A new survey reveals nearly half of people worldwide are troubled by today’s record immigration and migration levels, which are higher than any time following World War II.
According to a survey of more than 16,000 people in 22 countries released by the Ipsos Polling Institute, 49% said there are “too many immigrants” and 46% agreed “immigration is causing their country to change in ways they don’t like.”
People in the United States and the countries dealing with the migrant crisis into Europe tended to be particularly concerned.
The Japanese were the least likely to say there are too many immigrants (only 12% agreed) and residents of Brazil were least likely to criticize immigration’s impact on their country (only 23% did so.)
A record 1.3 million migrants applied in 2015 for asylum in Europe, according to a Pew Research Center analysis.
While migrants from Eastern European countries contribute to the total applicants, about half of the total consists of migrants from just three countries: Syria, Afghanistan, and Iraq.
Pew says that Germany is the migrants’ target. That country received 442,000 asylum applications in 2015 alone, but the migrants also settle in other European countries along the way.
Perhaps contributing to the anxiety which local European residents feel about immigration, 73% of asylum seekers were men and 53% were young adults, aged 18 to 34. That means greater than four in ten asylum seekers in Europe in 2015, 42%, were young men aged 18 to 34.
For some countries, the demographics are even starker. In Italy, which is a route for migration into Europe from North Africa, 74% of first-time asylum applicants are young adult men:
The new Ipsos survey also found that majorities in most countries, six in ten respondents overall, believe terrorists are pretending to be refugees seeking asylum:
Such fears about the susceptibility of migrants to terror are justified. The domestic intelligence service in Germany knows of at least 340 instances of Islamic extremists entering refugee centers in search of recruits.
The suicide bomber who targeted France’s national sports stadium in Paris last November had a fake Syrian passport and posed as a refugee to enter Europe via Greece.
While an ocean separates the United States from the immediate consequences of North African and Middle Eastern migration, both that crisis and immigration from below our country’s southern border is in the public spotlight.
Days ago, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump introduced his plan for “extreme vetting” of incoming immigrants, including a temporary ban on immigration from high-risk countries and an ideological test to root out potential terrorists.
In response to his remarks, a Morning Consult poll found that 62% registered voters support his idea for a screening test, including 61% of “immigrants, or children or grandchildren of immigrants,” already in the United States:
In a separate question, the Morning Consult found that 43% of all registered voters support “building a wall on the border between the U.S. and Mexico” and 43% oppose. Among immigrants, 43% also support building a wall, but 50% are opposed.
The current migration and movement of people is unprecedented in the modern era.
It remains to be seen if such mass immigration will lead to changes in law and culture or culminate in integration, but as great as today’s tensions appear, the risks to come may be even greater.
Source: independent journal
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