Austria flips the 'narrative' on migrant asylum, turning fire to human smugglers
Asylum-seeking is well known for its distorted incentives and abuses. Now Austria of all places is calling it out, seeking to ban any asylum seekers who bankroll their journeys in through the paying and enriching of human smuggling cartels.
It makes sense. It's also about the most vividly commonsensical idea to come out of that place since Friedrich Hayek's theory of price signals, demonstrating why central planning (read: socialism) always fails.
According to the Daily Mail:
All migrants who arrive in Europe with the help of human traffickers will be automatically denied asylum in Austria, under new plans revealed by its Interior Minister today.
Austrian Interior Minister Herbert Kickl, a member of the Freedom Party of Austria (FPO), said his plans aim to punish migrants using smugglers by handing down an automatic negative asylum decision.
Kickl told local media that he hopes Austrian laws will be amended to enable this policy provision and that Austria's immigration stance 'should head in this direction.'
The Austrian minister said it was unfair that someone who could afford the services of human traffickers had a greater chance of asylum than others who could not.
In other words, instead of the migrants being targeted, it's the nasty human traffickers being targeted.
That makes sense, because extranational smuggling cartels are the ugly off-camera player in these mass migrations that have flooded Europe (and the U.S.) making immense money off human misery as the news cameras have focused on hard-luck stories of individual migrants seeking to enter the West illegally and turned the cameras against anyone in the Western world who has opposed the practice. What's more, they've profited off the incentives to migrate illegally, as supposedly moral leaders, such as Pope Francis, have openly advocated for the individuals who enriched the smugglers, while ignoring the effects of illegal migration, such as imported violent crime, and cartels that grow richer and richer and richer, based on smuggling 'earnings.'
Fact is, smuggling rackets have grown immensely rich off lax asylum policies in Western countries, making big dollars off the left's judges and bureaucrats' supposed compassion in allowing all comers in.
In the past, asylum-seeking was wild flight from danger by any means necessary - a dramatic bolt across the tarmac to freedom or a bowshot glide across the Berlin Wall, with begging for mercy at the door of the West. Today, asylum-seeking is as regular as the school bus, with organized cartels using the Internet to incentivize large groups of people to migrate through package deals, organizing their transport, food, boarding and care, all for a convenient flat fee, payable either on the spot with cash or via Internet, or else through installment plans based on jobs in the West. It's illegal, and it's a burden, costing law-abiding citizens in liveable countries billions as they arrive.
Just the very act of paying a cartel smuggler has made many a cartel rich and powerful indeed. All you have to do is look at Mexico, which is locked in a death-struggle with cartels who've gotten their billions not just from drug-smuggling into the U.S. but through migrant smuggling fees. Illegals, cartels, funny how both have arisen as powers at the exact same time. Migrant-smuggling fees account for approximately one third of cartel earnings according to some studies, and may well be more, given the extent to which illegal immigration has become common. What's more, those rackets have gone on to challenge the states of the remaining respective countries, as they have grown rich on this business model, either to expand their existing drug-smuggling businesses, or else to branched out into other forms of smuggling based on the infusion of migrant capital. They make the lives of these governments and remaining citizens miserable. Unless, of course, the government has its 'understandings' with the cartels.
The Austrians also have a very realist recognition about the kinds of people who enrich the smuggling cartels: The lower middle class, not the poor. These are people with some kind of means of paying smugglers, which brings in an economic element to what is supposedly a political process. 'It is not the poorest who flee, but those who can afford human traffickers,' said Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, whose parliament has the majority to potentially get the law enacted.
That recognition has led to additional measures such as confiscating these migrants' money at the border to pay for their care and taking their cellphones in order to track their journeys and learn more about the smuggling rackets they may have enriched.
Bottom line, that has potential to shatter the cartel rackets - and make life livable for the citizens and governments of the poor countries left behind. You can bet the smuggling rackets will find some pawns in the European Union bureaucracy to fight for their interests. But for now, one hopes Austria will be able to get the law through, and it will be adopted in other countries plagued by human smuggling rackets a well.
Let's see if Supreme Court Justice Steven Breyer is willing to live up to his claims that foreign law is a reasonable precedent upon which to base Supreme Court rulings. Better still, let's see some kinds of laws and executive orders on this break-the-smugglers rationale over here.
Kudos to Austria for sorting this problem out, and flipping the narrative from migrant sob stories to the shadowy players making money off them.
Image credit: Dragan Tatic, Bundesministerium für Europa, Integration und Äußeres, via Flickr and Wikipedia // CC By-SA 2.0