Columbus Day/527e: Cherchez le massacre ! (Looking back at the holiday that helped Italians join the white race)

14 octobre, 2019

Chagall-Tabernacles-1916Le premier repas de Thanksgiving (novembre 1621), par Jean Leon Gerome FerrisImage result for Canadian Thanksgiving Oct 14 2019Related imagehttps://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/8/88/1891_New_Orleans_Italian_lynching.jpg?uselang=frMontgomery Advertiser, Vol. LXXVII, Issue 21, p. 4.https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/0/0c/Biblioteca_del_Senado_de_la_Provincia_-_52_-_Por_una_raza_fuerte%2C_laboriosa%2C_pacifista_y_soberana.jpg

Image result for Columbus day NY 2019Related imageImage result for Columbus day NY 2019Image result for Columbus day NY 2019Image result for Columbus day NY 2019Image result for Columbus day NY 2019
Related imageImage result for Wanted anti Columbus poster genocideRelated imageImage result for Wanted anti Columbus poster genocideImage result for Columbus day Thanksgiving Fourth of July genocideImage result for diseases of the columbian exchangePost image

Le quinzième jour du septième mois, quand vous récolterez les produits du pays, vous célébrerez donc une fête à l’Éternel (…) et vous vous réjouirez devant l’Éternel, votre Dieu, pendant sept jours. (…) Vous demeurerez pendant sept jours sous des tentes … afin que vos descendants sachent que j’ai fait habiter sous des tentes les enfants d’Israël, après les avoir fait sortir du pays d’Égypte. Je suis l’Éternel, votre Dieu. Lévitique 23: 39-43
Si l’image nous révolte tant, c’est parce que nous en sommes tous collectivement responsables (…) cette scène, ces mots, ce comportement sont d’une violence et d’une haine inouïes. Mais par notre lâcheté, par nos renoncements, nous avons contribué, petit à petit, à les laisser passer, à les accepter. Cette femme a été « publiquement piétinée, chosifiée, déshumanisée, devant le groupe d’enfants qu’elle accompagnait bénévolement (…) Quelles seront les conséquences d’une telle humiliation publique si ce n’est renvoyer à cet enfant qu’il demeure un citoyen de seconde zone, indigne d’être pleinement français et reconnu comme tel ? Où est l’indignation générale ? Où sont les émissions de télévision, de radio, hormis quelques billets et tribunes comme celle-ci pour condamner cette agression ? Où est la parole publique de premier niveau, celle de nos élus, des partis politiques, celle des ministres, celle du président de la République pour refuser l’inacceptable ? Ne nous y trompons donc pas. L’extrême droite a fait de la haine contre les musulmans un outil majeur de sa propagande, mais elle n’en a pas le monopole. Des membres de la droite et de la gauche dites républicaines n’hésitent pas à stigmatiser les musulmans, et en premier lieu les femmes portant le voile, souvent -au nom de la laïcité-. Jusqu’où laisserons-nous passer ces haines ? (…) Jusqu’à quand allons-nous accepter que la laïcité, socle de notre République, soit instrumentalisée pour le compte d’une vision ségrégationniste, raciste, xénophobe, mortifère de notre société ? Acceptons-nous de nous laisser sombrer collectivement ou disons-nous stop maintenant, tant qu’il est encore temps ? Nous demandons urgemment au Président de la République de condamner publiquement l’agression dont cette femme a été victime devant son propre fils (…) de refuser que nos concitoyens musulmans soient fichés, stigmatisés, dénoncés pour la simple pratique de leur religion et d’exiger solennellement que cessent les discriminations et les amalgames envers une partie de notre communauté nationale. 90 personnalités
Dans une tribune publiée ce mardi sur lemonde.fr, 90 personnalités, dont l’acteur Omar Sy, le rappeur Nekfeu, le réalisateur Mathieu Kassovitz, ou encore la députée LFI Danièle Obono demandent au Chef de l’Etat d’intervenir pour condamner fermement « l’agression » dont a été victime la mère voilée vendredi dernier après la vidéo tournée par un élu RN au Conseil régional de Bourgogne-Franche-Comté. Parmi les 90 personnalités signataires : Rokhaya Diallo, journaliste et réalisatrice, DJ Snake, artiste, Marina Foïs, actrice, Mathieu Kassovitz, acteur et réalisateur, Kyan Khojandi, auteur, Tonie Marshall, réalisatrice, productrice, Guillaume Meurice, humoriste, Géraldine Nakache, actrice et réalisatrice, Nekfeu, artiste, Danièle Obono, députée (La France insoumise), Alessandra Sublet, animatrice, Omar Sy, acteur… France bleu
Le 14 mars 1891, à la Nouvelle-Orléans, en Louisiane, onze Italiens furent lynchés par la foule en raison du rôle qu’ils avaient supposément joué dans le meurtre du commissaire de police David Hennessy. Ce lynchage, qui restera comme le lynchage de masse le plus important de toute l’histoire des États-Unis, eut lieu le lendemain du procès de neuf sur les dix-neuf hommes inculpés dans cette affaire de meurtre. Six de ces prévenus furent alors acquittés, et le jugement fut ajourné concernant les trois autres, pour défaut d’unanimité dans le jury sur le verdict. Croyant que le jury avait été soudoyé, une foule d’émeutiers fit irruption dans la prison où les hommes étaient détenus et tuèrent onze d’entre eux. Ce lynchage apparaît inhabituel en ceci que les émeutiers étaient au nombre de plusieurs milliers et que dans leurs rangs figuraient quelques-uns parmi les citoyens les plus en vue de la ville. La couverture de l’événement par la presse américaine fut d’ailleurs largement complaisante, et les responsables du lynchage ne furent jamais poursuivis. Le New York Times félicita les meurtriers, car la mort des Italiens « accroissait la sécurité des biens et de la vie des habitants de La Nouvelle-Orléans ». Le Washington Post assura que le lynchage mettrait un terme au « règne de la terreur » qu’imposerait les Italiens. Selon le Saint Louis Globe Democrat, les lyncheurs n’avaient fait qu’exercer « les droits légitimes de la souveraineté populaire ». L’incident eut de graves répercussions au plan national. L’Italie suspendit ses relations diplomatiques avec les États-Unis après le refus du président Benjamin Harrison d’ouvrir une enquête fédérale. La presse et la rumeur publique propagèrent l’idée que la marine italienne s’apprêtait à attaquer les ports américains et des milliers de volontaires se présentèrent pour faire la guerre à l’Italie3. La recrudescence des sentiments anti-italiens s’accompagna d’appels à une restriction de l’immigration. Le vocable mafia fit son entrée dans le lexique des Américains, et le stéréotype du mafioso italo-américain s’implanta durablement dans l’imaginaire populaire. En 1955, un homme d’affaires, décédé cette année-là, reconnut dans une lettre que l’assassinat du policier avait été organisé par un comité d’une cinquantaine d’hommes d’affaires anglo-saxons qui entendaient se débarrasser d’hommes d’affaires rivaux italiens. Ces lynchages constituent l’argument du téléfilm Vendetta, produit en 1999 par HBO et adapté d’un ouvrage de Richard Gambino paru en 1977, avec Christopher Walken dans le rôle principal. Wikipedia
La première célébration du jour de Christophe Colomb s’est faite dans la ville de San Francisco, en 1869, par une communauté majoritairement italo-américaine. Pourtant, le premier État tout entier à célébrer cette fête fut le Colorado, en 1907. Trente ans après, Franklin D. Roosevelt instaure ce jour comme un jour de fête nationale aux États-Unis. Il faudra cependant attendre la Proclamation du président George W. Bush du 4 octobre 2007 pour que le jour de Christophe Colomb soit officiellement fixé au deuxième lundi du mois d’octobre de chaque année. Christophe Colomb était au service de l’Espagne cependant il était d’origine italienne. « Cristoforo Colombo » est né en 1451 sur le territoire de la République de Gênes. Les Italiens ont été les premiers à célébrer le jour de Christophe Colomb lors de leur immigration vers les États-Unis. L’Empire State Building se pare alors des couleurs du drapeau italien (vert, blanc et rouge). Le Jour de Christophe Colomb (Columbus Day) est un jour férié fédéral aux États-Unis. Il est organisé depuis 1929 par la Columbus Citizens Foundation. Chaque État célèbre différemment le jour de Christophe Colomb. Cette fête a lieu sous forme de parades dans les rues américaines, il y a plusieurs défilés. Une Columbus Day Parade est organisée dans plusieurs villes comme à Denver. À New York, la Columbus Day Parade a lieu depuis 1915 le long de la célèbre 5e avenue à la hauteur de la 44e rue et continue sur la célèbre avenue de la Big Apple jusqu’au niveau de la 86e rue. On retrouve ainsi des fanfares, des chars, et différentes manifestations et fêtes dans tous les quartiers aux alentours de la route de la parade. À Washington, devant la Gare de l’Union a lieu une cérémonie officielle devant le Mémorial de Christophe Colomb. Les festivités commencent juste après le dépôt de gerbes aux pieds de ce monument. Ce n’est pas un jour férié dans tous les États des États-Unis, comme en Alaska, dans le Nevada, à Hawaï et dans le Dakota du Sud. Ces États ne reconnaissent pas le Jour de Christophe Colomb et fêtent d’autres événements. Cette fête est contestée aux États-Unis. Nombreux sont ceux rappelant que derrière la découverte de l’Amérique par Christophe Colomb se cachent des faits moins glorieux, tels que la colonisation ou encore le massacre des Indiens d’Amérique. Le Jour de Christophe Colomb est plus communément appelé « Jour de la Race » (Día de la Raza) dans les pays d’Amérique Latine comme le Brésil, le Guatemala, le Paraguay, Porto Rico, le Nicaragua ou la République Dominicaine. Il se déroule généralement le 12 octobre et est considéré, pour de nombreux pays, comme un anti-Colombus Day. Il célèbre la résistance à l’arrivée des européens dans le Nouveau Monde et est aussi utilisé pour commémorer les cultures indigènes. Au cours de cette journée des festivités sont organisées pour lutter contre le racisme, se souvenir des cultures et des traditions des peuples précolombiens. En Argentine la fête est appelée « Journée de la Diversité Culturelle » (Día de la Diversidad Cultural). Elle se veut être la naissance d’une nouvelle identité, issue de la fusion entre les peuples d’origine et les colonisateurs espagnols. Le 24 septembre 1892, le Congrès mexicain décréta le 12 octobre jour de fête nationale. Depuis 1917 à l’initiative de Venustiano Carranza il porte le nom de Día de la Raza. Le président Emilio Portes Gil lui donna le nom de Día de la Raza y Aniversario del Descubrimiento de América en 1929. Ce jour n’est plus un jour férié officiel actuellement, mais il donne lieu a de nombreuses festivités. L’Espagne est la seule à utiliser le nom de « Jour de l’Hispanité » (Día de la Hispanidad) pour célébrer cette fête. Le terme « hispanité » a été défini à la fin du XIXe siècle par des intellectuels. Il est officialisé fête nationale par Alfonso XIII en 1918 sous l’appellation «Fête de la Race » (Día de la Raza) en contradiction avec les idées progressistes. Après la restauration de la monarchie en 1981, un arrêté royal publié dans le premier Bulletin Officiel de l’État en 1982, officialise la date de 12 octobre en tant que Fête Nationale de l’Espagne et Jour de l’Hispanité. Cet événement est très cher au cœur des Espagnols puisque le navigateur est venu chercher la grande majorité de son équipage en Espagne. Wikipedia
Sans pouvoir préciser avec certitude l’ampleur de l’impact des maladies infectieuses chez les Amérindiens, le taux de mortalité aurait atteint 90 pour cent pour certaines populations durement affectées. Les Amérindiens, qui n’étaient pas immunisés contre des virus et maladies comme la coqueluche, la rougeole ou la variole qui sévissaient depuis des millénaires dans l’Ancien Monde, auraient été foudroyés par des épidémies plusieurs décennies avant que des colons arrivent dans des territoires apparemment peu peuplés de l’intérieur. N’ayant aucune connaissance sur les virus à l’époque, les Européens n’ont donc aucunement profité en connaissance de cause des faiblesses immunitaires des populations autochtones. Le processus a commencé dès les années 1500 et a emporté des centaines de milliers de vies. En 1520 et 1521, une épidémie de variole toucha les habitants de Tenochtitlan et fut l’un des principaux facteurs de la chute de la ville au moment du siège. En effet, on estime entre 10 et 50 % la part de la population de la cité qui serait morte à cause de cette maladie en deux semaines. Deux autres épidémies affectèrent la vallée de Mexico : la variole en 1545-1548 et le typhus en 1576-1581. Les Espagnols, pour compenser la diminution de la population, ont rassemblé les survivants des petites villes de la vallée de Mexico dans de plus grandes cités. Cette migration a brisé le pouvoir des classes supérieures, mais n’a pas dissous la cohésion de la société indigène dans un Mexique plus grand. Les épidémies de variole, de typhus, de grippe, de diphtérie de rougeole, de peste auraient tué entre 50 et 66 % de la population indigène selon les régions de Amérique latine. En 1617-1619, une épidémie de peste bubonique ravage la Nouvelle-Angleterre. Le bilan de ces épidémies est difficile à donner avec exactitude. Les sources sont inexistantes et les historiens ne sont pas d’accord sur les estimations. Certains avancent 10 millions d’Amérindiens pour tout le continent ; d’autres pensent plutôt à 90 millions, dont 10 pour l’Amérique du Nord. Le continent américain entier (de l’Alaska au Cap Horn) aurait abrité environ 50 millions d’habitants en 1492 ; pour comparaison, il y avait 20 millions de Français au XVIIe siècle. Les chiffres avancés pour le territoire des États-Unis d’aujourd’hui sont compris entre 7 et 12 millions d’habitants. Environ 500 000 Amérindiens peuplaient la côte Est de cet espace. Ils ne sont plus que 100 000 au début du XVIIIe siècle. Dans l’Empire espagnol, la mortalité des Amérindiens était telle qu’elle fut l’un des motifs de la traite des Noirs, permettant d’importer dans le « Nouveau Monde » de la main-d’œuvre pour les mines et les plantations. Wikipedia
Celebration of Christopher Columbus’s voyage in the early United States is recorded from as early as 1792. In that year, the Tammany Society in New York City (for whom it became an annual tradition) and the Massachusetts Historical Society in Boston celebrated the 300th anniversary of Columbus’ landing in the New World. For the 400th anniversary in 1892, following a lynching in New Orleans where a mob had murdered 11 Italian immigrants, President Benjamin Harrison declared Columbus Day as a one-time national celebration. The proclamation was part of a wider effort after the lynching incident to placate Italian Americans and ease diplomatic tensions with Italy. During the anniversary in 1892, teachers, preachers, poets and politicians used rituals to teach ideals of patriotism. These rituals took themes such as citizenship boundaries, the importance of loyalty to the nation, and the celebration of social progress. Many Italian-Americans observe Columbus Day as a celebration of their heritage, and the first such celebration had already been held in New York City on October 12, 1866. The day was first enshrined as a legal holiday in the United States through the lobbying of Angelo Noce, a first generation Italian, in Denver. The first statewide holiday was proclaimed by Colorado governor Jesse F. McDonald in 1905, and it was made a statutory holiday in 1907. In April 1937, as a result of lobbying by the Knights of Columbus and New York City Italian leader Generoso Pope, Congress and President Franklin Delano Roosevelt proclaimed October 12 be a federal holiday under the name Columbus Day. Since 1971 (Oct. 11), the holiday has been attributed to the second Monday in October,[20] coincidentally exactly the same day as Thanksgiving in neighboring Canada since 1957. It is generally observed nowadays by banks, the bond market, the U.S. Postal Service, other federal agencies, most state government offices, many businesses, and most school districts. Some businesses and some stock exchanges remain open, and some states and municipalities abstain from observing the holiday. The traditional date of the holiday also adjoins the anniversary of the United States Navy (founded October 13, 1775), and thus both occasions are customarily observed by the Navy and the Marine Corps with either a 72- or 96-hour liberty period. Actual observance varies in different parts of the United States, ranging from large-scale parades and events to complete non-observance. Most states do not celebrate Columbus Day as an official state holiday. Some mark it as a « Day of Observance » or « Recognition.” Most states that celebrate Columbus Day will close state services, while others operate as normal. San Francisco claims the nation’s oldest continuously existing celebration with the Italian-American community’s annual Columbus Day Parade, which was established by Nicola Larco in 1868, while New York City boasts the largest, with over 35,000 marchers and one million viewers around 2010. As in the mainland United States, Columbus Day is a legal holiday in the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico. In the United States Virgin Islands, the day is celebrated as both Columbus Day and « Puerto Rico Friendship Day. » Virginia also celebrates two legal holidays on the day, Columbus Day and Yorktown Victory Day, which honors the final victory at the Siege of Yorktown in the Revolutionary War. The celebration of Columbus Day in the United States began to decline at the end of the 20th century, although many Italian-Americans, and others, continue to champion it. The states of Florida, Hawaii, Alaska, Vermont, South Dakota, New Mexico, Maine, Wisconsin, and parts of California including, for example, Los Angeles County do not recognize it and have each replaced it with celebrations of Indigenous People’s Day (in Hawaii, « Discoverers’ Day », in South Dakota, « Native American Day »). A lack of recognition or a reduced level of observance for Columbus Day is not always due to concerns about honoring Native Americans. For example, a community of predominantly Scandinavian descent may observe Leif Erikson Day instead. In the state of Oregon, Columbus Day is not an official holiday. Iowa and Nevada do not celebrate Columbus Day as an official holiday, but the states’ respective governors are « authorized and requested » by statute to proclaim the day each year. Several states have removed the day as a paid holiday for state government workers, while still maintaining it—either as a day of recognition, or as a legal holiday for other purposes, including California and Texas. The practice of U.S. cities eschewing Columbus Day to celebrate Indigenous Peoples’ Day began in 1992 with Berkeley, California. The list of cities which have followed suit as of 2018 includes Austin, Boise, Cincinnati, Denver, Los Angeles, Mankato, Minnesota, Portland, Oregon, San Francisco, Santa Fe, New Mexico, Seattle, St. Paul, Minnesota, Phoenix, Tacoma, and « dozens of others. » Columbus, Ohio has chosen to honor veterans instead of Christopher Columbus, and removed Columbus Day as a city holiday. Various tribal governments in Oklahoma designate the day as Native American Day, or name it after their own tribe. Wikipedia
In a country of diverse religious faiths and national origins like the United States, it made sense to develop a holiday system that was not entirely tied to a religious calendar. (Christmas survives here, of course, but in law it’s a secular holiday much like New Year’s Day.) So Americans do not all leave for the shore on August 15th, the Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin, the way Italians do; and while St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated by many Americans, it is not a legal holiday in any of the states. The American system of holidays was constructed mostly around a series of great events and persons in our nation’s history. The aim was to instill a feeling of civic pride. Holidays were chosen as occasions to bring everyone together, not for excluding certain people. They were supposed to be about the recognition of our society’s common struggles and achievements. Civic religion is often used to describe the principle behind America’s calendar of public holidays. Consider the range and variability of the meanings of our holidays. Certainly they have not always been occasions for celebration: Memorial Day and Veterans’ Day involve mourning for the dead and wounded. Labor Day commemorated significant hardships in the decades when unions were struggling to organize. Having grown up in the 1960s I remember how Abraham Lincoln’s Birthday (now lumped in with Presidents’ Day, and with some of its significance transferred to Martin Luther King, Jr. Day) took on special meaning during the Civil Rights movement and after the JFK assassination. When thinking about the Columbus Day holiday it helps to remember the good intentions of the people who put together the first parade in New York. Columbus Day was first proclaimed a national holiday by President Benjamin Harrison in 1892, 400 years after Columbus’s first voyage. The idea, lost on present-day critics of the holiday, was that this would be a national holiday that would be special for recognizing both Native Americans, who were here before Columbus, and the many immigrants—including Italians—who were just then coming to this country in astounding numbers. It was to be a national holiday that was not about the Founding Fathers or the Civil War, but about the rest of American history. Like the Columbian Exposition dedicated in Chicago that year and opened in 1893, it was to be about our land and all its people. Harrison especially designated the schools as centers of the Columbus celebration because universal public schooling, which had only recently taken hold, was seen as essential to a democracy that was seriously aiming to include everyone and not just preserve a governing elite. You won’t find it in the public literature surrounding the first Columbus Day in 1892, but in the background lay two recent tragedies, one involving Native Americans, the other involving Italian Americans. The first tragedy was the massacre by U.S. troops of between 146 and 200 Lakota Sioux, including men, women and children, at Wounded Knee, South Dakota, on December 29, 1890. Shooting began after a misunderstanding involving an elderly, deaf Sioux warrior who hadn’t heard and therefore did not understand that he was supposed to hand over his rifle to the U.S. Cavalry. The massacre at Wounded Knee marked the definitive end of Indian resistance in the Great Plains. The episode was immediately seen by the government as potentially troubling, although there was much popular sentiment against the Sioux. An inquiry was held, the soldiers were absolved, and some were awarded medals that Native Americans to this day are seeking to have rescinded. A second tragedy in the immediate background of the 1892 Columbus celebration took place in New Orleans. There, on March 14, 1891—only 10 weeks after the Wounded Knee Massacre—11 Italians were lynched in prison by a mob led by prominent Louisiana politicians. A trial for the murder of the New Orleans police chief had ended in mistrials for three of the Italians and the acquittal of the others who were brought to trial. Unhappy with the verdict and spurred on by fear of the “Mafia” (a word that had only recently entered American usage), civic leaders organized an assault on the prison to put the Italians to death. This episode was also troubling to the U.S. Government. These were legally innocent men who had been killed. But Italians were not very popular, and even Theodore Roosevelt was quoted as saying that he thought the New Orleans Italians “got what they deserved.” A grand jury was summoned, but no one was charged with a crime. President Harrison, who would proclaim the Columbus holiday the following year, was genuinely saddened by the case, and over the objections of some members of congress he paid reparations to the Italian government for the deaths of its citizens. Whenever I hear of protests about the Columbus Day holiday—protests that tend to pit Native Americans against Italian Americans, I remember these tragedies that occurred so soon before the first Columbus Day holiday, and I shake my head. President Harrison did not allude to either of these sad episodes in his proclamation of the holiday, but the idea for the holiday involved a vision of an America that would get beyond the prejudice that had led to these deaths. Columbus Day was supposed to recognize the greatness of all of America’s people, but especially Italians and Native Americans. Consider how the first Columbus Day parade in New York was described in the newspapers. It consisted mostly of about 12,000 public school students grouped into 20 regiments, each commanded by a principal. The boys marched in school uniforms or their Sunday best, while the girls, dressed in red, white and blue, sat in bleachers. Alongside the public schoolers there were military drill squads and 29 marching bands, each of 30 to 50 instruments. After the public schools, there followed 5,500 students from the Catholic schools. Then there were students from the private schools wearing school uniforms. These included the Hebrew Orphan Asylum, the Barnard School Military Corps, and the Italian and American Colonial School. The Dante Alighieri Italian College of Astoria was dressed entirely in sailor outfits. These were followed by the Native American marching band from the Carlisle Indian School in Pennsylvania, which, according to one description, included “300 marching Indian boys and 50 tall Indian girls.” That the Native Americans came right after the students from the Dante Alighieri School speaks volumes about the spirit of the original Columbus Day. (…) So Columbus Day is for all Americans. It marks the first encounter that brought together the original Americans and the future ones. A lot of suffering followed, and a lot of achievement too. That a special role has been reserved for Italians in keeping the parades and the commemoration alive for well over a century seems right, since Columbus was Italian (…) So much for his ethnicity. What about his moral standing? In the late 19th century an international movement, led by a French priest, sought to have Columbus canonized for bringing Christianity to the New World. To the Catholic Church’s credit, this never got very far. It sometimes gets overlooked in current discussions that we neither commemorate Columbus’s birthday (as was the practice for Presidents Washington and Lincoln, and as we now do with Martin Luther King, Jr.) nor his death date (which is when Christian saints are memorialized), but rather the date of his arrival in the New World. The historical truth about Columbus—the short version suitable for reporters who are pressed for time—is that Columbus was Italian, but he was no saint. The holiday marks the event, not the person. What Columbus gets criticized for nowadays are attitudes that were typical of the European sailing captains and merchants who plied the Mediterranean and the Atlantic in the 15th century. Within that group he was unquestionably a man of daring and unusual ambition. But what really mattered was his landing on San Salvador, which was a momentous, world-changing occasion such as has rarely happened in human history. William J. Connell
These sneaking and cowardly Sicilians, the descendants of bandits and assassins, who have transported to this country the lawless passions, the cutthroat practices … are to us a pest without mitigations. Our own rattlesnakes are as good citizens as they. Our own murderers are men of feeling and nobility compared to them. The Times
Congress envisioned a white, Protestant and culturally homogeneous America when it declared in 1790 that only “free white persons, who have, or shall migrate into the United States” were eligible to become naturalized citizens. The calculus of racism underwent swift revision when waves of culturally diverse immigrants from the far corners of Europe changed the face of the country. As the historian Matthew Frye Jacobson shows in his immigrant history “Whiteness of a Different Color,” the surge of newcomers engendered a national panic and led Americans to adopt a more restrictive, politicized view of how whiteness was to be allocated. Journalists, politicians, social scientists and immigration officials embraced the habit, separating ostensibly white Europeans into “races.” Some were designated “whiter” — and more worthy of citizenship — than others, while some were ranked as too close to blackness to be socially redeemable. The story of how Italian immigrants went from racialized pariah status in the 19th century to white Americans in good standing in the 20th offers a window onto the alchemy through which race is constructed in the United States, and how racial hierarchies can sometimes change. Darker skinned southern Italians endured the penalties of blackness on both sides of the Atlantic. In Italy, Northerners had long held that Southerners — particularly Sicilians — were an “uncivilized” and racially inferior people, too obviously African to be part of Europe. Racist dogma about Southern Italians found fertile soil in the United States. As the historian Jennifer Guglielmo writes, the newcomers encountered waves of books, magazines and newspapers that “bombarded Americans with images of Italians as racially suspect.” They were sometimes shut out of schools, movie houses and labor unions, or consigned to church pews set aside for black people. They were described in the press as “swarthy,” “kinky haired” members of a criminal race and derided in the streets with epithets like “dago,” “guinea” — a term of derision applied to enslaved Africans and their descendants — and more familiarly racist insults like “white nigger” and “nigger wop.” The penalties of blackness went well beyond name-calling in the apartheid South. Italians who had come to the country as “free white persons” were often marked as black because they accepted “black” jobs in the Louisiana sugar fields or because they chose to live among African-Americans. This left them vulnerable to marauding mobs like the ones that hanged, shot, dismembered or burned alive thousands of black men, women and children across the South. The federal holiday honoring the Italian explorer Christopher Columbus — celebrated on Monday — was central to the process through which Italian-Americans were fully ratified as white during the 20th century. The rationale for the holiday was steeped in myth, and allowed Italian-Americans to write a laudatory portrait of themselves into the civic record. Few who march in Columbus Day parades or recount the tale of Columbus’s voyage from Europe to the New World are aware of how the holiday came about or that President Benjamin Harrison proclaimed it as a one-time national celebration in 1892 — in the wake of a bloody New Orleans lynching that took the lives of 11 Italian immigrants. The proclamation was part of a broader attempt to quiet outrage among Italian-Americans, and a diplomatic blowup over the murders that brought Italy and the United States to the brink of war. (…) Italian immigrants were welcomed into Louisiana after the Civil War, when the planter class was in desperate need of cheap labor to replace newly emancipated black people, who were leaving backbreaking jobs in the fields for more gainful employment. These Italians seemed at first to be the answer to both the labor shortage and the increasingly pressing quest for settlers who would support white domination in the emerging Jim Crow state. Louisiana’s romance with Italian labor began to sour when the new immigrants balked at low wages and dismal working conditions. The newcomers also chose to live together in Italian neighborhoods, where they spoke their native tongue, preserved Italian customs and developed successful businesses that catered to African-Americans, with whom they fraternized and intermarried. In time, this proximity to blackness would lead white Southerners to view Sicilians, in particular, as not fully white and to see them as eligible for persecution — including lynching — that had customarily been imposed on African-Americans. (…) The carnage in New Orleans was set in motion in the fall of 1890, when the city’s popular police chief, David Hennessy, was assassinated on his way home one evening. Hennessy had no shortage of enemies. The historian John V. Baiamonte Jr. writes that he had once been tried for murder in connection with the killing of a professional rival. He is also said to have been involved in a feud between two Italian businessmen. On the strength of a clearly suspect witness who claimed to hear Mr. Hennessy say that “dagoes” had shot him, the city charged 19 Italians with complicity in the chief’s murder. That the evidence was distressingly weak was evident from the verdicts that were swiftly handed down: Of the first nine to be tried, six were acquitted; three others were granted mistrials. The leaders of the mob that then went after them advertised their plans in advance, knowing full well that the city’s elites — who coveted the businesses the Italians had built or hated the Italians for fraternizing with African-Americans — would never seek justice for the dead. After the lynching, a grand jury investigation pronounced the killings praiseworthy, turning that inquiry into what the historian Barbara Botein describes as “possibly one of the greatest whitewashes in American history. (…) President Harrison would have ignored the New Orleans carnage had the victims been black. But the Italian government made that impossible. It broke off diplomatic relations and demanded an indemnity that the Harrison administration paid. Harrison even called on Congress in his 1891 State of the Union to protect foreign nationals — though not black Americans — from mob violence. Harrison’s Columbus Day proclamation in 1892 opened the door for Italian-Americans to write themselves into the American origin story, in a fashion that piled myth upon myth. As the historian Danielle Battisti shows in “Whom We Shall Welcome,” they rewrote history by casting Columbus as “the first immigrant” — even though he never set foot in North America and never immigrated anywhere (except possibly to Spain), and even though the United States did not exist as a nation during his 15th-century voyage. The mythologizing, carried out over many decades, granted Italian-Americans “a formative role in the nation-building narrative.” It also tied Italian-Americans closely to the paternalistic assertion, still heard today, that Columbus “discovered” a continent that was already inhabited by Native Americans. But in the late 19th century, the full-blown Columbus myth was yet to come. The New Orleans lynching solidified a defamatory view of Italians generally, and Sicilians in particular, as irredeemable criminals who represented a danger to the nation. The influential anti-immigrant racist Representative Henry Cabot Lodge of Massachusetts, soon to join the United States Senate, quickly appropriated the event. He argued that a lack of confidence in juries, not mob violence, had been the real problem in New Orleans. “Lawlessness and lynching are evil things,” he wrote, “but a popular belief that juries cannot be trusted is even worse.” Facts aside, Lodge argued, beliefs about immigrants were in themselves sufficient to warrant higher barriers to immigration. Congress ratified that notion during the 1920s, curtailing Italian immigration on racial grounds, even though Italians were legally white, with all of the rights whiteness entailed. The Italian-Americans who labored in the campaign that overturned racist immigration restrictions in 1965 used the romantic fictions built up around Columbus to political advantage. This shows yet again how racial categories that people mistakenly view as matters of biology grow out of highly politicized myth making. NYT

Cherchez le massacre !

En cette journée où, entre Israël, les Etats-Unis et le Canada, voire les pays hispaniques, coïncident les célébrations de plusieurs traditions culturelles différentes …

Et où, énième illustration de la division toujours plus grande des Etats-Unis par nos déconstructeurs postmodernes obsédés par un prétendu génocide indien dû pour l’essentiel à un choc microbien, un nombre croissant d’états ne la fêtent plus ou l’ont même remplacée par la Journée des peuples indigènes  …

Pendant qu’après l’égorgement de quatre policiers du renseignement de la lutte anti-islamique et quelque 250 victimes de la barbarie islamiste …

Nos courageux enfants gâtés du showbiz dénonçaient dès le lendemain l’agression « d’une violence et d’une haine inouïes » que l’on sait …

Retour sur le massacre …

Et pratiquement plus grand lynchage, avec 11 immigrants italiens extraits manu militari de leur prison de la Nouvelle Orléans et sommairement abattus, de l’histoire américaine …

Qui comme après la fête du Thanksgiving du président Lincoln suite aux 600 000 morts de la Guerre civile américaine …

Et à l’instar de la Saint Patrick d’une communauté irlandaise elle aussi initialement discriminée …

Lança nationalement, au moins pour une journée, cette véritable marche des fiertés

Qu’est devenue le Columbus Day pour une communauté italo-américaine et notamment sicilienne …

Jusque-là assimilée non seulement à une race de criminels …

Mais à une sous-race à peine au-dessus des esclaves affranchis et des emplois méprisés …

Qu’ils étaient venus remplacer dans un Sud tout récemment sorti du traumatisme d’une guerre civile meurtrière…

How Italians Became ‘White’
Vicious bigotry, reluctant acceptance: an American story.

Brent Staples Mr. Staples is a member of the editorial board.
NYT
Oct. 12, 2019

Congress envisioned a white, Protestant and culturally homogeneous America when it declared in 1790 that only “free white persons, who have, or shall migrate into the United States” were eligible to become naturalized citizens. The calculus of racism underwent swift revision when waves of culturally diverse immigrants from the far corners of Europe changed the face of the country.

As the historian Matthew Frye Jacobson shows in his immigrant history “Whiteness of a Different Color,” the surge of newcomers engendered a national panic and led Americans to adopt a more restrictive, politicized view of how whiteness was to be allocated. Journalists, politicians, social scientists and immigration officials embraced the habit, separating ostensibly white Europeans into “races.” Some were designated “whiter” — and more worthy of citizenship — than others, while some were ranked as too close to blackness to be socially redeemable. The story of how Italian immigrants went from racialized pariah status in the 19th century to white Americans in good standing in the 20th offers a window onto the alchemy through which race is constructed in the United States, and how racial hierarchies can sometimes change.

Darker skinned southern Italians endured the penalties of blackness on both sides of the Atlantic. In Italy, Northerners had long held that Southerners — particularly Sicilians — were an “uncivilized” and racially inferior people, too obviously African to be part of Europe.

Racist dogma about Southern Italians found fertile soil in the United States. As the historian Jennifer Guglielmo writes, the newcomers encountered waves of books, magazines and newspapers that “bombarded Americans with images of Italians as racially suspect.” They were sometimes shut out of schools, movie houses and labor unions, or consigned to church pews set aside for black people. They were described in the press as “swarthy,” “kinky haired” members of a criminal race and derided in the streets with epithets like “dago,” “guinea” — a term of derision applied to enslaved Africans and their descendants — and more familiarly racist insults like “white nigger” and “nigger wop.”

The penalties of blackness went well beyond name-calling in the apartheid South. Italians who had come to the country as “free white persons” were often marked as black because they accepted “black” jobs in the Louisiana sugar fields or because they chose to live among African-Americans. This left them vulnerable to marauding mobs like the ones that hanged, shot, dismembered or burned alive thousands of black men, women and children across the South.

The federal holiday honoring the Italian explorer Christopher Columbus — celebrated on Monday — was central to the process through which Italian-Americans were fully ratified as white during the 20th century. The rationale for the holiday was steeped in myth, and allowed Italian-Americans to write a laudatory portrait of themselves into the civic record.

Few who march in Columbus Day parades or recount the tale of Columbus’s voyage from Europe to the New World are aware of how the holiday came about or that President Benjamin Harrison proclaimed it as a one-time national celebration in 1892 — in the wake of a bloody New Orleans lynching that took the lives of 11 Italian immigrants. The proclamation was part of a broader attempt to quiet outrage among Italian-Americans, and a diplomatic blowup over the murders that brought Italy and the United States to the brink of war.

Historians have recently showed that America’s dishonorable response to this barbaric event was partly conditioned by racist stereotypes about Italians promulgated in Northern newspapers like The Times. A striking analysis by Charles Seguin, a sociologist at Pennsylvania State University, and Sabrina Nardin, a doctoral student at the University of Arizona, shows that the protests lodged by the Italian government inspired something that had failed to coalesce around the brave African-American newspaper editor and anti-lynching campaigner Ida B. Wells — a broad anti-lynching effort.

A Black ‘Brute’ Lynched

The lynchings of Italians came at a time when newspapers in the South had established the gory convention of advertising the far more numerous public murders of African-Americans in advance — to attract large crowds — and justifying the killings by labeling the victims “brutes,” “fiends,” “ravishers,” “born criminals” or “troublesome Negroes.” Even high-minded news organizations that claimed to abhor the practice legitimized lynching by trafficking in racist stereotypes about its victims.

As Mr. Seguin recently showed, many Northern newspapers were “just as complicit” in justifying mob violence as their Southern counterparts. For its part, The Times made repeated use of the headline “A Brutal Negro Lynched,” presuming the victims’ guilt and branding them as congenital criminals. Lynchings of black men in the South were often based on fabricated accusations of sexual assault. As the Equal Justice Initiative explained in its 2015 report on lynching in America, a rape charge could occur in the absence of an actual victim and might arise from minor violations of the social code — like complimenting a white woman on her appearance or even bumping into her on the street.

The Times was not owned by the family that controls it today when it dismissed Ida B. Wells as a “slanderous and nasty-minded mulattress” for rightly describing rape allegations as “a thread bare lie” that Southerners used against black men who had consensual sexual relationships with white women. Nevertheless, as a Times editorialist of nearly 30 years standing — and a student of the institution’s history — I am outraged and appalled by the nakedly racist treatment my 19th-century predecessors displayed in writing about African-Americans and Italian immigrants.

When Wells took her anti-lynching campaign to England in the 1890s, Times editors rebuked her for representing “black brutes” abroad in an editorial that joked about what they described as “the practice of roasting Negro ravishers alive and boring out their eyes with red-hot pokers.” The editorial slandered African-Americans generally, referring to rape as “a crime to which Negroes are particularly prone.” The Times editors may have lodged objections to lynching — but they did so in a rhetoric firmly rooted in white supremacy.
‘Assassins by Nature’

Italian immigrants were welcomed into Louisiana after the Civil War, when the planter class was in desperate need of cheap labor to replace newly emancipated black people, who were leaving backbreaking jobs in the fields for more gainful employment.

These Italians seemed at first to be the answer to both the labor shortage and the increasingly pressing quest for settlers who would support white domination in the emerging Jim Crow state. Louisiana’s romance with Italian labor began to sour when the new immigrants balked at low wages and dismal working conditions.

The newcomers also chose to live together in Italian neighborhoods, where they spoke their native tongue, preserved Italian customs and developed successful businesses that catered to African-Americans, with whom they fraternized and intermarried. In time, this proximity to blackness would lead white Southerners to view Sicilians, in particular, as not fully white and to see them as eligible for persecution — including lynching — that had customarily been imposed on African-Americans.

Nevertheless, as the historian Jessica Barbata Jackson showed recently in the journal Louisiana History, Italian newcomers were still well thought of in New Orleans in the 1870s when negative stereotypes were being established in the Northern press.

The Times, for instance, described them as bandits and members of the criminal classes who were “wretchedly poor and unskilled,” “starving and wholly destitute.” The stereotype about inborn criminality is plainly evident in an 1874 story about Italian immigrants seeking vaccinations that refers to one immigrant as a “burly fellow, whose appearance was like that of the traditional brigand of the Abruzzi.”

A Times story in 1880 described immigrants, including Italians, as “links in a descending chain of evolution.” These characterizations reached a defamatory crescendo in an 1882 editorial that appeared under the headline “Our Future Citizens.” The editors wrote:

“There has never been since New York was founded so low and ignorant a class among the immigrants who poured in here as the Southern Italians who have been crowding our docks during the past year.”

The editors reserved their worst invective for Italian immigrant children, whom they described as “utterly unfit — ragged, filthy, and verminous as they were — to be placed in the public primary schools among the decent children of American mechanics.”

The racist myth that African-Americans and Sicilians were both innately criminal drove an 1887 Times story about a lynching victim in Mississippi whose name was given as “Dago Joe” — “dago” being a slur directed at Italian and Spanish-speaking immigrants. The victim was described as a “half breed” who “was the son of a Sicilian father and a mulatto mother, and had the worst characteristics of both races in his makeup. He was cunning, treacherous and cruel, and was regarded in the community where he lived as an assassin by nature.”
Sicilians as ‘Rattlesnakes’

The carnage in New Orleans was set in motion in the fall of 1890, when the city’s popular police chief, David Hennessy, was assassinated on his way home one evening. Hennessy had no shortage of enemies. The historian John V. Baiamonte Jr. writes that he had once been tried for murder in connection with the killing of a professional rival. He is also said to have been involved in a feud between two Italian businessmen. On the strength of a clearly suspect witness who claimed to hear Mr. Hennessy say that “dagoes” had shot him, the city charged 19 Italians with complicity in the chief’s murder.

That the evidence was distressingly weak was evident from the verdicts that were swiftly handed down: Of the first nine to be tried, six were acquitted; three others were granted mistrials. The leaders of the mob that then went after them advertised their plans in advance, knowing full well that the city’s elites — who coveted the businesses the Italians had built or hated the Italians for fraternizing with African-Americans — would never seek justice for the dead. After the lynching, a grand jury investigation pronounced the killings praiseworthy, turning that inquiry into what the historian Barbara Botein describes as “possibly one of the greatest whitewashes in American history.”

The blood of the New Orleans victims was scarcely dry when The Times published a cheerleading news story — “Chief Hennessy Avenged: Eleven of his Italian Assassins Lynched by a Mob” — that reveled in the bloody details. It reported that the mob had consisted “mostly of the best element” of New Orleans society. The following day, a scabrous Times editorial justified the lynching — and dehumanized the dead, with by-now-familiar racist stereotypes.

“These sneaking and cowardly Sicilians,” the editors wrote, “the descendants of bandits and assassins, who have transported to this country the lawless passions, the cutthroat practices … are to us a pest without mitigations. Our own rattlesnakes are as good citizens as they. Our own murderers are men of feeling and nobility compared to them.” The editors concluded of the lynching that it would be difficult to find “one individual who would confess that privately he deplores it very much.”
Lynchers in 1891 storming the New Orleans city jail, where they killed 11 Italian-Americans accused in the fatal shooting of Chief Hennessy. Italian Tribune

President Harrison would have ignored the New Orleans carnage had the victims been black. But the Italian government made that impossible. It broke off diplomatic relations and demanded an indemnity that the Harrison administration paid. Harrison even called on Congress in his 1891 State of the Union to protect foreign nationals — though not black Americans — from mob violence.

Harrison’s Columbus Day proclamation in 1892 opened the door for Italian-Americans to write themselves into the American origin story, in a fashion that piled myth upon myth. As the historian Danielle Battisti shows in “Whom We Shall Welcome,” they rewrote history by casting Columbus as “the first immigrant” — even though he never set foot in North America and never immigrated anywhere (except possibly to Spain), and even though the United States did not exist as a nation during his 15th-century voyage. The mythologizing, carried out over many decades, granted Italian-Americans “a formative role in the nation-building narrative.” It also tied Italian-Americans closely to the paternalistic assertion, still heard today, that Columbus “discovered” a continent that was already inhabited by Native Americans.

But in the late 19th century, the full-blown Columbus myth was yet to come. The New Orleans lynching solidified a defamatory view of Italians generally, and Sicilians in particular, as irredeemable criminals who represented a danger to the nation. The influential anti-immigrant racist Representative Henry Cabot Lodge of Massachusetts, soon to join the United States Senate, quickly appropriated the event. He argued that a lack of confidence in juries, not mob violence, had been the real problem in New Orleans. “Lawlessness and lynching are evil things,” he wrote, “but a popular belief that juries cannot be trusted is even worse.”

