Protect People, Not Borders?

That’s what Maximilian Popp, over at Spiegel Online International, thinks. The caption of the lead image is this:

The mass deaths of refugees like those seen this weekend on the European Union’s external borders is not a consequence of politicians looking away. We are in fact causing the problem with our Fortress Europe policies.

The capsizing of a refugee boat with the loss of the lives of hundreds was not caused by European policies, whether national or European. Neither was the murder of seven Christians on another refugee boat by their Muslim fellow refugees. Those were caused by a boat captain’s error and by Muslim murderers.

Sure, to some extent, incidents like those beg the question. But Popp is presupposing the wrong problem.

The mass deaths of refugees at Europe’s external borders are no accidents—they are the direct result of European Union policies.

Why are these refugees flooding the Mediterranean, the land bridges into Europe, or flooding the US’ southern border? They think there’s a much better life to be had in Europe and in the US. It’s as simple as that. EU policies have nothing to do with that, except to the extent that EU policies create an economic, political, and social environment that makes it possible for a man to realize his and his family’s full potential, instead of being held back by the barbarism of the environments these folks are fleeing.


A nation must first exist, and then it must first protect its own people, must first secure its own people’s prosperity. It must protect its own borders. Only when a nation has secured itself can it have any means of helping refugees. If borders aren’t protected, and protected first, nations won’t exist, and so there will be no entity extant with the capacity to help refugees. Indeed, rather tautologically, there will be no refugees, only people roaming and searching. And no place for anyone to search for other than “not here.”

No nation has an obligation to let anyone in who demands it, or even who simply comes across its border, no more than does a homeowner have an obligation to allow anyone in through the door, or window, who wants it or succeeds in the penetration. Allowing such a thing would directly destroy the house, and the nation.

A nation, and the men who are that nation, have a Judeo-Christian obligation to help those less fortunate—refugees here—certainly. But that help is best done, not by encouraging the flood of refugees, but by helping them at their source: correcting the barbarism in their originating environment, helping the people of those nations develop—and implement—the policies that will foster an economic, political, and social environment that will allow them to prosper where they are.

Until that’s done, the flood of refugees will only continue, the prosperity of their target nations will be drained away, and there will be no means of helping them anywhere. After that’s done, even after a good start has been made, there still will be a flow of refugees, but it will a trickle easily managed by the receiving nations. And that trickle will have far fewer incidents of boat captain error or of refugee on refugee murder.

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