Common Sense Unlikely to Prevail in American Immigration Debate
The two parties in the United States compromised last week to pass a $4.6 billion bill to relieve the crisis at the southern border.
The left wing of the Democratic Party had resisted the deal, fearing that some of the money might be used to fund President Donald Trump’s family-separation policy. But House speaker Nancy Pelosi argued that the children — some of whom have gone without medication and even basic sanitation while separated from their parents — must “come first”.
At the end of the day, we have to make sure that the resources needed to protect the children are available.
It’s a fair compromise. Don’t expect more of it. Read more
Loss of Control: What Moderates Get Wrong About Migration
Immigration into Europe and the United States is down, yet the far right continues to monopolize the debate.
The EU faced a one-time surge in asylum applications from Afghans, Iraqis and Syrians in 2015-16 as well as four years of high numbers of mostly African migrants (PDF) trying to reach Italy by boat. The numbers are down, yet the far-right League is the most popular party in Italy.
In the United States, asylum applications from Central American countries plagued by violence are up, but Mexican immigration is down. Donald Trump nevertheless won the 2016 election on a virulently anti-immigrant platform.
Fake news and media echo chambers are part of the problem. It is difficult to expose voters to the facts when they can find “alternative facts” just a click away. But this does not fully explain the appeal of the populist message. The bigger problem is that moderates do not have a coherent migration policy to fix systems that are obviously broken. As a result, they do not have a strong story to tell. Read more
Spanish Right Takes Harder Line on Catalonia, Immigration
The new Spanish conservative party leader, Pablo Casado, is making good on his promise to move the People’s Party to the right.
In talks with Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez, who leads a minority left-wing government, Casado refused to support dialogue with Catalan parties that want to break away from Spain.
Separately, he argued Spain cannot “absorb millions of Africans who want to come to Europe in search of a better future.”
Both positions mark a hardening from those of Casado’s predecessor, and the previous prime minister, Mariano Rajoy. Read more
Far-Right League Gains Most from Governing in Italy
Italy’s far-right League is benefiting the most from the government deal it struck with the populist Five Star Movement earlier this month.
In municipal elections on Sunday, the League captured the former left-wing strongholds of Massa, Pisa and Siena in the region of Tuscany.
Nationally, the League is tied with the Five Star Movement in the polls. Both get 27-29 percent support. In the last election, the Five Stars got 33 percent support against 17 percent for the League. Read more
Three Possible Futures for Europe’s Open-Borders Schengen Area
Elizabeth Collett of the Migration Policy Institute Europe tells The Economist there are three possible futures for the continent’s free-travel Schengen area:
The slow spread of border controls, quietly tolerated by Brussels.
The expansion of controls via technology, such as numberplate recognition and spot checks.
A regression to a smaller number of separate passport-free zones, for example, the Benelux, Nordics and Iberia. Read more
Bavarian Right Manufactures Immigration Crisis
Germany’s ruling conservative parties are at odds over immigration. Bavaria’s Christian Social Union (CSU) wants to turn refugees away at the border if they have already applied for asylum in another EU country. Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU) argues this goes too far.
Here is everything you need to know about the row. Read more