Facts aside, Lodge argued, beliefs about immigrants were in themselves sufficient to warrant higher barriers to immigration. Congress ratified that notion during the 1920s, curtailing Italian immigration on racial grounds, even though Italians were legally white, with all of the rights whiteness entailed.

The Italian-Americans who labored in the campaign that overturned racist immigration restrictions in 1965 used the romantic fictions built up around Columbus to political advantage. This shows yet again how racial categories that people mistakenly view as matters of biology grow out of highly politicized myth making.

Voir aussi:

What Columbus Day Really Means

If you think the holiday pits Native Americans against Italian Americans, consider the history behind its origin

William J. Connell
American scholar
October 4, 2012

During the run-up to Columbus Day I usually get a call from at least one and sometimes several newspaper reporters who are looking for the latest on what has become one of the most controversial of our national holidays. Rather than begin with whatever issues the media are covering—topics like the number of deaths in the New World caused by the European discovery; or the attitude of Columbus toward the indigenous inhabitants of the Caribbean (whom he really did want to use as forced laborers); or whether syphilis really came from the Americas to Europe; or whether certain people (the cast of The Sopranos, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia) deserve to be excluded from or honored in the parade in New York—I always try to remind the reporters that Columbus Day is just a holiday.

Leave the parades aside. The most evident way in which holidays are celebrated is by taking a day off from work or school. Our system of holidays, which developed gradually over time and continues to evolve, is founded upon the recognition that weekends are not sufficient, that some jobs don’t offer much time off, and that children and teachers need a break now and then in the course of the school year. One characteristic of holidays is that unless they are observed widely, which is to say by almost everyone, many of us wouldn’t take them. There are so many incremental reasons for not taking time off (to make some extra money, to impress the boss, or because we’re our own bosses and can’t stop ourselves) that a lot of us would willingly do without a day’s vacation that would have been good both for us and for society at large if we had taken it. That is why there are legal holidays.

But which days should be holidays? Another way of posing the question would be to say, “Given that holidays are necessary, but that left to their own devices people would simply work, how do you justify a legal holiday so that it does not appear completely arbitrary, and so that people will be encouraged to observe it?” Most of the media noise around the Columbus Day holiday is about the holiday’s excuse, not the holiday itself. Realizing that helps to put matters in perspective.

In a country of diverse religious faiths and national origins like the United States, it made sense to develop a holiday system that was not entirely tied to a religious calendar. (Christmas survives here, of course, but in law it’s a secular holiday much like New Year’s Day.) So Americans do not all leave for the shore on August 15th, the Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin, the way Italians do; and while St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated by many Americans, it is not a legal holiday in any of the states. The American system of holidays was constructed mostly around a series of great events and persons in our nation’s history. The aim was to instill a feeling of civic pride. Holidays were chosen as occasions to bring everyone together, not for excluding certain people. They were supposed to be about the recognition of our society’s common struggles and achievements. Civic religion is often used to describe the principle behind America’s calendar of public holidays.

Consider the range and variability of the meanings of our holidays. Certainly they have not always been occasions for celebration: Memorial Day and Veterans’ Day involve mourning for the dead and wounded. Labor Day commemorated significant hardships in the decades when unions were struggling to organize. Having grown up in the 1960s I remember how Abraham Lincoln’s Birthday (now lumped in with Presidents’ Day, and with some of its significance transferred to Martin Luther King, Jr. Day) took on special meaning during the Civil Rights movement and after the JFK assassination.

When thinking about the Columbus Day holiday it helps to remember the good intentions of the people who put together the first parade in New York. Columbus Day was first proclaimed a national holiday by President Benjamin Harrison in 1892, 400 years after Columbus’s first voyage. The idea, lost on present-day critics of the holiday, was that this would be a national holiday that would be special for recognizing both Native Americans, who were here before Columbus, and the many immigrants—including Italians—who were just then coming to this country in astounding numbers. It was to be a national holiday that was not about the Founding Fathers or the Civil War, but about the rest of American history. Like the Columbian Exposition dedicated in Chicago that year and opened in 1893, it was to be about our land and all its people. Harrison especially designated the schools as centers of the Columbus celebration because universal public schooling, which had only recently taken hold, was seen as essential to a democracy that was seriously aiming to include everyone and not just preserve a governing elite.

You won’t find it in the public literature surrounding the first Columbus Day in 1892, but in the background lay two recent tragedies, one involving Native Americans, the other involving Italian Americans. The first tragedy was the massacre by U.S. troops of between 146 and 200 Lakota Sioux, including men, women and children, at Wounded Knee, South Dakota, on December 29, 1890. Shooting began after a misunderstanding involving an elderly, deaf Sioux warrior who hadn’t heard and therefore did not understand that he was supposed to hand over his rifle to the U.S. Cavalry. The massacre at Wounded Knee marked the definitive end of Indian resistance in the Great Plains. The episode was immediately seen by the government as potentially troubling, although there was much popular sentiment against the Sioux. An inquiry was held, the soldiers were absolved, and some were awarded medals that Native Americans to this day are seeking to have rescinded.

A second tragedy in the immediate background of the 1892 Columbus celebration took place in New Orleans. There, on March 14, 1891—only 10 weeks after the Wounded Knee Massacre—11 Italians were lynched in prison by a mob led by prominent Louisiana politicians. A trial for the murder of the New Orleans police chief had ended in mistrials for three of the Italians and the acquittal of the others who were brought to trial. Unhappy with the verdict and spurred on by fear of the “Mafia” (a word that had only recently entered American usage), civic leaders organized an assault on the prison to put the Italians to death. This episode was also troubling to the U.S. Government. These were legally innocent men who had been killed. But Italians were not very popular, and even Theodore Roosevelt was quoted as saying that he thought the New Orleans Italians “got what they deserved.” A grand jury was summoned, but no one was charged with a crime. President Harrison, who would proclaim the Columbus holiday the following year, was genuinely saddened by the case, and over the objections of some members of congress he paid reparations to the Italian government for the deaths of its citizens.

Whenever I hear of protests about the Columbus Day holiday—protests that tend to pit Native Americans against Italian Americans, I remember these tragedies that occurred so soon before the first Columbus Day holiday, and I shake my head. President Harrison did not allude to either of these sad episodes in his proclamation of the holiday, but the idea for the holiday involved a vision of an America that would get beyond the prejudice that had led to these deaths. Columbus Day was supposed to recognize the greatness of all of America’s people, but especially Italians and Native Americans.

Consider how the first Columbus Day parade in New York was described in the newspapers. It consisted mostly of about 12,000 public school students grouped into 20 regiments, each commanded by a principal. The boys marched in school uniforms or their Sunday best, while the girls, dressed in red, white and blue, sat in bleachers. Alongside the public schoolers there were military drill squads and 29 marching bands, each of 30 to 50 instruments. After the public schools, there followed 5,500 students from the Catholic schools. Then there were students from the private schools wearing school uniforms. These included the Hebrew Orphan Asylum, the Barnard School Military Corps, and the Italian and American Colonial School. The Dante Alighieri Italian College of Astoria was dressed entirely in sailor outfits. These were followed by the Native American marching band from the Carlisle Indian School in Pennsylvania, which, according to one description, included “300 marching Indian boys and 50 tall Indian girls.” That the Native Americans came right after the students from the Dante Alighieri School speaks volumes about the spirit of the original Columbus Day.

I teach college kids, and since they tend to be more skeptical about Columbus Day than younger students, it’s nice to point out that the first Columbus Day parade had a “college division.” Thus 800 New York University students played kazoos and wore mortarboards. In between songs they chanted “Who are we? Who are we? New York Universitee!” The College of Physicians and Surgeons wore Skeletons on their hats. And the Columbia College students marched in white hats and white sweaters, with a message on top of their hats that spelled out “We are the People.”

So Columbus Day is for all Americans. It marks the first encounter that brought together the original Americans and the future ones. A lot of suffering followed, and a lot of achievement too. That a special role has been reserved for Italians in keeping the parades and the commemoration alive for well over a century seems right, since Columbus was Italian—although even in the 1890s his nationality was being contested. Some people, who include respectable scholars, still argue, based on elements of his biography and family history, that Columbus must really have been Spanish, Portuguese, Jewish, or Greek, instead of, or in addition to, Italian. One lonely scholar in the 1930s even wrote that Columbus, because of a square jaw and dirty blond hair in an old portrait, must have been Danish. The consensus, however, is that he was an Italian from outside of Genoa.

So much for his ethnicity. What about his moral standing? In the late 19th century an international movement, led by a French priest, sought to have Columbus canonized for bringing Christianity to the New World. To the Catholic Church’s credit, this never got very far. It sometimes gets overlooked in current discussions that we neither commemorate Columbus’s birthday (as was the practice for Presidents Washington and Lincoln, and as we now do with Martin Luther King, Jr.) nor his death date (which is when Christian saints are memorialized), but rather the date of his arrival in the New World. The historical truth about Columbus—the short version suitable for reporters who are pressed for time—is that Columbus was Italian, but he was no saint.

The holiday marks the event, not the person. What Columbus gets criticized for nowadays are attitudes that were typical of the European sailing captains and merchants who plied the Mediterranean and the Atlantic in the 15th century. Within that group he was unquestionably a man of daring and unusual ambition. But what really mattered was his landing on San Salvador, which was a momentous, world-changing occasion such as has rarely happened in human history. Sounds to me like a pretty good excuse for taking a day off from work.

Voir également:

Study traces origins of syphilis in Europe to New World

New evidence from the jungles of Guyana suggests Christopher Columbus and his crewmates carried syphilis-causing bacteria from America to Europe, triggering a massive epidemic that killed more than five million people there.

The findings — which scientists said are the first attempt to use molecular genetics to address the problem of the origin of the venereal disease — were published Monday in the online journal Public Library of Science/Neglected Tropical Disease.

They suggest that Columbus and his crew of explorers brought the deadly disease back from the New World during their famous voyage in 1492 while a non-sexually transmitted subspecies was already in existence in Renaissance Europe, or the Old World.

The study was based around an exceptionally large specimen provided by Canadian infectious disease specialist Dr. Michael Silverman, who leads a medical team into the rainforests of Guyana each year to treat villagers who have virtually no contact with the outside world.

There, he discovered children with ulcer-like lesions on their arms and legs, « just like you get with syphilis but in the wrong place, » he told CBC.

Blood tests confirmed the children had yaws, an infectious skin disease believed to be extinct in the Western Hemisphere, though still present in parts of Africa and southeast Asia.

Yaws is considered the cousin of syphilis as they are both distinct varieties of the same bacterium.

Further testing by researchers in the United States suggested that yaws, in fact, was the elder cousin — an ancient infection that evolved from a harmless skin-to-skin condition of the limbs into a devastating sexually transmitted disease around the time of contact with Europeans.

« They couldn’t really catch it because they had long sleeves, long pants, » Silverman said. « So the only way they could get it, the only time they would expose their skin and might touch somebody was when they dropped their pants to have sex. »

Upon the Europeans’ return, many of them joined the army of Charles VIII in 1495 and invaded Italy. After their victory in Naples, the army — mostly made of mercenaries — returned home and spread syphilis across the Continent, culminating in the Great Pox.

This first outbreak of syphilis, documented just two years after Columbus and his men sailed the ocean blue in 1492, is believed to have killed more than five million Europeans.

« In this case we have an example of a disease that went the other way, from Native Americans to Europeans, » said Dr. Kristin Harper, a researcher in molecular genetics at Atlanta’s Emory University and the principal investigator in the study published Monday.

« So that’s especially interesting, I think. »

Syphilis is usually transmitted through sexual contact and initially results in a painless, open sore or ulcer in the area of exposure. The second stage consists of a rash on the palms of the hands or soles of the feet.

Left untreated, the disease eventually attacks the heart, eyes and brain and can lead to mental illness, blindness and death.

Voir de plus:

Case Closed? Columbus Introduced Syphilis to Europe

Syphilis was one of the first global diseases, and understanding where it came from and how it spread may help us combat diseases today

In 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue, but when he returned from ‘cross the seas, did he bring with him a new disease?

New skeletal evidence suggests Columbus and his crew not only introduced the Old World to the New World, but brought back syphilis as well, researchers say.

Syphilis is caused by Treponema pallidum bacteria, and is usually curable nowadays with antibiotics. Untreated, it can damage the heart, brain, eyes and bones; it can also be fatal.

The first known epidemic of syphilis occurred during the Renaissance in 1495. Initially its plague broke out among the army of Charles the VIII after the French king invaded Naples. It then proceeded to devastate Europe, said researcher George Armelagos, a skeletal biologist at Emory University in Atlanta.

« Syphilis has been around for 500 years, » said researcher Molly Zuckerman at Mississippi State University. « People started debating where it came from shortly afterward, and they haven’t stopped since. It was one of the first global diseases, and understanding where it came from and how it spread may help us combat diseases today. »

Stigmatized disease

The fact that syphilis is a stigmatized sexually transmitted disease has added to the controversy over its origins. People often seem to want to blame some other country for it, said researcher Kristin Harper, an evolutionary biologist at Emory. [Top 10 Stigmatized Health Disorders]

Armelagos originally doubted the so-called Columbian theory for syphilis when he first heard about it decades ago. « I laughed at the idea that a small group of sailors brought back this disease that caused this major European epidemic, » he recalled. Critics of the Columbian theory have proposed that syphilis had always bedeviled the Old World but simply had not been set apart from other rotting diseases such as leprosy until 1500 or so.

However, upon further investigation, Armelagos and his colleagues got a shock — all of the available evidence they found supported the Columbian theory, findings they published in 1988. « It was a paradigm shift, » Armelagos says. Then in 2008, genetic analysis by Armelagos and his collaborators of syphilis’s family of bacteria lent further support to the theory.

Still, there have been reports of 50 skeletons from Europe dating back from before Columbus set sail that apparently showed the lesions of chronic syphilis. These seemed to be evidence that syphilis originated in the Old World and that Columbus was not to blame.

Armelagos and his colleagues took a closer look at all the data from these prior reports. They found most of the skeletal material didn’t actually meet at least one of the standard diagnostic criteria for chronic syphilis, such as pitting on the skull, known as caries sicca, and pitting and swelling of the long bones.

In the seafood?

The 16 reports that did meet the criteria for syphilis came from coastal regions where seafood was a large part of the diet. This seafood contains « old carbon » from deep, upwelling ocean waters. As such, they might fall prey to the so-called « marine reservoir effect » that can throw off radiocarbon dating of a skeleton by hundreds or even thousands of years. To adjust for this effect, the researchers figured out the amount of seafood these individuals ate when alive. Since our bodies constantly break down and rebuild our bones, measurements of bone-collagen protein can provide a record of diet.

« Once we adjusted for the marine signature, all of the skeletons that showed definite signs of treponemal disease appeared to be dated to after Columbus returned to Europe, » Harper said, findings detailed in the current Yearbook of Physical Anthropology.

« What it really shows to me is that globalization of disease is not a modern condition, » Armelagos said. « In 1492, you had the transmission of a number of diseases from Europe that decimated Native Americans, and you also had disease from Native Americans to Europe. »

« The lesson we can learn for today from history is that these epidemics are the result of unrest, » Armelagos added. « With syphilis, wars were going on in Europe at the time, and all the turmoil set the stage for the disease. Nowadays, a lot of diseases jump the species barrier due to environmental unrest. »

« The origin of syphilis is a fascinating, compelling question, » Zuckerman said. « The current evidence is pretty definitive, but we shouldn’t close the book and say we’re done with the subject. The great thing about science is constantly being able to understand things in a new light. »


Etats-Unis/Crise migratoire: Quel déni démocrate ? (Déjà vu: Did the Democrats learn anything from 2016 ?)

30 juin, 2019

Image may contain: one or more people, crowd, meme and outdoor, text that says 'HERE IS THE LINE TO GET INTO TRUMP'S "CONCENTRATION CAMPS"'Image may contain: 5 people, textPolitical Cartoons by Steve Kelley (Jul. 1, 2019)

