Another aspect that struck me about Mason's column is the simple idea that perhaps Europe can't
control the flow of refugees very well. And once the tide reaches a certain number, that's it, the people are there
(though perhaps more for some countries than others?) and the society is going to deal with them one way or another. The question is how. And if you can't move them out in droves near equivalent to the rate they are now starting to come in, then the society is going to change
somehow as a result -- again, how.
1. You can do what the West has done to some extent already, however haltingly, and provide working papers and the understanding that certain areas of the city will be open to these people (many of them being rather destitute to begin with), with the understanding that they will be the newest pool of cheap labor and often, takers of less desirable or less safe jobs, until however many years it takes for their work and/or economic trends to lift them up. The only questions with this is, how many lower-tier workers does each country really need in the current economic mess, and will these populations and/or their hosts all manage to get on with whatever regimes are concocted to police the numbers that actually do
show up now that they're swarming out of places like Syria? Or will there be some fundamental change or crisis that follows in the wider host society?
2. You can deport some of them -- but how many can you really round up and pay to move at once? -- and see how many try it again or hope they pick some other Euro country to try... Though do this hard enough, and there may be some problems of conscience given all the perils
of the recent immigrants' entry in the first place. It's hard to sell the idea that they should really be excited to live in neighboring countries with totalitarian governments, issues with immediate terrorism and religious violence galore, lax labor laws to speak of, and sometimes rather brutal ways of 'controlling' unapproved populations.
3. You can integrate them in some way that actually improves and levels the basic allowance for both them and
the disadvantaged in the host population. Which in the long run might solve a number of problems. But everyone from the filthy rich down to the poor who have been "waiting their turn for this long, see what a good citizen suffering makes me
even though I might have been marginally abused for years in the process!" will take offense at this in the short term. It also works better if your neighbors are adopting similarly egalitarian policies, while in Europe the trend right now seems more toward fragmentation? Sigh.
4. What have I maybe, missed?