Merkel firm stand on illegal immigrants tested by crying teen
Germany is in crisis this summer as illegal immigrants pour across the Bavarian border in ever increasing numbers. Already, there have been more illegals entering Germany to date than entered all of last year.
And the German people are fed up.
Chancellor Angela Merkel is saying simply that Germany can't help everyone. And that policy was tested yesterday when she was confronted by a crying Palestinian teen who came with her family to Germany four years ago seeking asylum.
During the discussion, entitled “Good life in Germany”, Reem, a Palestinian, told Merkel in fluent German that she and her family, who arrived in Rostock from a Lebanese refugee camp four years ago, face the threat of deportation.
She said: “I have goals like anyone else. I want to study like them ... it’s very unpleasant to see how others can enjoy life, and I can’t myself.”
Merkel responded by saying she understood, but that “politics is sometimes hard. You’re right in front of me now and you’re an extremely nice person. But you also know in the Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon are thousands and thousands and if we were to say you can all come ... we just can’t manage it.”
The chancellor said she hoped the decision-making process, as to which refugees could stay and which must return, would soon be made quicker. But she was forced to stop mid-sentence, and muttered “oh Gott”, on seeing that Reem was crying. She walked up to the girl and started stroking her shoulder, saying: “You were great ... I know it’s difficult for you and you presented extremely well the situation that many others find themselves in.”
At this point, it isn't all politics that makes the situation difficult. German towns and cities are being literally overrun by the illegal arrivals:
The incident, which was trending on Twitter as #MerkelStreichelt (Merkel strokes), coincided with the publication of new data showing that German towns and cities are straining to find appropriate accommodation for the large numbers of refugees entering the country, most of them via Bavaria in the south. Everything from soldiers’ barracks and empty school buildings to camping sites, shipping containers and sports halls are being used to accommodate them.
Eva Lohse, the president of the German Association of Cities, said on Thursday: “We’re reaching the limits of our capacity.”
As tensions mount in some communities over locals’ fears of being overrun, there have been several arson attacks on a number of refugee shelters in recent weeks, with reports at the weekend of a home near Leipzig being shot at on two consecutive nights. Police have described nearly all of the attacks as driven by xenophobia.
Bavaria’s interior minister, Joachim Herrmann, told of the strain that some communities on the Bavarian border were under as they struggled to cope with the constant stream of refugee arrivals.
He told Deutschlandfunk on Thursday: “Just in this past week, we’ve had more than 5,000 people newly arrived, most of them from the Balkans and most of whom have just been dumped at the side of the road by people smugglers. We have to find suitable accomodation for all of them.”
Merkel is facing withering criticism for her stance, but I think she showed uncommon courage for a politician. Can you imagine President Obama telling a young girl to her face that America can't help everyone? Not likely.
Outside the industrialized nations and a few cities elsewhere, the world is pretty much a hell-hole. War, extreme poverty, violence, starvation, rampant disease, political oppression – the four horsemen of the apocalypse and a few friends ride unchallenged across the landscape of much of this planet, making a decent life impossible for the majority. The way not to deal with that situation is to move everyone to better surroundings. You just end up importing the same problems that people were escaping from in the first place.
No doubt the socialists want to be accommodating to the new arrivals. But the political backlash of ordinary citizens is building, and woe betide the politician who doesn't sense the changing winds with regard to the deluge of immigrants flooding the continent this year.