Lorsque l’esprit impur est sorti d’un homme, il va par des lieux arides, cherchant du repos, et il n’en trouve point. Alors il dit: Je retournerai dans ma maison d’où je suis sorti; et, quand il arrive, il la trouve vide, balayée et ornée. Il s’en va, et il prend avec lui sept autres esprits plus méchants que lui; ils entrent dans la maison, s’y établissent, et la dernière condition de cet homme est pire que la première. Jésus (Matthieu 12 : 43-45)
Le monde moderne n’est pas mauvais : à certains égards, il est bien trop bon. Il est rempli de vertus féroces et gâchées. Lorsqu’un dispositif religieux est brisé (comme le fut le christianisme pendant la Réforme), ce ne sont pas seulement les vices qui sont libérés. Les vices sont en effet libérés, et ils errent de par le monde en faisant des ravages ; mais les vertus le sont aussi, et elles errent plus férocement encore en faisant des ravages plus terribles. Le monde moderne est saturé des vieilles vertus chrétiennes virant à la folie.  G.K. Chesterton
Notre monde est de plus en plus imprégné par cette vérité évangélique de l’innocence des victimes. L’attention qu’on porte aux victimes a commencé au Moyen Age, avec l’invention de l’hôpital. L’Hôtel-Dieu, comme on disait, accueillait toutes les victimes, indépendamment de leur origine. Les sociétés primitives n’étaient pas inhumaines, mais elles n’avaient d’attention que pour leurs membres. Le monde moderne a inventé la « victime inconnue », comme on dirait aujourd’hui le « soldat inconnu ». Le christianisme peut maintenant continuer à s’étendre même sans la loi, car ses grandes percées intellectuelles et morales, notre souci des victimes et notre attention à ne pas nous fabriquer de boucs émissaires, ont fait de nous des chrétiens qui s’ignorent. René Girard
L’inauguration majestueuse de l’ère « post-chrétienne » est une plaisanterie. Nous sommes dans un ultra-christianisme caricatural qui essaie d’échapper à l’orbite judéo-chrétienne en « radicalisant » le souci des victimes dans un sens antichrétien. (…) Jusqu’au nazisme, le judaïsme était la victime préférentielle de ce système de bouc émissaire. Le christianisme ne venait qu’en second lieu. Depuis l’Holocauste , en revanche, on n’ose plus s’en prendre au judaïsme, et le christianisme est promu au rend de bouc émissaire numéro un. (…) Le mouvement antichrétien le plus puissant est celui qui réassume et « radicalise » le souci des victimes pour le paganiser. (…) Comme les Eglises chrétiennes ont pris conscience tardivement de leurs manquements à la charité, de leur connivence avec l’ordre établi, dans le monde d’hier et d’aujourd’hui, elles sont particulièrement vulnérables au chantage permanent auquel le néopaganisme contemporain les soumet. René Girard
Notre message est sans équivoque: n’envoyez pas vos enfants seuls, sur des trains ou par des passeurs. S’ils réussissent à arriver ici, ils seront renvoyés. Mais surtout, ils risquent de ne pas arriver. Barack Obama (09/07/2014)
La Maison-Blanche a demandé mardi au Congrès américain le déblocage en urgence de 3,7 milliards de dollars pour faire face à l’entrée illégale de dizaines de milliers d’enfants. Le président américain reconnaît lui-même que son pays fait face à «une situation humanitaire d’urgence». Barack Obama a demandé formellement au Congrès mardi de débloquer 3,7 milliards de dollars (2,7 milliards d’euros) pour répondre à l’afflux croissant d’enfants clandestins à la frontière avec le Mexique. L’objectif: augmenter les capacités d’accueil des sans-papiers et le nombre de juges gérant leurs dossiers, renforcer la surveillance de la frontière… mais surtout améliorer les conditions de détention de ces enfants arrêtés à la frontière après avoir tenté la traversée du Rio Grande au péril de leur vie. «Sans crédits supplémentaires, à moins de prendre des mesures extraordinaires, les agences ne disposeront pas des ressources suffisantes pour répondre à la situation de façon appropriée», a insisté la Maison-Blanche. Car sur le terrain, les besoins sont colossaux. Depuis le mois d’octobre, pas moins de 52.000 sans-papiers mineurs venus seuls, surtout d’Amérique centrale (Guatemala, Honduras, Salvador), ont été interpellés à la frontière entre le Mexique et les États-Unis. Sans compter les milliers d’autres arrêtés en compagnie de leurs proches. Le phénomène est loin d’être nouveau, mais les chiffres ont doublé par rapport à l’an dernier. Au total, plus de 90.000 enfants pourraient être interpellés cette année, soit 15 fois plus qu’en 2011, selon une note officielle. Ces enfants, parfois âgés de 3 ou 4 ans seulement, arrivent affamés, déshydratés, après un périple de plusieurs milliers de kilomètres. Ils se retrouvent dans «des conditions terribles», «n’ont pas de lit et dorment par terre», déplore auprès de l’AFP Domingo Gonzalo, membre de l’association Campaña Fronteriza qui oeuvre au Texas. La Croix-Rouge américaine a même dû venir en aide aux autorités en fournissant des couvertures et des kits d’hygiène pour les jeunes détenus, tandis que des bases militaires sont transformées en centres d’accueil d’urgence, en Californie ou au Texas. Parmi ces mineurs, beaucoup fuient la pauvreté, la violence liée au narcotrafic de leur pays. (…) Mais s’ils affluent à la frontière américaine, c’est que beaucoup disent être venus profiter d’une «nouvelle» loi qui leur donnerait des «permisos», des permis de séjour pour mineurs, une rumeur qui se répand depuis des mois dans ces pays d’Amérique centrale, à en croire des migrants interrogés par le New York Times. Rumeur alimentée par les passeurs qui profitent de ce trafic. Pour les républicains toutefois, le principal responsable de cet afflux massif s’appelle Barack Obama: avec son message pro-immigration, il a selon eux donné des espoirs aux jeunes clandestins. La reforme que défend le président prévoit en effet de faciliter un peu l’accès à la nationalité pour les enfants sans-papiers, contre un renforcement du contrôle de la frontière mexicaine. «Apparemment, on se passe le mot qu’une fois appréhendé par les agents à la frontière, grâce au laxisme de cette administration, on ne sera jamais expulsé», accuse ainsi le représentant républicain Bob Goodlatte. Le gouverneur du Texas Rick Perry estime que cette «crise humanitaire» menace la sécurité intérieure du pays. «La bonne décision est de mon point de vue d’expulser immédiatement» ces enfants. Comme l’a rappelé sur CNN un élu démocrate du Texas, Henry Cuellar, «si vous êtes Mexicain, vous êtes renvoyés (…) mais si vous venez d’un pays qui n’est pas frontalier avec les Etats-Unis comme les pays d’Amérique centrale, alors la loi dit que vous devez être pris en charge par les services fédéraux de la Santé et qu’ils vont vous placer» dans un centre d’accueil ou une famille. Or pour le républicain Rick Perry, «leur permettre de rester ne fera qu’encourager le prochain groupe à entreprendre ce très dangereux voyage». (…) Les démocrates rappellent aussi que leur plan prévoyait la construction de centaines de kilomètres de nouvelles barrières frontalières et le renforcement du nombre de policiers. Visiblement dépassée par l’ampleur du phénomène, l’administration Obama répète que la plupart de ces enfants clandestins ne seront pas autorisés à rester dans le pays. Le président s’est même adressé aux parents d’Amérique centrale le mois dernier dans une interview télévisée: «Notre message est sans équivoque: n’envoyez pas vos enfants seuls, sur des trains ou par des passeurs», a-t-il déclaré sur la chaîne américaine ABC. «S’ils réussissent à arriver ici, ils seront renvoyés. Mais surtout, ils risquent de ne pas arriver». Malgré ses efforts, des centaines de mineurs clandestins continuent de gagner la frontière chaque jour. Le Figaro (09/07/2014)
On peut parler aujourd’hui d’invasion arabe. C’est un fait social. Combien d’invasions l’Europe a connu tout au long de son histoire ! Elle a toujours su se surmonter elle-même, aller de l’avant pour se trouver ensuite comme agrandie par l’échange entre les cultures. Pape François
Je ne crois pas qu’il y ait aujourd’hui une peur de l’islam, en tant que tel, mais de Daech et de sa guerre de conquête, tirée en partie de l’islam. L’idée de conquête est inhérente à l’âme de l’islam, il est vrai. Mais on pourrait interpréter, avec la même idée de conquête, la fin de l’Évangile de Matthieu, où Jésus envoie ses disciples dans toutes les nations. (…) Devant l’actuel terrorisme islamiste, il conviendrait de s’interroger sur la manière dont a été exporté un modèle de démocratie trop occidentale dans des pays où il y avait un pouvoir fort, comme en Irak. Ou en Libye, à la structure tribale. On ne peut avancer sans tenir compte de cette culture.  (…) Sur le fond, la coexistence entre chrétiens et musulmans est possible. Je viens d’un pays où ils cohabitent en bonne familiarité. (…) En Centrafrique, avant la guerre, chrétiens et musulmans vivaient ensemble et doivent le réapprendre aujourd’hui. Le Liban aussi montre que c’est possible. Pape François
It is what our country is, it is a country of immigrants. We have not recently done a very good job of remembering who we are. My family were treated terribly and were not accepted and America learned to accept all these ideas. Being here talking with you is important to remind them of who we are and who we have always been which is you. You forget that these are people who didn’t just leave their country for no reason at all. These are people who left because a terrible tragedy. We always look around at the end of these tragedies and say if we knew, we would have done something and the reality is, of course we know. What is shocking to me is not that it happened but its continuing to happen for five years. It’s actually easy to dismiss giant numbers but it’s very hard to dismiss a young child sitting on the ground crying as her mother said, ‘If we die. I rather we die by a bullet because it would be quicker.’ George Clooney
When he became president he expressed America first. That is wrong; When I saw pictures of some of those young children, I was sad. America… should take a global responsibility. [But] European countries should take these refugees and give them education and training, and the aim is return to their own land with certain skills. (…) A limited number is OK, but the whole of Europe [will] eventually become Muslim country, African country – impossible. Dalai Lama
Je me qualifie de droite nationale, souverainiste, populaire, conservatrice. Le conservatisme tel que je l’entends et tel que l’entend François-Xavier Bellamy, et dans lequel peuvent se retrouver beaucoup de Français, est une sorte de disposition d’esprit qui consiste à vouloir conserver des héritages séculaires. Marion Maréchal
La scène est impressionnante. Dans la nuit de jeudi à vendredi, le commissariat de Val-de-Reuil-Louviers (Eure), au sud de Rouen, a été pris d’assaut par une bande de jeunes. Aux alentours de deux heures du matin, une quinzaine d’individus cagoulés ont attaqué l’établissement en lançant des projectiles en nombre, tirant également des mortiers, selon les rapports de police, consultés par Le Figaro. Sur les images de vidéosurveillance que nous avons pu consulter, on aperçoit deux agents de garde tenter de contenir les tirs des assaillants à l’aide de boucliers. En chemisette, les fonctionnaires ne semblent pas du tout préparés à un tel assaut. Des fumigènes, des «éléments pyrotechniques» de toutes les couleurs ainsi que des pavés sont jetés sur les policiers. Lors de l’assaut, plusieurs d’entre eux ont crié «Allah Akbar», d’autres insultant les forces de l’ordre. Les individus semblent déterminés à pénétrer dans le commissariat. Leurs attaques durent pendant environ une demie heure, à la fois contre les fonctionnaires et le bâtiment. Ceux-ci répliquent à l’aide de gaz lacrymogènes, avant que des policiers de la Brigade anticriminalité (BAC) et de la Direction départementale de la sécurité publique (DDSP) n’arrivent en renfort. Vers 2 heures 30, le calme est finalement revenu. Si aucun agent n’a été blessé, quelques dégâts matériels ont été constatés: trois vitres ont été touchées, un véhicule endommagé. Selon les premières investigations, les auteurs des faits sont des jeunes âgés de 15-20 ans. Lors de l’assaut, plusieurs d’entre eux ont crié «Allah Akbar», d’autres insultant les forces de l’ordre. «Bande d’enculés de Français», «Venez sortez on va vous cramer», ont scandé les suspects, cagoulés mais pas gantés, qui se sont enfuis à l’arrivée des renforts. Sur les lieux, les restes de 115 projectiles ont été retrouvés. L’attaque a suscité une vague de colère dans la profession. Dans un communiqué publié vendredi, le syndicat Alliance a dénoncé un assaut d’une «violence inouïe». Évoquant des «policiers à bout, au bord de la rupture», le syndicat s’inquiète de la situation de «souffrance» de ce commissariat de l’Eure, en manque d’effectifs et de moyens. D’après une source syndicale, contactée par Le Figaro, le même bâtiment avait été la cible d’une offensive du même type en juillet 2018. Le Figaro
Nobody would have the balls today to write ‘The Satanic Verses’, let alone publish it. Writing is now timid because writers are now terrified. Hanif Kureishi
What we are talking about here is not a system of formal censorship, under which the state bans works deemed offensive. Rather, what has developed is a culture of self-censorship in which the giving of offence has come to be seen as morally unacceptable. In the 20 years since the publication of The Satanic Verses the fatwa has effectively become internalised. Kenan Malik (2008)
It was after Rushdie’s The Satanic Verses that many Western publishing houses began bowing to Islamist intimidation. Christian Bourgois, a French publishing house that had bought the rights, refused to publish The Satanic Verses. It was the first time that, in the name of Islam, a writer was condemned to disappear from the face of the earth — to be murdered for a bounty. Rushdie is still with us, but the murder in 2004 of Theo van Gogh for producing and directing a film, « Submission », about Islamic violence toward women; the death of so many Arab-Islamic intellectuals guilty of writing freely, the Danish cartoon riots and the many trials (for instance, here and here) and attempted murders (such as here and here), the slaughter at the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, the attacks after Pope’s Benedict speech in Regensburg, the books and scripts cancelled, the depictions of Muhammad closeted in the warehouses of museums, and the increasing threats and punishments, including flogging, to countless journalists and writers such as Saudi Arabia’s Raif Badawi, should alarm us — not bring us to our knees. As the Saatchi Gallery’s capitulation shows, freedom of speech in Europe is now exhausted and weak. So far, we have caved in to Islamic extremists and Western appeasers. It is the tragic lesson of the Rushdie case 30 years later: no author would dare to write The Satanic Verses today; no large publishing house such as Penguin would print it; media attacks against « Islamophobes » would be even stronger, as would the bottomless betrayal of Western diplomats. Also today, thanks to social media as a weapon of censorship and implicit mass threats, any author would probably be less fortunate than Rushdie was 30 years ago. Since that time, we have made no progress. Instead, we have been seeing the jihad against The Satanic Verses over and over again. The Rushdie affair also seems to have deeply shaped British society. The Saatchi Gallery’s surrender in London is not unique. The Tate Britain gallery shelved a sculpture, « God is Great », by John Latham, of the Koran, Bible and Talmud embedded in glass. Christopher Marlowe’s « Tamburlaine the Great » was censored at the Barbican Centre. The play included a reference to the Prophet of Islam being « not worthy to be worshipped » as well as a scene in which the Koran is burned. The Whitechapel Art Gallery in London purged an exhibit containing nude dolls which could possibly have upset the Muslim population. At the Mall Galleries in London, a painting, « ISIS Threaten Sylvania », by the artist Mimsy, was censored for showing toy stuffed-animal terrorists about to massacre toy stuffed-animals having a picnic. At the Royal Court Theatre in London, Richard Bean was forced to censor himself for an adaptation of « Lysistrata », the Greek comedy in which the women go on a sex strike to stop the men who wanted to go to war. In Bean’s version, Islamic virgins go on strike to stop terrorist suicide bombers. Unfortunately, in the name of fighting « Islamophobia », the British establishment now appears to be submitting to creeping sharia: and purging and censoring speech on its own. Recently, some major conservative intellectuals have been sacked in the UK. One is the peerless philosopher Roger Scruton, who was fired from a governmental committee for saying that the word « Islamophobia » has been invented by the Muslim Brotherhood « to stop discussion of a major issue ». Then it was the turn of the great Canadian psychologist Jordan Peterson, whose visiting fellowship at Cambridge University was rescinded for posing with a man wearing an « I’m a proud Islamophobe » T-shirt. Professor Peterson later said that the word « Islamophobia » has been « partly constructed by people engaging in Islamic extremism, to ensure that Islam isn’t criticised as a structure ». The instances of Scruton and Peterson only confirm the real meaning of « Islamophobia », a word invented to silence any criticism of Islam by anyone, or as Salman Rushdie commented, a word « created to help the blind remain blind ». Where is the long-overdue push-back? Writing in 2008, The Telegraph’s Tim Walker quoted the famous playwright Simon Gray saying that Nicholas Hytner, director of London’s National Theatre from 2003-2015, « has been happy to offend Christians, » but « is wary of putting on anything which could upset Muslims. » The last people who did so were the journalists of the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo. They paid with their lives. By refusing to confront the speech police, or to support freedom of expression for Salman Rushdie, Roger Scruton, Jordan Peterson, Charlie Hebdo and Jyllands-Posten — just the tip of a huge iceberg — we have started down the road of submission to sharia law and to tyranny. We all have been covering up our supposedly « blasphemous » culture with burqas to avoid offending people who do not seem to mind offending us. Giulio Meotti (Il Foglio)
We have what I would call a concentration camp system and the definition of that in my book is, mass detention of civilians without trial. There’s this crystallization that happens. The longer they’re there, the worse conditions get. That’s just a universal of camps. They’re overcrowded. We already know from reports that they don’t have enough beds for the numbers that they have. As you see mental health crises and contagious diseases begin to set in, they’ll work to manage the worst of it. [But] then there will be the ability to tag these people as diseased, even if we created [those conditions]. Then we, by creating the camps, try to turn that population into the false image that we [used] to put them in the camps to start with. Over time, the camps will turn those people into what Trump was already saying they are. « What those camps had in common with what’s going on today is they involved the wholesale detention of families, separate or together, » Pitzer says. « There was very little in the way of targeted violence. Instead, people died from poor planning, overloaded facilities and unwillingness to reverse policy, even when it became apparent the policy wasn’t working, inability to get medical care to detainees, poor food quality, contagious diseases, showing up in an environment where it became almost impossible to get control of them. The point is that you don’t have to intend to kill everybody. When people hear the phrase ‘Oh, there’s concentration camps on the southern border,’ they think, ‘Oh, it’s not Auschwitz.’ Of course, it’s not those things, each camp system is different. But you don’t have to intend to kill everyone to have really bad outcomes. In Cuba, well over 100,000 civilians died in these camps in just a period of a couple years. In Southern Africa during the Boer War, fatalities went into the tens of thousands. And the overwhelming majority of them were children. Fatalities in the camps ended up being more than twice the combat fatalities from the war itself. There’s usually this crisis period that a camp system either survives or doesn’t survive in the first three or four years. If it goes past that length of time, they tend to continue for a really long time. And I think we have entered that crisis period. I don’t yet know if we’re out of it. Unless there’s some really decisive turn away, we’re going to be looking at having these camps for a long time. It’s particularly hard to engineer a decisive turn because these facilities are often remote, and hard to protest. They are not top-of-mind for most citizens, with plenty of other issues on the table. When Trump first instituted the Muslim Ban—now considered, in its third iteration, to be Definitely Not a Muslim Ban by the Supreme Court—there were mass demonstrations at U.S. airports because they were readily accessible by concerned citizens. These camps are not so easily reached, and that’s a problem. We have border patrol agents that are sometimes arresting U.S. citizens. That’s still very much a fringe activity. That doesn’t seem to be a dedicated priority right now, but it’s happening often enough. And they’re held, sometimes, for three or four days. Even when there are clear reasons that people should be let go, that they have proof of their identity, you’re seeing these detentions. You do start to worry about people who have legally immigrated and have finished paperwork, and maybe are naturalized. You worry about green-card holders. Let’s say there’s 20 hurdles that we have to get over before we get to someplace really, really, really bad. I think we’ve knocked 10 of them down. Andrea Pitzer (journalist)
What’s required is a little bit of demystification of it. Things can be concentration camps without being Dachau or Auschwitz. Concentration camps in general have always been designed—at the most basic level—to separate one group of people from another group. Usually, because the majority group, or the creators of the camp, deem the people they’re putting in it to be dangerous or undesirable in some way. At one point, [the administration] said that they were intentionally trying to split up families and make conditions unpleasant, so the people wouldn’t come to the U.S. If you’re doing that, then that’s not a prison. That’s not a holding area or a waiting area. That’s a policy. I would argue, at least in the way that [the camps are] being used now, a significant portion of the mentality is [tied to] who the [detainees] are rather than what they did. If these were Canadians flooding across the border, would they be treated in the same manner as the people from Mexico and from Central and South America? If the answer is yes, theoretically, then I would consider these places to be perhaps better described as transit camps or prison camps. But I suspect that’s not how they’d be treated, which then makes it much more about who the people are that you’re detaining, rather than what they did. The Canadian would have crossed the border just as illegally as the Mexican, but my suspicion is, would be treated in a different way. It’s a negative trajectory in at least two ways. One, I feel like these policies can snowball. We’ve already seen unintended consequences. If we follow the thread of the children, for example, the government wanted to make things more annoying, more painful. So they decided, We’re going to separate the children from the families. But there was no infrastructure in place for that. You already have a scenario where even if you have the best intentions, the infrastructure doesn’t exist to support it. That’s a consequence of policy that hasn’t been thought through. As you see the population begin to massively increase over time, you do start to see conditions diminishing. The second piece is that the longer you establish this sort of extralegal, extrajudicial, somewhat-invisible no-man’s land, the more you allow potentially a culture of abuse to develop within that place. Because the people who tend to become more violent, more prejudiced, whatever, have more and more free rein for that to become sort of the accepted behavior. Then, that also becomes a new norm that can spread throughout the system. There is sort of an escalation of individual initiative in violence. As it becomes clear that that is acceptable, then you have a self-fulfilling prophecy or a positive feedback loop that just keeps radicalizing the treatment as the policy itself becomes radicalizing. Waitman Wade Beorn (University of Virginia)
In the origins of the camps, it’s tied to the idea of martial law. I mean, all four of the early instances—Americans in the Philippines, Spanish in Cuba, and British in South Africa, and Germans in Southwest Africa—they’re all essentially overriding any sense of rights of the civilian population. And the idea is that you’re able to suspend normal law because it’s a war situation. It’s important here to look at the language that people are using. As soon as you get people comparing other groups to animals or insects, or using language about advancing hordes, and we’re being overrun and flooded and this sort of thing, it’s creating the sense of this enormous threat. And that makes it much easier to sell to people on the idea we’ve got to do something drastic to control this population which going to destroy us. « Unless there’s some really decisive turn away, we’re going to be looking at having these camps for a long time, » Pitzer says. It’s particularly hard to engineer a decisive turn because these facilities are often remote, and hard to protest. They are not top-of-mind for most citizens, with plenty of other issues on the table. When Trump first instituted the Muslim Ban—now considered, in its third iteration, to be Definitely Not a Muslim Ban by the Supreme Court—there were mass demonstrations at U.S. airports because they were readily accessible by concerned citizens. These camps are not so easily reached, and that’s a problem. The more authoritarian the regime is, and the more people allow governments to get away with doing this sort of thing politically, the worse the conditions are likely to get. So, a lot of it depends on how much pushback there is. But when you get a totally authoritarian regime like Stalin’s regime in the Soviet Union, there’s no control, or no countervailing force, the state can do what it likes, and certainly things will then tend to break down. It’s more of a political question, really. Are people prepared to tolerate the deteriorating conditions? And if public opinion isn’t effective in a liberal democratic situation, things can still get pretty bad. Jonathan Hyslop (Colgate University)
The United States is running concentration camps on our southern border, and that is exactly what they are. They are concentration camps, and if that doesn’t bother you . . . I want to talk to the people that are concerned enough with humanity to say that we should not ⁠— that ‘never again’ means something. And that the fact that concentration camps are now an institutionalized practice in the ‘Home of the Free’ is extraordinarily disturbing, and we need to do something about it. This week, children ⁠— immigrant children ⁠— were moved to the same internment camps where the Japanese were held in the early ⁠— in the earlier 20th century . . . This is not just about the immigrant communities being held in concentration camps being a crisis. This is a crisis for ourselves. This is a crisis on ⁠— if America will remain America in its actual principles and values or if we are losing to an authoritarian and fascist presidency. I don’t use those words lightly. I don’t use those words to just throw bombs. I use that word because that is what an administration that creates concentration camps is. A presidency that creates concentration camps is fascist, and it’s very difficult to say that. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez
This administration has established concentration camps on the southern border of the United States for immigrants, where they are being brutalized with dehumanizing conditions and dying. And for the shrieking Republicans who don’t know the difference: concentration camps are not the same as death camps. Concentration camps are considered by experts as ‘the mass detention of civilians without trial. And that’s exactly what this administration is doing. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez
Cette administration a installé des camps de concentration à la frontière sud des États-Unis pour les immigrés, où ils sont brutalisés dans des conditions inhumaines et où ils meurent. Il ne s’agit pas d’une exagération. C’est la conclusion de l’analyse d’experts. Et à tous les républicains geignards qui ne connaissent pas la différence : les camps de concentration et les camps de la mort ne sont pas la même chose. Les camps de concentration sont considérés par les experts comme les lieux “de détention de masse de civils sans procès”  et c’est exactement ce que ce gouvernement fait. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez
Whether we call them concentration camps, mass detention centers or cages for children, they are a moral abomination. The real question is not what we call these mass detention sites growing all over the country, the question is: What is every government official and citizen doing to stop this evil? Our government is scapegoating, demonizing and terrorizing immigrants. These policies echo the worst of Jewish history and the worst of American history. Anyone distracting from these clear facts with manufactured outrage is subverting Jewish history and trauma, and that is shameful. Jewish Americans overwhelmingly reject the hateful, anti-immigrant policies being perpetrated by the very people pretending to be offended on our behalf. Stosh Cotler (Bend the Arc: Jewish Action)
As [a] historian of fascism & [the] Holocaust, I would also call these centers concentration camps. As a Jewish person who lost family in [the] Holocaust, I regret that some Republicans use memory of the Holocaust to defend racist policies of Trumpism. Federico Finchelstein (The New school)
I know what concentration camps are. I was inside two of them, in America. And yes, we are operating such camps again. George Takei
This nation has a long and tragic history of separating children from their parents, ever since the days of slavery. We must end this practice. It is barbaric. George Takei
On Monday, New York Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez referred to US border detention facilities as “concentration camps,” spurring a backlash in which critics accused her of demeaning the memory of those who died in the Holocaust. Debates raged over a label for what is happening along the southern border and grew louder as the week rolled on. But even this back-and-forth over naming the camps has been a recurrent feature in the mass detention of civilians ever since its inception, a history that long predates the Holocaust. At the heart of such policy is a question: What does a country owe desperate people whom it does not consider to be its citizens? The twentieth century posed this question to the world just as the shadow of global conflict threatened for the second time in less than three decades. The dominant response was silence, and the doctrine of absolute national sovereignty meant that what a state did to people under its control, within its borders, was nobody else’s business. After the harrowing toll of the Holocaust with the murder of millions, the world revisited its answer, deciding that perhaps something was owed to those in mortal danger. From the Fourth Geneva Convention protecting civilians in 1949 to the 1989 Convention on the Rights of the Child, the international community established humanitarian obligations toward the most vulnerable that apply, at least in theory, to all nations. The twenty-first century is unraveling that response. Countries are rejecting existing obligations and meeting asylum seekers with walls and fences, from detainees fleeing persecution who were sent by Australia to third-party detention in the brutal offshore camps of Manus and Nauru to razor-wire barriers blocking Syrian refugees from entering Hungary. While some nations, such as Germany, wrestle with how to integrate refugees into their labor force—more and more have become resistant to letting them in at all. The latest location of this unwinding is along the southern border of the United States. So far, American citizens have gotten only glimpses of the conditions in the border camps that have been opened in their name. In the month of May, Customs and Border Protection reported a total of 132,887 migrants who were apprehended or turned themselves in between ports of entry along the southwest border, an increase of 34 percent from April alone. Upon apprehension, these migrants are temporarily detained by Border Patrol, and once their claims are processed, they are either released or handed over to ICE for longer-term detention. Yet Border Patrol itself is currently holding about 15,000 people, nearly four times what government officials consider to be this enforcement arm’s detention capacity. On June 12, the Department of Health and Human Services announced that Fort Sill, an Army post that hosted a World War II internment camp for detainees of Japanese descent, will now be repurposed to detain migrant children. In total, HHS reports that it is currently holding some 12,000 minors. Current law limits detention of minors to twenty days, though Senator Lindsey Graham has proposed expanding the court-ordered limit to 100 days. Since the post is on federal land, it will be exempt from state child welfare inspections. In addition to the total of detainees held by Border Patrol, an even higher number is detained at centers around the country by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency: on a typical day at the beginning of this month, ICE was detaining more than 52,500 migrants. The family separation policy outraged the public in the 2018, but despite legal challenges, it never fully ended. Less publicized have been the deaths of twenty-four adults in ICE custody since the beginning of the Trump administration; in addition, six children between the ages of two and sixteen have died in federal custody over the last several months. It’s not clear whether there have been other deaths that have gone unreported. (…) Even with incomplete information about what’s happening along the border today and what the government plans for these camps, history points to some conclusions about their future. Mass detention without trial earned a new name and a specific identity at the end of the nineteenth century. The labels then adopted for the practice were “reconcentración” and “concentration camps”—places of forced relocation of civilians into detention on the basis of group identity. Other kinds of group detention had appeared much earlier in North American history. The US government drove Native Americans from their homelands into prescribed exile, with death and detention in transit camps along the way. Some Spanish mission systems in the Americas had accomplished similar ends by seizing land and pressing indigenous people into forced labor. During the 245 years when slavery was legal in the US, detention was one of its essential features. Concentration camps, however, don’t typically result from the theft of land, as happened with Native Americans, or owning human beings in a system of forced labor, as in the slave trade. Exile, theft, and forced labor can come later, but in the beginning, detention itself is usually the point of concentration camps. By the end of the nineteenth century, the mass production of barbed wire and machines guns made this kind of detention possible and practical in ways it never had been before. (…) These early experiments with concentration camps took place on the periphery of imperial power, but accounts of them nevertheless made their way into newspapers and reports in many nations. As a result, the very idea of them came to be seen as barbaric. By the end of the first decade of the twentieth century, the first camp systems had all been closed, and concentration camps had nearly vanished as an institution. Within months of the outbreak of World War I, though, they would be resurrected—this time rising not at the margins but in the centers of power. Between 1914 and 1918, camps were constructed on an unprecedented scale across six continents. In their time, these camps were commonly called concentration camps, though today they are often referred to by the more anodyne term “internment.” Those World War I detainees were, for the most part, foreigners—or, in legalese, aliens—and recent anti-immigration legislation in several countries had deliberately limited their rights. (…) Local camps appeared in Tulsa, Oklahoma, in 1921, after a white mob burned down a black neighborhood and detained African-American survivors. In Bolshevik Russia, the first concentration camps preceded the formation of the Soviet Union in 1922 and planted seeds for the brutal Gulag system that became official near the end of the USSR’s first decade. While some kinds of camps were understood to be harsher, after World War I their proliferation did not initially disturb public opinion. They had yet to take on their worst incarnations. In 1933, barely more than a month after Hitler was appointed chancellor, the Nazis’ first, impromptu camp opened in the town of Nohra in central Germany to hold political opponents. Detainees at Nohra were allowed to vote at a local precinct in the elections of March 5, 1933, resulting in a surge of Communist ballots in the tiny town. Locking up groups of civilians without trial had become accepted. Only the later realization of the horrors of the Nazi death camps would break the default assumption by governments and the public that concentration camps could and should be a simple way to manage populations seen as a threat. However, the staggering death toll of the Nazi extermination camp system—which was created mid-war and stood almost entirely separate from the concentration camps in existence since 1933—led to another result: a strange kind of erasure. In the decades that followed World War II, the term “concentration camp” came to stand only for Auschwitz and other extermination camps. It was no longer applied to the kind of extrajudicial detention it had denoted for generations. The many earlier camps that had made the rise of Auschwitz possible largely vanished from public memory. It is not necessary, however, to step back a full century in American history to find camps with links to what is happening on the US border today. Detention at Guantánamo began in the 1990s, when Haitian and Cuban immigrants whom the government wanted to keep out of the United States were housed there in waves over a four-year period—years before the “war on terror” and the US policy of rendition of suspected “enemy combatants” made Camps Delta, X-Ray, and Echo notorious. Tens of thousands of Haitians fleeing instability at home were picked up at sea and diverted to the Cuban base, to limit their legal right to apply for asylum. The court cases and battles over the suffering of those detainees ended up setting the stage for what Guantánamo would become after September 11, 2001. In one case, a federal court ruled that it did have jurisdiction over the base, but the government agreed to release the Haitians who were part of the lawsuit in exchange for keeping that ruling off the books. A ruling in a second case would assert that the courts did not have jurisdiction. Absent the prior case, the latter stood on its own as precedent. Leaving Guantánamo in this gray area made it an ideal site for extrajudicial detention and torture after the twin towers fell. This process of normalization, when a bad camp becomes much more dangerous, is not unusual. Today’s border camps are a crueler reflection of long-term policies—some challenged in court—that earlier presidents had enacted. Prior administrations own a share of the responsibility for today’s harsh practices, but the policies in place today are also accompanied by a shameless willingness to publicly target a vulnerable population in increasingly dangerous ways. (..;) What kind of conditions can we expect to develop in these border camps? The longer a camp system stays open, the more likely it is that vital things will go wrong: detainees will contract contagious diseases and suffer from malnutrition and mental illness. We have already seen that current detention practices have resulted in children and adults succumbing to influenza, staph infections, and sepsis. The US is now poised to inflict harm on tens of thousands more, perhaps hundreds of thousands more. Along with such inevitable consequences, every significant camp system has introduced new horrors of its own, crises that were unforeseen when that system was opened. We have yet to discover what those will be for these American border camps. But they will happen. Every country thinks it can do detention better when it starts these projects. But no good way to conduct mass indefinite detention has yet been devised; the system always degrades. When, in 1940, Margarete Buber-Neumann was transferred from the Soviet Gulag at Karaganda to the camp for women at Ravensbrück (in an exchange enabled by the Nazi–Soviet Pact), she came from near-starvation conditions in the USSR and was amazed at the cleanliness and order of the Nazi camp. New arrivals were issued clothing, bedding, and silverware, and given fresh porridge, fruit, sausage, and jam to eat. Although the Nazi camps were already punitive, order-obsessed monstrosities, the wartime overcrowding that would soon overtake them had not yet made daily life a thing of constant suffering and squalor. The death camps were still two years away. The United States now has a vast and growing camp system. It is starting out with gruesome overcrowding and inadequate healthcare, and because of budget restrictions, has already taken steps to cut services to juvenile detainees. The US Office of Refugee Resettlement says that the mounting number of children arriving unaccompanied is forcing it to use military bases and other sites that it prefers to avoid, and that establishing these camps is a temporary measure. But without oversight from state child welfare inspectors, the possibilities for neglect and abuse are alarming. And without any knowledge of how many asylum-seekers are coming in the future, federal administrators are likely to find themselves boxed in to managing detention on military sites permanently. President Trump and senior White House adviser Stephen Miller appear to have purged the Department of Homeland Security of most internal opposition to their anti-immigrant policies. In doing so, that have removed even those sympathetic to the general approach taken by the White House, such as former Chief of Staff John Kelly and former Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, in order to escalate the militarization of the border and expand irregular detention in more systematic and punitive ways. This kind of power struggle or purge in the early years of a camp system is typical.  The disbanding of the Cheka, the Soviet secret police, in February 1922 and the transfer of its commander, Felix Dzerzhinsky, to head up an agency with control over only two prisons offered a hint of an alternate future in which extrajudicial detention would not play a central role in the fledgling Soviet republic. But Dzerzhinsky managed to keep control over the “special camps” in his new position, paving the way for the emergence of a camp-centered police state. In pre-war Germany in the mid-1930s, Himmler’s struggle to consolidate power from rivals eventually led him to make camps central to Nazi strategy. When the hardliners win, as they appear to have in the US, conditions tend to worsen significantly. Is it possible this growth in the camp system will be temporary and the improvised border camps will soon close? In theory, yes. But the longer they remain open, the less likely they are to vanish. When I visited the camps for Rohingya Muslims a year before the large-scale campaign of ethnic cleansing began, many observers appeared to be confusing the possible and the probable. It was possible that the party of Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi would sweep into office in free elections and begin making changes. It was possible that full democracy would come to all the residents of Myanmar, even though the government had stripped the Rohingya of the last vestiges of their citizenship. These hopes proved to be misplaced. Once there are concentration camps, it is always probable that things will get worse. The Philippines, Japanese-American internment, Guantánamo… we can consider the fine points of how the current border camps evoke past US systems, and we can see how the arc of camp history reveals the likelihood that the suffering we’re currently inflicting will be multiplied exponentially. But we can also simply look at what we’re doing right now, shoving bodies into “dog pound”-style detention pens, “iceboxes,” and standing room-only spaces. We can look at young children in custody who have become suicidal. How much more historical awareness do we really need? Andrea Pitzer
Freshman Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez drew a firestorm of criticism this week after she appeared in an Instagram video claiming that the Trump administration « is running concentration camps on our southern border. » (…) Republican lawmakers were quick to push back against Ocasio-Cortez’s statement, which she repeated on Tuesday and Wednesday, arguing that the Congresswoman was disrespecting the memory of the 6 millions Jews who died in Nazi concentration camps by comparing these facilities to the ICE detention centers. But many experts were quick to point out that, by definition, the ICE detention facilities are concentration camps. The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines a concentration camp as, « a place where large numbers of people (such as prisoners of war, political prisoners, refugees, or the members of an ethnic or religious minority) are detained or confined under armed guard. »Many argue that this definition matches the detention centers currently set up on the southern border. « Why are they called concentration camps? Well, to state the obvious, it’s because large numbers of people are ‘concentrated’ in camps. A better question is, why don’t we just call them prisons? We don’t say ‘prisons’ because prisons are a part of the formal legal system, » Lester Andrist, a sociologist who has studied indefinite detention, tweeted. Andrist argues that the U.S. has a long history of establishing such facilities, including the Japanese-American internment camps that existed during World War II and, mostly recently, Guantanamo Bay. George Takei, the 82-year-old American actor of Japanese descent who is best known for his role in the Star Trek movies and television show, took to Twitter to share his perspective. « I know what concentration camps are. I was inside two of them, in America. And yes, we are operating such camps again, » the Takei tweeted. The Takei family was interned in Arkansas and California in the 1940s. Federico Finchelstein, a historian at the New York-based New School, agreed that the progressive congresswoman is right to call the ICE facilities concentration camps. « As [a] historian of fascism & [the] Holocaust, I would also call these centers concentration camps, » Finchelstein tweeted. « As a Jewish person who lost family in [the] Holocaust, I regret that some Republicans use memory of the Holocaust to defend racist policies of Trumpism. » In May, a top Pentagon official called China’s detention camps holding Uighur Muslims and other ethnic minorities « concentration camps » despite the fact that genocide has not been committed there. Yad Vashem, Israel’s official memorial to the victims of the holocaust, however, was one of the institutions that pushed back against Ocasio-Cortez’s claims. « Concentration camps assured a slave labor supply to help in the Nazi war effort, even as the brutality of life inside the camps helped assure the ultimate goal of ‘extermination through labor,' » the organization tweeted on Wednesday. But the young Congresswoman stood by her position, noting that concentration camps are not the same as extermination camps. Newsweek
Recent assertions by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., that U.S.-run detention centers for migrants are « concentration camps » drew immediate rebukes from some politicians, Jewish groups and social media users. « This administration has established concentration camps on the southern border of the United States for immigrants, where they are being brutalized with dehumanizing conditions and dying. This is not hyperbole. It is the conclusion of expert analysis, » she tweeted June 18. Her tweet didn’t specifically mention Nazi Germany, but she used the term « never again » on her Instagram, a phrase often used as a warning to prevent another genocide like the Holocaust. In a subsequent tweet, Ocasio-Cortez offered a distinction between « concentration camps » and « death camps. » « And for the shrieking Republicans who don’t know the difference: concentration camps are not the same as death camps. Concentration camps are considered by experts as ‘the mass detention of civilians without trial.’ And that’s exactly what this administration is doing. » (…) Historians we contacted said it was possible to make a case that the term « concentration camp » is a more general term than just referring to camps in Nazi Germany. However, these historians said Ocasio-Cortez glosses over some important differences. They also said that the strong, longstanding association of the term « concentration camps » with Nazi Germany likely overwhelms any technical similarities the two types of camps may have. We won’t rate this item on our Truth-O-Meter for that reason. (…) Nazi Germany was not the first nation to use concentration camps. The term dates from the eve of the 20th century, when it was used to describe policies used in at least three conflicts: South Africa’s Boer War, Spain’s campaign against Cuban insurrectionists and the United States’ campaign against Philippine insurgents. The intent was to « cut insurgents off from their support, » said David J. Silbey, a Cornell University historian. « It was an effective tactic, but a brutal one, uprooting people from their homes and often leading to mass outbreaks of disease and starvation among the captive populations. » Beginning in 1917, the Soviet Union used what were commonly known as « forced labor camps » to repress dissidents. The Soviets also forced people from the Baltic States and Poland into camps following their invasions of those countries in 1939. Germany established concentration camps shortly after Adolf Hitler came to power in 1933. Contrary to the popular image of concentration camps as killing factories, most facilities were initially designed for slave labor. « Systematic killing didn’t begin until the invasion of the Soviet Union, and it wasn’t until the January 1942 Wannsee Conference that the Nazis formally decided on a policy of extermination, » said Stephen Shalom, a political scientist at William Paterson University. These became what historians often refer to as « death camps. » Over time, the distinction in the popular mind between the different types of camps blurred. The reality, though, is that the early camps produced deaths from neglect or overwork, rather than carrying out executions. « None of the camps were pleasant, but the death camps were certainly the worst, » said Lance Janda, a military historian at Cameron University. The United States operated camps to hold Japanese-Americans following Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor, which drove the U.S. into World War II. Though generally referred to as « internment camps » or « relocation camps, » these complexes have occasionally been referred to as « concentration camps, » including by Chief Justice John Roberts in 2018. The American Heritage Dictionary defines « concentration camp » as « a camp where persons are confined, usually without hearings and typically under harsh conditions, often as a result of their membership in a group the government has identified as dangerous or undesirable. » Ocasio-Cortez and her staff have pointed to such linguistic precedents to argue that U.S. detention camps for migrants can be reasonably described as « concentration camps. » Some scholars agree that similarities exist. « As historian of fascism & Holocaust, I would also call these centers concentrations camps, » tweeted The New School historian Federico Finchelstein. Colgate University sociologist Jonathan Hyslop, who was also quoted in an Esquire magazine article that Ocasio-Cortez has cited, told PolitiFact that the definition of « concentration camp » is more elastic than most people think. (…) Adult immigrants in federal custody who are either waiting to be deported or waiting for a resolution of their immigration case are held in government-run centers or other contracted facilities. Immigrant rights advocates have long warned about poor standards and the mistreatment of detainees at some detention facilities. Generally, information about detention facilities can be difficult to obtain, inconsistent and outdated, and overall lacking in transparency. The Office of Inspector General for the Department of Homeland Security on June 3, 2019, issued a report detailing concerns about Immigration and Customs Enforcement detainee treatment and care at four detention facilities. The report is based on unannounced 2018 inspections, in which investigators « observed immediate risks or egregious violations of detention standards at facilities. » Among the issues documented: overly restrictive segregation, inadequate medical care, unreported security incidents, and significant food safety issues. (…) Overall, experts described the U.S. detention facilities as being far different from those of the earliest concentration camps, or from the Nazi camps — even from the ones that weren’t « death camps. » « The original purpose of concentration camps was to remove the populace from areas that were controlled or contested by guerrillas and thus deny the guerrillas popular support in its tangible forms — food, shelter, information, recruits, and so on, » said Texas A&M University historian Brian McAllister Linn. « This is not the purpose of the detention facilities in the Southwest. » Janda — who emphasized that he is unhappy with the current U.S. detention policy — nonetheless drew a distinction based on intent. « What we’re doing is just not the same as what the Nazis or the Soviets did, and it’s a disservice to people suffering under dictatorships around the world to act like it is, » Janda said. « We’re not rounding up legal citizens, or going after specific minority groups and holding them indefinitely to squash dissent. » Richard Breitman, an American University historian, was among several experts who said they would have avoided the term « concentration camp. » While the term « does show where abuse and dehumanization might lead, » he said, « it confuses more than it explains. » Politifact
People have become numbers, they’ve become statistics. People talk about immigrants in the absence of their humanity. As sad as it is, I think we need to show the photo. Fernando Garcia (Border Network for Human Rights)
I have avoided those kinds of photos all my career and in all my books. At a moment like this, maybe this step has to be taken. To me this is the official Stephen Miller portrait. Luis Alberto Urrea (novelist)
The National Association of Hispanic Journalists (NAHJ) joins others who are disturbed and concerned over a tweet by the Associated Press which includes an exploitative and dehumanizing photograph of a father and child, drowned in the Rio Grande. (…) Men, women, and children cross the border daily often escaping terror with hopes of a better life, knowing the peril that awaits them as they attempt to make the long journey to America. The thoughtless use of this picture only seeks to take advantage of a sensational situation. Ultimately, NAHJ’s objection is not about the photograph. Instead, our protest encompasses a bigger picture about the way visual journalism is utilized. While pertinent to the struggles of migrant families crossing the border, the picture, as the “website card” is both insensitive and disrespectful. It dehumanizes the plight of a community that are risking their lives, and the lives of their families, out of desperation. Pushing people to look at a shocking image that isn’t in context, is not beneficial for the viewers, it is not beneficial for journalists, and it is absolutely detrimental to the immigrant community. National Ass. of Hispanic journalists
There didn’t seem much room for Democrats to move left on immigration, but they’ve found it. On the first night of the Democratic debates, Julian Castro made a big issue of his call to repeal Section 1325 of Title 8 of the United States Code, which says it’s a federal crime to enter the country without authorization. This felt like a ploy for attention from the periphery of the second-tier debate stage, yet last night seven out of the ten candidates raised their hands for the idea, including top contenders Kamala Harris, Bernie Sanders, and Pete Buttigieg. The collective posture of the party is getting closer and closer to open borders, only without embracing the label. (…) The repeal of Section 1325 would send a message of permissiveness that would create another incentive for migrants to come across the border, and remove a tool for going after coyotes (it can be difficult to prove their offense, so prosecuting them for illegal entry is a backstop). Section 1325 has been on the books for 90 years, and it reflects the commonsense view that entering the United States without lawful permission should be a crime. Yes, it’d still be a civil offense to be present in the United States without papers, and in theory, still possible to be deported — although this brings us to the rest of the Democratic approach to immigration. Asked if an illegal immigrant in the interior of the country who hasn’t committed another crime should be deported, Joe Biden replied that such a person “should not be the focus of deportation.” Kamala Harris said he “absolutely” should not be deported, and Representative Eric Swalwell said “that person can be part of this great American experience.” This is a promise to gut interior enforcement that, coupled with the latitudinarian attitude at the border, would be a huge step toward open borders. If there were any doubt that Democrats want to welcome illegal immigrants and treat them like U.S. citizens, seeing every single candidate on the stage last night promising to provide government health insurance to illegal immigrants removes it. This, obviously, would be even more of a magnet to illegal immigration, and would erode the difference between U.S. citizens and people who literally showed up the day before yesterday in violation of our laws. Besides, the U.S. government is under enough fiscal strain providing promised benefits to citizens and legal residents without, in effect, extending the safety net to some percentage of the population of Northern Triangle countries. The Democrats’ radicalism on immigration is certainly a political mistake that will give President Trump ready fodder next year. We’d say it’s impossible for Democrats to get any further out on this limb, but the next round of debates is only a month away. National Review
In this week’s Democratic debates, it wasn’t just individual candidates who presented themselves to the public. It was also the party itself. What conclusions should ordinary people draw about what Democrats stand for, other than a thunderous repudiation of Donald Trump, and how they see America, other than as a land of unscrupulous profiteers and hapless victims? Here’s what: a party that makes too many Americans feel like strangers in their own country. A party that puts more of its faith, and invests most of its efforts, in them instead of us. They speak Spanish. We don’t. They are not U.S. citizens or legal residents. We are. They broke the rules to get into this country. We didn’t. They pay few or no taxes. We already pay most of those taxes. They willingly got themselves into debt. We’re asked to write it off. They don’t pay the premiums for private health insurance. We’re supposed to give up ours in exchange for some V.A.-type nightmare. They didn’t start enterprises that create employment and drive innovation. We’re expected to join the candidates in demonizing the job-creators, breaking up their businesses and taxing them to the hilt. (…) On closer inspection, the message got even worse. Promising access to health insurance for north of 11 million undocumented immigrants at a time when there’s a migration crisis at the southern border? Every candidate at Thursday’s debate raised a hand for that one, in what was surely the evening’s best moment for the Trump campaign. Calling for the decriminalization of border crossings (while opposing a wall)? That was a major theme of Wednesday’s debate, underlining the Republican contention that Democrats are a party of open borders, limitless amnesty and, in time, the Third World-ization of America.  (…) Eliminating private health insurance, an industry that employs more than 500,000 workers and insures 150 million?  (…) Since Democrats are already committed to destroying the coal industry and seem inclined to turn Silicon Valley into a regulated utility, it’s worth asking: Just how much of the private economy are they even willing to keep? And then there are the costs that Democrats want to impose on the country. Warren, for instance, favors universal child care (estimated cost, $70 billion a year), Medicare-For-All ($2.8 trillion to $3.2 trillion annually), student-debt cancellation and universal free college ($125 billion annually), and a comprehensive climate action plan ($2 trillion, including $100 billion in aid to poor countries), along with a raft of smaller giveaways, like debt relief for Puerto Rico. As Everett Dirksen might have said: A trillion here, a trillion there, and pretty soon you’re talking real money. Someone will have to pay for all this, and it won’t just be the very rich making between seven and 10 figures a year. It will be you. Throughout the debates, I kept wondering if any of the leading candidates would speak to Americans beyond the Democratic base. Bret Stevens
A gentleman of early middle age in Kansas City wrote to say he’d sat out the 2016 election because he was dissatisfied with both parties. But now he’s for Donald Trump, and the reason “runs deeper than politics.” America’s elites in politics, media and the academy have grown oblivious to “the average Joe’s intense disgust” at being morally instructed and “preached to.” (…) and (…) “in Donald Trump, voters found a massive sledgehammer that pulverizes the ridiculous notion that Americans aren’t good enough.” Mr. Trump doesn’t buy the guilt narrative. “It’s surely not about the man at this point. It stopped being about Trump long ago. It is about that counter-punch that has been missing from our culture for far too long.” (…) A reader who grew up upper-middle-class in the South writes on the politics of the situation. His second wife, also a Southerner, grew up poor. She is a former waitress and bartender whose politics he characterizes as “pragmatic liberal.” (…) “She told me, ‘He speaks my language, and there’s a lot more of me than there is of you.’ ” I have to say after a week of reading such letters that emotionally this cycle feels like 2016 all over again. Various facts are changed (no Mrs. Clinton) but the same basic dynamic pertains—the two Americas talking past each other, the social and cultural resentments, the great estrangement. It’s four years later but we’re re-enacting the trauma of 2016. And the Democrats again appear to be losing the thread. They’ve spent the past few months giving the impression they are in a kind of passionate lockstep with a part of their base, the progressives, and detached from everyone else. And in the debates they doubled down. (…) what Night One did was pick up the entire party and put it down outside the mainstream and apart from the center. (…) They are, functionally, in terms of the effects of their stands, for open borders. They are in complete agreement with the abortion regime—no reservations or qualms, no sense of just or civilized limits. They’re all in on identity politics. One candidate warned against denying federally funded abortions to “a trans female.” Two said they would do away with all private health insurance. Every party plays to its base in the primaries and attempts to soften its stands in the general. But I’m wondering how the ultimate nominee thinks he or she will walk this all back. It is too extreme for America, and too extreme for the big parts of its old base that the Democrats forgot in 2016. It was as if they were saying, “Hi, middle-American people who used to be Democrats and voted for Trump, we intend to alienate you again. Go vote for that jerk, we don’t care.” Another problem: America has a painful distance between rich and poor, but it is hard to pound the “1%” hammer effectively in a nation enjoying functional full employment. Our prosperity is provisional and could leave tomorrow, but right now America’s feeling stronger. “Grapes of Wrath” rhetoric resonates when people think they’re in or entering a recession or depression. The debaters Wednesday night looked like they were saying, “Who ya gonna believe, me or your lying eyes?” (…) Night two was more raucous but similarly extreme. The first 15 minutes included higher taxes, free college and student-loan forgiveness. Most candidates agreed on free health insurance for illegal immigrants. They also appeared to believe that most or all U.S. immigration law should be abolished. (…) It was an odd evening in that it was lively, spirited, at moments even soulful, and yet so detached from reality. Peggy Noonan
If you want to know why there’s a surge at the border it’s not just because things are bad in Central America. It’s because we’re giving away permanent residence, free school, and maybe soon free health care, etc. to anyone who arrives. (…) I don’t think most Americans agree with open borders. That’s still a fringe position. But as long as the left can label opposition to open borders racist, a lot of people will hesitate to speak up in opposition to it. And as long as the media lets Dems talk as if there is only upside to illegal immigration, most people won’t ever hear about what all this generosity is costing them. John Sexton
There is now a photograph that sums up everything wrong about America’s broken and overwhelmed immigration system. You’ve seen it, and it is hard to let it leave the mind or the conscience. Together with the accounts of horrifying abuse of children in detention — and “abuse” is not hyperbole — we can see the crisis as it is. We can no longer look away. The starkness of the crisis is a good thing, though. Until now, many have denied that any crisis existed at all. They have, in fact, denied that the highest levels of mass immigration since the Bush years are an issue at all. As Byron York has noted, Speaker Pelosi called the arrival of close to a million asylum seekers “a fake crisis”; Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said that hundreds of thousands of men, women, and many children, overwhelming any attempt to process them with the current resources, was “a crisis that does not exist.” This included many Never-Trumpers, like Bill Kristol (“a fake crisis”), and Max Boot (“a faux crisis”). The editors of the Washington Post denied the facts reported by their own Nick Miroff, claiming it was “a make-believe crisis.” None of these people will admit they were gravely mistaken, or that their denial and delay in acting clearly exacerbated the situation. But now that we’re on the same page, the question is: Where do we go with this now? (…) Since 2014, there has been a 240 percent increase in asylum cases. As Fareed Zakaria has pointed out, the number of asylum cases from Honduras, Guatemala, and Venezuela has soared at the same time as the crime rate in those countries was being cut in half. (…) But somehow the courts have decided that you qualify for asylum if there is simply widespread crime or violence where you live, and Ramirez was also going to use that argument as well. A government need not persecute you; you just have to experience an unsafe environment that your government is failing to suppress. This so expands the idea of asylum, in my view, as to render it meaningless. Courts have also expanded asylum to include domestic violence, determining that women in abusive relationships are a “particular social group” and thereby qualify. In other words, every woman on the planet who has experienced domestic abuse can now come to America and claim asylum. Also everyone on the planet who doesn’t live in a stable, orderly, low-crime society. Literally billions of human beings now have the right to asylum in America. As climate change worsens, more will rush to claim it. All they have to do is show up. Last month alone, 144,000 people were detained at the border making an asylum claim. This year, about a million Central Americans will have relocated to the U.S. on those grounds. To add to this, a big majority of the candidates in the Democratic debates also want to remove the grounds for detention at all, by repealing the 1929 law that made illegal entry a criminal offense and turning it into a civil one. And almost all of them said that if illegal immigrants do not commit a crime once they’re in the U.S., they should be allowed to become citizens. How, I ask, is that not practically open borders? The answer I usually get is that all these millions will have to, at some point, go to court hearings and have their asylum cases adjudicated. The trouble with that argument is that only 44 percent actually turn up for their hearings; and those who do show up and whose claims nonetheless fail can simply walk out of the court and know they probably won’t be deported in the foreseeable future. Immigration and Customs Enforcement forcibly removed 256,086 people in 2018, 57 percent of whom had committed crimes since they arrived in the U.S. So that’s an annual removal rate of 2 percent of the total undocumented population of around 12 million. That means that for 98 percent of undocumented aliens, in any given year, no consequences will follow for crossing the border without papers. At the debates this week, many Democratic candidates argued that the 43 percent of deportees who had no criminal record in America should not have been expelled at all and been put instead on a path to citizenship. So that would reduce the annual removal rate of illegal immigrants to a little more than 1 percent per year. In terms of enforcement of the immigration laws, this is a joke. It renders the distinction between a citizen and a noncitizen close to meaningless. None of this reality was allowed to intervene in the Democratic debates this week. (…) What emerged was their core message to the world: Get here without papers and you’ll receive humane treatment while you’re processed, you’ll never be detained, you’ll get work permits immediately, and you’ll have access to publicly funded health care and a path to citizenship if you don’t commit a crime. This amounts to an open invitation to anyone on the planet to just show up and cross the border. The worst that can happen is you get denied asylum by a judge, in which case you can just disappear and there’s a 1 percent chance that you’ll be caught in a given year. Who wouldn’t take those odds? This is in a new century when the U.S. is trying to absorb the largest wave of new immigrants in our entire history, and when the percentage of the population that is foreign-born is also near a historic peak. It is also a time when mass immigration from the developing world has destabilized liberal democracies across the West, is bringing illiberal, anti-immigration regimes to power across Europe, and was the single biggest reason why Donald Trump is president. I’m told that, as a legal immigrant, I’m shutting the door behind me now that I’ve finally made it to citizenship. I’m not. I favor solid continuing legal immigration, but also a reduction in numbers and a new focus on skills in an economy where unskilled labor is increasingly a path to nowhere. It is not strange that legal immigrants — who have often spent years and thousands of dollars to play by the rules — might be opposed to others’ jumping the line. It is not strange that a hefty proportion of Latino legal immigrants oppose illegal immigration — they are often the most directly affected by new, illegal competition, which drives down their wages. (…) When I’m told only white racists favor restrictionism, I note how the Mexican people are more opposed to illegal immigration than Americans: In a new poll, 61.5 percent of Mexicans oppose the entry of undocumented migrants, period; 44 percent believe that Mexico should remove any undocumented alien immediately. Are Mexicans now white supremacists too? That hostility to illegal immigration may even explain why Trump’s threat to put tariffs on Mexico if it didn’t crack down may well have worked. Since Trump’s bluster, the numbers have measurably declined — and the crackdown is popular in Mexico. I can also note that most countries outside Western Europe have strict immigration control and feel no need to apologize for it. Are the Japanese and Chinese “white supremacists”? Please. Do they want to sustain their own culture and national identity? Sure. Is that now the equivalent of the KKK? Andrew Sullivan
Résidence permanente, scolarité et soins gratuits, élargissement toujours plus large des critères d’accueil jusqu’à la violence domestique, décriminalisation de l’entrée illégale …
Y-a-t-il une mesure pro-migrants clandestins que les Démocrates n’auront pas préconisée ?
A l’heure où en Europe, sur fond d’une soumission à une police de la pensée de plus en plus étouffante, les attaques de commissariat aux cris d’Allahu akbar commencent à se banaliser …
Où une militante écologiste se fait mousser sur le dos d’une quarantaine de migrants clandestins …
Alors que les caméras de Frontex viennent de démontrer les véritables mises en scène auxquelles se livrent les passeurs …
Et que sur fond d’une immigration sauvage complètement hors contrôle – jusqu’à l’arrestation de djihadistes égyptiens au Nicaragua …
Le NYT nous refait sur le Rio Grande (avant probablement Hollywood ?) le coup du petit noyé syrien de Méditerrannée
Pendant que pour un problème qui date principalement de l’Administration Obama, chercheurs, célébrités et parlementaires voient des camps nazis ou de l’esclavage partout …
Comment ne pas être frappé …
De l’incroyable légèreté des candidats démocrates pour la présidentielle de l’an prochain …
Qui après avoir passé deux ans à nier la réalité de la crise migratoire en sont …
Comme le rappellent l’ancien blogueur Andrew Sullivan ou l’ancienne plume de Reagan Peggy Noonan

A nier la réalité elle-même ?

New York magazine

There is now a photograph that sums up everything wrong about America’s broken and overwhelmed immigration system. You’ve seen it, and it is hard to let it leave the mind or the conscience. Together with the accounts of horrifying abuse of children in detention — and “abuse” is not hyperbole — we can see the crisis as it is. We can no longer look away.

The starkness of the crisis is a good thing, though. Until now, many have denied that any crisis existed at all. They have, in fact, denied that the highest levels of mass immigration since the Bush years are an issue at all. As Byron York has noted, Speaker Pelosi called the arrival of close to a million asylum seekers “a fake crisis”; Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said that hundreds of thousands of men, women, and many children, overwhelming any attempt to process them with the current resources, was “a crisis that does not exist.” This included many Never-Trumpers, like Bill Kristol (“a fake crisis”), and Max Boot (“a faux crisis”). The editors of the Washington Post denied the facts reported by their own Nick Miroff, claiming it was “a make-believe crisis.”

None of these people will admit they were gravely mistaken, or that their denial and delay in acting clearly exacerbated the situation. But now that we’re on the same page, the question is: Where do we go with this now?

Yesterday was a sign of real bipartisan progress. The House passed a Senate bill to spend $4.6 billion to relieve the humanitarian crisis and tackle some of the structural inadequacies of the current failed system. The left wing of the Democratic caucus wanted to insist on various restrictions on the use of the $4.6 billion, primarily to ensure that none of it is earmarked (God forbid) for enforcement of the law. The problem with waging a longer fight would be that Congress would break for its July 4 recess having done nothing to help. Pelosi put children before politics, and it’s hard not to admire her humane pragmatism.

So it’s a start. What’s next? The good news is that the Democrats are finally beginning to announce policy plans that offer some solid ideas. A new bill for an overhaul of the entire system called the Northern Triangle and Border Stabilization Act has been introduced in the House. It proposes increased U.S. aid to Central American countries, to tackle the problem at its roots; a big investment in border facilities to ensure far more humane treatment of asylum seekers; a much stricter monitoring system to keep track of them after processing to make sure they turn up for their court hearings; many more immigration judges to reduce the massive backlog of cases; and it allows for asylum claims to be made in home countries, rather than at the border.

These are all good ideas and certainly worth trying. But what they don’t address is the larger problem of how to reduce levels of mass immigration. The Democrats want to raise the cap on refugees from Central America to 100,000 a year and propose no tightening of asylum law. But it’s the asylum law that needs to change. Since 2014, there has been a 240 percent increase in asylum cases. As Fareed Zakaria has pointed out, the number of asylum cases from Honduras, Guatemala, and Venezuela has soared at the same time as the crime rate in those countries was being cut in half.

Take the tragic tale of Oscar Ramirez and his young daughter Valeria, the father and daughter captured in death in that heartbreaking photograph. Ramirez’s widow explained to the Washington Post why her husband wanted to move to America: He wanted “a better future for their girl.” This is an admirable goal, but it is classic economic immigration, and it would appear, based on what we know, that it has absolutely nothing to do with asylum. Here again is the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services definition: “Refugee status or asylum may be granted to people who have been persecuted or fear they will be persecuted on account of race, religion, nationality, and/or membership in a particular social group or political opinion.”

But somehow the courts have decided that you qualify for asylum if there is simply widespread crime or violence where you live, and Ramirez was also going to use that argument as well. A government need not persecute you; you just have to experience an unsafe environment that your government is failing to suppress. This so expands the idea of asylum, in my view, as to render it meaningless.

Courts have also expanded asylum to include domestic violence, determining that women in abusive relationships are a “particular social group” and thereby qualify. In other words, every woman on the planet who has experienced domestic abuse can now come to America and claim asylum. Also everyone on the planet who doesn’t live in a stable, orderly, low-crime society. Literally billions of human beings now have the right to asylum in America. As climate change worsens, more will rush to claim it. All they have to do is show up.

Last month alone, 144,000 people were detained at the border making an asylum claim. This year, about a million Central Americans will have relocated to the U.S. on those grounds. To add to this, a big majority of the candidates in the Democratic debates also want to remove the grounds for detention at all, by repealing the 1929 law that made illegal entry a criminal offense and turning it into a civil one. And almost all of them said that if illegal immigrants do not commit a crime once they’re in the U.S., they should be allowed to become citizens.

How, I ask, is that not practically open borders? The answer I usually get is that all these millions will have to, at some point, go to court hearings and have their asylum cases adjudicated. The trouble with that argument is that only 44 percent actually turn up for their hearings; and those who do show up and whose claims nonetheless fail can simply walk out of the court and know they probably won’t be deported in the foreseeable future.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement forcibly removed 256,086 people in 2018, 57 percent of whom had committed crimes since they arrived in the U.S. So that’s an annual removal rate of 2 percent of the total undocumented population of around 12 million. That means that for 98 percent of undocumented aliens, in any given year, no consequences will follow for crossing the border without papers. At the debates this week, many Democratic candidates argued that the 43 percent of deportees who had no criminal record in America should not have been expelled at all and been put instead on a path to citizenship. So that would reduce the annual removal rate of illegal immigrants to a little more than 1 percent per year. In terms of enforcement of the immigration laws, this is a joke. It renders the distinction between a citizen and a noncitizen close to meaningless.

None of this reality was allowed to intervene in the Democratic debates this week. At one point, one moderator tellingly spoke about Obama’s record of deporting ” 3 million Americans.” In that bubble, there were no negatives to mass immigration at all, and no concern for existing American citizens’ interests in not having their wages suppressed through this competition. There was no concession that child separation and “metering” at the border to slow the crush were both innovated by Obama, trying to manage an overwhelmed system. Candidates vied with each other to speak in Spanish. Every single one proposed amnesty for all those currently undocumented in the U.S., except for criminals. Every single one opposes a wall. There was unanimous support for providing undocumented immigrants immediately with free health care. There was no admission that Congress needed to tighten asylum law. There was no concern that the Flores decision had massively incentivized bringing children to game the system, leaving so many vulnerable to untold horrors on a journey no child should ever be forced to make.

What emerged was their core message to the world: Get here without papers and you’ll receive humane treatment while you’re processed, you’ll never be detained, you’ll get work permits immediately, and you’ll have access to publicly funded health care and a path to citizenship if you don’t commit a crime. This amounts to an open invitation to anyone on the planet to just show up and cross the border. The worst that can happen is you get denied asylum by a judge, in which case you can just disappear and there’s a 1 percent chance that you’ll be caught in a given year. Who wouldn’t take those odds?

This is in a new century when the U.S. is trying to absorb the largest wave of new immigrants in our entire history, and when the percentage of the population that is foreign-born is also near a historic peak. It is also a time when mass immigration from the developing world has destabilized liberal democracies across the West, is bringing illiberal, anti-immigration regimes to power across Europe, and was the single biggest reason why Donald Trump is president.

I’m told that, as a legal immigrant, I’m shutting the door behind me now that I’ve finally made it to citizenship. I’m not. I favor solid continuing legal immigration, but also a reduction in numbers and a new focus on skills in an economy where unskilled labor is increasingly a path to nowhere. It is not strange that legal immigrants — who have often spent years and thousands of dollars to play by the rules — might be opposed to others’ jumping the line. It is not strange that a hefty proportion of Latino legal immigrants oppose illegal immigration — they are often the most directly affected by new, illegal competition, which drives down their wages.

I’m told that I’m a white supremacist for believing in borders, nation-states, and a reduction in legal immigration to slow the pace of this country’s demographic revolution. But I support this because I want a more successful integration and Americanization of immigrants, a better future for skilled immigrants, and I want to weaken the populist and indeed racist movements that have taken the West by storm in the past few years. It’s because I loathe white supremacy that I favor moderation in this area.

When I’m told only white racists favor restrictionism, I note how the Mexican people are more opposed to illegal immigration than Americans: In a new poll, 61.5 percent of Mexicans oppose the entry of undocumented migrants, period; 44 percent believe that Mexico should remove any undocumented alien immediately. Are Mexicans now white supremacists too? That hostility to illegal immigration may even explain why Trump’s threat to put tariffs on Mexico if it didn’t crack down may well have worked. Since Trump’s bluster, the numbers have measurably declined — and the crackdown is popular in Mexico. I can also note that most countries outside Western Europe have strict immigration control and feel no need to apologize for it. Are the Japanese and Chinese “white supremacists”? Please. Do they want to sustain their own culture and national identity? Sure. Is that now the equivalent of the KKK?

The Democrats’ good ideas need to be put in contact with this bigger question if they are to win wider support. In the U.S. in the 21st century, should anyone who enters without papers and doesn’t commit a crime be given a path to citizenship? Should all adversely affected by climate change be offered a path to citizenship if they make it to the border? Should every human living in violent, crime-ridden neighborhoods or countries be granted asylum in America? Is there any limiting principle at all?

I suspect that the Democrats’ new position — everyone in the world can become an American if they walk over the border and never commit a crime — is political suicide. I think the courts’ expansion of the meaning of asylum would strike most Americans as excessively broad. I think many Americans will have watched these debates on immigration and concluded that the Democrats want more immigration, not less, that they support an effective amnesty of 12 million undocumented aliens as part of loosening border enforcement and weakening criteria for citizenship. And the viewers will have realized that their simple beliefs that borders should be enforced and that immigration needs to slow down a bit are viewed by Democrats as unthinkable bigotry.

Advantage Trump.

