the So-Called Migrant Crisis

By Vincent J. Truglia

One thing I have pledged to my readers is to be as Clear and Candid as possible. Sometimes that means going against widely held views. In this case, I must remind my readers that I have opposed the vast migration into Europe arguing that it would not end well for Europe. I argued that the far right would gain strength in many EU countries. Unfortunately, as each day passes, that warning becomes more prescient.

One argument I have constantly heard and read is that the European Union is responsible for taking in these Mideast refugees according to international law and EU requirements. The problem is that this interpretation of international law and EU regulations is erroneous.

People who have been pouring into Europe from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan were/are likely for the most part real refugees. The problem is somehow this got interpreted as implying that they were/are required to be let into the EU. This is a false premise.

Safe Countries

The explanation is quite simple. The first safe country refugees reach must accept those escaping danger from a war zone or from political persecution. In the case of almost all these refugees, the first place they reached, which would be considered safe was/is Turkey, Lebanon or Jordan. Once reaching those three countries, they were no longer suffering persecution. Yes, their economic condition would be far from ideal, but they were no longer in danger or escaping persecution. Once they left Turkey, Lebanon or Jordan, they then simply became economic migrants, or as we call them in the US, illegal aliens. If the EU was following international law or even EU regulations, they would have been labeled at the get-go as economic migrants, not eligible for asylum.

One could argue that some countries such as Germany and Sweden are free to accept whomever they want as migrants, but those countries have no right to demand assistance from any other EU countries. Central and Eastern European countries are well within their rights to not accept any of the so-called refugees.

The Drowned Toddler

Although seeing the body of that drowned toddler was heart wrenching, the media carried the wrong headline. The father should have been arrested for unnecessarily putting his family at risk by attempting to cross the Mediterranean from Turkey to Greece. He was doing that for purely economic reasons. He and his family were perfectly safe in Turkey. I am sure he regrets his actions.

Refugees Arriving in Malta and Italy

Angela Merkel created the so-called migrant crisis. Until she announced her unprecedented immigration change by fiat, migration was a problem, but was still manageable. Following her pronouncement, the tide of people became a flood. The exception remains migrants arriving in Malta and Italy from Libya. They pose a real issue for international law and the EU. Although most of them are probably economic migrants as well, they would still require due process to determine if they were refugees. Even then, the problem is that these refugees only arrived in Libya after likely passing through a safe country. Nonetheless that needs to be examined person by person, because no one would consider Libya a safe country.

The West’s Casual Attitude Towards International Law

As is often the case in the West, viewpoints regarding matters of international law, which are perfectly valid, are frequently dismissed as flat-out wrong, when in fact they are often right. As I have argued in earlier blogs, this proved to be the case in Kosovo, the Ukraine and Syria. Eastern European countries were/are following the rules, while powerful western nations seem to make up the rules as events unfold. This is dangerous and illegal and represents another nail in the coffin of the European project.

As always, Clear and Candid.