Voir aussi:

The 2020 Democrats Lack Hindsight
They ignore reality and march in lockstep with their base. Did they learn anything from 2016?
Peggy Noonan
June 28, 2019

I’ve received tens of thousands of letters and other communications from Trump supporters the past few years, some of which have sparked extended dialogues. Two I got after last week’s column struck me as pertinent to this moment, and they make insufficiently appreciated points.
A gentleman of early middle age in Kansas City wrote to say he’d sat out the 2016 election because he was dissatisfied with both parties. But now he’s for Donald Trump, and the reason “runs deeper than politics.”
America’s elites in politics, media and the academy have grown oblivious to “the average Joe’s intense disgust” at being morally instructed and “preached to.”
“Every day, Americans are told of the endless ways they are falling short. If we don’t show the ‘proper’ level of understanding according to a talking head, then we are surely racist. If we don’t embrace every sanitized PC talking point, then we must be heartless. If we have the audacity to speak our mind, then we are most definitely a bigot.” These accusations are relentless.
“We are jabbed like a boxer with no gloves on to defend us. And we are fed up. We are tired of being told we aren’t good enough.” He believes the American people are by nature kind and generous—“they would give you the shirt off their back if you were in trouble”—and that “in Donald Trump, voters found a massive sledgehammer that pulverizes the ridiculous notion that Americans aren’t good enough.” Mr. Trump doesn’t buy the guilt narrative.
“It’s surely not about the man at this point. It stopped being about Trump long ago. It is about that counter-punch that has been missing from our culture for far too long.”
The culture of accusation, he says, is breaking us apart.
A reader who grew up upper-middle-class in the South writes on the politics of the situation. His second wife, also a Southerner, grew up poor. She is a former waitress and bartender whose politics he characterizes as “pragmatic liberal.” They watched Mr. Trump’s 2015 announcement together, and he said to her, “He doesn’t have a chance.” She looked at him “with complete conviction” and said, “He’s going to win.”
As the campaign progressed, she never wavered. At the end, with the polls saying Hillary, “I asked my wife how she could be so certain Trump was going to win.” He found her response “astute and telling.”
“She told me, ‘He speaks my language, and there’s a lot more of me than there is of you.’ ”
I have to say after a week of reading such letters that emotionally this cycle feels like 2016 all over again. Various facts are changed (no Mrs. Clinton) but the same basic dynamic pertains—the two Americas talking past each other, the social and cultural resentments, the great estrangement. It’s four years later but we’re re-enacting the trauma of 2016.
And the Democrats again appear to be losing the thread.
They’ve spent the past few months giving the impression they are in a kind of passionate lockstep with a part of their base, the progressives, and detached from everyone else.
And in the debates they doubled down. Both nights had fizz. There was a lot of earnestness and different kinds of brightness.
But what Night One did was pick up the entire party and put it down outside the mainstream and apart from the center.
This is what the candidates said:
They are, functionally, in terms of the effects of their stands, for open borders.
They are in complete agreement with the abortion regime—no reservations or qualms, no sense of just or civilized limits.
They’re all in on identity politics. One candidate warned against denying federally funded abortions to “a trans female.”
Two said they would do away with all private health insurance.
Every party plays to its base in the primaries and attempts to soften its stands in the general. But I’m wondering how the ultimate nominee thinks he or she will walk this all back. It is too extreme for America, and too extreme for the big parts of its old base that the Democrats forgot in 2016.
It was as if they were saying, “Hi, middle-American people who used to be Democrats and voted for Trump, we intend to alienate you again. Go vote for that jerk, we don’t care.”
Another problem: America has a painful distance between rich and poor, but it is hard to pound the “1%” hammer effectively in a nation enjoying functional full employment. Our prosperity is provisional and could leave tomorrow, but right now America’s feeling stronger.
“Grapes of Wrath” rhetoric resonates when people think they’re in or entering a recession or depression. The debaters Wednesday night looked like they were saying, “Who ya gonna believe, me or your lying eyes?”
After these big facts, candidate-by-candidate analysis seems secondary. Beto O’Rourke’s fatuous, self-actualizing journey makes the Democrats look sillier than they have to. Elizabeth Warren was focused and energetic, and her call to break up concentrations of power, including big tech, was strong and timely. She made a terrible mistake in holding to her intention to do away with private health insurance. An estimated 180 million Americans have such policies. Why force potential supporters to choose between her and their family’s insurance? Who does she think is going to win that? Why put as the headline on your plan, “This is what I’m going to take away from you”? Why would she gamble a serious long-term candidacy on such a vow? It is insane.
If she is extremely lucky Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez won’t endorse her soon and make it worse.
Bill de Blasio had the best moment in the first half-hour, suggesting Democrats shouldn’t bicker about policy differences but instead unite as progressives. He has that air of burly, happy aggression that is the special province of idiots. Tulsi Gabbard broke through when it became clear she was the only explicitly antiwar candidate on the stage; this had the interesting effect of showing the others up.
Night two was more raucous but similarly extreme. The first 15 minutes included higher taxes, free college and student-loan forgiveness. Most candidates agreed on free health insurance for illegal immigrants. They also appeared to believe that most or all U.S. immigration law should be abolished.
The big dawgs did OK. If Kamala Harris was not a big dawg, she is now. Joe Biden sort of held his own but seemed to flag. Bernie Sanders seemed not as interesting as last cycle, more crotchety and irritable.
Eric Swalwell’s uncorking of a memory from when he was 6—ol’ Sen. Biden came to town and talked about passing the torch to younger leaders—was an attempt at slyness that so widely missed its mark, was so inelegant and obvious, that it was kind of fabulous. By the end of the night Mr. Swalwell had flamed out from sheer obnoxiousness.
The nonpolitician Marianne Williamson was delightfully unshy, sincere and, until her daffy closing statement, sympathetic. Kirsten Gillibrand yippily interrupted—“It’s my turn!”—and did herself no good.
It was an odd evening in that it was lively, spirited, at moments even soulful, and yet so detached from reality.
Voir également:

A Wretched Start for Democrats
The party seems interested in helping everyone except the voters it needs.
Bret Stephens
The New York Times
June 28, 2019

Amigos demócratas, Si ustedes siguen así, van a perder las elecciones. Y lo merecerán.
Translation for the linguistically benighted: “Democratic friends, if you go on like this, you’re going to lose the elections. And you’ll deserve it.

In this week’s Democratic debates, it wasn’t just individual candidates who presented themselves to the public. It was also the party itself. What conclusions should ordinary people draw about what Democrats stand for, other than a thunderous repudiation of Donald Trump, and how they see America, other than as a land of unscrupulous profiteers and hapless victims?

Here’s what: a party that makes too many Americans feel like strangers in their own country. A party that puts more of its faith, and invests most of its efforts, in them instead of us.

They speak Spanish. We don’t. They are not U.S. citizens or legal residents. We are. They broke the rules to get into this country. We didn’t. They pay few or no taxes. We already pay most of those taxes. They willingly got themselves into debt. We’re asked to write it off. They don’t pay the premiums for private health insurance. We’re supposed to give up ours in exchange for some V.A.-type nightmare. They didn’t start enterprises that create employment and drive innovation. We’re expected to join the candidates in demonizing the job-creators, breaking up their businesses and taxing them to the hilt.

That was the broad gist of the Democratic message, in which the only honorable exceptions, like Maryland’s John Delaney and Colorado’s John Hickenlooper, came across as square dancers at a rave.

On closer inspection, the message got even worse.

Promising access to health insurance for north of 11 million undocumented immigrants at a time when there’s a migration crisis at the southern border? Every candidate at Thursday’s debate raised a hand for that one, in what was surely the evening’s best moment for the Trump campaign.

Calling for the decriminalization of border crossings (while opposing a wall)? That was a major theme of Wednesday’s debate, underlining the Republican contention that Democrats are a party of open borders, limitless amnesty and, in time, the Third World-ization of America.

Switching to Spanish? Memo to Beto O’Rourke and Cory Booker: If you can’t speak the language without a heavy American accent, don’t bother. It just reminds those of us who can that the only thing worse than an obnoxious gringo is a pandering one.

Eliminating private health insurance, an industry that employs more than 500,000 workers and insures 150 million? Elizabeth Warren, Bill de Blasio, Bernie Sanders and Kamala Harris support it (though the California senator later recanted the position). Since Democrats are already committed to destroying the coal industry and seem inclined to turn Silicon Valley into a regulated utility, it’s worth asking: Just how much of the private economy are they even willing to keep?

And then there are the costs that Democrats want to impose on the country. Warren, for instance, favors universal child care (estimated cost, $70 billion a year), Medicare-For-All ($2.8 trillion to $3.2 trillion annually), student-debt cancellation and universal free college ($125 billion annually), and a comprehensive climate action plan ($2 trillion, including $100 billion in aid to poor countries), along with a raft of smaller giveaways, like debt relief for Puerto Rico.

As Everett Dirksen might have said: A trillion here, a trillion there, and pretty soon you’re talking real money. Someone will have to pay for all this, and it won’t just be the very rich making between seven and 10 figures a year. It will be you.

Throughout the debates, I kept wondering if any of the leading candidates would speak to Americans beyond the Democratic base. But Joe Biden seemed too feeble, oratorically and intellectually, to buck the self-defeating trend. Pete Buttigieg was, as always, fluent, knowledgeable and sincere. But his big moment — a mea culpa for a racially charged policing incident in South Bend — felt like another well-mannered white guy desperate to put his wokeness on display.

Harris, meanwhile, came across as Barack Obama in reverse, especially with her scurrilous attack on Biden for the sin of having had a functional political relationship with two former segregationist senators in the 1970s. This was portrayed as a clever debate move but it will come to haunt her.

Obama’s political genius was to emphasize what Greg Lukianoff and Jonathan Haidt, authors of ‘The Coddling of the American Mind,” have called “common-humanity identity politics”— he made you feel comfortable no matter the color of your skin. Harris’s approach, by contrast, is “common-enemy identity politics.” Making white Americans feel racially on trial for views they may have held in the past on crime, busing and similar subjects is not going to help the Democrats.

None of this means that Democrats can’t win in 2020. The economy could take a bad turn. Or Trump could outdo himself in loathsomeness. But the Democratic Party we saw this week did even less to appeal beyond its base than the president. And at least his message is that he’s on their — make that our — side.

Bret L. Stephens has been an Opinion columnist with The Times since April 2017. He won a Pulitzer Prize for commentary at The Wall Street Journal in 2013 and was previously editor in chief of The Jerusalem Post. @BretStephensNYT Facebook

Voir de même:

The Party of Illegal Immigration

There didn’t seem much room for Democrats to move left on immigration, but they’ve found it.

On the first night of the Democratic debates, Julian Castro made a big issue of his call to repeal Section 1325 of Title 8 of the United States Code, which says it’s a federal crime to enter the country without authorization. This felt like a ploy for attention from the periphery of the second-tier debate stage, yet last night seven out of the ten candidates raised their hands for the idea, including top contenders Kamala Harris, Bernie Sanders, and Pete Buttigieg.

The collective posture of the party is getting closer and closer to open borders, only without embracing the label.

Illegal immigrants aren’t typically prosecuted under Section 1325, although the Bush administration started a program called “Operation Streamline” to increase prosecutions, hoping to discourage would-be crossers and especially to create a deterrent against illegal reentry (illegal entry is a misdemeanor often punished by time served, whereas illegal reentry is a felony). Such prosecutions were a key element of Trump’s family-separation policy that had to be quickly abandoned.

The repeal of Section 1325 would send a message of permissiveness that would create another incentive for migrants to come across the border, and remove a tool for going after coyotes (it can be difficult to prove their offense, so prosecuting them for illegal entry is a backstop). Section 1325 has been on the books for 90 years, and it reflects the commonsense view that entering the United States without lawful permission should be a crime. Yes, it’d still be a civil offense to be present in the United States without papers, and in theory, still possible to be deported — although this brings us to the rest of the Democratic approach to immigration.

Asked if an illegal immigrant in the interior of the country who hasn’t committed another crime should be deported, Joe Biden replied that such a person “should not be the focus of deportation.” Kamala Harris said he “absolutely” should not be deported, and Representative Eric Swalwell said “that person can be part of this great American experience.” This is a promise to gut interior enforcement that, coupled with the latitudinarian attitude at the border, would be a huge step toward open borders.

If there were any doubt that Democrats want to welcome illegal immigrants and treat them like U.S. citizens, seeing every single candidate on the stage last night promising to provide government health insurance to illegal immigrants removes it. This, obviously, would be even more of a magnet to illegal immigration, and would erode the difference between U.S. citizens and people who literally showed up the day before yesterday in violation of our laws. Besides, the U.S. government is under enough fiscal strain providing promised benefits to citizens and legal residents without, in effect, extending the safety net to some percentage of the population of Northern Triangle countries.

The Democrats’ radicalism on immigration is certainly a political mistake that will give President Trump ready fodder next year. We’d say it’s impossible for Democrats to get any further out on this limb, but the next round of debates is only a month away.

Voir de plus:

États-Unis : Barack Obama sous pression face à l’afflux d’enfants clandestins

La Maison-Blanche a demandé mardi au Congrès américain le déblocage en urgence de 3,7 milliards de dollars pour faire face à l’entrée illégale de dizaines de milliers d’enfants.

Le président américain reconnaît lui-même que son pays fait face à «une situation humanitaire d’urgence». Barack Obama a demandé formellement au Congrès mardi de débloquer 3,7 milliards de dollars (2,7 milliards d’euros) pour répondre à l’afflux croissant d’enfants clandestins à la frontière avec le Mexique. L’objectif: augmenter les capacités d’accueil des sans-papiers et le nombre de juges gérant leurs dossiers, renforcer la surveillance de la frontière… mais surtout améliorer les conditions de détention de ces enfants arrêtés à la frontière après avoir tenté la traversée du Rio Grande au péril de leur vie. «Sans crédits supplémentaires, à moins de prendre des mesures extraordinaires, les agences ne disposeront pas des ressources suffisantes pour répondre à la situation de façon appropriée», a insisté la Maison-Blanche.

Car sur le terrain, les besoins sont colossaux. Depuis le mois d’octobre, pas moins de 52.000 sans-papiers mineurs venus seuls, surtout d’Amérique centrale (Guatemala, Honduras, Salvador), ont été interpellés à la frontière entre le Mexique et les États-Unis. Sans compter les milliers d’autres arrêtés en compagnie de leurs proches. Le phénomène est loin d’être nouveau, mais les chiffres ont doublé par rapport à l’an dernier. Au total, plus de 90.000 enfants pourraient être interpellés cette année, soit 15 fois plus qu’en 2011, selon une note officielle.

Ces enfants, parfois âgés de 3 ou 4 ans seulement, arrivent affamés, déshydratés, après un périple de plusieurs milliers de kilomètres. Ils se retrouvent dans «des conditions terribles», «n’ont pas de lit et dorment par terre», déplore auprès de l’AFP Domingo Gonzalo, membre de l’association Campaña Fronteriza qui oeuvre au Texas. La Croix-Rouge américaine a même dû venir en aide aux autorités en fournissant des couvertures et des kits d’hygiène pour les jeunes détenus, tandis que des bases militaires sont transformées en centres d’accueil d’urgence, en Californie ou au Texas.

Un hangar faisant office de centre de détention, en Arizona.

Le message pro-immigration du président, principal coupable selon les républicains

Parmi ces mineurs, beaucoup fuient la pauvreté, la violence liée au narcotrafic de leur pays. L’Agence des Nations Unies pour les réfugiés, citée par les Los Angeles Times, rappelle que ces mineurs ne s’exilent pas seulement aux Etats-Unis: ils cherchent aussi à atteindre d’autres pays comme le Mexique, le Costa Rica ou le Nicaragua. Mais s’ils affluent à la frontière américaine, c’est que beaucoup disent être venus profiter d’une «nouvelle» loi qui leur donnerait des «permisos», des permis de séjour pour mineurs, une rumeur qui se répand depuis des mois dans ces pays d’Amérique centrale, à en croire des migrants interrogés par le New York Times. Rumeur alimentée par les passeurs qui profitent de ce trafic.

Pour les républicains toutefois, le principal responsable de cet afflux massif s’appelle Barack Obama: avec son message pro-immigration, il a selon eux donné des espoirs aux jeunes clandestins. La reforme que défend le président prévoit en effet de faciliter un peu l’accès à la nationalité pour les enfants sans-papiers, contre un renforcement du contrôle de la frontière mexicaine. «Apparemment, on se passe le mot qu’une fois appréhendé par les agents à la frontière, grâce au laxisme de cette administration, on ne sera jamais expulsé», accuse ainsi le représentant républicain Bob Goodlatte.

Le gouverneur du Texas Rick Perry estime que cette «crise humanitaire» menace la sécurité intérieure du pays. «La bonne décision est de mon point de vue d’expulser immédiatement» ces enfants. Comme l’a rappelé sur CNN un élu démocrate du Texas, Henry Cuellar, «si vous êtes Mexicain, vous êtes renvoyés (…) mais si vous venez d’un pays qui n’est pas frontalier avec les Etats-Unis comme les pays d’Amérique centrale, alors la loi dit que vous devez être pris en charge par les services fédéraux de la Santé et qu’ils vont vous placer» dans un centre d’accueil ou une famille. Or pour le républicain Rick Perry, «leur permettre de rester ne fera qu’encourager le prochain groupe à entreprendre ce très dangereux voyage».

Obama, qui doit se rendre au Texas mercredi pour s’entretenir avec Rick Perry, a fait de la réforme de l’immigration un chantier majeur de son deuxième mandat. Se heurtant au blocage de la chambre des représentants dominée par les républicains, il s’est engagé à agir par décret pour faire avancer les choses. Dans son camp, on affirme qu’il ne faut pas faire d’amalgame entre ce qui se passe en ce moment à la frontière et l’urgence d’une réforme migratoire, qui ne régulariserait que certaines personnes arrivées avant 2011. Les démocrates rappellent aussi que leur plan prévoyait la construction de centaines de kilomètres de nouvelles barrières frontalières et le renforcement du nombre de policiers.

Visiblement dépassée par l’ampleur du phénomène, l’administration Obama répète que la plupart de ces enfants clandestins ne seront pas autorisés à rester dans le pays. Le président s’est même adressé aux parents d’Amérique centrale le mois dernier dans une interview télévisée: «Notre message est sans équivoque: n’envoyez pas vos enfants seuls, sur des trains ou par des passeurs», a-t-il déclaré sur la chaîne américaine ABC (vidéo ci-dessous). «S’ils réussissent à arriver ici, ils seront renvoyés. Mais surtout, ils risquent de ne pas arriver». Malgré ses efforts, des centaines de mineurs clandestins continuent de gagner la frontière chaque jour.

Voir encore:

Why The Times Published a Photo of Drowned Migrants

We asked top editors about the decision-making process: “These are not easy images to use.”

Lara Takenaga
The New Yort Times
June 26, 2019

After The Times published a haunting photo this week of two migrants, a father and his young daughter, who had drowned in the Rio Grande, many readers said they appreciated the attention it brought to the national conversation around immigration.

Some have questioned the decision, however.

“I understand that the photograph you have with your story is meant to somehow transmit a message, perhaps convey pain and trauma, make us feel shame and sadness, and thereby ignite change,” one reader commented on the article accompanying the image. “But somehow I also find it a thoroughly humiliating (disrespectful) photograph, too.”

To give readers insight into our editorial process, we asked several top editors how The Times decided to run the photo.

At least a dozen editors discussed the image, which came from The Associated Press, at length on Tuesday after seeing it on social media. Once the photo’s legitimacy had been verified, editors decided to publish it online that evening with an article that reported on the victims, Óscar Alberto Martínez Ramírez and his 23-month-old daughter, Valeria, and explained the image’s significance in the immigration debate. The photo appeared prominently on The Times’s front page on Wednesday.

Beth Flynn, our deputy photo editor, said the editors decided to run the image because it bore witness to what is happening at the border between the United States and Mexico right now.

“It’s important for our readers to see and understand that,” she said.

The photo reminded the editors of other powerful images, including the photo of a 3-year-old Syrian boy, Aylan Kurdi, whose body washed ashore in Turkey, that have brought world tragedies into greater focus and humanized the victims, said Tom Jolly, the associate masthead editor who oversees The Times’s print operations.

Among the questions the editors discussed were whether prominent use of the image on the front page would be seen as gratuitous (they decided it wasn’t) and whether it added important context to our coverage of the border, Ms. Flynn said. While The Times has written about migrants who died attempting to cross the Rio Grande, there have not been images of that plight. This photo “has such impact” as a result, Ms. Flynn said.

They also considered whether they would feel the same about the photo if it showed two white Americans.

“In this case, after an almost two-hour conversation involving people with different backgrounds and perspectives, we felt that yes, this photo was an iconic moment that represented something bigger than just the image itself,” Mr. Jolly said.

One concern about running the photo at the top of the front page was whether it would give the appearance of The Times making a political statement, Mr. Jolly said. But the editors were confident that the image stood on its own, reflecting the perils migrants on the border face, not a position on the issue of immigration.

There are some places the photo hasn’t appeared: The Times has a longstanding policy of not using graphic images in social media posts, except in extremely rare circumstances.

“It’s one thing to feature graphic photos on the homescreen or in an article,” Cynthia Collins, our off-platform editor, said. “It’s quite another thing to serve a graphic image in tweets and Facebook posts that can appear in the newsfeeds of people who didn’t deliberately seek out the news and editorial judgment of The New York Times.”

After readers criticized a photo of dead bodies that ran with a January article about an attack in Nairobi, Kenya, top editors in our photo department compiled internal guidelines for the publication of graphic or sensitive photos. Phil Corbett, our standards editor, summarized them for us:

  • Editors are advised to take enough time to discuss such a decision thoroughly, and to consult high-ranking editors as needed.

  • They should consider a series of questions and factors, including the newsworthiness of the event; how crucial the photo is to telling the story; the likely impact on loved ones, survivors and the community affected; and whether our judgment would be the same regardless of who the victims were or where the events occurred.

The conversations are never taken lightly.

“These are not easy images to use,” Mr. Jolly said. “They’re as difficult for us to look at as anyone. We do not do it without a tremendous amount of thought.”

Voir de plus:

An Expert on Concentration Camps Says That’s Exactly What the U.S. Is Running at the Border

« Things can be concentration camps without being Dachau or Auschwitz. »

New Tent Camps Go Up In West Texas For Migrant Children Separated From Parents

Joe RaedleGetty Images

Surely, the United States of America could not operate concentration camps. In the American consciousness, the term is synonymous with the Nazi death machines across the European continent that the Allies began the process of dismantling 75 years ago this month. But while the world-historical horrors of the Holocaust are unmatched, they are only the most extreme and inhuman manifestation of a concentration-camp system—which, according to Andrea Pitzer, author of One Long Night: A Global History of Concentration Camps, has a more global definition. There have been concentration camps in France, South Africa, Cuba, the Soviet Union, and—with Japanese internment—the United States. In fact, she contends we are operating such a system right now in response to a very real spike in arrivals at our southern border.

“We have what I would call a concentration camp system,” Pitzer says, “and the definition of that in my book is, mass detention of civilians without trial.”

Historians use a broader definition of concentration camps, as well.

« What’s required is a little bit of demystification of it, » says Waitman Wade Beorn, a Holocaust and genocide studies historian and a lecturer at the University of Virginia. « Things can be concentration camps without being Dachau or Auschwitz. Concentration camps in general have always been designed—at the most basic level—to separate one group of people from another group. Usually, because the majority group, or the creators of the camp, deem the people they’re putting in it to be dangerous or undesirable in some way. »

« Things can be concentration camps without being Dachau or Auschwitz. »

Not every concentration camp is a death camp—in fact, their primary purpose is rarely extermination, and never in the beginning. Often, much of the death and suffering is a result of insufficient resources, overcrowding, and deteriorating conditions. So far, 24 people have died in the custody of Immigration and Customs Enforcement under the Trump administration, while six children have died in the care of other agencies since September. Systems like these have emerged across the world for well over 100 years, and they’ve been established by putative liberal democracies—as with Britain’s camps in South Africa during the Boer War—as well as authoritarian states like Nazi Germany or the Soviet Union. Camps set up with one aim can be repurposed by new regimes, often with devastating consequences.

History is banging down the door this week with the news the Trump administration will use Fort Sill, an Oklahoma military base that was used to detain Japanese-Americans during World War II, to house 1,400 unaccompanied migrant children captured at the border. Japanese internment certainly constituted a concentration-camp system, and the echoes of the past are growing louder. Of course, the Obama administration temporarily housed migrants at military bases, including Fort Sill, for four months in 2014, built many of the newer facilities to house migrants, and pioneered some of the tactics the Trump administration is now using to try to manage the situation at the border.

Roll call is taken by the army at Japanese internment camp, Tule Lake, CA.

Roll call is taken by the army at a Japanese-American internment camp during World War II in Tule Lake, CA in 1944.

Carl MydansGetty Images

The government of the United States would never call the sprawling network of facilities now in use across many states « concentration camps, » of course. They’re referred to as « federal migrant shelters » or « temporary shelters for unaccompanied minors » or « detainment facilities » or the like. (The initial processing facilities are run by Border Patrol, and the system is primarily administered to by the Department of Homeland Security. Many adults are transferred to ICE, which now detains more than 52,000 people across 200 facilities on any given day—a record high. Unaccompanied minors are transferred to Department of Health and Human Services custody.) But by Pitzer’s measure, the system at the southern border first set up by the Bill Clinton administration, built on by Barack Obama’s government, and brought into extreme and perilous new territory by Donald Trump and his allies does qualify. Two historians who specialize in the area largely agree.


Many of the people housed in these facilities are not « illegal » immigrants. If you present yourself at the border seeking asylum, you have a legal right to a hearing under domestic and international law. They are, in another formulation, refugees—civilian non-combatants who have not committed a crime, and who say they are fleeing violence and persecution. Yet these human beings, who mostly hail from Central America’s Northern Triangle of Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador—a region ravaged by gang violence and poverty and corruption and what increasingly appears to be some of the first forced migrations due to climate change—are being detained on what increasingly seems to be an indefinite basis.

Meanwhile, the Trump administration continually seeks new ways to stop people from applying for asylum, and to discourage others from attempting to. The current regime has sought to restrict the asylum criteria to exclude the exact issues, like gang or domestic violence, that these desperate people often cite for why they fled their homes. The administration has sought to introduce application fees and work-permit restraints. They have tried to prohibit migrants from seeking asylum « if they have resided in a country other than their own before coming to the U.S., » which would essentially eliminate anyone who traveled to the border through Mexico. Much of this has been struck down in federal court.

But most prominently, Trump’s Department of Homeland Security has used « metering » at the border, where migrants are forced to wait for days or weeks on the Mexican side—often sleeping in makeshift shelters or fully exposed to the elements—until they are allowed across border checkpoints to make their asylum claims and be processed. That processing system is overwhelmed, and the Obama administration also used metering at various points, but it remains unclear whether the wait times need to be as long as they are. (DHS did not respond to a request for comment.) There are no guarantees on how long migrants will have to wait, and so they’ve increasingly turned to crossing illegally between checkpoints—which constitutes « illegal entry, » a misdemeanor—in order to present themselves for asylum. This criminalizes them, and the Trump administration tried to make illegal entry a disqualifier for asylum claims. The overall effort appears to be to make it as difficult as possible to get a hearing to adjudicate those claims, raising the specter that people can be detained longer or indefinitely.

All this has been achieved through two mechanisms: militarization and dehumanization. In her book, Pitzer describes camps as “a deliberate choice to inject the framework of war into society itself. » These kinds of detention camps are a military endeavor: they are defensible in wartime, when enemy combatants must be detained, often for long periods without trial. They were a hallmark of World War I Europe. But inserting them into civil society, and using them to house civilians, is a materially different proposition. You are revoking the human and civil rights of non-combatants without legal justification.

USA - Immigration Detention Center in Nogales

A migrant family sits inside an Immigration Detention Center in Nogales after they were detained by border patrol agents.

J.Emilio FloresGetty Images

« In the origins of the camps, it’s tied to the idea of martial law, » says Jonathan Hyslop, author of « The Invention of the Concentration Camp: Cuba, Southern Africa and the Philippines, 1896–1907, » and a professor of sociology and anthropology at Colgate University. « I mean, all four of the early instances—Americans in the Philippines, Spanish in Cuba, and British in South Africa, and Germans in Southwest Africa—they’re all essentially overriding any sense of rights of the civilian population. And the idea is that you’re able to suspend normal law because it’s a war situation. »

This pairs well with the rhetoric that Trump deploys to justify the system and his unconstitutional power grabs, like the phony « national emergency »: he describes the influx of asylum-seekers and other migrants as an « invasion, » language his allies are mirroring with increasing extremism. If you’re defending yourself from an invasion, anything is defensible.

That goes hand-in-hand with the strategy of dehumanization. For decades, the right has referred to undocumented immigrants as « illegals, » stripping them of any identity beyond an immigration status. Trump kicked off his formal political career by characterizing Hispanic immigrants as « rapists » and « drug-dealers » and « criminals, » never once sharing, say, the story of a woman who came here with her son fleeing a gang’s threats. It is always MS-13 and strong, scary young men. There’s talk of « animals » and monsters, and suddenly anything is justifiable. In fact, it must be done. Trump’s supporters have noticed. At a recent rally, someone in the crowd screamed out that people arriving at the border should be shot. In response, the president cracked a « joke. »

US-politics-immigration-Mexico

Trump’s rhetoric about the border has served the purpose of militarizing the system and dehumanizing its subjects.

SAUL LOEBGetty Images

« It’s important here to look at the language that people are using, » Hyslop says. « As soon as you get people comparing other groups to animals or insects, or using language about advancing hordes, and we’re being overrun and flooded and this sort of thing, it’s creating the sense of this enormous threat. And that makes it much easier to sell to people on the idea we’ve got to do something drastic to control this population which going to destroy us. »

In a grotesque formulation of the chicken-and-the-egg conundrum, housing people in these camps furthers their dehumanization.

« There’s this crystallization that happens, » Pitzer says. « The longer they’re there, the worse conditions get. That’s just a universal of camps. They’re overcrowded. We already know from reports that they don’t have enough beds for the numbers that they have. As you see mental health crises and contagious diseases begin to set in, they’ll work to manage the worst of it. [But] then there will be the ability to tag these people as diseased, even if we created [those conditions]. Then we, by creating the camps, try to turn that population into the false image that we [used] to put them in the camps to start with. Over time, the camps will turn those people into what Trump was already saying they are. »

Spanish Refugees At The Camp In Perthus, France 1939

Spanish Republican refugees are held at a concentration camp in Perthus, France, in 1939. Tens of thousands fled the Spanish civil war and were kept in French camps, which were turned over to the Nazis when France fell a few years later.

Keystone-FranceGetty Images

Make no mistake: the conditions are in decline. When I went down to see the detention facility in McAllen, Texas, last summer at the height of the « zero-tolerance » policy that led inevitably to family separation, Border Patrol agents were by all appearances doing the very best they could with limited resources. That includes the facilities themselves, which at that point were mostly built—by the Clinton administration in the ’90s—to house single adult males who were crossing the border illegally to find work. By that point, Border Patrol was already forced to use them to hold families and other asylum-seekers, and agents told me the situation was untenable. They lacked requisite staff with the training to care for young children, and overcrowding was already an issue.

But according to a report from Trump’s own government—specifically, the inspector general for the Department of Homeland Security—the situation has deteriorated significantly even since then. The facilities are overcrowded, underfunded, and perhaps at a perilous inflection point. It found adult detainees are « being held in ‘standing-room-only conditions’ for days or weeks at a border patrol facility in Texas, » Reuters reports. But it gets worse.

Single adults were held in cells designed for one-fifth as many detainees as were housed there and were wearing soiled clothing for days or weeks with limited access to showers, the report said. Pictures published with the report show women packed tightly together in a holding cell.

“We also observed detainees standing on toilets in the cells to make room and gain breathing space, thus limiting access to toilets,” the watchdog wrote.

This was at Paso del Norte, a facility near El Paso, which has a stated capacity of 125 detainees. But when DHS inspectors visited, it was holding 900. For a period, Border Patrol tried housing migrants in cage under a nearby bridge. It was ultimately scrapped amid public outcry. When migrants and asylum-seekers are transferred to ICE, things can get worse. Queer and trans migrants face exceptionally harsh treatment, with reports of high levels of physical and sexual abuse, and the use of solitary confinementconsidered torture by many psychologists—is widespread. As a reminder, by DHS’s own assertion, these detainments are civil, not criminal, and are not meant to be punitive in the way of a prison. Many of these people have not even been accused of a crime.

U.S. Customs And Border Protection Agency Holding Detained Migrants Under Bridge In El Paso

Migrants awaiting processing are held in temporary fencing underneath the Paso Del Norte Bridge on March 28, 2019 in El Paso, Texas.

Christ ChavezGetty Images

Again: these are inhuman conditions, and crystalize the dehumanization. So, too, does the Trump administration’s decision, reported by The Washington Post, to cancel classes, recreational programs, and even legal aid for the children held at facilities for unaccompanied minors. Why should these kids get to play soccer or learn English? Why should they get legal assistance? They’re detainees.

The administration is citing « budget pressures » related to what is undoubtedly a dramatic spike in arrivals at the border last month: 144,000 people were detained in May. It remains unclear how much of this is tied to the Trump administration’s border policies, like metering, which have severely slowed the process of declaring oneself for asylum and left people camped on the Mexican border for days or weeks after a thousand-mile trek through Mexico. Or Trump’s recent all-out push to seize money for a border wall and declare « we’re closed, » which some speculate led to a surge of people trying to get over the line before that happened.

It’s also in dispute how many of these people actually need to be detained. Vox‘s Dara Lind suggests releasing migrants from Guatemala or Honduras isn’t straightforward as « many newly arrived asylum seekers aren’t familiar with the US, often speak neither English nor Spanish, and may not have appropriate clothing or funds for bus fare. » But release with ankle bracelets has proven very effective as an alternative to detention: 99 percent of immigrants enrolled in one such program showed up for their court dates, though ICE claims it’s less effective when someone is set to be deported. Those subjected to the bracelets say they are uncomfortable and demeaning, but it’s better than stuffing a detention cell to five-times capacity. Unless, of course, that’s exactly what you want to happen.

« Over time, the camps will turn those people into what Trump was already saying they are. »

« At one point, [the administration] said that they were intentionally trying to split up families and make conditions unpleasant, so the people wouldn’t come to the U.S., » Beorn, from UVA, says. « If you’re doing that, then that’s not a prison. That’s not a holding area or a waiting area. That’s a policy. I would argue, at least in the way that [the camps are] being used now, a significant portion of the mentality is [tied to] who the [detainees] are rather than what they did.

« If these were Canadians flooding across the border, would they be treated in the same manner as the people from Mexico and from Central and South America? If the answer is yes, theoretically, then I would consider these places to be perhaps better described as transit camps or prison camps. But I suspect that’s not how they’d be treated, which then makes it much more about who the people are that you’re detaining, rather than what they did. The Canadian would have crossed the border just as illegally as the Mexican, but my suspicion is, would be treated in a different way. »


It was the revelation about school and soccer cuts that led Pitzer to fire off a tweet thread this week outlining the similarities between the U.S. camp system and those of other countries. The first examples of a concentration camp, in the modern sense, come from Cuba in the 1890s and South Africa during the Second Boer War.

« What those camps had in common with what’s going on today is they involved the wholesale detention of families, separate or together, » Pitzer says. « There was very little in the way of targeted violence. Instead, people died from poor planning, overloaded facilities and unwillingness to reverse policy, even when it became apparent the policy wasn’t working, inability to get medical care to detainees, poor food quality, contagious diseases, showing up in an environment where it became almost impossible to get control of them.

Boer War Camp

A camp for British prisoners of war during the Boer War.

Van HoepenGetty Images

« The point is that you don’t have to intend to kill everybody. When people hear the phrase ‘Oh, there’s concentration camps on the southern border,’ they think, ‘Oh, it’s not Auschwitz.’ Of course, it’s not those things, each camp system is different. But you don’t have to intend to kill everyone to have really bad outcomes. In Cuba, well over 100,000 civilians died in these camps in just a period of a couple years. In Southern Africa during the Boer War, fatalities went into the tens of thousands. And the overwhelming majority of them were children. Fatalities in the camps ended up being more than twice the combat fatalities from the war itself. »

In-custody deaths have not reached their peak of a reported 32 people in 2004, but the current situation seems to be deteriorating. In just the last two weeks, three adults have died. And the Trump administration has not readily reported fatalities to the public. There could be more.

« There’s usually this crisis period that a camp system either survives or doesn’t survive in the first three or four years. If it goes past that length of time, they tend to continue for a really long time. And I think we have entered that crisis period. I don’t yet know if we’re out of it. »

Camps often begin in wartime or a crisis point, and on a relatively small scale. There are then some in positions of power who want to escalate the program for political purposes, but who receive pushback from others in the regime. There’s then a power struggle, and if the escalationists prevail over the other bureaucrats—as they appear to have here, with the supremacy of Stephen Miller over (the reliably pliant but less extreme) Kirstjen Nielsen—the camps will continue and grow. Almost by definition, the conditions will deteriorate, even despite the best intentions of those on the ground.

« It’s a negative trajectory in at least two ways, » Beorn says. « One, I feel like these policies can snowball. We’ve already seen unintended consequences. If we follow the thread of the children, for example, the government wanted to make things more annoying, more painful. So they decided, We’re going to separate the children from the families. But there was no infrastructure in place for that. You already have a scenario where even if you have the best intentions, the infrastructure doesn’t exist to support it. That’s a consequence of policy that hasn’t been thought through. As you see the population begin to massively increase over time, you do start to see conditions diminishing.

« The second piece is that the longer you establish this sort of extralegal, extrajudicial, somewhat-invisible no-man’s land, the more you allow potentially a culture of abuse to develop within that place. Because the people who tend to become more violent, more prejudiced, whatever, have more and more free rein for that to become sort of the accepted behavior. Then, that also becomes a new norm that can spread throughout the system. There is sort of an escalation of individual initiative in violence. As it becomes clear that that is acceptable, then you have a self-fulfilling prophecy or a positive feedback loop that just keeps radicalizing the treatment as the policy itself becomes radicalizing. »

And for a variety of reasons, these facilities are incredibly hard to close. « Unless there’s some really decisive turn away, we’re going to be looking at having these camps for a long time, » Pitzer says. It’s particularly hard to engineer a decisive turn because these facilities are often remote, and hard to protest. They are not top-of-mind for most citizens, with plenty of other issues on the table. When Trump first instituted the Muslim Ban—now considered, in its third iteration, to be Definitely Not a Muslim Ban by the Supreme Court—there were mass demonstrations at U.S. airports because they were readily accessible by concerned citizens. These camps are not so easily reached, and that’s a problem.

US-MEXICO-POLITICS-BORDER-IMMIGRATION-MIGRANTS

Migrants board buses to take them to shelters after being released from migration detention as construction of a new migrant processing facility is underway at the Customs and Border Protection – El Paso Border Patrol Station on the east side of El Paso on April 28, 2019.

PAUL RATJEGetty Images

« The more authoritarian the regime is, and the more people allow governments to get away with doing this sort of thing politically, the worse the conditions are likely to get, » Hyslop says. « So, a lot of it depends on how much pushback there is. But when you get a totally authoritarian regime like Stalin’s regime in the Soviet Union, there’s no control, or no countervailing force, the state can do what it likes, and certainly things will then tend to break down.

« It’s more of a political question, really. Are people prepared to tolerate the deteriorating conditions? And if public opinion isn’t effective in a liberal democratic situation, things can still get pretty bad. »

Almost regardless, the camps will be difficult to dismantle by their very nature—that extrajudicial « no-man’s land » Beorn mentioned. The prison at Guantanamo Bay is a perfect example. It began in the early 1990s as a refugee camp for people fleeing Haiti and Cuba. The conditions were bad and legally questionable, Pitzer found, and eventually the courts stepped in to grant detainees some rights. In the process, however, they granted the camps tacit legitimacy—they were allowed to continue with the approval of the judiciary.

Suddenly, they were enshrined in the law as a kind of gray area where detainees did not enjoy full human rights. That is actually why it was chosen by the Bush administration to house terror suspects: it was already rubber-stamped as a site for indefinite detention. By the time President Obama came into office with promises to close it, he found the task incredibly difficult, because it had been ingrained in the various institutions and branches of American constitutional government. He could not get rid of it. As courts continue to rule on the border camp system, the same issues are likely to take hold.

image

Border agents detain a group of migrants.

Getty Images

Another issue is that these camp systems, no matter where they are in the world, tend to fall victim to expanding criteria. The longer they stay open, the more reasons a government finds to put people in them. That’s particularly true if a new regime takes control of an existing system, as the Trump administration did with ours. The mass detention of asylum-seekers—who, again, have legal rights—on this scale is an expansion of the criteria from « illegal » immigrants, who were the main class of detainee in the ’90s and early 2000s. Asylum seekers, particularly unaccompanied minors, began arriving in huge numbers and were detained under the Obama administration. But there has been an escalation, both because of a deteriorating situation in the Northern Triangle and the Trump administration’s attempts to deter any and all migration. There is reason to believe the criteria will continue to expand.

« We have border patrol agents that are sometimes arresting U.S. citizens, » Pitzer says. « That’s still very much a fringe activity. That doesn’t seem to be a dedicated priority right now, but it’s happening often enough. And they’re held, sometimes, for three or four days. Even when there are clear reasons that people should be let go, that they have proof of their identity, you’re seeing these detentions. You do start to worry about people who have legally immigrated and have finished paperwork, and maybe are naturalized. You worry about green-card holders. »

In most cases, these camps are not closed by the executive or the judiciary or even the legislature. It usually requires external intervention. (See: D-Day) That obviously will not be an option when it comes to the most powerful country in the history of the world, a country which, while it would never call them that, and would be loathe to admit it, is now running a system at the southern border that is rapidly coming to resemble the concentration camps that have sprung up all over the world in the last century. Every system is different. They don’t always end in death machines. But they never end well.

« Let’s say there’s 20 hurdles that we have to get over before we get to someplace really, really, really bad, » Pitzer says. « I think we’ve knocked 10 of them down. »

Voir encore:
‘Some Suburb of Hell’: America’s New Concentration Camp System

Andrea Pitzer
New York review of books
June 21, 2019
Paul J. Richards/AFP/Getty Images

Barbed wire, fences, and security cameras surrounding a tent city constructed in 2007 to house undocumented immigrants in Raymondville, Texas

On Monday, New York Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez referred to US border detention facilities as “concentration camps,” spurring a backlash in which critics accused her of demeaning the memory of those who died in the Holocaust. Debates raged over a label for what is happening along the southern border and grew louder as the week rolled on. But even this back-and-forth over naming the camps has been a recurrent feature in the mass detention of civilians ever since its inception, a history that long predates the Holocaust.

At the heart of such policy is a question: What does a country owe desperate people whom it does not consider to be its citizens? The twentieth century posed this question to the world just as the shadow of global conflict threatened for the second time in less than three decades. The dominant response was silence, and the doctrine of absolute national sovereignty meant that what a state did to people under its control, within its borders, was nobody else’s business. After the harrowing toll of the Holocaust with the murder of millions, the world revisited its answer, deciding that perhaps something was owed to those in mortal danger. From the Fourth Geneva Convention protecting civilians in 1949 to the 1989 Convention on the Rights of the Child, the international community established humanitarian obligations toward the most vulnerable that apply, at least in theory, to all nations.

The twenty-first century is unraveling that response. Countries are rejecting existing obligations and meeting asylum seekers with walls and fences, from detainees fleeing persecution who were sent by Australia to third-party detention in the brutal offshore camps of Manus and Nauru to razor-wire barriers blocking Syrian refugees from entering Hungary. While some nations, such as Germany, wrestle with how to integrate refugees into their labor force—more and more have become resistant to letting them in at all. The latest location of this unwinding is along the southern border of the United States.

So far, American citizens have gotten only glimpses of the conditions in the border camps that have been opened in their name. In the month of May, Customs and Border Protection reported a total of 132,887 migrants who were apprehended or turned themselves in between ports of entry along the southwest border, an increase of 34 percent from April alone. Upon apprehension, these migrants are temporarily detained by Border Patrol, and once their claims are processed, they are either released or handed over to ICE for longer-term detention. Yet Border Patrol itself is currently holding about 15,000 people, nearly four times what government officials consider to be this enforcement arm’s detention capacity.

On June 12, the Department of Health and Human Services announced that Fort Sill, an Army post that hosted a World War II internment camp for detainees of Japanese descent, will now be repurposed to detain migrant children. In total, HHS reports that it is currently holding some 12,000 minors. Current law limits detention of minors to twenty days, though Senator Lindsey Graham has proposed expanding the court-ordered limit to 100 days. Since the post is on federal land, it will be exempt from state child welfare inspections.

In addition to the total of detainees held by Border Patrol, an even higher number is detained at centers around the country by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency: on a typical day at the beginning of this month, ICE was detaining more than 52,500 migrants. The family separation policy outraged the public in the 2018, but despite legal challenges, it never fully ended. Less publicized have been the deaths of twenty-four adults in ICE custody since the beginning of the Trump administration; in addition, six children between the ages of two and sixteen have died in federal custody over the last several months. It’s not clear whether there have been other deaths that have gone unreported.

Sergio Flores/Washington Post via Getty Images

Migrants at a makeshift Customs and Border Protection detention center, El Paso, Texas, March 27, 2019

Conditions for detainees have not been improving. At the end of May, a Department of Homeland Security inspector general found nearly 900 migrants at a Texas shelter built for a capacity of 125 people. On June 11, a university professor spotted at least 100 men behind chain-link fences near the Paso del Norte Bridge in El Paso, Texas. Those detainees reported sitting outside for weeks in temperatures that soared above 100 degrees. Taylor Levy, an El Paso immigration lawyer, described going into one facility and finding “a suicidal four-year-old whose face was covered in bloody, self-inflicted scratches… Another young child had to be restrained by his mother because he kept running full-speed into metal lockers. He was covered in bruises.”

If deciding what to do about the growing numbers of adults and children seeking refuge in the US relies on complex humanitarian policies and international laws, in which most Americans don’t take a deep interest, a simpler question also presents itself: What exactly are these camps that the Trump administration has opened, and where is this program of mass detention headed?

Even with incomplete information about what’s happening along the border today and what the government plans for these camps, history points to some conclusions about their future. Mass detention without trial earned a new name and a specific identity at the end of the nineteenth century. The labels then adopted for the practice were “reconcentración” and “concentration camps”—places of forced relocation of civilians into detention on the basis of group identity.

Other kinds of group detention had appeared much earlier in North American history. The US government drove Native Americans from their homelands into prescribed exile, with death and detention in transit camps along the way. Some Spanish mission systems in the Americas had accomplished similar ends by seizing land and pressing indigenous people into forced labor. During the 245 years when slavery was legal in the US, detention was one of its essential features.

Concentration camps, however, don’t typically result from the theft of land, as happened with Native Americans, or owning human beings in a system of forced labor, as in the slave trade. Exile, theft, and forced labor can come later, but in the beginning, detention itself is usually the point of concentration camps. By the end of the nineteenth century, the mass production of barbed wire and machines guns made this kind of detention possible and practical in ways it never had been before.

Under Spanish rule in 1896, the governor-general of Cuba instituted camps in order to clear rebel-held regions during an uprising, despite his predecessor’s written refusal “as the representative of a civilized nation, to be the first to give the example of cruelty and intransigence” that such detention would represent. After women and children began dying in vast numbers behind barbed wire because there had been little planning for shelter and even less for food, US President William McKinley made his call to war before Congress. He spoke against the policy of reconcentración, calling it warfare by uncivilized means. “It was extermination,” McKinley said. “The only peace it could beget was that of the wilderness and the grave.” Without full records, the Cuban death toll can only be estimated, but a consensus puts it in the neighborhood of 150,000, more than 10 percent of the island’s prewar population.

Today, we remember the sinking of the USS Maine as the spark that ignited the Spanish-American War. But war correspondent George Kennan (cousin of the more famous diplomat) believed that “it was the suffering of the reconcentrados, more, perhaps, than any other one thing that brought about the intervention of the United States.” On April 25, 1898, Congress declared war. Two weeks later, US Marines landed at Fisherman’s Point on the windward side of the entrance to Guantánamo Bay in Cuba. After a grim, week-long fight, the Marines took the hill. It became a naval base, and the United States has never left that patch of land.

As part of the larger victory, the US inherited the Philippines. The world’s newest imperial power also inherited a rebellion. Following a massacre of American troops at Balangiga in September 1901, during the third year of the conflict, the US established its own concentration camp system. Detainees, mostly women and children, were forced into squalid conditions that one American soldier described in a letter to a US senator as “some suburb of hell.” In the space of only four months, more than 11,000 Filipinos are believed to have died in these noxious camps.

Meanwhile, in southern Africa in 1900, the British had opened their own camps during their battle with descendants of Dutch settlers in the second Boer War. British soldiers filled tent cities with Boer women and children, and the military authorities called them refugee camps. Future Prime Minister David Lloyd George took offense at that name, noting in Parliament: “There is no greater delusion in the mind of any man than to apply the term ‘refugee’ to these camps. They are not refugee camps. They are camps of concentration.” Contemporary observers compared them to the Cuban camps, and criticized their deliberate cruelty. The Bishop of Hereford wrote to The Times of London in 1901, asking: “Are we reduced to such a depth of impotence that our Government can do nothing to stop such a holocaust of child-life?”

ullstein bild via Getty Images

A mother and child in a concentration camp built by the British to hold civilians during the Second Boer War, South Africa, 1901–1902

Maggoty meat rations and polluted water supplies joined outbreaks of contagious diseases amid crowded and unhealthy conditions in the Boer camps. More than 27,000 detainees are thought to have died there, nearly 80 percent of them children. The British had opened camps for black Africans as well, in which at least 14,000 detainees died—the real number is probably much higher. Aside from protests made by some missionaries, the deaths of indigenous black Africans did not inspire much public outrage. Much of the history of the suffering in these camps has been lost.

These early experiments with concentration camps took place on the periphery of imperial power, but accounts of them nevertheless made their way into newspapers and reports in many nations. As a result, the very idea of them came to be seen as barbaric. By the end of the first decade of the twentieth century, the first camp systems had all been closed, and concentration camps had nearly vanished as an institution. Within months of the outbreak of World War I, though, they would be resurrected—this time rising not at the margins but in the centers of power. Between 1914 and 1918, camps were constructed on an unprecedented scale across six continents. In their time, these camps were commonly called concentration camps, though today they are often referred to by the more anodyne term “internment.”

Those World War I detainees were, for the most part, foreigners—or, in legalese, aliens—and recent anti-immigration legislation in several countries had deliberately limited their rights. The Daily Mail denounced aliens left at liberty once they had registered with their local police department, demanding, “Does signing his name take the malice out of a man?” The Scottish Field was more direct, asking, “Do Germans have souls?” That these civilian detainees were no threat to Britain did not keep them from being demonized, shouted at, and spat upon as they were paraded past hostile crowds in cities like London.

Though a small number of people were shot in riots in these camps, and hunger became a serious issue as the conflict dragged on, World War I internment would present a new, non-lethal face for the camps, normalizing detention. Even after the war, new camps sprang up from Spain to Hungary and Cuba, providing an improvised “solution” for everything from vagrancy to anxieties over the presence of Jewish foreigners.

Some of these camps were clearly not safe for those interned. Local camps appeared in Tulsa, Oklahoma, in 1921, after a white mob burned down a black neighborhood and detained African-American survivors. In Bolshevik Russia, the first concentration camps preceded the formation of the Soviet Union in 1922 and planted seeds for the brutal Gulag system that became official near the end of the USSR’s first decade. While some kinds of camps were understood to be harsher, after World War I their proliferation did not initially disturb public opinion. They had yet to take on their worst incarnations.

In 1933, barely more than a month after Hitler was appointed chancellor, the Nazis’ first, impromptu camp opened in the town of Nohra in central Germany to hold political opponents. Detainees at Nohra were allowed to vote at a local precinct in the elections of March 5, 1933, resulting in a surge of Communist ballots in the tiny town. Locking up groups of civilians without trial had become accepted. Only the later realization of the horrors of the Nazi death camps would break the default assumption by governments and the public that concentration camps could and should be a simple way to manage populations seen as a threat.

However, the staggering death toll of the Nazi extermination camp system—which was created mid-war and stood almost entirely separate from the concentration camps in existence since 1933—led to another result: a strange kind of erasure. In the decades that followed World War II, the term “concentration camp” came to stand only for Auschwitz and other extermination camps. It was no longer applied to the kind of extrajudicial detention it had denoted for generations. The many earlier camps that had made the rise of Auschwitz possible largely vanished from public memory.

Roberto Schmidt/AFP/Getty Images

A US Marine walking the outer perimeter of Camp X-Ray, Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, 2002

It is not necessary, however, to step back a full century in American history to find camps with links to what is happening on the US border today. Detention at Guantánamo began in the 1990s, when Haitian and Cuban immigrants whom the government wanted to keep out of the United States were housed there in waves over a four-year period—years before the “war on terror” and the US policy of rendition of suspected “enemy combatants” made Camps Delta, X-Ray, and Echo notorious. Tens of thousands of Haitians fleeing instability at home were picked up at sea and diverted to the Cuban base, to limit their legal right to apply for asylum. The court cases and battles over the suffering of those detainees ended up setting the stage for what Guantánamo would become after September 11, 2001.

In one case, a federal court ruled that it did have jurisdiction over the base, but the government agreed to release the Haitians who were part of the lawsuit in exchange for keeping that ruling off the books. A ruling in a second case would assert that the courts did not have jurisdiction. Absent the prior case, the latter stood on its own as precedent. Leaving Guantánamo in this gray area made it an ideal site for extrajudicial detention and torture after the twin towers fell.

This process of normalization, when a bad camp becomes much more dangerous, is not unusual. Today’s border camps are a crueler reflection of long-term policies—some challenged in court—that earlier presidents had enacted. Prior administrations own a share of the responsibility for today’s harsh practices, but the policies in place today are also accompanied by a shameless willingness to publicly target a vulnerable population in increasingly dangerous ways.

I visited Guantánamo twice in 2015, sitting in the courtroom for pretrial hearings and touring the medical facility, the library, and all the old abandoned detention sites, as well as newly built ones, open to the media—from the kennel-style cages of Camp X-Ray rotting to ruin in the damp heat to the modern jailhouse facilities of Camp 6. Seeing all this in person made clear to me how vast the architecture of detention had become, how entrenched it was, and how hard it would be to close.

Without a significant government effort to reverse direction, conditions in every camp system tend to deteriorate over time. Governments rarely make that kind of effort on behalf of people they are willing to lock up without trial in the first place. And history shows that legislatures do not close camps against the will of an executive.

Just a few years ago there might have been more potential for change spurred by the judicial branch of our democracy, but this Supreme Court is inclined toward deference to executive power, even, it appears, if that power is abused. It seems unlikely this Court will intervene to end the new border camp system; indeed, the justices are far more likely to institutionalize it by half-measures, as happened with Guantánamo. The Korematsu case, in which the Supreme Court upheld Japanese-American internment (a ruling only rescinded last year), relied on the suppression of evidence by the solicitor general. Americans today can have little confidence that this administration would behave any more scrupulously when defending its detention policy.

What kind of conditions can we expect to develop in these border camps? The longer a camp system stays open, the more likely it is that vital things will go wrong: detainees will contract contagious diseases and suffer from malnutrition and mental illness. We have already seen that current detention practices have resulted in children and adults succumbing to influenza, staph infections, and sepsis. The US is now poised to inflict harm on tens of thousands more, perhaps hundreds of thousands more.

Along with such inevitable consequences, every significant camp system has introduced new horrors of its own, crises that were unforeseen when that system was opened. We have yet to discover what those will be for these American border camps. But they will happen. Every country thinks it can do detention better when it starts these projects. But no good way to conduct mass indefinite detention has yet been devised; the system always degrades. 

When, in 1940, Margarete Buber-Neumann was transferred from the Soviet Gulag at Karaganda to the camp for women at Ravensbrück (in an exchange enabled by the Nazi–Soviet Pact), she came from near-starvation conditions in the USSR and was amazed at the cleanliness and order of the Nazi camp. New arrivals were issued clothing, bedding, and silverware, and given fresh porridge, fruit, sausage, and jam to eat. Although the Nazi camps were already punitive, order-obsessed monstrosities, the wartime overcrowding that would soon overtake them had not yet made daily life a thing of constant suffering and squalor. The death camps were still two years away.

The United States now has a vast and growing camp system. It is starting out with gruesome overcrowding and inadequate healthcare, and because of budget restrictions, has already taken steps to cut services to juvenile detainees. The US Office of Refugee Resettlement says that the mounting number of children arriving unaccompanied is forcing it to use military bases and other sites that it prefers to avoid, and that establishing these camps is a temporary measure. But without oversight from state child welfare inspectors, the possibilities for neglect and abuse are alarming. And without any knowledge of how many asylum-seekers are coming in the future, federal administrators are likely to find themselves boxed in to managing detention on military sites permanently.

President Trump and senior White House adviser Stephen Miller appear to have purged the Department of Homeland Security of most internal opposition to their anti-immigrant policies. In doing so, that have removed even those sympathetic to the general approach taken by the White House, such as former Chief of Staff John Kelly and former Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, in order to escalate the militarization of the border and expand irregular detention in more systematic and punitive ways. This kind of power struggle or purge in the early years of a camp system is typical. 

The disbanding of the Cheka, the Soviet secret police, in February 1922 and the transfer of its commander, Felix Dzerzhinsky, to head up an agency with control over only two prisons offered a hint of an alternate future in which extrajudicial detention would not play a central role in the fledgling Soviet republic. But Dzerzhinsky managed to keep control over the “special camps” in his new position, paving the way for the emergence of a camp-centered police state. In pre-war Germany in the mid-1930s, Himmler’s struggle to consolidate power from rivals eventually led him to make camps central to Nazi strategy. When the hardliners win, as they appear to have in the US, conditions tend to worsen significantly.

Is it possible this growth in the camp system will be temporary and the improvised border camps will soon close? In theory, yes. But the longer they remain open, the less likely they are to vanish. When I visited the camps for Rohingya Muslims a year before the large-scale campaign of ethnic cleansing began, many observers appeared to be confusing the possible and the probable. It was possible that the party of Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi would sweep into office in free elections and begin making changes. It was possible that full democracy would come to all the residents of Myanmar, even though the government had stripped the Rohingya of the last vestiges of their citizenship. These hopes proved to be misplaced. Once there are concentration camps, it is always probable that things will get worse.

The Philippines, Japanese-American internment, Guantánamo… we can consider the fine points of how the current border camps evoke past US systems, and we can see how the arc of camp history reveals the likelihood that the suffering we’re currently inflicting will be multiplied exponentially. But we can also simply look at what we’re doing right now, shoving bodies into “dog pound”-style detention pens, “iceboxes,” and standing room-only spaces. We can look at young children in custody who have become suicidal. How much more historical awareness do we really need?

What Is a Concentration Camp? Experts Agree With Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on Border Facilities

Freshman Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez drew a firestorm of criticism this week after she appeared in an Instagram video claiming that the Trump administration « is running concentration camps on our southern border. »

« They are concentration camps, » Ocasio-Cortez affirmed in the video, referring to detention facilities where U.S Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is holding undocumented migrants and asylum seekers who have fled to the U.S. « I want to talk to the people that are concerned enough with humanity to say that ‘never again’ means something. The fact that concentration camps are now an institutionalized practice in the ‘home of the free’ is extraordinarily disturbing and we need to do something about it. »

Republican lawmakers were quick to push back against Ocasio-Cortez’s statement, which she repeated on Tuesday and Wednesday, arguing that the Congresswoman was disrespecting the memory of the 6 millions Jews who died in Nazi concentration camps by comparing these facilities to the ICE detention centers.

But many experts were quick to point out that, by definition, the ICE detention facilities are concentration camps. The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines a concentration camp as, « a place where large numbers of people (such as prisoners of war, political prisoners, refugees, or the members of an ethnic or religious minority) are detained or confined under armed guard. »

Many argue that this definition matches the detention centers currently set up on the southern border.

« Why are they called concentration camps? Well, to state the obvious, it’s because large numbers of people are ‘concentrated’ in camps. A better question is, why don’t we just call them prisons? We don’t say ‘prisons’ because prisons are a part of the formal legal system, » Lester Andrist, a sociologist who has studied indefinite detention, tweeted.

Andrist argues that the U.S. has a long history of establishing such facilities, including the Japanese-American internment camps that existed during World War II and, mostly recently, Guantanamo Bay. George Takei, the 82-year-old American actor of Japanese descent who is best known for his role in the Star Trek movies and television show, took to Twitter to share his perspective.

« I know what concentration camps are. I was inside two of them, in America. And yes, we are operating such camps again, » the Takei tweeted. The Takei family was interned in Arkansas and California in the 1940s.

Federico Finchelstein, a historian at the New York-based New School, agreed that the progressive congresswoman is right to call the ICE facilities concentration camps.

« As [a] historian of fascism & [the] Holocaust, I would also call these centers concentration camps, » Finchelstein tweeted. « As a Jewish person who lost family in [the] Holocaust, I regret that some Republicans use memory of the Holocaust to defend racist policies of Trumpism. »

In May, a top Pentagon official called China’s detention camps holding Uighur Muslims and other ethnic minorities « concentration camps » despite the fact that genocide has not been committed there.

Yad Vashem, Israel’s official memorial to the victims of the holocaust, however, was one of the institutions that pushed back against Ocasio-Cortez’s claims.

« Concentration camps assured a slave labor supply to help in the Nazi war effort, even as the brutality of life inside the camps helped assure the ultimate goal of ‘extermination through labor,' » the organization tweeted on Wednesday.

But the young Congresswoman stood by her position, noting that concentration camps are not the same as extermination camps.

« And for the shrieking Republicans who don’t know the difference: concentration camps are not the same as death camps, » Ocasio-Cortez tweeted on Tuesday. « Concentration camps are considered by experts as ‘the mass detention of civilians without trial.’ And that’s exactly what this administration is doing. »

Voir enfin:

Recent assertions by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., that U.S.-run detention centers for migrants are « concentration camps » drew immediate rebukes from some politicians, Jewish groups and social media users.

« This administration has established concentration camps on the southern border of the United States for immigrants, where they are being brutalized with dehumanizing conditions and dying.

This is not hyperbole. It is the conclusion of expert analysis, » she tweeted June 18.

Her tweet didn’t specifically mention Nazi Germany, but she used the term « never again » on her Instagram, a phrase often used as a warning to prevent another genocide like the Holocaust.

In a subsequent tweet, Ocasio-Cortez offered a distinction between « concentration camps » and « death camps. »

« And for the shrieking Republicans who don’t know the difference: concentration camps are not the same as death camps. Concentration camps are considered by experts as ‘the mass detention of civilians without trial.’ And that’s exactly what this administration is doing. »

Some had strongly negative reactions.

Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., tweeted, « This is wrong @AOC. These are incredibly dangerous and disgusting words that demean the millions murdered during the Holocaust. »

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, a Democratic presidential candidate, said Ocasio-Cortez « was wrong. You cannot compare what the Nazis did in the concentration camps. »

We decided to take a closer look at whether historians believe the label « concentration camp » can be reasonably applied to the migrant detention camps now being operated in the United States.

Historians we contacted said it was possible to make a case that the term « concentration camp » is a more general term than just referring to camps in Nazi Germany. However, these historians said Ocasio-Cortez glosses over some important differences.

They also said that the strong, longstanding association of the term « concentration camps » with Nazi Germany likely overwhelms any technical similarities the two types of camps may have. We won’t rate this item on our Truth-O-Meter for that reason.

When did the concept of a « concentration camp » emerge?

Nazi Germany was not the first nation to use concentration camps. The term dates from the eve of the 20th century, when it was used to describe policies used in at least three conflicts: South Africa’s Boer War, Spain’s campaign against Cuban insurrectionists and the United States’ campaign against Philippine insurgents.

The intent was to « cut insurgents off from their support, » said David J. Silbey, a Cornell University historian. « It was an effective tactic, but a brutal one, uprooting people from their homes and often leading to mass outbreaks of disease and starvation among the captive populations. »

Beginning in 1917, the Soviet Union used what were commonly known as « forced labor camps » to repress dissidents. The Soviets also forced people from the Baltic States and Poland into camps following their invasions of those countries in 1939.

Germany established concentration camps shortly after Adolf Hitler came to power in 1933. Contrary to the popular image of concentration camps as killing factories, most facilities were initially designed for slave labor.

« Systematic killing didn’t begin until the invasion of the Soviet Union, and it wasn’t until the January 1942 Wannsee Conference that the Nazis formally decided on a policy of extermination, » said Stephen Shalom, a political scientist at William Paterson University. These became what historians often refer to as « death camps. »

Over time, the distinction in the popular mind between the different types of camps blurred. The reality, though, is that the early camps produced deaths from neglect or overwork, rather than carrying out executions.

« None of the camps were pleasant, but the death camps were certainly the worst, » said Lance Janda, a military historian at Cameron University.

Japanese-American internment camps

The United States operated camps to hold Japanese-Americans following Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor, which drove the U.S. into World War II.

Though generally referred to as « internment camps » or « relocation camps, » these complexes have occasionally been referred to as « concentration camps, » including by Chief Justice John Roberts in 2018.

The American Heritage Dictionary defines « concentration camp » as « a camp where persons are confined, usually without hearings and typically under harsh conditions, often as a result of their membership in a group the government has identified as dangerous or undesirable. »

Ocasio-Cortez and her staff have pointed to such linguistic precedents to argue that U.S. detention camps for migrants can be reasonably described as « concentration camps. »

Some scholars agree that similarities exist.

« As historian of fascism & Holocaust, I would also call these centers concentrations camps, » tweeted The New School historian Federico Finchelstein.

Colgate University sociologist Jonathan Hyslop, who was also quoted in an Esquire magazine article that Ocasio-Cortez has cited, told PolitiFact that the definition of « concentration camp » is more elastic than most people think.

Today’s migrant detention facilities in the United States

So where do today’s detention centers in the United States fit in?

Adult immigrants in federal custody who are either waiting to be deported or waiting for a resolution of their immigration case are held in government-run centers or other contracted facilities.

Immigrant rights advocates have long warned about poor standards and the mistreatment of detainees at some detention facilities. Generally, information about detention facilities can be difficult to obtain, inconsistent and outdated, and overall lacking in transparency.

The Office of Inspector General for the Department of Homeland Security on June 3, 2019, issued a report detailing concerns about Immigration and Customs Enforcement detainee treatment and care at four detention facilities. The report is based on unannounced 2018 inspections, in which investigators « observed immediate risks or egregious violations of detention standards at facilities. »

Among the issues documented: overly restrictive segregation, inadequate medical care, unreported security incidents, and significant food safety issues.

On June 21, the Associated Press reported that a legal team that interviewed 60 children at a facility near El Paso found that « kids are taking care of kids, and there’s inadequate food, water and sanitation for the 250 infants, children and teens at the Border Patrol station. »

Separately, there are about 13,700 immigrant children in the federal government’s care, at an average length of 44 days in May 2019, a spokesman for the Department of Health and Human Services told PolitiFact. These children crossed the border illegally alone, without a parent or guardian, and are also waiting for a decision on their immigration case.

As government officials seek sponsors for the children, the detainees receive a bed, meals, medical care, and showers. But the facilities have recently been directed to scale back some services, such as education and recreation, citing lack of sufficient funds.

Some historians point to ‘intent’ as a major distinction

Overall, experts described the U.S. detention facilities as being far different from those of the earliest concentration camps, or from the Nazi camps — even from the ones that weren’t « death camps. »

« The original purpose of concentration camps was to remove the populace from areas that were controlled or contested by guerrillas and thus deny the guerrillas popular support in its tangible forms — food, shelter, information, recruits, and so on, » said Texas A&M University historian Brian McAllister Linn. « This is not the purpose of the detention facilities in the Southwest. »

Janda — who emphasized that he is unhappy with the current U.S. detention policy — nonetheless drew a distinction based on intent.

« What we’re doing is just not the same as what the Nazis or the Soviets did, and it’s a disservice to people suffering under dictatorships around the world to act like it is, » Janda said. « We’re not rounding up legal citizens, or going after specific minority groups and holding them indefinitely to squash dissent. »

Richard Breitman, an American University historian, was among several experts who said they would have avoided the term « concentration camp. »

While the term « does show where abuse and dehumanization might lead, » he said, « it confuses more than it explains. »

Voir par ailleurs:

Un migrant salvadorien et sa fille d’environ deux ans se sont noyés en tentant de traverser le Rio Bravo pour entrer aux Etats-Unis depuis le Mexique. Les corps d’Óscar et Valeria Martínez Ramírez ont été retrouvés, lundi 24 juin, sur la rive du fleuve dans les environs de Matamoros, dans l’Etat mexicain de Tamaulipas, selon un rapport de la justice mexicaine auquel l’AFP a eu accès.

Selon ce rapport judiciaire, Óscar Martínez Ramírez, un cuisinier âgé de 25 ans, sa compagne Tania Vanessa Ávalos, âgée de 21 ans, et leur petite fille Angie, 2 ans, étaient arrivés la semaine précédente à Matamoros, après avoir traversé tout le Mexique. Dimanche après-midi, la famille a décidé d’essayer de gagner à la nage la rive américaine du Rio Bravo, qui longe la frontière entre le Mexique et les Etats-Unis, accompagnée d’un ami.

Le père a pris l’enfant sur son dos en la calant à l’intérieur de son tee-shirt pour traverser le fleuve. Mais, emportés par des courants violents, tous deux se sont noyés, sous les yeux de la mère, laquelle a pu retourner en vie sur la rive mexicaine, selon les explications qu’elle a fournies aux autorités locales. Les photographies des corps du jeune père et de l’enfant, flottant sur le ventre sur la rive mexicaine du fleuve, ont choqué l’opinion publique au Salvador, mais aussi aux Etats-Unis, où CNN (en anglais) les compare à la photo d’Aylan Kurdi, cet enfant syrien de 3 ans dont le corps avait été découvert sur une plage en Turquie, en 2015.

Un « mur invisible »

Le gouvernement mexicain est la cible de vives critiques ces derniers jours pour son attitude envers les migrants. Quelque 15 000 militaires ont été déployés à la frontière avec les Etats-Unis et une photographie de l’AFP, prise pendant le week-end, montre deux femmes et une fillette arrêtées par des membres lourdement armés de la Garde nationale. Des opposants y voient un « mur invisible », référence à la promesse de campagne du président américain, Donald Trump, de faire ériger un mur entre les deux pays aux frais du Mexique.

Le président mexicain, Andrés Manuel Lopez Obrador, a démenti, mardi, qu’un ordre ait été donné aux militaires pour interpeller les migrants qui traversent la frontière avec les Etats-Unis. « Aucun ordre n’a été donné dans ce sens (…) ce n’est pas notre rôle », a déclaré le chef de l’Etat lors de sa conférence de presse quotidienne.

Voir également:

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez compare les centres de rétention à des « camps de concentration »

Les propos de la jeune élue démocrate ont déclenché un tollé chez les Républicains.

L’Obs

L’étoile montante démocrate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez est au coeur d’une vive polémique mardi 18 juin après avoir qualifié les camps de rétention pour migrants érigés à la frontière sud des Etats-Unis de « camps de concentration ».

« Les Etats-Unis gèrent des camps de concentration à la frontière sud, c’est exactement ce qu’ils sont », a déclaré la jeune élue du Congrès lundi soir dans une intervention vidéo en direct sur Instagram. « C’est extrêmement dérangeant et il faut réagir », a ajouté l’élue d’origine portoricaine que partisans et détracteurs appellent AOC.

« Une présidence qui crée des camps de concentration est fasciste », a-t-elle asséné, déclenchant des réactions outrées chez les républicains.

« C’est une faute @AOC. Ce sont des mots dangereux et écoeurants qui portent atteinte aux millions de personnes tuées dans l’Holocauste », a tweeté le sénateur républicain Rick Scott.

« S’il vous plaît @AOC, rendez-nous service et passez quelques minutes à réviser l’Histoire », a renchéri la représentante Liz Cheney, fille de l’ancien vice-président Dick Cheney. « Six millions de juifs ont été exterminés dans l’Holocauste. Vous salissez leur mémoire et vous vous déshonorez avec ce type de commentaires ».

AOC contre-attaque

La démocrate, très habituée aux joutes sur les réseaux sociaux, n’a pas tardé à contre-attaquer.

« A tous les républicains geignards qui ne connaissent pas la différence : les camps de concentration et les camps de la mort ne sont pas la même chose. Les camps de concentration sont considérés par les experts comme les lieux “de détention de masse de civils sans procès”  et c’est exactement ce que ce gouvernement fait », a écrit mardi matin sur Twitter.

Les Etats-Unis enregistrent depuis des mois une forte hausse des arrivées de migrants à la frontière avec le Mexique. En mai, les garde-frontières américains y ont arrêté plus de 144.000 personnes, dont 57 000 mineurs.

Le Congrès finance plus de 40 000 places dans des centres de rétention, trop peu pour faire face à ces flux. De nombreux migrants sont donc remis en liberté, quand les autres s’entassent dans des structures surchargées.

Voir enfin:

Masquer notre Culture pour « ne Pas Offenser »
Giulio Meotti
Gatestone institute
27 juin 2019

  • Récemment, au Royaume-Uni, d’éminents intellectuels conservateurs ont été écartés. Roger Scruton, philosophe d’une exceptionnelle stature a été limogé d’une commission gouvernementale …
  • Puis ce fut le tour Jordan Peterson. L’Université de Cambridge a annulé la bourse de recherche de ce psychologue canadien de réputation internationale…
  • En refusant de dénoncer la censure, en ne défendant pas le droit à la liberté d’expression de Salman Rushdie, de Roger Scruton, de Jordan Peterson, de Charlie Hebdo et du Jyllands-Posten – la pointe d’un énorme iceberg – nous avons pris le chemin de la soumission à la charia et à la tyrannie. Notre culture soi-disant « blasphématoire » a été revêtue d’une burqa pour éviter d’attenter à la sensibilité de personnes qui elles, ne semblent pas gênées de nous offenser.

Il y a trois ans, le gouvernement italien a pris la honteuse décision de voiler d’antiques statues romaines pour ne pas attenter à la sensibilité islamique du président iranien Hassan Rouhani, en visite officielle en Italie. Les statues nues ont été enfermées dans des caissons blancs. Il y a un an, à Florence, une autre statue de style gréco-romain représentant un homme nu, a également été recouverte à l’occasion de la visite du prince héritier d’Abou Dhabi. Aujourd’hui, l’une des plus fameuses galeries d’art britanniques a masqué deux tableaux sur plainte de visiteurs musulmans dénonçant leur caractère « blasphématoire ».

À la Saatchi Gallery de Londres, deux tableaux de nus accolés à une citation en arabe de la shahada, l’un des cinq piliers de l’islam, ont suscité l’ire de visiteurs musulmans. Leur demande de retrait des peintures de l’exposition Rainbow Scenes (Scènes Arc en Ciel) n’a pas été satisfaite, mais les deux œuvres « offensantes » ont été voilées. « Saatchi se comporte comme l’Arabie saoudite, les œuvres qui blasphèment contre l’islam sont cachées au public », a commenté Brendan O’Neill dans la revue Spiked. Un expert a vu dans cette affaire un « retour des Versets sataniques ». Il faisait ainsi référence au roman publié en 1988, qui valut à son auteur, Salman Rushdie, citoyen britannique, d’être condamné à mort par le « Guide suprême » iranien, l’ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. La prime sur la tête de Rushdie a été portée à 4 millions de dollars en 2016 après qu’un groupe d’Iraniens a augmenté la « récompense » de 600 000 dollars – sans que cela provoque une quelconque protestation de la Grande-Bretagne.

De nombreuses maisons d’édition occidentales ont cédé à l’intimidation islamiste. L’éditeur Christian Bourgois qui avait acheté les droits des Versets sataniques pour la France, a refusé de les publier. Pour la première fois, au nom de l’islam, un écrivain a été condamné à disparaître de la surface de la terre – et à voir sa tête mise à prix.

Rushdie a survécu, mais Theo van Gogh lui, a été assassiné en 2004 pour avoir produit et réalisé « Soumission », un film sur la violence islamique à l’égard des femmes ; la mort de tant d’intellectuels arabo-musulmans coupables d’avoir écrit librement ; les émeutes qui ont suivi les caricatures danoises, les nombreux procès (ici et ici ), les tentatives de meurtre (ici et ici), l’exécution de la rédaction du magazine satirique français Charlie Hebdo, les violences qui ont suivi le discours du pape Benoît à Ratisbonne, les renoncements à publication et la réécriture de textes littéraires, les musées qui enferment dans leurs caves des représentations de Mahomet, les menaces et sanctions croissantes, y compris la flagellation, infligées à d’innombrables journalistes et écrivains tels que Raif Badawi en Arabie saoudite… tous ces évènements auraient dû nous mettre en garde au lieu de nous mettre à genoux.

La capitulation de la galerie Saatchi montre que la liberté de parole en Europe est faible et en voie d’extinction. Les extrémistes islamiques et les apaiseurs occidentaux ont obtenu gain de cause. C’est la tragique leçon de l’affaire Rushdie : aujourd’hui, après 30 ans, aucun auteur n’oserait plus écrire Les Versets Sataniques ; aucune grande maison d’édition comme Penguin n’oserait plus l’imprimer ; les attaques des médias contre les « islamophobes » sont plus fortes aujourd’hui qu’hier, et la trahison des diplomates occidentaux est abyssale. Aujourd’hui, face aux médias sociaux, outil de censure et menace de masse implicite, un auteur serait probablement moins chanceux que ne l’a été Rushdie il y a 30 ans. Plus le temps a passé et moins nous avons progressé. Le jihad contre Les Versets sataniques s’est reproduit encore et encore.

« Personne n’a plus les c… d’écrire Les Versets sataniques, et encore moins de les publier », a déclaré l’écrivain Hanif Kureishi. « L’écriture devient timide parce que les écrivains sont terrifiés ».

En 2008, Kenan Malik écrivait :

« Aucune censure formelle n’est à l’œuvre, et aucun État n’interdit la publication d’œuvres offensantes. Une culture de l »autocensure se développe qui a rendu moralement inacceptable d’attenter à la sensibilité d’autrui. Dans les vingt années qui ont suivi la publication des Versets sataniques, la fatwa a été intériorisée ».

L’affaire Rushdie a transformé en profondeur la société britannique. La reddition de la Saatchi Gallery à Londres n’a rien d’exceptionnel. La Tate Gallery a remisé une sculpture de John Latham intitulée « Dieu est grand » laquelle emprisonnait dans du verre le Coran, la Bible et le Talmud. « Tamerlan le Grand » de Christopher Marlowe a été censuré au Barbican Centre : la tirade affirmant que le prophète de l’islam « ne méritait pas d’être vénéré », et la scène ou le Coran était brûlé ont été retirées. La Whitechapel Art Gallery de Londres a expurgé une exposition des poupées nues qui auraient risqué d’incommoder la population musulmane. Aux Mall Galleries de Londres, un tableau de Mimsy intitulé « ISIS Threaten Sylvania » (L’Etat islamique menace Sylvania) qui représentait des peluches terroristes sur le point de massacrer d’autres peluches en train de pique-niquer a été censuré.

Au Royal Court Theatre de Londres, Richard Bean a été contraint de censurer son adaptation de « Lysistrata », la comédie grecque dans laquelle les femmes font la grève du sexe pour empêcher les hommes de partir à la guerre. Dans la version de Bean, des vierges islamiques agissaient de même pour arrêter les kamikazes.

Désormais, au nom de la lutte contre « l’islamophobie », l’establishment britannique rampe vers la charia : il purge et censure lui-même.

Récemment, au Royaume-Uni, d’éminents intellectuels conservateurs ont été écartés. Roger Scruton, figure de proue de la réflexion sur le conservatisme, a été limogé d’une commission gouvernementale pour avoir déclaré que le mot « islamophobie » avait été inventé par les Frères musulmans « pour mettre fin à la discussion sur un problème majeur ».

L’Université de Cambridge a annulé la bourse de recherche du distingué psychologue canadien Jordan Peterson, parce qu’il avait posé au côté d’un homme revêtu d’un t-shirt « I’m a proud Islamophobe » (Je suis un fier islamophobe). Le professeur Peterson a déclaré peu après que le mot « islamophobie » avait été « imaginé par des extrémistes musulmans, afin de garantir que l’islam ne soit jamais critiqué en tant que structure ».

Les cas Scruton et Peterson confirment – s’il était besoin – que « l’islamophobie » a bel et bien été inventée pour faire taire toute critique de l’islam, ou encore, comme l’a commenté Salman Rushdie, ce mot a été « créé pour aider les aveugles à rester aveugles ». La réaction en retour se fait toujours attendre.

En 2008, Tim Walker du Telegraph, citant le célèbre dramaturge Simon Gray, a expliqué que Nicholas Hytner, directeur du National Theatre de Londres de 2003 à 2015, « s’est employé à offenser les chrétiens » en prenant bien « garde de ne jamais mettre en colère les musulmans ». Les journalistes du magazine satirique français Charlie Hebdo, les derniers qui ont tenté de rire de l’islam, l’ont payé de leur vie. En ne défendant pas le droit à la liberté d’expression de Salman Rushdie, de Roger Scruton, de Jordan Peterson, de Charlie Hebdo et du Jyllands-Posten – la pointe d’un énorme iceberg – nous avons pris le chemin de la soumission à la charia et à la tyrannie. Nous avons habillé notre culture soi-disant « blasphématrice » d’une burqa pour éviter d’attenter à la sensibilité de personnes qui elles, ne semblent pas du tout gênées de nous offenser.

Giulio Meotti, journaliste culturel à Il Foglio, est un journaliste et auteur italien.


Mur de Trump: Les bonnes clôtures font les bons voisins (Why can’t the misguided left see that building a wall makes Donald Trump the rule, not the exception, among world leaders ?)

2 janvier, 2019
pope
 image

Divided : Why We're Living in an Age of Walls, Hardback Book
Les bonnes clôtures font les bons voisins. Proverbe anglais
Chacun chez soi et les moutons seront bien gardés. proverbe français
Aimez votre voisin mais n’abattez pas la haie. Autre proverbe français
Ne croyez pas que je sois venu apporter la paix sur la terre; je ne suis pas venu apporter la paix, mais l’épée. Car je suis venu mettre la division entre l’homme et son père, entre la fille et sa mère, entre la belle-fille et sa belle-mère; et l’homme aura pour ennemis les gens de sa maison. Jésus (Matthieu 10 : 34-36)
Il n’y a plus ni Juif ni Grec, il n’y a plus ni esclave ni libre, il n’y a plus ni homme ni femme; car tous vous êtes un en Jésus Christ. Paul (Galates 3: 28)
Où est Dieu? cria-t-il, je vais vous le dire! Nous l’avons tué – vous et moi! Nous tous sommes ses meurtriers! Mais comment avons-nous fait cela? Comment avons-nous pu vider la mer? Qui nous a donné l’éponge pour effacer l’horizon tout entier? Dieu est mort! (…) Et c’est nous qui l’avons tué ! (…) Ce que le monde avait possédé jusqu’alors de plus sacré et de plus puissant a perdu son sang sous nos couteaux (…) Quelles solennités expiatoires, quels jeux sacrés nous faudra-t-il inventer? Nietzsche
« Dionysos contre le « crucifié » : la voici bien l’opposition. Ce n’est pas une différence quant au martyr – mais celui-ci a un sens différent. La vie même, son éternelle fécondité, son éternel retour, détermine le tourment, la destruction, la volonté d’anéantir pour Dionysos. Dans l’autre cas, la souffrance, le « crucifié » en tant qu’il est « innocent », sert d’argument contre cette vie, de formulation de sa condamnation. (…) L’individu a été si bien pris au sérieux, si bien posé comme un absolu par le christianisme, qu’on ne pouvait plus le sacrifier : mais l’espèce ne survit que grâce aux sacrifices humains… La véritable philanthropie exige le sacrifice pour le bien de l’espèce – elle est dure, elle oblige à se dominer soi-même, parce qu’elle a besoin du sacrifice humain. Et cette pseudo-humanité qui s’institue christianisme, veut précisément imposer que personne ne soit sacrifié. Nietzsche
Je condamne le christia­nisme, j’élève contre l’Église chrétienne la plus terrible de toutes les accusa­tions, que jamais accusateur ait prononcée. Elle est la plus grande corruption que l’on puisse imaginer, elle a eu la volonté de la dernière corruption possible. L’Église chrétienne n’épargna sur rien sa corruption, elle a fait de toute valeur une non-valeur, de chaque vérité un mensonge, de chaque intégrité une bassesse d’âme (…) L’ « égalité des âmes devant Dieu », cette fausseté, ce prétexte aux rancunes les plus basses, cet explosif de l’idée, qui finit par devenir Révo­lution, idée moderne, principe de dégénérescence de tout l’ordre social — c’est la dynamite chrétienne… (…) Le christianisme a pris parti pour tout ce qui est faible, bas, manqué (…) La pitié entrave en somme la loi de l’évolution qui est celle de la sélection. Elle comprend ce qui est mûr pour la disparition, elle se défend en faveur des déshérités et des condamnés de la vie. Par le nombre et la variété des choses manquées qu’elle retient dans la vie, elle donne à la vie elle-même un aspect sombre et douteux. On a eu le courage d’appeler la pitié une vertu (— dans toute morale noble elle passe pour une faiblesse —) ; on est allé plus loin, on a fait d’elle la vertu, le terrain et l’origine de toutes les vertus. Nietzsche
A l’origine, la guerre n’était qu’une lutte pour les pâturages. Aujourd’hui la guerre n’est qu’une lutte pour les richesses de la nature. En vertu d’une loi inhérente, ces richesses appartiennent à celui qui les conquiert. Les grandes migrations sont parties de l’Est. Avec nous commence le reflux, d’Ouest en Est. C’est en conformité avec les lois de la nature. Par le biais de la lutte, les élites sont constamment renouvelées. La loi de la sélection naturelle justifie cette lutte incessante en permettant la survie des plus aptes. Le christianisme est une rébellion contre la loi naturelle, une protestation contre la nature. Poussé à sa logique extrême, le christianisme signifierait la culture systématique de l’échec humain. Hitler
Jésus a tout fichu par terre. Le Désaxé (Les braves gens ne courent pas les rues, Flannery O’Connor)
Depuis que l’ordre religieux est ébranlé – comme le christianisme le fut sous la Réforme – les vices ne sont pas seuls à se trouver libérés. Certes les vices sont libérés et ils errent à l’aventure et ils font des ravages. Mais les vertus aussi sont libérées et elles errent, plus farouches encore, et elles font des ravages plus terribles encore. Le monde moderne est envahi des veilles vertus chrétiennes devenues folles. Les vertus sont devenues folles pour avoir été isolées les unes des autres, contraintes à errer chacune en sa solitude.  G.K. Chesterton
La même force culturelle et spirituelle qui a joué un rôle si décisif dans la disparition du sacrifice humain est aujourd’hui en train de provoquer la disparition des rituels de sacrifice humain qui l’ont jadis remplacé. Tout cela semble être une bonne nouvelle, mais à condition que ceux qui comptaient sur ces ressources rituelles soient en mesure de les remplacer par des ressources religieuses durables d’un autre genre. Priver une société des ressources sacrificielles rudimentaires dont elle dépend sans lui proposer d’alternatives, c’est la plonger dans une crise qui la conduira presque certainement à la violence. Gil Bailie
The gospel revelation gradually destroys the ability to sacralize and valorize violence of any kind, even for Americans in pursuit of the good. (…) At the heart of the cultural world in which we live, and into whose orbit the whole world is being gradually drawn, is a surreal confusion. The impossible Mother Teresa-John Wayne antinomy Times correspondent (Lance) Morrow discerned in America’s humanitarian 1992 Somali operation is simply a contemporary manifestation of the tension that for centuries has hounded those cultures under biblical influence. Gil Bailie
La Raison sera remplacée par la Révélation. À la place de la Loi rationnelle et des vérités objectives perceptibles par quiconque prendra les mesures nécessaires de discipline intellectuelle, et la même pour tous, la Connaissance dégénérera en une pagaille de visions subjectives (…) Des cosmogonies complètes seront créées à partir d’un quelconque ressentiment personnel refoulé, des épopées entières écrites dans des langues privées, les barbouillages d’écoliers placés plus haut que les plus grands chefs-d’œuvre. L’Idéalisme sera remplacé par Matérialisme. La vie après la mort sera un repas de fête éternelle où tous les invités auront 20 ans … La Justice sera remplacée par la Pitié comme vertu cardinale humaine, et toute crainte de représailles disparaîtra … La Nouvelle Aristocratie sera composée exclusivement d’ermites, clochards et invalides permanents. Le Diamant brut, la Prostituée Phtisique, le bandit qui est bon pour sa mère, la jeune fille épileptique qui a le chic avec les animaux seront les héros et héroïnes du Nouvel Age, quand le général, l’homme d’État, et le philosophe seront devenus la cible de chaque farce et satire. Hérode (Pour le temps présent, oratorio de Noël, W. H. Auden, 1944)
Just over 50 years ago, the poet W.H. Auden achieved what all writers envy: making a prophecy that would come true. It is embedded in a long work called For the Time Being, where Herod muses about the distasteful task of massacring the Innocents. He doesn’t want to, because he is at heart a liberal. But still, he predicts, if that Child is allowed to get away, « Reason will be replaced by Revelation. Instead of Rational Law, objective truths perceptible to any who will undergo the necessary intellectual discipline, Knowledge will degenerate into a riot of subjective visions . . . Whole cosmogonies will be created out of some forgotten personal resentment, complete epics written in private languages, the daubs of schoolchildren ranked above the greatest masterpieces. Idealism will be replaced by Materialism. Life after death will be an eternal dinner party where all the guests are 20 years old . . . Justice will be replaced by Pity as the cardinal human virtue, and all fear of retribution will vanish . . . The New Aristocracy will consist exclusively of hermits, bums and permanent invalids. The Rough Diamond, the Consumptive Whore, the bandit who is good to his mother, the epileptic girl who has a way with animals will be the heroes and heroines of the New Age, when the general, the statesman, and the philosopher have become the butt of every farce and satire. »What Herod saw was America in the late 1980s and early ’90s, right down to that dire phrase « New Age. » (…) Americans are obsessed with the recognition, praise and, when necessary, the manufacture of victims, whose one common feature is that they have been denied parity with that Blond Beast of the sentimental imagination, the heterosexual, middle-class white male. The range of victims available 10 years ago — blacks, Chicanos, Indians, women, homosexuals — has now expanded to include every permutation of the halt, the blind and the short, or, to put it correctly, the vertically challenged. (…) Since our newfound sensitivity decrees that only the victim shall be the hero, the white American male starts bawling for victim status too. (…) European man, once the hero of the conquest of the Americas, now becomes its demon; and the victims, who cannot be brought back to life, are sanctified. On either side of the divide between Euro and native, historians stand ready with tarbrush and gold leaf, and instead of the wicked old stereotypes, we have a whole outfit of equally misleading new ones. Our predecessors made a hero of Christopher Columbus. To Europeans and white Americans in 1892, he was Manifest Destiny in tights, whereas a current PC book like Kirkpatrick Sale’s The Conquest of Paradise makes him more like Hitler in a caravel, landing like a virus among the innocent people of the New World. Robert Hughes (24.06.2001)
La vérité biblique sur le penchant universel à la violence a été tenue à l’écart par un puissant processus de refoulement. (…) La vérité fut reportée sur les juifs, sur Adam et la génération de la fin du monde. (…) La représentation théologique de l’adoucissement de la colère de Dieu par l’acte d’expiation du Fils constituait un compromis entre les assertions du Nouveau Testament sur l’amour divin sans limites et celles sur les fantasmes présents en chacun. (…) Même si la vérité biblique a été de nouveau  obscurcie sur de nombreux points, (…) dénaturée en partie, elle n’a jamais été totalement falsifiée par les Églises. Elle a traversé l’histoire et agit comme un levain. Même l’Aufklärung critique contre le christianisme qui a pris ses armes et les prend toujours en grande partie dans le sombre arsenal de l’histoire de l’Eglise, n’a jamais pu se détacher entièrement de l’inspiration chrétienne véritable, et par des détours embrouillés et compliqués, elle a porté la critique originelle des prophètes dans les domaines sans cesse nouveaux de l’existence humaine. Les critiques d’un Kant, d’un Feuerbach, d’un Marx, d’un Nietzsche et d’un Freud – pour ne prendre que quelques uns parmi les plus importants – se situent dans une dépendance non dite par rapport à l’impulsion prophétique. Raymund Schwager
L’acte surréaliste le plus simple consiste, revolvers au poing, à descendre dans la rue et à tirer, au hasard, tant qu’on peut dans la foule. André Breton
Il faut avoir le courage de vouloir le mal et pour cela il faut commencer par rompre avec le comportement grossièrement humanitaire qui fait partie de l’héritage chrétien. (..) Nous sommes avec ceux qui tuent. Breton
Bien avant qu’un intellectuel nazi ait annoncé ‘quand j’entends le mot culture je sors mon revolver’, les poètes avaient proclamé leur dégoût pour cette saleté de culture et politiquement invité Barbares, Scythes, Nègres, Indiens, ô vous tous, à la piétiner. Hannah Arendt (1949)
L’Occident s’achève en bermuda […] Craignez le courroux de l’homme en bermuda. Craignez la colère du consommateur, du voyageur, du touriste, du vacancier descendant de son camping-car ! Vous nous imaginez vautrés dans des plaisirs et des loisirs qui nous ont ramollis. Eh bien,nous lutterons comme des lions pour protéger notre ramollissement.  Chers djihadistes, chevauchant vos éléphants de fer et de feu, vous êtes entrés avec fureur dans notre magasin de porcelaine. Mais c’est un magasin de porcelaine dont les propriétaires de longue date ont entrepris de réduire en miettes tout ce qui s’y trouvait entassé. […] Vous êtes les premiers démolisseurs à s’attaquer à des destructeurs. Les premiers incendiaires en concurrence avec des pyromanes. […] À la différence des nôtres, vos démolitions s’effectuent en toute illégalité et s’attirent un blâme quasi unanime. Tandis que c’est dans l’enthousiasme général que nous mettons au point nos tortueuses innovations et que nous nous débarrassons des derniers fondements de notre ancienne civilisation.  Chers djihadistes, nous triompherons de vous. Nous vaincrons parce que nous sommes les plus morts. Philippe Muray
L’erreur est toujours de raisonner dans les catégories de la « différence », alors que la racine de tous les conflits, c’est plutôt la « concurrence », la rivalité mimétique entre des êtres, des pays, des cultures. La concurrence, c’est-à-dire le désir d’imiter l’autre pour obtenir la même chose que lui, au besoin par la violence. Sans doute le terrorisme est-il lié à un monde « différent » du nôtre, mais ce qui suscite le terrorisme n’est pas dans cette « différence » qui l’éloigne le plus de nous et nous le rend inconcevable. Il est au contraire dans un désir exacerbé de convergence et de ressemblance. (…) Ce qui se vit aujourd’hui est une forme de rivalité mimétique à l’échelle planétaire. Lorsque j’ai lu les premiers documents de Ben Laden, constaté ses allusions aux bombes américaines tombées sur le Japon, je me suis senti d’emblée à un niveau qui est au-delà de l’islam, celui de la planète entière. Sous l’étiquette de l’islam, on trouve une volonté de rallier et de mobiliser tout un tiers-monde de frustrés et de victimes dans leurs rapports de rivalité mimétique avec l’Occident. Mais les tours détruites occupaient autant d’étrangers que d’Américains. Et par leur efficacité, par la sophistication des moyens employés, par la connaissance qu’ils avaient des Etats-Unis, par leurs conditions d’entraînement, les auteurs des attentats n’étaient-ils pas un peu américains ? On est en plein mimétisme.Ce sentiment n’est pas vrai des masses, mais des dirigeants. Sur le plan de la fortune personnelle, on sait qu’un homme comme Ben Laden n’a rien à envier à personne. Et combien de chefs de parti ou de faction sont dans cette situation intermédiaire, identique à la sienne. Regardez un Mirabeau au début de la Révolution française : il a un pied dans un camp et un pied dans l’autre, et il n’en vit que de manière plus aiguë son ressentiment. Aux Etats-Unis, des immigrés s’intègrent avec facilité, alors que d’autres, même si leur réussite est éclatante, vivent aussi dans un déchirement et un ressentiment permanents. Parce qu’ils sont ramenés à leur enfance, à des frustrations et des humiliations héritées du passé. Cette dimension est essentielle, en particulier chez des musulmans qui ont des traditions de fierté et un style de rapports individuels encore proche de la féodalité. (…) Cette concurrence mimétique, quand elle est malheureuse, ressort toujours, à un moment donné, sous une forme violente. A cet égard, c’est l’islam qui fournit aujourd’hui le ciment qu’on trouvait autrefois dans le marxismeRené Girard
Nous sommes encore proches de cette période des grandes expositions internationales qui regardait de façon utopique la mondialisation comme l’Exposition de Londres – la « Fameuse » dont parle Dostoievski, les expositions de Paris… Plus on s’approche de la vraie mondialisation plus on s’aperçoit que la non-différence ce n’est pas du tout la paix parmi les hommes mais ce peut être la rivalité mimétique la plus extravagante. On était encore dans cette idée selon laquelle on vivait dans le même monde: on n’est plus séparé par rien de ce qui séparait les hommes auparavant donc c’est forcément le paradis. Ce que voulait la Révolution française. Après la nuit du 4 août, plus de problème ! René Girard
Ce concept de « droitisation » est le plus sûr indice de la confusion mentale qui s’est emparée de certains esprits. Si la « droitisation » consiste à prendre en compte la souffrance sociale des Français les plus exposés et les plus vulnérables, c’est que les anciennes catégories politiques n’ont plus guère de sens… et que le PS est devenu – ce qui me paraît une évidence – l’expression des nouvelles classes dominantes. (…) Est-ce Nicolas Sarkozy qui se « droitise » en plaçant la maîtrise des flux migratoires au cœur de la question sociale ou la gauche qui se renie en substituant à la question sociale le combat sociétal en faveur d’un communautarisme multiculturel ? L’impensé du candidat socialiste sur l’immigration est tout sauf accidentel : il témoigne d’une contradiction à ce jour non résolue. L’idéologie du « transfrontiérisme » n’est pas celle des Français. Près de deux Français sur trois et près d’un sympathisant de gauche sur deux approuvent la proposition de Nicolas Sarkozy de réduire de moitié l’immigration légale. Le projet que porte Nicolas Sarkozy s’adresse à tout l’électorat populaire. Il est clairement le candidat d’une Europe des frontières. C’est en cela qu’il est le candidat du peuple qui souffre de l’absence de frontières et de ses conséquences en chaîne : libre-échangisme sans limites, concurrence déloyale, dumping social, délocalisation de l’emploi, déferlante migratoire. Les frontières, c’est la préoccupation des Français les plus vulnérables. Les frontières, c’est ce qui protège les plus pauvres. Les privilégiés, eux, ne comptent pas sur l’Etat pour construire des frontières. Ils n’ont eu besoin de personne pour se les acheter. Frontières spatiales et sécuritaires : ils habitent les beaux quartiers. Frontières scolaires : leurs enfants fréquentent les meilleurs établissements. Frontières sociales : leur position les met à l’abri de tous les désordres de la mondialisation et en situation d’en recueillir tous les bénéfices. Patrick Buisson
Le mépris dans lequel les tient la classe dirigeante a quelque chose de sidérant. Nos élites sont mues par une invraisemblable prolophobie dont elles n’ont parfois même pas conscience. (…) Les impensés de la gauche sur la sécurité et l’immigration témoignent d’un déni persévérant de celle-ci face à l’expression de certaines souffrances sociales. (…) Avant d’être une posture politique, le front républicain est d’abord un réflexe de classe et de caste. Patrick Buisson
The Secure Fence Act of 2006, which was passed by a Republican Congress and signed by President George W. Bush, authorized about 700 miles of fencing along certain stretches of land between the border of the United States and Mexico. (…) At the time the act was being considered, Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and Chuck Schumer were all members of the Senate. (…) Obama, Clinton, Schumer and 23 other Democratic senators voted in favor of the act when it passed in the Senate by a vote of 80 to 19. (…) Currently, 702 miles of fencing separates the United States from Mexico, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection. Trump plans for the wall are vague, but here’s what we know. He said the wall doesn’t need to run the nearly 2,000 miles of the border, but about 1,000 miles because of natural barriers. He said it could cost between $8 billion and $12 billion, be made of precast concrete, and rise 35 to 40 feet, or 50 feet, or higher. Experts have repeatedly told PolitiFact that the differences in semantics between a wall and a fence are not too significant because both block people. (…) A 2016 Associated Press report from the border described « rust-colored thick bars » that form « teeth-like slats » 18 feet high. « There are miles of gaps between segments and openings in the fence itself, » the report said. Trump criticized the 2006 fence as too modest during the 2016 campaign. (…) It’s also worth noting that the political context surrounding the 2006 vote was different, too. Democrats normally in favor of looser immigration laws saw the Secure Fence Act of 2006 as the lesser of two evils, according to a Boston Globe report that detailed the legislative process. Around that same time, the House passed legislation that would make any undocumented immigrant a felon. « It didn’t have anywhere near the gravity of harm, » Angela Kelley, who in 2006 was the legislative director for the National Immigration Forum, told the Boston Globe. « It was hard to vote against it because who is going to vote against a secure fence? And it was benign compared with what was out there. » Politifact
No country can exist without borders. Hillary and Obama have all but destroyed them; Trump must remind us how he will restore them. Walls throughout history have been part of the solution, from Hadrian’s Wall to Israel’s fence with the Palestinians. “Making Mexico pay for the wall” is not empty rhetoric, when $26 billion in remittances go back to Mexico without taxes or fees, largely sent from those here illegally, and it could serve as a source of funding revenue.Trump can supersede “comprehensive immigration” with a simple program: Secure and fortify the borders first; begin deporting those with a criminal record, and without a work history. Fine employers who hire illegal aliens. Any illegal aliens who choose to stay, must be working, crime-free, and have two years of residence. They can pay a fine for having entered the U.S. illegally, learn English, and stay while applying for a green card — that effort, like all individual applications, may or may not be approved. He should point out that illegal immigrants have cut in line in front of legal applicants, delaying for years any consideration of entry. That is not an act of love. Sanctuary cities are a neo-Confederate idea, and should have their federal funds cut off for undermining U.S. law. The time-tried melting pot of assimilation and integration, not the bankrupt salad bowl of identity politics, hyphenated nomenclature, and newly accented names should be our model of teaching new legal immigrants how to become citizens. Victor Davis Hanson
Securing national borders seems pretty orthodox. In an age of anti-Western terrorism, placing temporary holds on would-be immigrants from war-torn zones until they can be vetted is hardly radical. Expecting “sanctuary cities” to follow federal laws rather than embrace the nullification strategies of the secessionist Old Confederacy is a return to the laws of the Constitution. Using the term “radical Islamic terror” in place of “workplace violence” or “man-caused disasters” is sensible, not subversive. Insisting that NATO members meet their long-ignored defense-spending obligations is not provocative but overdue. Assuming that both the European Union and the United Nations are imploding is empirical, not unhinged. Questioning the secret side agreements of the Iran deal or failed Russian reset is facing reality. Making the Environmental Protection Agency follow laws rather than make laws is the way it always was supposed to be. Unapologetically siding with Israel, the only free and democratic country in the Middle East, used to be standard U.S. policy until Obama was elected. (…) Expecting the media to report the news rather than massage it to fit progressive agendas makes sense. In the past, proclaiming Obama a “sort of god” or the smartest man ever to enter the presidency was not normal journalistic practice. (…) Half the country is having a hard time adjusting to Trumpism, confusing Trump’s often unorthodox and grating style with his otherwise practical and mostly centrist agenda. In sum, Trump seems a revolutionary, but that is only because he is loudly undoing a revolution. Victor Davis Hanson
There was likely never going to be “comprehensive immigration reform” or any deal amnestying the DACA recipients in exchange for building the wall. Democrats in the present political landscape will not consent to a wall. For them, a successful border wall is now considered bad politics in almost every manner imaginable. Yet 12 years ago, Congress, with broad bipartisan support, passed the Secure Fence of Act of 2006. The bill was signed into law by then-President George W. Bush to overwhelming public applause. The stopgap legislation led to some 650 miles of a mostly inexpensive steel fence while still leaving about two-thirds of the 1,950-mile border unfenced. In those days there were not, as now, nearly 50 million foreign-born immigrants living in the United States, perhaps nearly 15 million of them illegally. Sheer numbers have radically changed electoral politics. Take California. One out of every four residents in California is foreign-born. Not since 2006 has any California Republican been elected to statewide office. The solidly blue states of the American Southwest, including Colorado, Nevada and New Mexico, voted red as recently as 2004 for George W. Bush. Progressives understandably conclude that de facto open borders are good long-term politics. Once upon a time, Democrats such as Hillary and Bill Clinton and Barack Obama talked tough about illegal immigration. They even ruled out amnesty while talking up a new border wall. In those days, progressives saw illegal immigration as illiberal — or at least not as a winning proposition among union households and the working poor. Democratic constituencies opposed importing inexpensive foreign labor for corporate bosses. Welfare rights groups believed that massive illegal immigration would swamp social services and curtail government help to American poor of the barrios and the inner city. So, what happened? Again, numbers. Hundreds of thousands of undocumented immigrants have flocked into the United States over the last decade. In addition, the Obama administration discouraged the melting-pot assimilationist model of integrating only legal immigrants. Salad-bowl multiculturalism, growing tribalism and large numbers of unassimilated immigrants added up to politically advantageous demography for Democrats in the long run. In contrast, a wall would likely reduce illegal immigration dramatically and with it future Democratic constituents. Legal, meritocratic, measured and diverse immigration in its place would likely end up being politically neutral. And without fresh waves of undocumented immigrants from south of the border, identity politics would wane. A wall also would radically change the optics of illegal immigration. Currently, in unsecured border areas, armed border patrol guards sometimes stand behind barbed wire. Without a wall, they are forced to rely on dogs and tear gas when rushed by would-be border crossers. They are easy targets for stone-throwers on the Mexican side of the border. A high wall would end that. Border guards would be mostly invisible from the Mexican side of the wall. Barbed wire, dogs and tear gas astride the border — the ingredients for media sensationalism — would be unnecessary. Instead, footage of would-be border crossers trying to climb 30-foot walls would emphasize the degree to which some are callously breaking the law. Such imagery would remind the world that undocumented immigrants are not always noble victims but often selfish young adult males who have little regard for the millions of aspiring immigrants who wait patiently in line and follow the rules to enter the United State lawfully. More importantly, thousands of undocumented immigrants cross miles of dangerous, unguarded borderlands each year to walk for days in the desert. Often, they fall prey to dangers ranging from cartel gangs to dehydration. Usually, the United States is somehow blamed for their plight, even though a few years ago the Mexican government issued a comic book with instructions on how citizens could most effectively break U.S. law and cross the border. The wall would make illegal crossings almost impossible, saving lives. Latin American governments and Democratic operatives assume that lax border enforcement facilitates the outflow of billions of dollars in remittances sent south of the border and helps flip red states blue. All prior efforts to ensure border security — sanctions against employers, threats to cut off foreign aid to Mexico and Central America, and talk of tamper-proof identity cards — have failed. Instead, amnesties, expanded entitlements and hundreds of sanctuary jurisdictions offer incentives for waves of undocumented immigrants. The reason a secure border wall has not been — and may not be — built is not apprehension that it would not work, but rather real fear that it would work only too well. Victor Davis Hanson
New House majority leader Nancy Pelosi reportedly spent the holidays at the Fairmont Orchid on Kona, contemplating future climate-change legislation and still adamant in opposing the supposed vanity border wall. But in a very different real world from the Fairmont Orchid or Pacific Heights, other people each day deal with the results of open borders and sanctuary jurisdictions. The results are often nihilistic and horrific. (…)These incidents, and less violent ones like them, are not all that rare in rural California. The narratives are tragically similar and hinge on our society’s assumptions of tolerance and its belief that entering and residing illegally in the United States are not really crimes. Fraudulent identification and fake names are not really felonious behaviors. Driving under the influence is no reason for deportation — all crimes that can ruin careers and have expensive consequences for citizens. Statisticians argue that immigrants commit fewer crimes than the native born, but never quite calibrate illegal immigrants into the equation (in part because no one has any idea who, where, or how many they are, as estimates range from 11 to 20 million) or note that second-generation native-born children of immigrants have much higher violent-crime rates than do their immigrant parents, and in circular fashion add to the general pool of violent Americans who then are used to contrast immigrants as less violent. Immorality is undermining, in Confederate fashion, federal law, and normalizing exemptions that allow felons such as Garcia and Arriaga to wreak havoc on the innocent and defenseless. Too often the architects of open borders and sanctuary jurisdictions are not on the front lines where the vulnerable suffer the all-too-real consequences of distant others, who can rely on their own far greater safety nets when their grand abstractions become all too concrete. And, finally, we forget that so often the victims of illegal aliens are (in California where one in four residents was not born in the U.S.) legal immigrants like officer Singh, and members of the Hispanic community like the late Mr. Soto. Polls show that support for open borders is not popular and most Americans want an end to illegal immigration and catch and release, as well as stricter enforcement of current federal immigration laws. Victor Davis Hanson
Donald Trump n’en finit plus de s’agacer à propos de la construction de son mur à la frontière mexicaine. Ce vendredi, il a menacé de fermer la frontière entre les Etats-Unis et le Mexique si les démocrates du Congrès n’acceptaient pas de financer la construction d’un mur. (…) Un sujet qui a déjà provoqué un « shutdown » depuis une semaine, soit la paralysie partielle des administrations fédérales et qui a mis des centaines de milliers de fonctionnaires au chômage forcé. Tant que républicains et démocrates ne trouveront pas d’accord au Congrès, les financements de 25% des ministères et administrations fédérales resteront suspendus. Jeudi, les négociations ont encore échoué. Le président républicain exige cinq milliards de dollars pour construire le mur tandis que les démocrates refusent de le financer, mais ont proposé une enveloppe de plus d’un milliard pour d’autres mesures de sécurité à la frontière. Les républicains sont majoritaires au Congrès, mais avec 51 sièges au Sénat, ils ont besoin de soutiens démocrates pour atteindre les 60 voix sur 100 nécessaires afin d’approuver le Budget. Mais si la question cristallise autant, c’est que la mesure est symbolique de la présidence de Donald Trump. Lors la campagne, le milliardaire a construit sa popularité à coup de propositions chocs et fait de la lutte contre l’immigration l’une de ses priorités. « Je vais construire un grand mur sur notre frontière sud, et le Mexique paiera pour le construire. Prenez-en bien note », avait-il alors promis. Une promesse déjà bien entamée par le refus mexicain de financer la construction du mur. Le président américain a été contraint d’admettre que les Etats-Unis allaient lancer le projet avant même d’avoir l’assurance du financement mexicain. Selon un sondage de Politico, la base électorale du président américain est, en effet, très attachée à cette proposition. 78% des électeurs de Trump en 2016 considèrent qu’il s’agit d’un projet important (25%) voire prioritaire (53%) au cours de son mandat. (…) Mais en attendant, Donald Trump doit trouver des financements. En totalité, l’ouvrage devrait coûter entre 22 à 25 milliards de dollars. Faute d’accord de compromis et dans un hémicycle quasi désert, le Sénat a décidé jeudi à l’unanimité d’ajourner la séance jusqu’à lundi 10h et de ne reprendre l’examen d’une loi budgétaire que mercredi 2 janvier, à partir de 16h. Or, à chaque jour qui passe, la position des démocrates se renforce. Ils prendront le contrôle de la Chambre des représentants dès le 3 janvier, tandis que les républicains auront une majorité renforcée au Sénat (53). Il est donc fort probable que Donald Trump soit obligé de faire des concessions, ce que le président américain ne semble pour l’instant pas prêt à faire. Le gouvernement restera paralysé jusqu’à « ce que nous ayons un mur, une barrière, peu importe comment ils veulent l’appeler », avait ainsi déclaré Donald Trump le 25 décembre. JDD
Why is our age of walls also the most open age in humanity’s history? Why is the march of globalisation now being kept company by re-activated nationalisms? Samanth Subramanian
I learnt early on in Bosnia, to understand the terrain in order to understand the story. There’s two things often, even in conflict zones, that some journalists don’t do. One is understanding religion, I mean really understand it. When all this started [the Arab uprisings] there was a whole generation of journalists who because they come from a secular society, thought religion was not a major factor. I think they found it hard to believe that these people actually do believe what they say, whereas I always knew to take them at their word. They believe this stuff, which is their right. I think some people just couldn’t bring themselves to believe people believe this in the 21st century. The other one is terrain. I was also influenced (and I acknowledge it) by Robert Kaplan’s Revenge of Geography. So I took all these ideas that have been swirling around for so long and packed in work to write. Then we start talking about identity, about national symbols and the emotional buttons they press [see Worth Dying For: The Power and Politics of Flags, 2016]. In all my travels, I would always ask, “Who is that statue of? Why is your flag the colour it is?”. You would learn the emotional buttons that are pushed in populations. I do see my latest three books as a trilogy because it all comes together. This last one I wanted to call Us and Them, but that’s been done, so Divided is the title. It’s realistic but depressing stuff, but I do think it’s a fair reflection of where we are, and I think slowly dawning on the Western peoples is the realisation that advancement is not a given. Progression is not a given. (…) It is somewhat deterministic in that yes, these things do, partially determine what happens, but that’s the key word, partially. I’ve had a great response to it, half a million sales, and some very nice reviews. Where it has been criticised, is that it is “too deterministic”. I think that ignores the six or seven times I say in the book, ‘this is a determining factor, not the determining factor’. There is obviously ideas, technology, politics, great leaders. All this stuff goes into make up [international politics], but the one that is overlooked is [physical] geography. That is precisely because intellectuals have a problem with anything deterministic because it is something beyond their control. The new book features a lot on borders. The ‘Open Borders’ theory is right in its idea of oneness, which I happen to agree with, we are one. However, for a whole bunch of reasons, including geography, we are divided from each other. That includes rivers, oceans and mountains, which have divided us from each other and made us different from each other, to the extent I would argue that I cannot see, in the foreseeable future us actually being one. Nor do I think dropping borders would make us one people; I think it would make us kill even more of each other than we already do. I’m reasonably utilitarian on this – the fewest people get killed, that’s good with me. I think their way [‘open border’ scholars] would get a lot more people killed than there already are, and there’s a lot. It’s a utopian idea that I like the idea of, but I’m not convinced it works. These divisions appear to be endemic. This might be a bit trite -and an academic would find it trite- but go up to someone you know and like, and who knows and likes you, and put your nose closer and closer [to their face]. At a certain point, that person is uncomfortable with it, with you in their space. That to me is a starting point, extrapolate from that. We need space, and self-identifying groups require space. Religions have tried to make us one, but it hasn’t quite worked, maybe it’s impossible precisely because we’re human. I suppose I am [pro-borders]. I dislike borders, however I think the way humanity is, and always has been structured, they are inevitable. If you try to get rid of that you’re going to open up a horrible can of worms. This is very unfashionable: I think the nation-state is probably the best unit for organising peoples. Without nation-states, of course there wouldn’t be interstate wars, but we’d be back to fiefdoms before you know it. (…) Divided is (…) about walls and divisions and fences going up all over the place. There’s a chapter on the Indian subcontinent, the walls, barriers and internal divisions in Pakistan, Bangladesh, Myanmar and India. Then a chapter on the USA, starting on walls and moving to racial divisions. Chapters on Europe, Israel, the Middle East, the UK – Brexit is part of it. That little strip of water called the Channel I think has a huge physical and psychological effect on the British. Without it, we wouldn’t have voted for Brexit, for two reasons. One, psychologically, we would feel less distinct, and secondly because of that our history would be very different: we might well have suffered the shock and trauma of the Second World War to the extent that continental Europe did. I read something just yesterday which struck a chord; the British experience of Hitler was such that we could make him a figure of fun, but the Russian experience was such that they don’t do that, it’s too traumatic. I’m interested in something that I completely disagree with: the open borders movement, which in academia is a ‘thing’. I’ve got a problem with ‘no borders’. There’s a very nice guy who helped me on the book called Professor Reece Jones from the University of Hawaii (author of Violent Borders, 2016). He gave me a few quotes for the book and I really like him, but some of his colleagues in this spectrum argue completely to bring borders down, almost overnight. They don’t factor in what will happen to the politics of the countries. We’ve seen with the movement we’ve had already, what’s happening to the politics of Europe, Austria as an example, Germany, France, Sweden, the Netherlands. Magnify that several times if you have no borders – it’s a utopian view. Tim Marshall
This is a mammoth subject and not just because Donald Trump based much of his success in the US electoral college (if not the US popular vote) by claiming at every opportunity that he would “build that wall”. So Marshall explores how different societies have responded to the changes wrought by our globalised world and how they rise to the challenge of maintaining national identity. Trump’s America, he argues, is “the only major power that can absorb the potential losses of withdrawing from globalisation without seriously endangering itself in the short term”. But Trump’s border wall is a rhetorical device that plays on a fear of other peoples. It is unlikely ever to be built, not least because about two-thirds of southern borderland property and land is in private ownership, but it reassures his core voters. Next Marshall turns his attentions to China, home of the Great Wall, where the state has responded to global upheaval by restricting its citizens’ access to the internet. This is his cue to explore cyber security and “the Great Firewall of China”. As Marshall argues, “internet censorship does restrict China’s economic potential” but that is a price that the Chinese Communist Party is willing to pay to maintain both its power and national unity. Subsequent chapters examine Israel and Palestine where walls are a necessity but they are “containing the violence – for now”. In the wider Middle East, Marshall argues that “ironically, another wall is needed… between religion and politics” if the region is to escape its troubled past. The Indian subcontinent contains the longest border fence in the world which runs for 2,500 miles between India and Bangladesh. But the area is still struggling to cope with mass migration as well as climate change. Seven out of 10 of the world’s most unequal countries are to be found in Africa. Marshall focuses on the legacy of colonialism and influences of globalisation which, he argues, “has lifted hundreds of millions of people out of poverty” while widening the gap “between the rich and not rich”. The final two chapters focus on Europe and the UK with Marshall exploring “the new realities of mass immigration and the moral necessities to take in refugees”. He shows how population pressures have led to the rise of nationalism and the Far-Right. Nonetheless he argues that we still need our nation states because “communities need to be bound together in shared experience”. Walls, Marshall concedes, have their place and we need not necessarily “decry the trend of wall-building… they can also provide temporary and partial alleviation of problems, even as countries work towards more lasting solutions, especially in areas of conflict”. Huston Gilmore
According to Tim Marshall, the fall of the Berlin Wall was the exception rather than the rule. ‘We are seeing walls being built along borders everywhere,’ he writes. The numbers support his argument. Fortified borders have increased from almost zero at the end of WWII to around 70 today, with the vast majority having been built since 2000. The divides continue to steer geopolitics and national identities, and countries appear to be goading each other into more wall building. ‘These are the fault lines that will shape our world for years to come,’ says Marshall. In that sense, President Trump’s campaign border wall seems less a shocking new policy than a repeating pattern. As one of the most high-profile border issues, Marshall devotes an early chapter to the Mexico/US divide and uses it to lay the foundations for what makes hard borders persuasive in popular politics – even if they are ineffective at preventing illegal immigration. Marshall puts it bluntly: ‘they make people who want something to be done feel that something is being done… Ultimately, very few barriers are impenetrable. People are resourceful, and those desperate enough will find a way around.’ Marshall takes us on a tour of some of the most relevant border divides in the world: India’s borders with Pakistan and Bangladesh, the Israel and Palestine border in the West Bank, the new borders across the Middle East and those running across Europe. (…) Where Divided is in its most revelatory, however, is where it looks at borders on an internal level, such as gated communities in South Africa and the US. Here Marshall shows how levels of exclusivity can spiral inward from the international to the regional to the local. ‘The new model of urban and suburban living is designed to be exclusionary: you can only get to the town square if you can get through the security surrounding the town. This lack of interaction may shrink the sense of civic engagement, encourage group-think among those on the inside and lead to a psychological division, with poorer people left feeling like “outsiders”, as though they have been walled off.’ In China, he argues, it is the entire population who are excluded. The ‘Great Firewall’ of China keeps the country’s 700 million users (roughly one-quarter of the world’s online population) excluded from the foreign media, meanwhile, internal firewalls and censorship keep the users from connecting too much with each other. ‘The party particularly fears social media being used to organise like-minded groups who might then gather in public places to demonstrate, which in turn could lead to rioting,’ he writes. Laura Cole
There is now a loose consortium of influential academics, pundits and businesspeople known as “New Optimists” dedicated to promoting the proposition that we are living in the best of times. If they are all correct, how do we explain what looks and feels like the world’s collective descent into chaos over the past decade-and-a-half? The optimists overlook the experience of a substantial mass of humanity for whom the world – even after being purged of the ills of the past centuries and endowed with modern technology – remains a forbidding place. The optimists’ exaltation of modernity is accompanied by the myth that modernity has created benefits for all. (…) The majority are “more divided than ever”, as Tim Marshall, who is a contributor to The National, notes in his new book. (…) Everywhere there is evidence of people retreating into narrow identities. Marshall, unlike the western commentators who rushed to pronounce this the Chinese century, is not sed­uced by the glitz of Shanghai’s skyscrapers. His eye is trained on the human cost of China’s progress: the disparities generated by it, the exodus from village to city, the loss of individual dignity. Beijing is altering the demographics of Buddhist Tibet, which it violently subsumed in the 1950s, and Muslim Xinjiang by flooding them with Han Chinese. It is in Beijing’s ethnic engineering that Marshall espies “the greatest threat to the prospects of long-term prosperity and unity in China”. Looking at India, Marshall contends that the subcontinent has not fully recovered from the invasions of the past millennium. The people on the peripheries continue to be haunted by the division of India to create Pakistan and the subsequent partition of Pakistan to birth Bangladesh. Bengalis in India resent the influx of migrants from Bangladesh because they are mostly Muslim. India has erected state-of-the-art fences on its eastern border. But as vast swathes of Bangladesh are poised to sink into the waters as sea levels rise, where will the climate refugees of the future go? Marshall’s chapter on the European Union is the most powerful. Ever since Britain voted to leave Europe, extraordinary claims have been made for the EU. But if the EU is the nec plus ultra of political co-operation, why did so many people choose to turn away from it? “The EU,” Marshall writes, “has never really succeeded in replacing the nation state in the hearts of most Europeans.” The EU hierarchs’ revulsion for nationalism doesn’t negate the importance many attach to national identity. As Marshall warns in his chapter on Britain, to “dismiss people who enjoyed their relatively homogeneous cultures and who are now unsure of their place in the world merely drives them into the arms of those who would exploit their anxieties – the real bigots”. By magnifying religion and culture as the causes of division, Marshall exposes himself to the charge of advancing a deterministic view of the world. Yet this is where Divided draws its strength from. As Raymond Aron said in response to French intellectuals who sought to blunt Algerian demands for independence with talk of progress under French rule, “it is a denial of the experience of our century to suppose that men will sacrifice their passions to their interests”. Marshall can’t be faulted for identifying the sources of those passions. He has written frankly about the world. We deny this at our own peril. Kapil Komireddi
What kind of a president would build a wall to keep out families dreaming of a better life? It’s a question that has been asked world over, especially after the outrage last week over migrant children at the American border. Donald Trump’s argument, one which his supporters agree with, is that the need to split parents from children at the border strengthens his case for a hardline immigration policy. Failure to patrol the border, he says, encourages tens of thousands to cross it illegally — with heartbreaking results. His opponents think he is guilty, and that his wall is a symbol of America closing in on itself… In fact, building a wall would make Trump the norm, not the exception. Those who denounced as crazy Trump’s campaign promise to build a wall did not appreciate how popular such a policy would be, nor how common. Nation states have started to matter again, and people care about borders — not just on the Texan side of the Rio Grande. Today more than 65 countries now wall or fence themselves off from their neighbours — a third of all nation states. And this is no historical legacy. Of all the border walls and fences constructed since the second world war, more than half have been built this century. It wasn’t supposed to be this way. Thirty years ago a wall came down, ushering in what looked like a new era of openness. In 1987 Ronald Reagan went to Berlin and called out to his opposite number in the Soviet Union, ‘Mr. Gorbachev — tear down this wall!’ Two years later it fell. In those heady times some intellectuals predicted an end of history. History had other ideas. (…) At the turn of the century migration sped up and that began to tear down hopes of a borderless world. We’ve grown used to the new barriers that European nations have erected — between Greece and Turkey, for instance, or Serbia and Hungary, or Slovenia and Croatia — but many more are being built. To the east, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania are working on defensive fortifications on their borders with Russia. These measures are more to do with a perceived Russian military threat than with mass migration, but they are part of the overall trend — reinforcing the physical boundaries of the nation state — and contribute to the hard border which runs from the Baltic to the Black Sea. Saudi Arabia has fenced off its border with Iraq. Turkey has constructed a 700-mile concrete wall to separate it from Syria. The Iranian/Pakistan border, all 435 miles of it, is now fenced. In Central Asia, Uzbekistan, despite being landlocked, has closed itself off from its five neighbours. On the story goes, through the barriers separating Brunei and Malaysia, Pakistan and India, India and Bangladesh and so on around the world. The India/Bangladesh fence is instructive in showing us how the era of wall-building is not just about people in the developing world moving to the industrialised nations. The barrier runs the entire length of the 2,500-mile frontier and is New Delhi’s response to 15 million Bangladeshis moving into the Indian border states this century. This has led to ethnic clashes and many deaths. Wherever this mass movement of peoples happens at pace it seems to assist a retreat into identity. Almost all recent election results in Europe bear this out. Concurrent is the rise of extremes. Following the Dutch and French elections in 2016, there was an assumption in the media that Europe had halted the rise of the right. This was a complacent attitude at odds with the evidence. In the Netherlands, Geert Wilders increased both vote share and parliamentary seats. The French election in particular was used to show that President Emmanuel Macron’s ‘open society’ model was triumphing against the ‘closed society’ model of his opponent Marine Le Pen. However, what Le Pen achieved as to almost double the far-right vote to 34 per cent, compared with when her father (Jean-Marie) stood against President Jacques Chirac in 2002. He won 5.25 million votes; last year 10.6 million voters supported the Front National. Austria’s choice of president, the entry of the AfD into the Bundestag, Hungary’s right-wing landslide and Italy’s new government all point to a rightward direction of travel in European politics. In all cases, concern about mass migration is among the driving forces. Voters are worried and tend to support parties which voice their concerns. This is true of Trump’s presidential victory and public support for his wall. To an extent we are dealing with psychology here. It is not true to say that ‘walls don’t work’ — some do, some don’t — but they do give the psychological impression, via their physicality, that ‘something is being done’. They address concerns about migrant invasions in a way that rhetoric about ‘getting tough’ on immigration does not. (…) The headlines afforded Trump’s ‘anti-immigrant’ stance detract from the bigger picture. It is easier to have the big bad wolf to huff and puff against than it is to see him as part of a global phenomenon. Concentrating on the Donald’s evils allows the Mexican government to quietly get on with deporting far more Central Americans from its country each year than does the United States. Granted, the US assists Mexico in this, but last year Mexico deported 165,000 central Americans, while the US expelled 75,000. The tales of hardship crossings, exploitation and human rights violations on the almost ignored Mexican/Guatemala border are, if anything, more harrowing than those on the border 900 miles to the north. (…) The new wall-building is driven by recent events. The cry ‘tear down this wall’ is losing the argument against ‘fortress mentality’. It is struggling to be heard, unable to compete with the frightening heights of mass migration, the backlash against globalisation, the resurgence of nationalism, the collapse of communism and the 2008 financial crash. On the other hand, our ability to cooperate, to think, and to build, also gives us the capacity to fill the spaces between the walls with hope and to build bridges. However, first must come an acceptance of the situation, and a very open and honest discussion of how we got here. Key to that is the debate on migration and identity and that requires a reaching out across the divides on all sides. Tim Marshall

Pourquoi la gauche irénique ne voit-elle pas que la construction d’un mur fait de Donald Trump la règle plutôt que l’exception parmi les dirigeants du monde ?

A l’heure où de l’électoralisme bien compris des Démocrates américains à l’irénisme intéressé des belles âmes des beaux quartiers du reste du monde …

L’hystérie anti-Trump concernant sa volonté d’un autre âge de terminer, sur la frontière sud de son pays, un mur voté à une large majorité démocrates compris il y a douze ans …
Prend des proportions proprement hystériques …
Refusant de voir à la fois l’origine de l’ouverture effectivement inouïe de notre monde dans l’histoire humaine (le travail de sape d’une révélation biblique nous privant progressivement de nos béquilles sacrificielles)…
Et les conséquences, potentiellement apocalyptiques, d’une telle dissolution des barrières et des interdits (que des traditions millénaires avaient savamment bâtis pour empêcher les humains que nous sommes de s’entretuer) …
Autrement dit, comme nous l’avait enseigné René Girard, que ce ne sont pas les différences mais leur disparition qui génère la pire violence …
D’où la fonction fondamentalement protectrice et l’actuelle demande populaire d’un certain retour, physique ou dentitaire, à certaines formes de barrières …
Petit retour à la réalité avec Tim Marshall …
Qui dans son dernier livre montre en fait …
Que loin d’être la bizarre exception que ses opposants nous présentent …
Le président américain est en réalité la règle parmi les dirigeants mondiaux !

Mass immigration has destroyed hopes of a borderless society

Building a wall makes Donald Trump the rule, not the exception, among world leaders

Tim Marshall
The Spectator
30 June 2018
What kind of a president would build a wall to keep out families dreaming of a better life? It’s a question that has been asked world over, especially after the outrage last week over migrant children at the American border. Donald Trump’s argument, one which his supporters agree with, is that the need to split parents from children at the border strengthens his case for a hardline immigration policy. Failure to patrol the border, he says, encourages tens of thousands to cross it illegally — with heartbreaking results. His opponents think he is guilty, and that his wall is a symbol of America closing in on itself…

In fact, building a wall would make Trump the norm, not the exception. Those who denounced as crazy Trump’s campaign promise to build a wall did not appreciate how popular such a policy would be, nor how common. Nation states have started to matter again, and people care about borders — not just on the Texan side of the Rio Grande. Today more than 65 countries now wall or fence themselves off from their neighbours — a third of all nation states. And this is no historical legacy. Of all the border walls and fences constructed since the second world war, more than half have been built this century.

It wasn’t supposed to be this way. Thirty years ago a wall came down, ushering in what looked like a new era of openness. In 1987 Ronald Reagan went to Berlin and called out to his opposite number in the Soviet Union, ‘Mr. Gorbachev — tear down this wall!’ Two years later it fell. In those heady times some intellectuals predicted an end of history. History had other ideas.

This does not mean Hillary Clinton was wrong when in 2012 she predicted that in the 21st century ‘nations will be divided not between east and west, or along religious lines, but between open and closed societies’. Still, so far she is not right either.

At the turn of the century migration sped up and that began to tear down hopes of a borderless world. We’ve grown used to the new barriers that European nations have erected — between Greece and Turkey, for instance, or Serbia and Hungary, or Slovenia and Croatia — but many more are being built. To the east, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania are working on defensive fortifications on their borders with Russia. These measures are more to do with a perceived Russian military threat than with mass migration, but they are part of the overall trend — reinforcing the physical boundaries of the nation state — and contribute to the hard border which runs from the Baltic to the Black Sea.

Saudi Arabia has fenced off its border with Iraq. Turkey has constructed a 700-mile concrete wall to separate it from Syria. The Iranian/Pakistan border, all 435 miles of it, is now fenced. In Central Asia, Uzbekistan, despite being landlocked, has closed itself off from its five neighbours.

On the story goes, through the barriers separating Brunei and Malaysia, Pakistan and India, India and Bangladesh and so on around the world. The India/Bangladesh fence is instructive in showing us how the era of wall-building is not just about people in the developing world moving to the industrialised nations. The barrier runs the entire length of the 2,500-mile frontier and is New Delhi’s response to 15 million Bangladeshis moving into the Indian border states this century. This has led to ethnic clashes and many deaths.

Wherever this mass movement of peoples happens at pace it seems to assist a retreat into identity. Almost all recent election results in Europe bear this out. Concurrent is the rise of extremes.

Following the Dutch and French elections in 2016, there was an assumption in the media that Europe had halted the rise of the right. This was a complacent attitude at odds with the evidence. In the Netherlands, Geert Wilders increased both vote share and parliamentary seats. The French election in particular was used to show that President Emmanuel Macron’s ‘open society’ model was triumphing against the ‘closed society’ model of his opponent Marine Le Pen. However, what Le Pen achieved as to almost double the far-right vote to 34 per cent, compared with when her father (Jean-Marie) stood against President Jacques Chirac in 2002. He won 5.25 million votes; last year 10.6 million voters supported the Front National. Austria’s choice of president, the entry of the AfD into the Bundestag, Hungary’s right-wing landslide and Italy’s new government all point to a rightward direction of travel in European politics. In all cases, concern about mass migration is among the driving forces. Voters are worried and tend to support parties which voice their concerns.

This is true of Trump’s presidential victory and public support for his wall. To an extent we are dealing with psychology here. It is not true to say that ‘walls don’t work’ — some do, some don’t — but they do give the psychological impression, via their physicality, that ‘something is being done’. They address concerns about migrant invasions in a way that rhetoric about ‘getting tough’ on immigration does not. Hence, despite the evidence, many Americans appear to believe still that the wall with Mexico will be built and that it will work. This belief ignores the fact that there is a treaty between the two countries in which both agree they will not build on the Rio Grande flood plain, and that despite (somewhat half-hearted) efforts by the President, Congress has not agreed to fund his plan.

The headlines afforded Trump’s ‘anti-immigrant’ stance detract from the bigger picture. It is easier to have the big bad wolf to huff and puff against than it is to see him as part of a global phenomenon. Concentrating on the Donald’s evils allows the Mexican government to quietly get on with deporting far more Central Americans from its country each year than does the United States. Granted, the US assists Mexico in this, but last year Mexico deported 165,000 central Americans, while the US expelled 75,000. The tales of hardship crossings, exploitation and human rights violations on the almost ignored Mexican/Guatemala border are, if anything, more harrowing than those on the border 900 miles to the north.

The walls and fences built this century mirror the divides which have also grown in political discourse and especially on social media. A decade ago Mark Zuckerberg believed social media would unite us all. He now says ‘the world is today more divided than I would have expected for the level of openness and connection that we have’. In some ways he was right — we are more connected and there are many positive aspects to this, but what surprised him is how many of us use that connectedness to abuse the ‘other’. The internet has allowed us to divide into social media tribes howling into a void, an echo chamber or across the divides at each other. This level of abuse has crawled out of the worldwide web and into worldwide politics — Mr Trump being the best-known beneficiary.

The Chinese led the way in great wall- building and are becoming world leaders in using the internet as a wall. We all know of the ‘great firewall of China’, which they call the ‘golden shield’. This is intended to block the outside world from infecting the Middle Kingdom with harmful ideas such as democracy. Less well known are the internal firewalls within China.

Beijing likes to ensure that people in the restless province of Xinjiang, a Turkic-speaking Muslim state, cannot easily converse with those in Tibet. Both have independence movements, and allowing them to form cybernetworks might be detrimental to the unity of the People’s Republic, so they have extra firewalls around them. China is probably the world’s leader in using new technology to build virtual walls. The Russians are the leaders in working inside other countries’ social media to sow division and use disinformation to muddy debate. It used to be argued that the internet would undermine the nation state as citizens of the world simply bypassed governments in a free-flow exchange of ideas and information. Again, this may come true, but it might also be that as the years pass more legislation will be enacted allowing the state to control the net.

We seem to have always divided ourselves one way or another. From the moment we stopped being hunter-gathers about 12,000 years ago, we began to build walls. We ploughed the fields and didn’t scatter. Instead we waited around for the results. More and more of us needed to build barriers: walls and roofs to house ourselves and our livestock, fences to mark our territory, fortresses to retreat to if the territory was overrun. The age of walls was upon us and has gripped our imagination ever since. We still tell stories of the walls of Troy, Constantinople, the Inca in Peru and many others.

The new wall-building is driven by recent events. The cry ‘tear down this wall’ is losing the argument against ‘fortress mentality’. It is struggling to be heard, unable to compete with the frightening heights of mass migration, the backlash against globalisation, the resurgence of nationalism, the collapse of communism and the 2008 financial crash.

On the other hand, our ability to cooperate, to think, and to build, also gives us the capacity to fill the spaces between the walls with hope and to build bridges.

However, first must come an acceptance of the situation, and a very open and honest discussion of how we got here. Key to that is the debate on migration and identity and that requires a reaching out across the divides on all sides.

Tim Marshall is the author of Divided: Why We’re Living In An Age Of Walls, Elliott and Thompson £16.99.

Voir aussi:

Review: ‘Divided: Why We’re Living in an Age of Walls’ by Tim Marshall

While Barack Obama once claimed that we are living in ‘the best of times’, many across the world would beg to differ. A perceptive new book unravels the consequences of this pessimistic mood

Kapil Komireddi

The National

March 25, 2018

“If you had to choose a moment in history to be born,” Barack Obama told an audi­ence in Athens during his final overseas visits as president of the United States in November 2016, “you’d choose now”. Obama’s optimism was out of step with his surroundings. Riot police were busy restraining thousands of Greek protesters as Obama proclaimed confidently that the world had never “been wealthier, better educated, healthier, less violent than it is today”.

It is a message amplified by the Harvard psychologist Steven Pinker in his books The Better Angels of Our Nature (2015) and Enlightenment Now (2018), and there is now a loose consortium of influential academics, pundits and businesspeople known as “New Optimists” dedicated to promoting the proposition that we are living in the best of times. If they are all correct, how do we explain what looks and feels like the world’s collective descent into chaos over the past decade-and-a-half?

The optimists overlook the experience of a substantial mass of humanity for whom the world – even after being purged of the ills of the past centuries and endowed with modern technology – remains a forbidding place. The optimists’ exaltation of modernity is accompanied by the myth that modernity has created benefits for all. Consider, for instance, the frequently repeated claim by the optimists that we live in the most open age in human history: it presupposes that all humans have access to this open world, when only a relatively small portion do.

The majority are “more divided than ever”, as Tim Marshall, who is a contributor to The National, notes in his new book. The pessimism that leaps from the pages of Divided shouldn’t be mistaken for the author’s attitude. It is, rather, the mood of the world as it stands. In eight chapters on China, the United States, Israel and Palestine, West Asia, India, Africa, Europe and the United Kingdom, Marshall examines the walls – physical, religious, ethnic, psychological – that fence people off or, at times, pen them in.

Everywhere there is evidence of people retreating into narrow identities. Marshall, unlike the western commentators who rushed to pronounce this the Chinese century, is not sed­uced by the glitz of Shanghai’s skyscrapers. His eye is trained on the human cost of China’s progress: the disparities generated by it, the exodus from village to city, the loss of individual dignity. Beijing is altering the demographics of Buddhist Tibet, which it violently subsumed in the 1950s, and Muslim Xinjiang by flooding them with Han Chinese. It is in Beijing’s ethnic engineering that Marshall espies “the greatest threat to the prospects of long-term prosperity and unity in China”.

Looking at India, Marshall contends that the subcontinent has not fully recovered from the invasions of the past millennium. The people on the peripheries continue to be haunted by the division of India to create Pakistan and the subsequent partition of Pakistan to birth Bangladesh. Bengalis in India resent the influx of migrants from Bangladesh because they are mostly Muslim. India has erected state-of-the-art fences on its eastern border. But as vast swathes of Bangladesh are poised to sink into the waters as sea levels rise, where will the climate refugees of the future go?

Marshall’s chapter on the European Union is the most powerful. Ever since Britain voted to leave Europe, extraordinary claims have been made for the EU. But if the EU is the ne plus ultra of political co-operation, why did so many people choose to turn away from it? “The EU,” Marshall writes, “has never really succeeded in replacing the nation state in the hearts of most Europeans.”

The EU hierarchs’ revulsion for nationalism doesn’t negate the importance many attach to national identity. As Marshall warns in his chapter on Britain, to “dismiss people who enjoyed their relatively homogeneous cultures and who are now unsure of their place in the world merely drives them into the arms of those who would exploit their anxieties – the real bigots”.

By magnifying religion and culture as the causes of division, Marshall exposes himself to the charge of advancing a deterministic view of the world. Yet this is where Divided draws its strength from. As Raymond Aron said in response to French intellectuals who sought to blunt Algerian demands for independence with talk of progress under French rule, “it is a denial of the experience of our century to suppose that men will sacrifice their passions to their interests”. Marshall can’t be faulted for identifying the sources of those passions. He has written frankly about the world. We deny this at our own peril.

Voir également:

  • Laura Cole
  • Geographical
16 May 2018
by Tim Marshall • Elliott & Thompson • £16.99 (hardback)

According to Tim Marshall, the fall of the Berlin Wall was the exception rather than the rule. ‘We are seeing walls being built along borders everywhere,’ he writes.

The numbers support his argument. Fortified borders have increased from almost zero at the end of WWII to around 70 today, with the vast majority having been built since 2000. The divides continue to steer geopolitics and national identities, and countries appear to be goading each other into more wall building. ‘These are the fault lines that will shape our world for years to come,’ says Marshall.

In that sense, President Trump’s campaign border wall seems less a shocking new policy than a repeating pattern. As one of the most high-profile border issues, Marshall devotes an early chapter to the Mexico/US divide and uses it to lay the foundations for what makes hard borders persuasive in popular politics – even if they are ineffective at preventing illegal immigration. Marshall puts it bluntly: ‘they make people who want something to be done feel that something is being done… Ultimately, very few barriers are impenetrable. People are resourceful, and those desperate enough will find a way around.’

Marshall takes us on a tour of some of the most relevant border divides in the world: India’s borders with Pakistan and Bangladesh, the Israel and Palestine border in the West Bank, the new borders across the Middle East and those running across Europe. The effectiveness of barriers are explored but more important to the author is the desire for divide – ‘us and them thinking’ – and where it gets us in the 21st century.

Readers of Prisoners of Geography, Marshall’s previous work, will be familiar with his global sweep explained through history and geography. Occasionally, his strokes are too broad. For example, only a single chapter is given to the whole continent of Africa, which suffers for it.

Where Divided is in its most revelatory, however, is where it looks at borders on an internal level, such as gated communities in South Africa and the US. Here Marshall shows how levels of exclusivity can spiral inward from the international to the regional to the local. ‘The new model of urban and suburban living is designed to be exclusionary: you can only get to the town square if you can get through the security surrounding the town. This lack of interaction may shrink the sense of civic engagement, encourage group-think among those on the inside and lead to a psychological division, with poorer people left feeling like “outsiders”, as though they have been walled off.’

In China, he argues, it is the entire population who are excluded. The ‘Great Firewall’ of China keeps the country’s 700 million users (roughly one-quarter of the world’s online population) excluded from the foreign media, meanwhile, internal firewalls and censorship keep the users from connecting too much with each other. ‘The party particularly fears social media being used to organise like-minded groups who might then gather in public places to demonstrate, which in turn could lead to rioting,’ he writes.

Divided also shines a light on the future of borders. ‘The technology becomes more sophisticated each year,’ Marshall warns. ‘The barriers along the majority of the thousands of miles of frontiers are now being built higher and wider and are becoming more technologically sophisticated… such barriers don’t stop people from attempting to cross anyway – many don’t have any other choice but to try – and increasingly violent policing of borders can lead to terrible human consequences.’ With border deaths at the highest numbers in history, it begs the question, what will more efficient borders – utilising drones, motion sensors and higher walls – mean to the people near to them?

Answers are where Divided leaves us hanging. Perhaps this is because of the global scope of the book – there is probably no one-size-fits-all solution to the wall-building spree – but also because of the tricky nature of barriers themselves. Walls can prevent violence, but they can cause it too. Having heard, however, about some of the most entrenched borders in the world, the reader has a natural appetite for solutions to remove them, or at least to stem the rate of barriers rising elsewhere. Something Marshall is surprisingly on the fence about.

Voir de même:

Divided by Tim Marshall — to the barricades

Samanth Subramanian

The Financial Times

March 16, 2018

We live in a time of openness, globalisation — and walls. A study of the world’s fraught borderlands seeks to explain why

Of all the walls ever raised, my favourite remains the Indian Salt Hedge, built not of stone — or indeed of salt — but of the thorniest vegetation India could provide. The British, always avid about their gardening, tended to the hedge from the 1840s to 1879, using it to cramp the smuggling of untaxed salt. At its most prosperous, the hedge was 12 feet high and 14 feet thick, jagging for 2,500 miles from India’s left hipbone to right shoulder. It was, like all such barriers, a geopolitical form of Freudian repression. The salt tax was both unfair and unwise, and the British had little moral right to impose it, but they ignored these troublesome truths by walling them away.

Time sheared down the Indian Salt Hedge. Most of the walls we’ve built have crumbled, yet we keep putting up new ones, as if panicked that the planet will run out. By early February, the Berlin Wall had been down longer than it was up, and Europe might have commended itself if so many of its countries hadn’t been busily fencing each other off. We inhabit an age of walls, the journalist Tim Marshall observes in Divided. Half of all border barriers erected around the world since 1945 have appeared in this century. “Within a few years, the European nations could have more miles of walls, fences and barriers on their borders than there were at the height of the Cold War.” We seem to loathe each other more than at any point in living memory — a rebuke both to the evangelists for unfettered globalisation and to the techno-optimists who find so much to cheer in our time.

Any reader of Prisoners of Geography, Marshall’s 2015 bestseller, will recognise his approach here. He first lights upon an indisputable thesis: that the destiny of nations is hewn by their geography, or that humans are dividing themselves from each other. Then he tours the map with that thesis, describing how it applies in as many countries as possible. The tour in Divided is, unfortunately, figurative. Marshall has reported from dozens of countries, often when they were passing through moments of howling drama, but few of those tales filter in. Instead, the case studies seem to draw more on dry policy journals and faraway newspapers than his own first-hand observation.

Marshall opens each of his eight geographically demarcated chapters by discussing a barrier: the Great Wall of China; the Moroccan Wall, a berm of sand slaloming though Western Sahara; the double-layered fence separating India from Bangladesh; the slices of concrete between Israel and the West Bank. These barriers are only physical manifestations of deeper disunities, though, and our world is rife with these.

In China, invisible fissures set apart rural people from urban, the Han from other ethnicities, and older generations from younger. These are new tears in the fabric, wrought by the way China has changed over the past half-century. Elsewhere, Marshall subscribes to the much-derided notion of ancient hatreds, animosities that have boiled forever. The theory suggests that people — usually in the developing world — cleave to a one-dimensional identity, defending it with atavistic violence. Marshall decides that in Africa, the faultlines are tribal, and in the Middle East, they’re religious. He will yield only a minor role for poverty and poor education: “Neither factor can be ignored; however, too much importance is attached to them.” He limits the pernicious effects of colonialism merely to thoughtlessly drawn borders, a final act of haste before the European powers vacated the premises.

The most-deliberated wall over the past year is one that doesn’t yet exist. Donald Trump’s proposed blockade of the US-Mexico border is a ruse, a kneading of white anxieties about the economic and demographic transitions eddying around the country. The older rupture of racism has yet to be sealed. “In this febrile atmosphere Trump’s rhetoric about the wall plays on historical and new divisions within the nation, speaking of a narrow definition of ‘American’,” Marshall writes.

A giant paradox undergirds Marshall’s book, but he never quite looks it in the eye. Why is our age of walls also the most open age in humanity’s history? Why is the march of globalisation now being kept company by re-activated nationalisms? Divided exhibits a deterministic streak that feels wearying and shallow in the face of such questions. The world being what it is, states have no choice but to act in certain ways. To draw borders and defend them is simply “human nature”, he writes in his conclusion. That must mean that every age — and not just this one — is an age of walls. It must also mean, unhappily, that as long as we’re human, this is what we will be: wall-builders, fence-erectors, architects of schisms between ourselves and the rest of our species.

Divided: Why We’re Living in an Age of Walls, by Tim Marshall, Elliott & Thompson, RRP£16.99, 272 pages Samanth Subramanian is author of ‘This Divided Island: Stories from the Sri Lankan War’ (Atlantic)

Voir de plus:

Divided review: A readable primer on the world’s biggest problems
The world is divided by more physical walls than at any time since the Second World War. And, according to this informative and timely account of division in the 21st century, written by the author of the bestselling Prisoners Of Geography, these “physical divisions are mirrored by those in the mind”.
Huston Gilmore
The Express
Mar 9, 2018This is a mammoth subject and not just because Donald Trump based much of his success in the US electoral college (if not the US popular vote) by claiming at every opportunity that he would “build that wall”.So Marshall explores how different societies have responded to the changes wrought by our globalised world and how they rise to the challenge of maintaining national identity.Trump’s America, he argues, is “the only major power that can absorb the potential losses of withdrawing from globalisation without seriously endangering itself in the short term”.But Trump’s border wall is a rhetorical device that plays on a fear of other peoples. It is unlikely ever to be built, not least because about two-thirds of southern borderland property and land is in private ownership, but it reassures his core voters.Next Marshall turns his attentions to China, home of the Great Wall, where the state has responded to global upheaval by restricting its citizens’ access to the internet.This is his cue to explore cyber security and “the Great Firewall of China”. As Marshall argues, “internet censorship does restrict China’s economic potential” but that is a price that the Chinese Communist Party is willing to pay to maintain both its power and national unity.Subsequent chapters examine Israel and Palestine where walls are a necessity but they are “containing the violence – for now”.In the wider Middle East, Marshall argues that “ironically, another wall is needed… between religion and politics” if the region is to escape its troubled past.The Indian subcontinent contains the longest border fence in the world which runs for 2,500 miles between India and Bangladesh.

But the area is still struggling to cope with mass migration as well as climate change.

Seven out of 10 of the world’s most unequal countries are to be found in Africa. Marshall focuses on the legacy of colonialism and influences of globalisation which, he argues, “has lifted hundreds of millions of people out of poverty” while widening the gap “between the rich and not rich”.

The final two chapters focus on Europe and the UK with Marshall exploring “the new realities of mass immigration and the moral necessities to take in refugees”.

He shows how population pressures have led to the rise of nationalism and the Far-Right. Nonetheless he argues that we still need our nation states because “communities need to be bound together in shared experience”.

Walls, Marshall concedes, have their place and we need not necessarily “decry the trend of wall-building… they can also provide temporary and partial alleviation of problems, even as countries work towards more lasting solutions, especially in areas of conflict”.

The book closes with suggested solutions to the world’s problems, including “a 21st-century Marshall Plan for the developing world to harness the riches of the G20 group of nations in a global redistribution of wealth”.

Some of these ideas are intriguing but Marshall barely gives them room to breathe and his conclusion feels rushed.

However he has delivered a readable primer to many of the biggest problems facing the world.

Voir encore:

INTERVIEW: Tim Marshall

Geopolitics, territory and security

19th December 2017

Tim Marshall is the author of Prisoners of Geography (2015), a New York Times and Sunday Times bestseller. Originally from Yorkshire, Marshall started his career in journalism in London at LBC and the BBC, and then spent three years as IRN’s correspondent in Paris. Marshall then joined Sky News, as a Middle East correspondent based in Jerusalem and later as Diplomatic Editor, covering twelve wars and three US presidential elections. He has written for several national newspapers, including the Times, the Guardian, the Daily Telegraph and the Sunday Times, and frequently appears as a guest commentator on global events for the BBC and Sky News. In 2016, Marshall published Worth Dying For: The Power and Politics of Flags. The next title in Marshall’s geographical trilogy, Divided: Why We’re Living in an Age of Walls, is due to be released in March 2018.

As you mentioned in a recent talk organised by the Diplomacy Society at King’s College London, you left school at 16 and went straight into the world of work. How did you start your career as a journalist?

Tim Marshall: “I’d wanted to be a journalist since I was about 11, but it just wasn’t on the radar. I left school at 16, I was a painter and decorator. I always read a lot, and had always been interested in history, [but] it just wasn’t on the cards. So I joined up and when I was in the Forces, I went to night school and got myself a couple of O-levels. On the strength of two O-levels, I then got into a college of higher education and did a degree in American Politics and History. And then I was unemployed in London, and took a French conversation course at night school in the Ken Livingstone era  -when things were free- and I met the newsdesk assistant at IRN and LBC. I gave her a very badly typed CV, probably full of mistakes, which would have gone in the bin if I’d sent it in the post. But because it was by hand, to the woman in charge of the research department at LBC, she gave me a chance. She got me in for an interview and gave me three days’ work which turned into 30 years.”

Did your military experience affect how you reported from the war zone? What is it like to report on conflicts at the frontline?

TM: “I was a telegraphist in the RAF, a radio operator. I thought, ‘I’ve seen that in the films, I’ll do that’. And I did for four years, at Strike Command and later in what was then West Germany. It got me out of my environment. It definitely gave me a discipline I didn’t have – if you want to get something done, do it. It gave me an understanding of military life, which became very useful down the line when I had to work a lot in military situations in Northern Ireland, Gaza/West Bank, Iraq, Afghanistan, Croatia, Bosnia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Libya, Tunisia, Syria…

I don’t really tell war stories because I would go for a couple of weeks and then go home. But people there would live it. However, there were several extremely close situations, one of which, following the death of a colleague, persuaded me I was going to pack it in and not do it any more. I thought, ‘I’m running out of luck here’. I know about twelve colleagues that have been killed over the years, and the last one was a friend, Micky Deane, and shortly after that (he was killed in Cairo), I had a narrow escape in Syria, and I thought, ‘I’ve had enough of this’.”

What inspired you to write Prisoners of Geography, and to produce a trilogy of ‘popular geography’ books?

TM: “I learnt early on in Bosnia, to understand the terrain in order to understand the story. There’s two things often, even in conflict zones, that some journalists don’t do. One is understanding religion, I mean really understand it. When all this started [the Arab uprisings] there was a whole generation of journalists who because they come from a secular society, thought religion was not a major factor. I think they found it hard to believe that these people actually do believe what they say, whereas I always knew to take them at their word. They believe this stuff, which is their right. I think some people just couldn’t bring themselves to believe people believe this in the 21st century. The other one is terrain. I was also influenced (and I acknowledge it) by Robert Kaplan’s Revenge of Geography. So I took all these ideas that have been swirling around for so long and packed in work to write.

Then we start talking about identity, about national symbols and the emotional buttons they press [see Worth Dying For: The Power and Politics of Flags, 2016]. In all my travels, I would always ask, “Who is that statue of? Why is your flag the colour it is?”. You would learn the emotional buttons that are pushed in populations. I do see my latest three books as a trilogy because it all comes together. This last one I wanted to call Us and Them, but that’s been done, so Divided is the title. It’s realistic but depressing stuff, but I do think it’s a fair reflection of where we are, and I think slowly dawning on the Western peoples is the realisation that advancement is not a given. Progression is not a given.”

The theory behind Prisoners of Geography is deterministic, would you agree?

TM: “It is somewhat deterministic in that yes, these things do, partially determine what happens, but that’s the key word, partially. I’ve had a great response to it, half a million sales, and some very nice reviews. Where it has been criticised, is that it is “too deterministic”. I think that ignores the six or seven times I say in the book, ‘this is a determining factor, not the determining factor’. There is obviously ideas, technology, politics, great leaders. All this stuff goes into make up [international politics], but the one that is overlooked is [physical] geography. That is precisely because intellectuals have a problem with anything deterministic because it is something beyond their control.

The new book features a lot on borders. The ‘Open Borders’ theory is right in its idea of oneness, which I happen to agree with, we are one. However, for a whole bunch of reasons, including geography, we are divided from each other. That includes rivers, oceans and mountains, which have divided us from each other and made us different from each other, to the extent I would argue that I cannot see, in the foreseeable future us actually being one. Nor do I think dropping borders would make us one people; I think it would make us kill even more of each other than we already do. I’m reasonably utilitarian on this – the fewest people get killed, that’s good with me. I think their way [‘open border’ scholars] would get a lot more people killed than there already are, and there’s a lot. It’s a utopian idea that I like the idea of, but I’m not convinced it works.

These divisions appear to be endemic. This might be a bit trite -and an academic would find it trite- but go up to someone you know and like, and who knows and likes you, and put your nose closer and closer [to their face]. At a certain point, that person is uncomfortable with it, with you in their space. That to me is a starting point, extrapolate from that. We need space, and self-identifying groups require space. Religions have tried to make us one, but it hasn’t quite worked, maybe it’s impossible precisely because we’re human. I suppose I am [pro-borders]. I dislike borders, however I think the way humanity is, and always has been structured, they are inevitable. If you try to get rid of that you’re going to open up a horrible can of worms. This is very unfashionable: I think the nation-state is probably the best unit for organising peoples. Without nation-states, of course there wouldn’t be interstate wars, but we’d be back to fiefdoms before you know it.”

Have you got any particularly memorable border experiences?

TM: “Going through to Gaza is quite an intense experience. You go past a massive wall, and through two or threecheckpoints. You’re all by yourself in this empty echoing steel and concrete corridor, and there’s cameras everywhere. Suddenly you hear a click, and the door swings open. It’s like a dystopian sci-fi film. The door swings open and you’re now in Gaza. You walk down another 200 yards of corridor and then out into the open but its scrubland, no-mans-land. Another 600 yards and then you meet a Hamas checkpoint. It’s just this weird, cold experience.

Crossing from Tajikistan into Afghanistan, was pretty interesting. A Russian soldier aimed his rifle through our truck window because we were getting impatient to go through the border fence. Then, when we got across, there was a river. It was pitch-black and we went across on a raft with all our kit, with an exchange of mortars going on around us. Then the Northern Alliance were on the other side of the Tajikistan river to greet us. That was intense. Crossing borders is always fun.

Iraq – when we used to go during the Saddam years, they hit upon this great money-making thing at the border with Jordan. You had a choice. They [Iraqi border patrol] would get out this huge rusty knitting needle with a syringe on the end of it and say, “You can have your AIDS test”, and we would say, “Ah, maybe there’s a facility fee, a special tax we can pay?”. So you’d pay $50 and not get jabbed in the backside with this thing. It’s just a money-making thing. Another one, you can leave a bottle of whiskey on the dashboard while they check the car. Then when you come back it wasn’t there anymore. Ok, it’s corruption, but you weren’t getting into Iraq without it – and that was more important.”

What is your next book about?

TM: “Divided is coming out in March; it’s about walls and divisions and fences going up all over the place. There’s a chapter on the Indian subcontinent, the walls, barriers and internal divisions in Pakistan, Bangladesh, Myanmar and India. Then a chapter on the USA, starting on walls and moving to racial divisions. Chapters on Europe, Israel, the Middle East, the UK – Brexit is part of it. That little strip of water called the Channel I think has a huge physical and psychological effect on the British. Without it, we wouldn’t have voted for Brexit, for two reasons. One, psychologically, we would feel less distinct, and secondly because of that our history would be very different: we might well have suffered the shock and trauma of the Second World War to the extent that continental Europe did. I read something just yesterday which struck a chord; the British experience of Hitler was such that we could make him a figure of fun, but the Russian experience was such that they don’t do that, it’s too traumatic.

I’m interested in something that I completely disagree with: the open borders movement, which in academia is a ‘thing’. I’ve got a problem with ‘no borders’. There’s a very nice guy who helped me on the book called Professor Reece Jones from the University of Hawaii (author of Violent Borders, 2016). He gave me a few quotes for the book and I really like him, but some of his colleagues in this spectrumargue completely to bring borders down, almost overnight. They don’t factor in what will happen to the politics of the countries. We’ve seen with the movement we’ve had already, what’s happening to the politics of Europe, Austria as an example, Germany, France, Sweden, the Netherlands. Magnify that several times if you have no borders – it’s a utopian view.”

Prisoners of Geography and Worth Dying For: The Power and Politics of Flags are available here. Marshall’s next book, Divided: Why We’re Living in an Age of Walls, is due to be published by Elliott & Thompson in March 2018. Check out Marshall’s foreign affairs website The What and the Why for more information and geopolitical analysis.

Voir par ailleurs:

It Was Always about the Wall
Victor Davis Hanson
National Review
December 20, 2018

A high wall would end the border patrol’s reliance on dogs and tear gas when rushed by would-be border crossers throwing stones. There was likely never going to be “comprehensive immigration reform” or any deal amnestying the DACA recipients in exchange for building the wall. Democrats in the present political landscape will not consent to a wall. For them, a successful border wall is now considered bad politics in almost every manner imaginable.

Yet 12 years ago, Congress, with broad bipartisan support, passed the Secure Fence of Act of 2006. The bill was signed into law by then-President George W. Bush to overwhelming public applause. The stopgap legislation led to some 650 miles of a mostly inexpensive steel fence while still leaving about two-thirds of the 1,950-mile border unfenced.

In those days there were not, as now, nearly 50 million foreign-born immigrants living in the United States, perhaps nearly 15 million of them illegally.

Sheer numbers have radically changed electoral politics. Take California. One out of every four residents in California is foreign-born. Not since 2006 has any California Republican been elected to statewide office.

The solidly blue states of the American Southwest, including Colorado, Nevada and New Mexico, voted red as recently as 2004 for George W. Bush. Progressives understandably conclude that de facto open borders are good long-term politics.

Once upon a time, Democrats such as Hillary and Bill Clinton and Barack Obama talked tough about illegal immigration. They even ruled out amnesty while talking up a new border wall.

In those days, progressives saw illegal immigration as illiberal — or at least not as a winning proposition among union households and the working poor.

Democratic constituencies opposed importing inexpensive foreign labor for corporate bosses. Welfare rights groups believed that massive illegal immigration would swamp social services and curtail government help to American poor of the barrios and the inner city.

So, what happened? Again, numbers.

Hundreds of thousands of undocumented immigrants have flocked into the United States over the last decade. In addition, the Obama administration discouraged the melting-pot assimilationist model of integrating only legal immigrants.

Salad-bowl multiculturalism, growing tribalism and large numbers of unassimilated immigrants added up to politically advantageous demography for Democrats in the long run.

In contrast, a wall would likely reduce illegal immigration dramatically and with it future Democratic constituents. Legal, meritocratic, measured and diverse immigration in its place would likely end up being politically neutral. And without fresh waves of undocumented immigrants from south of the border, identity politics would wane.

A wall also would radically change the optics of illegal immigration. Currently, in unsecured border areas, armed border patrol guards sometimes stand behind barbed wire. Without a wall, they are forced to rely on dogs and tear gas when rushed by would-be border crossers. They are easy targets for stone-throwers on the Mexican side of the border.

A high wall would end that. Border guards would be mostly invisible from the Mexican side of the wall. Barbed wire, dogs and tear gas astride the border — the ingredients for media sensationalism — would be unnecessary. Instead, footage of would-be border crossers trying to climb 30-foot walls would emphasize the degree to which some are callously breaking the law.

Such imagery would remind the world that undocumented immigrants are not always noble victims but often selfish young adult males who have little regard for the millions of aspiring immigrants who wait patiently in line and follow the rules to enter the United State lawfully.

More importantly, thousands of undocumented immigrants cross miles of dangerous, unguarded borderlands each year to walk for days in the desert. Often, they fall prey to dangers ranging from cartel gangs to dehydration.

Usually, the United States is somehow blamed for their plight, even though a few years ago the Mexican government issued a comic book with instructions on how citizens could most effectively break U.S. law and cross the border.

The wall would make illegal crossings almost impossible, saving lives.

Latin American governments and Democratic operatives assume that lax border enforcement facilitates the outflow of billions of dollars in remittances sent south of the border and helps flip red states blue.

All prior efforts to ensure border security — sanctions against employers, threats to cut off foreign aid to Mexico and Central America, and talk of tamper-proof identity cards — have failed.

Instead, amnesties, expanded entitlements and hundreds of sanctuary jurisdictions offer incentives for waves of undocumented immigrants.

The reason a secure border wall has not been — and may not be — built is not apprehension that it would not work, but rather real fear that it would work only too well.

Voir encore:

The Immorality of Illegal Immigration
Victor Davis Hanson
National Review
December 31, 2018

New House majority leader Nancy Pelosi reportedly spent the holidays at the Fairmont Orchid on Kona, contemplating future climate-change legislation and still adamant in opposing the supposed vanity border wall.

But in a very different real world from the Fairmont Orchid or Pacific Heights, other people each day deal with the results of open borders and sanctuary jurisdictions. The results are often nihilistic and horrific. Here in California’s Central Valley over the holidays we were reminded of the wages of illegal immigration in general — and of California’s sanctuary-city laws in particular, which restrict formal cooperation between local and state law enforcement with federal immigration authorities in matters of deporting illegal aliens under detention.

In the first case, one Gustavo Garcia, a previously deported 36-year-old illegal alien, murdered a 51-year-old Visalia resident on December 17, gratuitously shooting his random victim, Rocky Jones, at a gas station. He apparently had been arrested two days prior and released.

Garcia entered the U.S. illegally in 1998 and was deported for a second time in 2014. He has been charged with at least three immigration violations since illegally returning to the U.S., and has been a convicted felon since at least 2002 for assaults with a deadly weapon, contributing to the delinquency of a minor, possession of a controlled substance, etc. In addition to the murder of Jones, Garcia shot a farmworker who was on a ladder working, and followed a woman to her car at a Motel 6 and shot her too. At the beginning of his violent spree, he seems also to have murdered Rolando Soto, 38, of nearby Lindsay.

Indeed, Garcia was a suspect in a number of prior shootings and thefts. During his final rampage, inter alia, Garcia tried to shoot his ex-girlfriend, then stole a truck from farmworkers and led police on a chase, deliberately veering into opposing traffic, and by intent injuring four more innocents, one critically. During the chase, he fired on police, who returned fire, before Garcia finally wrecked the stolen vehicle and perished in the crash.

The local sheriff of Tulare County, in understated fashion, labeled Garcia’s violent spasm of shootings and car wrecks a “reign of terror.” Garcia had an accomplice who is still at large.

Local law enforcement blamed state sanctuary restrictions on their inability to notify ICE that the felonious illegal alien Garcia was about to be released among the general public. Or as the sheriff put it, “Gustavo Garcia would have been turned over to ICE officials. That’s how we’ve always done it, day in and day out. But after SB 54, we no longer have the power to do that. Under the new state law, we must have a ‘federally signed warrant’ in order to do that. We didn’t honor the detainer because state law doesn’t allow us to.”

Less than two weeks later, there was yet another example of Central Valley illegal-immigration mayhem. To the north in Newman, another twice-deported illegal alien, Gustavo Perez Arriaga (he apparently had a number of aliases), stands accused of shooting and killing Newman policeman Ronil Singh, who pulled him over on suspicion of drunk driving (Arriaga also had two prior DUIs).

Arriaga fled after murdering Officer Singh and evaded law enforcement for a few days thanks to at least seven enablers (brothers, girlfriend, friends, etc.), some of them confirmed also to be illegal aliens.  They either gave police officials false information about Arriaga’s whereabouts or helped him on his planned flight to Mexico, finally aborted 200 miles to the south near Bakersfield.

The suspect’s brother, 25-year-old Adrian Virgen, and a co-worker, 32-year-old Erik Razo Quiroz, were arrested on “accessory after the fact” charges for attempting to protect Arriaga. Authorities report both men are also in the country illegally. Arriaga was at large for five days, also in part because he had so many fake identities and aliases that no one knew really who he was.

Stanislaus County sheriff Adam Christianson noted that SB54 prevents departments “from sharing any information with ICE about this criminal gang member.” He added, “this is a criminal illegal alien with prior criminal activity that should have been reported to ICE.” Christianson finished, “Law enforcement was prohibited because of sanctuary laws and that led to the encounter with Officer Singh. I’m suggesting that the outcome could have been different if law enforcement wasn’t restricted, prohibited or had their hands tied because of political interference.”

These incidents, and less violent ones like them, are not all that rare in rural California. The narratives are tragically similar and hinge on our society’s assumptions of tolerance and its belief that entering and residing illegally in the United States are not really crimes. Fraudulent identification and fake names are not really felonious behaviors. Driving under the influence is no reason for deportation — all crimes that can ruin careers and have expensive consequences for citizens. Statisticians argue that immigrants commit fewer crimes than the native born, but never quite calibrate illegal immigrants into the equation (in part because no one has any idea who, where, or how many they are, as estimates range from 11 to 20 million) or note that second-generation native-born children of immigrants have much higher violent-crime rates than do their immigrant parents, and in circular fashion add to the general pool of violent Americans who then are used to contrast immigrants as less violent.

We should redefine the entire morality of multifaceted illegal immigration.

Immorality is undermining, in Confederate fashion, federal law, and normalizing exemptions that allow felons such as Garcia and Arriaga to wreak havoc on the innocent and defenseless. Too often the architects of open borders and sanctuary jurisdictions are not on the front lines where the vulnerable suffer the all-too-real consequences of distant others, who can rely on their own far greater safety nets when their grand abstractions become all too concrete.

And, finally, we forget that so often the victims of illegal aliens are (in California where one in four residents was not born in the U.S.) legal immigrants like officer Singh, and members of the Hispanic community like the late Mr. Soto. Polls show that support for open borders is not popular and most Americans want an end to illegal immigration and catch and release, as well as stricter enforcement of current federal immigration laws.

(I took a break from writing this on a Sunday afternoon to talk about the volatile Central Valley landscape with an immigrant from India, whose stolen and stripped spray rig I discovered last night in our orchard.)

Voir enfin:

Etats-Unis : pourquoi Donald Trump tient tant à son mur

Le président américain Donald Trump a menacé de fermer la frontière entre les Etats-Unis et le Mexique si les démocrates du Congrès n’acceptaient pas de financer la construction d’un mur.

  • Alexis Boisselier

Donald Trump n’en finit plus de s’agacer à propos de la construction de son mur à la frontière mexicaine. Ce vendredi, il a menacé de fermer la frontière entre les Etats-Unis et le Mexique si les démocrates du Congrès n’acceptaient pas de financer la construction d’un mur. « Nous allons être contraints de fermer la Frontière Sud complètement si les Démocrates Obstructionnistes ne nous donnent pas l’argent pour terminer le mur », a tweeté le président américain en leur demandant également de « changer les ridicules lois sur l’immigration dont notre pays est affublé ».

Le milliardaire a ensuite dit qu’il considérerait une telle fermeture comme une « opération rentable », arguant du fait que « les Etats-Unis perdent tellement d’argent en faisant du commerce avec le Mexique avec l’Aléna ». Poursuivant une série de tweets, il a réitéré sa menace plusieurs fois : « Nous construisons un mur ou fermons la Frontière Sud. »

« Shutdown » prolongé

Un sujet qui a déjà provoqué un « shutdown » depuis une semaine, soit la paralysie partielle des administrations fédérales et qui a mis des centaines de milliers de fonctionnaires au chômage forcé. Tant que républicains et démocrates ne trouveront pas d’accord au Congrès, les financements de 25% des ministères et administrations fédérales resteront suspendus.

Jeudi, les négociations ont encore échoué. Le président républicain exige cinq milliards de dollars pour construire le mur tandis que les démocrates refusent de le financer, mais ont proposé une enveloppe de plus d’un milliard pour d’autres mesures de sécurité à la frontière. Les républicains sont majoritaires au Congrès, mais avec 51 sièges au Sénat, ils ont besoin de soutiens démocrates pour atteindre les 60 voix sur 100 nécessaires afin d’approuver le Budget.

Mesure symbolique

Mais si la question cristallise autant, c’est que la mesure est symbolique de la présidence de Donald Trump. Lors la campagne, le milliardaire a construit sa popularité à coup de propositions chocs et fait de la lutte contre l’immigration l’une de ses priorités. « Je vais construire un grand mur sur notre frontière sud, et le Mexique paiera pour le construire. Prenez-en bien note », avait-il alors promis.

Une promesse déjà bien entamée par le refus mexicain de financer la construction du mur. Le président américain a été contraint d’admettre que les Etats-Unis allaient lancer le projet avant même d’avoir l’assurance du financement mexicain. En août 2017, la publication d’une retranscription d’une conversation téléphonique entre les présidents américain et mexicain révélait que Donald Trump considérait le mur comme un coup politique. « C’est la chose la plus futile dont nous parlons, mais politiquement, c’est la plus importante », aurait-il dit à son homologue.

Selon un sondage de Politico, la base électorale du président américain est, en effet, très attachée à cette proposition. 78% des électeurs de Trump en 2016 considèrent qu’il s’agit d’un projet important (25%) voire prioritaire (53%) au cours de son mandat.

Le Mexique ne veut pas payer

Fin mai, le président de l’époque, Enrique Peña Nieto, a pourtant conclu le débat sur Twitter en promettant que « le Mexique ne paiera jamais pour un mur. Pas aujourd’hui, jamais ». Une position de laquelle n’a pas dévié son successeur Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador et qui a poussé Donald Trump à évoluer légèrement sur la question.

« Le Mexique devra payer pour cela, en remboursant ou de toute autre manière », a-t-il déclaré fin août. Par cette déclaration, Donald Trump mettait la pression sur le Mexique pour renégocier l’Accord de libre-échange nord-américain (Aléna) qui lie les Etats-Unis au Canada et au Mexique. Un traité que le président américain critique régulièrement. Si un nouvel accord a été signé en novembre, il n’a pas encore été ratifié.

Le temps court pour les démocrates

Mais en attendant, Donald Trump doit trouver des financements. En totalité, l’ouvrage devrait coûter entre 22 à 25 milliards de dollars. Faute d’accord de compromis et dans un hémicycle quasi désert, le Sénat a décidé jeudi à l’unanimité d’ajourner la séance jusqu’à lundi 10h et de ne reprendre l’examen d’une loi budgétaire que mercredi 2 janvier, à partir de 16h. Or, à chaque jour qui passe, la position des démocrates se renforce. Ils prendront le contrôle de la Chambre des représentants dès le 3 janvier, tandis que les républicains auront une majorité renforcée au Sénat (53).

Il est donc fort probable que Donald Trump soit obligé de faire des concessions, ce que le président américain ne semble pour l’instant pas prêt à faire. Le gouvernement restera paralysé jusqu’à « ce que nous ayons un mur, une barrière, peu importe comment ils veulent l’appeler », avait ainsi déclaré Donald Trump le 25 décembre.

Voir par ailleurs:

« They voted for (a border wall) in 2006. Then-Senator Obama voted for it. Sen. Schumer voted for it. Sen. Clinton voted for it. »

Mick Mulvaney on Sunday, April 23rd, 2017 in a segment on « Fox News Sunday »

Fact-check: Did top Democrats vote for a border wall in 2006?

White House budget director Mick Mulvaney said he doesn’t understand Democratic opposition to funding the border wall because top Democrats voted for it just over 10 years ago.

During an April 23 segment on Fox News Sunday, Mulvaney talked down concerns about a government shutdown, but scolded Democrats for obstructing action on Trump’s border wall. Mulvaney pointed to the voting record of top Democrats in 2006 to explain his confusion.

« We want our priorities funded and one of the biggest priorities during the campaign was border security, keeping Americans safe, and part of that was a border wall, » he said.

« We still don’t understand why the Democrats are so wholeheartedly against it. They voted for it in 2006. Then-Sen. Obama voted for it. Sen. Schumer voted for it. Sen. Clinton voted for it. So we don’t understand why Democrats are now playing politics just because Donald Trump is in office. »

Mulvaney is referencing their votes on an act that authorized a fence, but as we’ve noted several times in the past, the 2006 fence was less ambitious than the wall Trump is proposing.

The Secure Fence Act of 2006

The Secure Fence Act of 2006, which was passed by a Republican Congress and signed by President George W. Bush, authorized about 700 miles of fencing along certain stretches of land between the border of the United States and Mexico.

The act also authorized the use of more vehicle barriers, checkpoints and lighting to curb illegal immigration, and the use of advanced technology such as satellites and unmanned aerial vehicles.

At the time the act was being considered, Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and Chuck Schumer were all members of the Senate. (Schumer of New York is now the Senate minority leader.)

Obama, Clinton, Schumer and 23 other Democratic senators voted in favor of the act when it passed in the Senate by a vote of 80 to 19.

Originally, the act called on the Department of Homeland Security to install at least two layers of reinforced fencing along some stretches of the border. That was amended later, however, through the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2008, which got rid of the double-layer requirement.

Currently, 702 miles of fencing separates the United States from Mexico, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

So how does that compare to Trump’s wall?

Trump plans for the wall are vague, but here’s what we know.

He said the wall doesn’t need to run the nearly 2,000 miles of the border, but about 1,000 miles because of natural barriers. He said it could cost between $8 billion and $12 billion, be made of precast concrete, and rise 35 to 40 feet, or 50 feet, or higher.

Experts have repeatedly told PolitiFact that the differences in semantics between a wall and a fence are not too significant because both block people.

Still, there are obvious differences between the fence and Trump’s wall proposal.

A 2016 Associated Press report from the border described « rust-colored thick bars » that form « teeth-like slats » 18 feet high. « There are miles of gaps between segments and openings in the fence itself, » the report said.

Trump criticized the 2006 fence as too modest during the 2016 campaign.

« Now we got lucky because it was such a little wall, it was such a nothing wall, no, they couldn’t get their environmental — probably a snake was in the way or a toad, » Trump said. (Actually, the project didn’t face environmental hurdles; we rated that part of the claim Mostly False.)

It’s also worth noting that the political context surrounding the 2006 vote was different, too.

Democrats normally in favor of looser immigration laws saw the Secure Fence Act of 2006 as the lesser of two evils, according to a Boston Globe report that detailed the legislative process. Around that same time, the House passed legislation that would make any undocumented immigrant a felon.

« It didn’t have anywhere near the gravity of harm, » Angela Kelley, who in 2006 was the legislative director for the National Immigration Forum, told the Boston Globe. « It was hard to vote against it because who is going to vote against a secure fence? And it was benign compared with what was out there. »

Democrats have described Trump’s wall proposal as overkill and too expensive. Recently, Democrats penned a letter to Senate GOP saying border funding should not be included in the latest budget agreement to keep the government open.

Our ruling

Mulvaney said that Obama, Schumer and Clinton voted for a border wall in 2006.

They did vote for the Secure Fence Act of 2006, which authorized building a fence along about 700 miles of the border between the United States and Mexico.

Still, the fence they voted for is not as substantial as the wall Trump is proposing. Trump himself called the 2006 fence a « nothing wall. »

Mulvaney’s statement is partially accurate, but ignores important context. We rate it Half True.


Immigration illégale: Pour un Guantanamo européen (Why can’t the rest of the West learn from Australia’s tough « turn back the boats policy » and all-out war against people smugglers?)

7 décembre, 2018
https://www.aph.gov.au/~/media/05%20About%20Parliament/54%20Parliamentary%20Depts/544%20Parliamentary%20Library/Research%20Papers/2016-17/QuickGuides/QG-BoatTurnbacks-01.gif?la=en
C’est précisément en raison de la mort de l’impérialisme que nous voyons l’apparition du monde pré-moderne. Aujourd’hui, il n’y a aucune puissance coloniale qui accepte de s’atteler à cette tâche, cependant les occasions, peut-être même le besoin de colonisation, sont aussi grands qu’ils ne l’ont jamais été au XIXe siècle. (…) le cas d’Ossama Ben Laden a maintenant démontré, pour ceux qui ne l’avait pas déjà réalisé, qu’aujourd’hui le monde entier est, potentiellement au moins, notre voisin. Robert Cooper
Les Etats qui bordent le détroit de Malacca, c’est-à-dire l’Indonésie, la Malaisie, Singapour, sont des Etats relativement développés» qui ont pris «des initiatives» contre les pirates. Mais les Etats africains, notamment dans le golfe de Guinée, ou dans l’est de l’Afrique, «n’ont pas les mêmes moyens». C’est pourquoi, il n’a pas exclu que certains Etats, sans moyens d’intervention contre les pirates, «renoncent à la barrière symbolique des eaux territoriales», la surface maritime où un Etat exerce sa souveraineté: soit une largeur ne dépassant pas 12 milles marins nautiques, selon la convention des Nations unies sur le droit de la mer. Jean-David Levitte (conseiller de Sarkozy, Libération, le 12 avril 2008)
Après trente ans d’expérience en Afghanistan, au Yémen ou en Somalie, je veux dire que l’accès humanitaire, en Israël, est assez remarquable. Il n’y a pas un seul prisonnier palestinien perdu, disparu. Le système a une histoire et des mécanismes de transparence. A certains égards, Israël respecte mieux la IVe convention de Genève que beaucoup d’Etats. Nous avons un dialogue très riche avec les Israéliens sur les dossiers que nous suivons, des détenus au comportement des forces armées. (…) Les « missing » sont des gens sur le sort desquels la famille n’a pas de certitude formelle, vivants ou morts. On ne fait pas de distinction entre civils et militaires. Ils sont environ 45. Il y a deux civils israéliens, peut-être trois, qui sont présumés vivants à Gaza et qui sont notre priorité absolue. On est en « clash » avec le Hamas sur ce sujet. (…) En 2014, nous avons eu des mois de discussion avec l’armée israélienne sur les leçons à retenir de la guerre à Gaza, cet été-là. C’est la même discussion que nous avons avec les Américains, les Français ou les Saoudiens : sur la distinction civils/militaires, la proportionnalité, etc. On a mené un travail confidentiel avec eux, comme avec les Brigades Al-Qassam [branche armée du Hamas]. (…) Dans une guerre, les soldats ont le droit de tuer des menaces réelles ; on ne défend pas le droit à la vie dans toutes circonstances. L’équation entre la proportionnalité stratégique et les obligations humanitaires, c’est une immense question qui renvoie même à l’utilisation de l’arme atomique à Hiroshima. Elle interroge sur la pertinence du droit de la guerre dans le contexte de l’après 11 septembre 2001, avec l’organisation Etat islamique (EI), avec la guerre asymétrique contre des mouvements armés plus ou moins terroristes qui se cachent derrière la population. Nous, nous opérons à un niveau inférieur : l’analyse empirique de la conduite des opérations, et les victimes civiles. Pour cela, nous avons différents angles de vue : les précautions prises, l’utilisation d’artillerie en milieu urbain, la définition des cibles. Le cuisinier du Hezbollah en est-il une ? J’ai bossé pas mal en Afghanistan avec les troupes de l’Otan. Ces questions secouent le monde entier. » (…) Les manifestations près de la clôture sont régies par le paradigme du maintien de l’ordre. Mais il est clair qu’on n’est ni à Berlin ni à Gênes [sommet du G8 en 2001]. Dans ces manifestations de civils se greffent en filigrane des opérations militaires qui justifient l’utilisation d’armes létales (…) Les Palestiniens, eux, sont dans une logique de poussée. Plus ils s’approchent de la clôture, plus ils sont en danger, quoi qu’on pense de leurs motivations. Ce mouvement est voulu, planifié, avec une logistique. On discute avec le Jihad islamique palestinien (JIP) ou le Hamas pour minimiser l’exposition des plus vulnérables, des enfants de 7 à 12 ans qui font des concours d’héroïsme. Jacques de Maio (ex-chef de la Croix-Rouge en Israël)
Protecting children at the border is complicated because there have, indeed, been instances of fraud. Tens of thousands of migrants arrive there every year, and those with children in tow are often released into the United States more quickly than adults who come alone, because of restrictions on the amount of time that minors can be held in custody. Some migrants have admitted they brought their children not only to remove them from danger in such places as Central America and Africa, but because they believed it would cause the authorities to release them from custody sooner. Others have admitted to posing falsely with children who are not their own, and Border Patrol officials say that such instances of fraud are increasing. (…) [Jessica M. Vaughan, the director of policy studies for the Center for Immigration Studies] said that some migrants were using children as “human shields” in order to get out of immigration custody faster. “It makes no sense at all for the government to just accept these attempts at fraud,” Ms. Vaughan said. “If it appears that the child is being used in this way, it is in the best interest of the child to be kept separately from the parent, for the parent to be prosecuted, because it’s a crime and it’s one that has to be deterred and prosecuted.” NYT
Plus de 11 000 femmes nigérianes ont été secourues en Méditerranée l’année dernière, selon l’Office pour les migrations internationales (OMI). 80% d’entre elles faisaient l’objet d’un trafic à des fins d’exploitation sexuelle. “Il y a maintenant des filles qui n’ont que 13, 14 ou 15 ans”, m’a dit un agent anti-trafic de l’OMI. “L’Italie n’est qu’un point d’entrée. De la, elles sont dispatchées et vendues à des mères maquerelles partout en Europe.” Ben Taub
En 2015, le risque de mourir en Méditerranée (0, 37%) était inférieur au risque en France d’une personne de plus de 45 ans de subir un AVC (0, 4$%); en 2016, 363 000 migrants ont traversé la Mare nostrum (…) et 4 576 s’y sont noyés ou ont disparu, soit 1, 3% ou le double du risque de décéder après une intervention chirurgicale – toutes catégories confondues – dans un pays industrialisé, ou encore le double du risque de mourir d’une anesthésie générale au sud du Sahara. En 2017, entre janvier et fin aout, 126 000 migrants ont traversé la Méditerranée et 2 428 ont été portés disparus, soit 1, 92%, ce qui est légèrement inférieur à la mortalité post-opératoire en chirurgie cardiaque en Europe de l’ouest (2%). Même si le risque est heureusement limité, on se demande évidemment pourquoi il ne cesse d’augmenter alors que les yeux du monde sont braqués sur la Méditerranée et que les secours devraient se perfectionner. La réponse: l’humanitaire est trop bon ! En effet, les bateaux de secours se rapprochent de plus en plus des eaux territoriales libyennes et, s’il y a danger de naufrage, n’hésitent plus à y entrer pour sauver les migrants. Si bien que les trafiquants embarquent un nombre croissant de migrants sur des embarcations toujours plus précaires (notamment des canots pneumatiques longs de 9 mètres, fabriqués en Chine, sur lesquels se serrent 130 personnes). (…) Les trafiquants emmènent donc les migrants à la limite des eaux territoriales, avant de repartir avec le moteur hors-bord dans un autre bateau en laissant les leurs clients dériver. A charge pour les humanitaires … Ceux-ci font bien, voire très bien leur travail, au risque de voir les migrants de moins en moins regardants sur la navigabilité des embarcations choisies par les trafiquants. Au cours des premiers six mois de 2017, quelque 93 000 migrants ont été secourus et transportés vers l’Italie, soit presque les trois quarts du total ayant embarqué pour la traversée pendant cette période. Stephen Smith
Je crois que le diagnostic du FN sur l’impuissance politique est juste. La France n’a pas vraiment la maîtrise de la politique migratoire, qui est une compétence partagée avec l’UE et la Commission européenne est favorable à une politique migratoire très généreuse compte tenu de ses anticipations démographiques. (…) Marine Le Pen propose de diviser par 20 le nombre d’entrées légales en cinq ans pour ne laisser entrer que 10 000 étrangers par an, tout en réduisant à zéro toute immigration clandestine. Quel genre d’État faut-il pour y arriver vraiment ? Telle est la question. En fait, elle déclare vouloir en finir avec tous les droits accordés a priori aux immigrants, même sous certaines conditions. Elle compte interdire le regroupement familial, dont il faut souligner qu’il n’est pas la part la plus importante des flux familiaux, contrairement aux conjoints de Français. Comment limiter les flux de ces derniers ?  Il ne suffit pas de sortir de la Convention européenne de sauvegarde des droits de l’homme. Restent de sérieux obstacles : la Cour de justice de l’UE, qui garantit le respect des traités et dont les décisions font jurisprudence pour les juridictions nationales, mais aussi la jurisprudence du Conseil d’État. Bref, si l’objectif visant à limiter le nombre d’entrées d’étrangers est légitime, cela implique de prendre toute une série de décisions qui ne seront pas sans effet sur les droits des citoyens. [ce qui est irréalisable] En l’état du droit français et plus largement européen. Michèle Tribalat
Soucieux de ne pas laisser la main aux nationalistes, le camp européen a eu à cœur d’accorder ses violons à la veille de ces échéances européennes capitales. C’est l’une des raisons qui a conduit Pedro Sanchez, le nouveau chef du gouvernement espagnol à réserver à la France son tout premier déplacement à l’étranger. (…) Parlant d’une même voix, ils ont plaidé pour la mise en place de « centres fermés » sur les côtes européennes pour gérer les migrants qui débarquent de Méditerranée. Une proposition également appuyée par Berlin. Dans ces plateformes, les migrants attendraient l’examen de leur cas, essentiellement en Italie, pays principal d’arrivée actuellement, mais aussi en Espagne. Pour appliquer cette proposition, il faudrait que tous les pays européens acceptent d’accueillir les réfugiés qui obtiendraient le droit d’asile, quitte à les y contraindre. Emmanuel Macron a ainsi brandi la menace de sanctions (financières ou institutionnelles) envers ceux qui refuseraient de le faire, comme l’ont d’ores et déjà annoncé les pays du groupe de Visegrad (Hongrie, Pologne, République tchèque et Slovaquie), très hostiles aux migrants. « On ne peut avoir des pays qui bénéficient massivement de la solidarité de l’UE et qui revendiquent massivement leur égoïsme national quand il s’agit de sujets migratoires », a-t-il lancé. Le Parisien
French President Emmanuel Macron stood at the Arc de Triomphe last month and rebuked President Donald Trump’s « America First » policy at a ceremony marking the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I. But three weeks later protesters stormed the monument in central Paris in a massive, violent riot that saw it defaced with slogans calling for Macron’s resignation and leaving the statue of Marianne, the symbol of France’s revolution, with its face smashed in. (…) Any working theory of international relations understands that nations and actors put their own interests first. Whereas Trump proudly trumpets « America First, » Macron essentially said he’s more interested in signaling his country’s moral values than advancing the interests of his citizenry. Today Macron’s approval rating stands at about 23%, while Trump’s is double that at about 46%. Macron has positioned himself as the enemy of nationalist leaders rising around Europe, but leaders like Hungary’s anti-refugee Viktor Orban and Italy’s Matteo Salvini remain more popular than him in their respective countries. While Trump has often clashed with European leaders over his unilateral decisions to withdraw from the Paris agreement on climate change or the Iran nuclear deal in the name of American interests, Europe’s unity and leadership has weakened terribly. Macron’s chief ally, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, also lost recent elections and has announced plans to step down when her term ends in 2021. (…) In a speech to Europe’s leadership in Brussels, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo blasted multinational, multilateral institutions like the United Nations and the European Union as ineffective, failing to address the concerns of the people. Pompeo called on « noble nations » around the world to put their interests first and « reform or eliminate » multinational bodies that don’t work as intended. Pompeo pointed to China and Russia disregarding treaties and asserting their national wills as evidence that undemocratic countries were reaping the benefits of the liberal world order, while Europe failed to act. On Twitter, Trump teased Macron as having only now come around to the realization that imposing costs on workers to pay for a grand vision of global change had proved untenable. While champions of morality in politics may have celebrated Macron’s rebuke of Trump’s « America First » policies, which are often seen as inhumane and turning away from the US’s much-publicized values of compassion and openness, the massive mobilization of the Yellow Vests and the downfall of liberal leaders across Europe may give Trump the last laugh. Business insider
Nous avons appris que les migrations font partie intégrante de la mondialisation, reliant entre elles les sociétés d’une même région et d’une région à l’autre et faisant de nous tous des pays d’origine, de transit et de destination. Nous sommes conscients qu’il importe que nous nous efforcions sans cesse, à l’échelle internationale, d’approfondir nos connaissances et notre analyse des migrations, sachant qu’il sera plus aisé d’améliorer les politiques favorisant un développement durable pour tous à partir d’une même compréhension de la situation. Nous devons recueillir et diffuser des données de qualité. Nous devons également veiller à ce que les migrants actuels et potentiels soient pleinement informés de leurs droits, obligations et possibilités en ce qui concerne des migrations sûres, ordonnées et régulières, et connaissent les risques de la migration irrégulière. Nous devons en outre mettre à disposition de tous les citoyens des informations objectives, claires et fondées sur des données factuelles au sujet des avantages et des difficultés que présentent les migrations, en vue de démonter les discours trompeurs qui donnent une image négative des migrants. (…) Grâce à cette démarche globale, nous comptons faciliter des migrations sûres, ordonnées et régulières, tout en réduisant l’incidence et les répercussions négatives de la migration irrégulière grâce à la coopération internationale et à l’ensemble de mesures proposé dans le présent Pacte mondial. (…) Nous nous efforçons de créer des conditions favorables qui permettent à tous les migrants d ’ enrichir nos sociétés grâce à leurs capacités humaines, économiques et sociales, et facilitent ainsi leur contribution au développement durable aux niveaux local, national, régional et mondial. (…) Afin de tenir ces engagements, nous entendons : a) Élaborer des procédures et des accords relatifs à la recherche et au sauvetage des migrants dont l’objectif premier soit de protéger le droit à la vie et qui fassent respecter l’interdiction des expulsions collectives, assurent une procédure régulière et des évaluations individuelles, améliorent les capacités d’accueil et d’assistance, et garantissent que la fourniture d’une aide de nature exclusivement humanitaire ne puisse être considérée comme illégale ; b) Étudier les conséquences des lois et politiques relatives aux migrations pour nous assurer qu’elles n’entraînent pas de nouveaux risques de disparition de migrants ou d’aggravation du phénomène, notamment en répertoriant les itinéraires dangereux empruntés par les migrants et en travaillant avec d’autres États ainsi qu’avec les parties prenantes et les organisations internationales concernées afin de déterminer les risques qui se posent dans certains contextes et d ’ établir des mécanismes visant à prévenir les situations dangereuses et à y remédier, en accordant une attention particulière aux enfants, notamment ceux qui ne sont pas accompagnés ou qui sont séparés de leur famille. (…) Afin de tenir cet engagement, nous entendons (…) Promouvoir une information indépendante, objective et de qualité, y compris sur Internet, notamment en sensibilisant les professionnels des médias aux questions de migration et à la terminologie afférente, en instituant des normes déontologiques pour le journalisme et la publicité et en cessant d’allouer des fonds publics ou d’apporter un soutien matériel aux médias qui propagent systématiquement l ’ intolérance, la xénophobie, le racisme et les autres formes de discrimination envers les migrants, dans le plein respect de la liberté de la presse. Pacte mondial pour des migrations sûres, ordonnées et régulières (Marrakech, Maroc, 10 et 11 décembre 2018)
Renoncer à l’Aquarius a été une décision extrêmement difficile à prendre, mais elle permettra à nos équipes de reprendre les opérations de recherche et de sauvetage le plus rapidement possible. Nous refusons de rester les bras croisés sur le rivage alors que des gens continuent de mourir en mer. Tant que des êtres humains continueront à tenter la traversée la plus dangereuse du monde, SOS MEDITERRANEE remplira son devoir d’assistance en répondant à l’urgence par tous les moyens professionnels possibles. Frédéric Penard (directeur des opérations de SOS Méditerranée)
Les Nations unies n’ont en principe pas du tout vocation à lancer pareille initiative et il est clair que les États cosignataires africains, islamiques, asiatiques ou d’Amérique latine qui n’y ont pas intérêt ne respecteront jamais les règles « morales » édictées dans ce « Pacte » et surtout les devoirs financiers que seuls les pays démocratiques occidentaux sont sommés de mettre en œuvre. D’évidence, la plupart des mesures de cet accord multilatéral sont impossibles à mettre en place dans la vaste majorité des pays membres des Nations Unies. L’effort et le coût se porteront donc sur une minorité de pays développés sur le plan juridique et social. Entre bases de données géantes, biométrie, et dépenses nécessairement astronomiques, préconisées par les rédacteurs du texte onusien, on comprend mal ce qui a pu mener à ce projet. Ensuite, l’aspect « non-contraignant » du dit Pacte vise en fait assez habilement à contourner les lois des États souverains et les bases mêmes de la démocratie. Il  n’empêchera d’ailleurs absolument pas le « pacte » d’avoir des effets légaux ultérieurs pour les signataires. En effet rien n’empêchera les tribunaux, cours constitutionnelles et autres instances étatiques de judiciariser peu à peu les normes onusiennes comme on l’a déjà vu en France avec la cour constitutionnelle qui, répondant à une « question prioritaire de constitutionnalité », a donné raison à des lobbies immigrationnistes désireux de dépénaliser les migrations illégales et à accorder aux clandestins qui enfreignent les lois les mêmes droits sociaux que les citoyens qui cotisent depuis des années et paient des impôts pour y avoir droit. La « migration » organisée au niveau global est par conséquent l’outil d’une volonté manifeste de réduire toutes les personnes, citoyennes, étrangères, régulières ou irrégulières, à des entités juridiques et socio-économiques interchangeables, indifférenciées. L’appartenance à la citoyenneté nationale ne peut dans cette perspective en aucun cas donner lieu à des privilèges et droits particuliers « supérieurs » à ceux des étrangers, envers qui les nations occidentales ont, a contrario, des devoirs imprescriptibles. Ces confusions mettent dans le même sac réguliers et illégaux, migrants économiques et réfugiés, vrais et faux demandeurs d’asile. Elles ne trompent certes pas du tout les publics avertis, mais elles introduisent d’énormes confusions dans l’esprit des masses, surtout des peuples occidentaux abreuvés de doxa « diversitaire » cosmopolitiquement correcte et, de ce fait, culpabilisés/diabolisés dès qu’ils osent limiter l’immigration (droit de tout État souverain) ou refusent même simplement l’immigration illégale. Celle-ci, normalement sévèrement punie par les lois dans tout État appliquant la loi, est aujourd’hui présentée comme légitime par nature puisque les frontières seraient une anomalie, d’où le nom de l’ONG pro-Migrants financée par Georges Soros : « No Borders ».  (…) Outre la mise en place de « campagnes d’information », de sites internet et de procédures d’information avant le départ et dès l’arrivée du « migrant », les États d’accueil doivent fournir à ce dernier des renseignements détaillés sur « les formalités à remplir, les conditions de vie et les outils juridiques en vigueur » et, bien sûr, « garantir l’accès aux soins de santé, la justice et au marché du travail », mesures déjà en vigueur en France d’ailleurs, où la seule aide aux migrants irréguliers « mineurs non-accompagnés » (souvent faux mineurs d’ailleurs), coûte déjà deux milliards par an. D’évidence, le Pacte est bel et bien un projet de facilitation massive de la « migration », ou plutôt de « l’immigration », régulière comme irrégulière. Les « campagnes plurilingues » qui « doivent » donner l’état des conditions de vie dans chaque pays d’accueil potentiel sont par ailleurs la porte ouverte au shopping migratoire. (…) L’objectif n°16 du Pacte global est de « donner les moyens aux migrants et sociétés de réaliser une inclusion et cohésion sociale complètes », et c’est à ce titre qu’il s’agit de promouvoir le « reportage éthique » sur le sujet des migrants. Passant sans vergogne du devoir d’objectivité à la nécessité de « dissiper » le négatif, le Pacte enjoint les signataires à mettre en lumière les « contributions positives » des migrants. L’active participation des médias est requise dans cette vaste entreprise de positivisme forcené, notamment en formant et « sensibilisant » les professionnels des médias aux problématiques et à la « terminologie » liées à la migration. Ceux qui feraient montre d’intolérance, de xénophobie, de racisme et toute autre forme de discrimination à l’égard des migrants verraient leurs subsides se tarir. La même vigilance serait de mise en « période électorale », ce qui laisse à penser que le Pacte Global vise à interdire l’immigration comme sujet politique !  (…) L’argument a été donné de si nombreuses fois pour invalider les objections au Pacte Global qu’il faut préciser ce qu’il a de faux en plus de malhonnête. Bien entendu s’il n’y a aucune conséquence à signer pareil accord on peut retourner la question et demander « ce que ça peut bien leur faire » de ne pas signer. En réalité les accords dits non-contraignants sont un outil tout à fait courant des relations internationales et ne tombent pas nécessairement hors du droit international. Nombre de chercheurs en droit se sont penchés sur la prolifération de ces accords internationaux notamment en ce qu’ils questionnent la loi en tant que telle. Le Global Compact, en se disant non-contraignant, permet aux gouvernements de faire l’économie d’une bureaucratie lente et coûteuse, certes, mais aussi du débat parlementaire interne et de contourner ainsi un processus de décision démocratique. Or cet argument de la « non-contrainte » du pacte occulte plusieurs aspects, dont celui du « politiquement contraignant » et du poids symbolique de tels accords. Ainsi certains avis ou décisions du Parlement européen, purement « consultatifs » et sans effet juridique, se voient tout de même entérinés par la Commission en raison de leur haute valeur symbolique et politique difficiles à ignorer sans risque. D’autre part, un accord international tel que celui des Nations Unies, même non-contraignant, peut renforcer la densité de traités parfaitement contraignants, en ramollir d’autres, et être tout à fait pris en compte par la justice elle-même en tant qu’il compte comme preuve d’une pratique internationale et de droit coutumier. Il n’est pas rare d’avoir recours à ce type d’accord pour sa malléabilité, sa facilité de mise en œuvre, que ce soit dans les domaines militaire, environnemental ou des droits de l’homme. Prétendre que ces accords seraient sans effet est un mensonge et une grave erreur, ne serait-ce que dans l’appel d’air qu’il provoque, informant les migrants du monde entier de leur droit souverain devant les nations. Et à tout le moins, le Global Compact on Migration est la manifestation d’un nouvel ordre transfrontières reposant sur le fichage des citoyens quels qu’ils soient, et l’effacement de certaines cultures au profit d’autres mieux protégées ou pourvues de moyens disproportionnés pour s’implanter. Alexandre del Valle
Les attaques répétées et ciblées contre les organisations humanitaires, qui viennent s’ajouter à la négligence criminelle des Etats membres de l’UE qui ne respectent en aucun cas leurs obligations maritimes et internationales, entraînent des risques croissants pour les personnes en détresse en mer . Cette année seulement, plus de 2 100 personnes, à notre connaissance, sont mortes en Méditerranée, tandis que beaucoup d’autres ont été interceptées par les garde-côtes libyens, qui sont soutenus par l’UE. Ces naufragés sont ensuite renvoyés de force en Libye, où des traitements inhumains les attendent.  L’Aquarius a tenté de combler le manque de dispositifs de sauvetage en Méditerranée durant ces 34 derniers mois. Mais les attaques inacceptables et répétées à son encontre ont fini par l’arrêter. Aujourd’hui, quasiment aucune opération de recherche et de sauvetage ne subsiste en mer et ce vide est pour nous le plus mortifère des échecs de l’Europe. Sauver des vies en mer est et restera notre mission et, aujourd’hui plus que jamais, nous avons besoin du soutien de tous les citoyens qui croient encore en nos valeurs d’humanité en mer et désirent concourir à nos efforts pour trouver un nouveau navire et un nouveau pavillon.  Sophie Beau (SOS Méditerranée France)
Amnesty International et 80 autres ONG ont appelé aujourd’hui les dirigeants des 18 nations du Pacifique (Fip) à exiger la fermeture d’un camp de rétention financé par l’Australie sur l’île de Nauru, où ils se réuniront en sommet du 3 au 6 septembre.Le camp de rétention abrite des demandeurs d’asile qui ont tenté de rejoindre l’Australie par la mer. Mais à cause d’une politique d’immigration draconienne, ils sont envoyés dans des infrastructures reculées du Pacifique, dans le micro-Etat de Nauru ou en Papouasie-Nouvelle-Guinée. L’Australie justifie sa politique par la nécessité d’empêcher les arrivées de bateaux de clandestins et d’ainsi sauver la vie de migrants tentés d’entreprendre le périlleux voyage maritime. Même si la demande d’asile des migrants est jugée fondée, ils ne sont pas acceptés sur le sol australien. Dans une lettre ouverte, Amnesty et 80 organisations non gouvernementales ont demandé aux dirigeants des nations du Fip d’agir et d’effacer « la tâche sur la région ». Le Figaro
The only way you can stop the deaths is in fact to stop the boats. We must resolve to stop this terrible problem and the only way you can stop the deaths is to stop the people smuggling trade. That’s why it is so urgent that the countries of Europe adopt very strong policies that will end the people-smuggling trade across the Mediterranean. Tony Abbott (2015)
Since he came to power in September 2013, Mr Abbott’s measures have effectively brought an end to the arrival of asylum seekers by boat after more than 20,000 arrived – or almost a boat a day – in 2013. His suite of policies included deporting all arrivals to detention centres in remote Pacific islands and barring them from returning to Australia. This has meant some people have languished in the centres for years, while those recognised as refugees could be released into countries such as Papua New Guinea, a poverty-stricken nation with high rates of violence and disease, and Nauru, a tiny, isolated and effectively bankrupt island. Mr Abbott has adopted a more secretive approach to asylum seekers than his predecessors, saying Australia faced a war-like situation and he wanted to avoid releasing information that would help people smugglers. The government no longer issues media statements when boats arrive and generally refuses to discuss its efforts to tow back vessels to foreign waters. However, the government began to provide more information late last year as its policies proved successful in ending boat arrivals. »The point is not to provide sport for public discussion, the point is to stop the boats, » Mr Abbott said last year. Despite critics saying his measures are in breach of international law, Mr Abbott has insisted they are the most effective way to stop the flow of boat arrivals and the people smuggling trade. Like Europe, Australia has witnessed numerous tragedies in which rickety boats sunk while attempting the voyage, leaving hundreds of asylum seekers dead. Australia’s tough response marks a vast shift from the 1970s, when Canberra opened the doors to thousands of boat people fleeing the Vietnam war and its aftermath. Malcolm Fraser, a former conservative prime minister, allowed 2,059 Indo-Chinese boat people to settle, along with more than 200,000 refugees whose claims were settled in Malaysia, Hong Kong and Thailand from 1976 to 1982. Mr Fraser, who died last month, said the Abbott government’s policies were cruel and tyrannical and had « destroyed the rule of law as we know it ». Most of the asylum seekers in recent years have come via Indonesia from Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan and Sri Lanka. Critics say conditions in the offshore detention camps are inhumane and that Australia’s approach is inconsistent with international law and with the country’s obligations as a signatory to the United Nations 1951 Refugee Convention. A UN report last month found that Australia’s detention of children and the indefinite holding of asylum seekers in harsh conditions on Manus Island in Papua New Guinea was a violation of the international convention against torture. But (…) Responding to the capsizing of a boat off Libya which left some 800 people dead, Mr Abbott extended his mantra to Europe, saying the « only way you can stop the deaths is in fact to stop the boats ». (…) But some analysts have warned that Mr Abbott’s approach will not work in Europe because Australia has the advantage of being geographically isolated, so that forcefully deterring boat arrivals leaves them with no alternative destinations… The Telegraph
I want to make sure we scrutinise each application so we’re getting the best possible migrants. People who are going to work. Not be on welfare. People who will integrate into our community. We want to make sure particularly that people coming through the spousal program that they are in legitimate relationships. (…) Our country is built on migration. We’ve had wonderful people who have come to our country over a long period of time. We have a lot to protect. Lot of values that those migrants believe in strongly. Ultimately apart from our indigenous population all of us are from migrant stock. We want to make sure we get the best people into our country so we can protect our values. As you say we’ve been listening to concerns that Australians have had. Peter Dutton (Australian Minister for Home Affairs, 2018)
Australia’s migration rate is the lowest it’s been in 10 years, largely due to Peter Dutton and the way the Department of Home Affairs has cracked down on “fraudulent” migrants. In the past financial year, the nation’s migration rate has dropped by 10 per cent with 21,000 less people being allowed into Australia (…) Australia’s deportation rates are also on the rise after the Migration Act was amended in 2014 that enforces all migrants pass and maintain a “character test” to stay here. The amendment gave Mr Dutton the powers to expel anyone he deems a risk to Australian society and has resulted in thousands of deportations since December 2014 when the law was changed. News.com
« Treize mères ont tenté de se suicider, dont sept en 48 heures » dans le camp de réfugiés de l’île australienne Christmas, annonçait mercredi dernier la Commission australienne des droits de l’Homme, une agence gouvernementale. Pensant maximiser les chances de leurs enfants de rester en Australie en les laissant orphelins, ces femmes étaient prêtes à mourir. Devant cette détresse, le Premier ministre australien, Tony Abbott, a affirmé qu’il ne céderait pas à un « chantage moral » et a précisé que « le gouvernement n’allait pas se laisser conduire sa politique par des gens qui arguent de la morale à mauvais escient ». Terre d’immigration, l’Australie accueille chaque année plus de 200 000 étrangers. Pourtant, l’immigration est devenue un sujet de crispation, notamment lors des dernières élections. Et depuis un an, le pays mène une politique extrêmement sévère de lutte contre l’immigration clandestine à travers l’opération « frontières souveraines ». Les bateaux d’immigrés sont ainsi interceptés en pleine mer, avant même d’atteindre les côtes de l’île. Placés dans des camps provisoires, les passagers hommes, femmes et enfants sont ensuite transférés dans des centres de rétention basés en Papouasie-Nouvelle-Guinée ou sur les îles du Pacifique de Nauru et Manus, en attendant que leur dossier soit examiné. (..) le Haut-Commissariat aux Réfugiés des Nations unies s’inquiète, et l’Australie pourrait être accusée de violer la loi internationale et la convention des réfugiés de 1951, qui imposent le « non-refoulement » des réfugiés et leur droit à une procédure équitable d’examen de leur demande d’asile. Scott Morrison, ministre australien de l’Immigration, a défendu mardi la position de son gouvernement, refusant que l’on « essaie d’exploiter et de manipuler l’adhésion de l’Australie (aux conventions internationales) comme outil pour saper sa politique de forte protection des frontières qui est de stopper les bateaux et les morts en mer ». En 2013, près de 20 000 clandestins, arrivés par bateau, ont demandé l’asile en Australie. Mais depuis six mois, aucune embarcation clandestine n’aurait atteint les côtes australiennes, affirme fièrement le gouvernement conservateur. Le Point (2015)
On the 10th and 11th of December there will be an international congress in Marrakesh Morocco. The participating countries are set to sign this agreement and although this joint agreement is not binding it is still meant to be the legal framework on which the participating countries commit themselves to build new legislation. One basic element of this new agreement is the extension of the definition of hate speech. The agreement wants to criminalise migration speech. Criticism of migration will become a criminal offence. Media outlets that give room to criticism of migration can be shut down. It is declaring migration as a human right so it will, in effect, become impossible to criticise Mrs Merkel’s welcome migrants politics without being at risk of being jailed for hate speech. Marcel de Graaff
In 2015 Angela Merkel pushed for an open-door migration policy across the EU. Critics said the move was motivated by Germany’s need to boost its workforce by at least one million. The document is an « intergovernmentally negotiated agreement, prepared under the auspices of the United Nations, that covers all dimensions of international migration in a holistic and comprehensive manner”. Austria, Australia, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Italy, Israel, Poland, Slovakia and Switzerland have already stated they will not sign the agreement. One of the “guiding principles” of the document asks for a “whole-of-society approach” to promoting mass migration, including the role of the media. Governments are asked to “promote independent, objective and quality reporting… and stopping allocation of public funding or material support to media outlets that systematically promote intolerance, xenophobia, racism and other forms of discrimination towards migrants”. The Express
On assiste à une prise de conscience des peurs que suscite en Europe la question migratoire, et de la volonté de juguler les flux de la part des dirigeants européens. Et c’est assurément par l’Italie et l’Autriche que ces changements adviennent. On a beaucoup dit, hier soir, que le processus bloquait parce que l’Italie avait des revendications particulières qu’elle voulait voir prises en compte. Or c’est justement grâce au rôle de l’Italie que ce conseil a lieu et que la stratégie européenne de contrôle des flux commence à changer. (….) Je pense que l’Italie va se sentir confortée dans sa stratégie de refus d’accueillir les navires de migrants. Concrètement, tout conduit à une décomplexion par rapport aux mesures de restriction de l’immigration et d’interdiction d’accès aux ports nationaux. Malte en profitera peut-être aussi pour durcir d’accueil des navires de migrants. Quant aux décisions prises, elles reposent effectivement sur le volontariat. Lorsque l’on suit cela de près, rien de très neuf n’émerge de cet accord. Il s’agissait d’abord, pour les dirigeants européens, que ce sommet ne tourne pas au psychodrame: ça aurait pu bien mal finir! Les partisans d’une politique migratoire ferme prennent la main, mais Bruxelles et pas mal d’États membres restent dans l’optique d’une politique européenne concertée. Toute la culture européenne est une culture de consensus et de compromis. Et cette recherche d’équilibre est fragile. Il n’y a plus que Macron, à la sortie du conseil, pour mettre en avant l’idée d’un «dialogue européen». Les autres chefs d’État ou de gouvernement ont plutôt insisté sur la nécessité de tarir les flux migratoires. (…) c’est le triomphe du «en même temps». Cela dit, Emmanuel Macron n’invente rien: François Hollande faisait la même chose, à savoir accueillir beaucoup moins de migrants que prévu sans l’assumer publiquement. Sur le fond, Macron est soulagé de ne pas avoir à assumer l’accueil de nouveaux migrants auprès de sa population, et publiquement il se targue de respecter les droits de l’homme et de bousculer l’Europe sur cette question. (…) Le fond de l’accord est assez peu contraignant, voilà le fond de l’affaire. L’Italie va par exemple pouvoir continuer sa politique de fermeté migratoire avec ce qui apparaît comme une forme de blanc-seing de la part du conseil européen. Politiquement, c’est une vraie victoire pour elle. Les Autrichiens ou les Italiens se rendent d’ailleurs compte que leur position est exactement celle attendue par les populations d’Europe occidentale. Cela constitue une situation politique inédite: la convergence d’un message porté par les dirigeants d’Europe centrale et italiens et des attentes d’une large partie de l’opinion des pays de l’Ouest. Politiquement, les résultats sont encore difficiles à cerner. Il reste que, sociologiquement et culturellement, les pays d’Europe de l’Est ont une influence considérable et portent une parole influente dans toute l’Europe. Ce qu’Angela Merkel et Emmanuel Macron sont obligés de prendre en compte. (…) Le «laboratoire» de cette mesure sera l’Italie. Il faudra installer de vrais moyens, des hommes, du matériel et des procédures, notamment à la frontière entre la Libye et le Niger. Et l’enjeu portera sur la durée des procédures, qui doit passer de plusieurs mois à seulement quelques semaines. Mais il va sans dire que les migrants n’iront pas s’arrêter volontairement à ces postes de tri… Un Sénégalais de vingt ans, par exemple, qui tente d’atteindre l’Europe ne fuit ni la guerre, ni aucune persécution, ni même la famine, il n’a donc pas de moyens légitimes d’obtenir l’asile: il ne s’y présentera pas de lui-même. Il faut ainsi mettre les moyens pour obtenir une vraie politique migratoire européenne et renforcer le mécanisme de garde-frontières européens. Ce qui demanderait un coût de plusieurs milliards: l’Union européenne sera de toute façon amenée à dépenser beaucoup d’argent pour mettre au point cette politique réclamée par les peuples… Car raccompagner un clandestin à la frontière coûte cher. (…) Je pense que, pour un pays comme l’Italie, cela ouvre la possibilité de mieux contrôler ses eaux, voire d’aller intervenir au plus près des ports libyens pour bloquer les passeurs ou les ONG en mettant ensuite ses partenaires devant le fait accompli. L’Italie aurait d’ailleurs l’aval des populations européennes en recourant à ce genre de démarche. Cet accord européen pourra créer un socle d’action pour que l’Italie monte d’un cran dans sa politique migratoire. Le climat européen et les mentalités changent énormément: nous sommes à un moment de rupture, notamment par rapport au renvoi des migrants. Il y a donc aussi un problème de droit qui doit être posé… Jean-Thomas Lesueur
La France et, plus largement, l’Union européenne (UE) sont mises à l’épreuve d’une pression migratoire sans précédent. L’UE chiffre le nombre de migrants arrivés entre 2015 et 2017 sur son territoire, et qui ne peuvent prétendre à l’asile, à 1,5 million. En France, le nombre de demandeurs d’asile a augmenté de 17% pour la seule année 2017, dépassant ainsi la barre des 100 000. En parallèle, la primo-délivrance des titres de séjour bondit de 13,7 % en 2017, avec 262 000 titres de séjour délivrés, ce qui peut s’expliquer notamment par une forte augmentation des premiers titres de réfugiés et bénéficiaires de la protection subsidiaire (35 825 titres, +56,5% par rapport à 2016). A l’inverse, le nombre d’étrangers reconduits est de 26 000 pour 2017, et le nombre de mesures d’éloignement exécutées était de 18% en 2016. 75 587 étrangers sont donc restés sur notre territoire malgré la mesure d’éloignement prononcée à leur encontre. A cet égard, force est de constater que les dispositions de la loi asile et immigration votée en août sont totalement insuffisantes. Les ténors de La République en marche ont beau claironner leur « fermeté », nous nous demandons où elle se trouve au milieu de dispositions favorables aux migrants (notamment l’augmentation de la durée de titre de séjour des bénéficiaires de la protection subsidiaire), de mesures proprement hallucinantes (comme l’octroi automatique de l’asile aux frères et sœurs des mineurs réfugiés) et de mesures essentiellement techniques et procédurales (la réduction du délai de traitement de l’asile). Quant à l’augmentation de la durée de séjour en Centre de rétention administrative, l’extension des pouvoirs d’investigation ou le raccourcissement des délais de dépôt des demandes (…) ces dispositions n’interviennent qu’a posteriori, une fois que le migrant illégal est déjà sur notre territoire. Or, tant qu’il sera possible d’y pénétrer illégalement, et de commencer à s’y installer, l’immigration illégale ne fera que croître, et les morts en mer sur le chemin de l’UE également. (…) La priorité absolue doit être la lutte sans merci contre l’immigration illégale. Il est urgent de rétablir le délit de séjour irrégulier en France, supprimé sans explication par le quinquennat précédent. De même, le respect de nos lois est un principe non négociable : le placement en centre de rétention administrative des étrangers en situation irrégulière, puis leur expulsion, doit redevenir la règle et non l’exception. (…) Au lieu de continuer à favoriser l’immigration illégale (en n’expulsant pas les clandestins et en continuant d’offrir des services comme l’Aide médicale d’Etat) au détriment de l’immigration légale (qui nécessite de faire des queues scandaleuses dans nos préfectures pour l’obtention de titres de séjour légal), nous devons faire l’inverse. (…) les demandeurs d’asile provenant de pays dits « sûrs », comme l’Albanie, ne doivent plus pouvoir déposer leur demande d’asile dans notre pays, mais dans leur pays, au consulat français le plus proche de chez eux. De la même manière, nous devons installer des centres offshore de traitement des demandes d’asile, non seulement dans les camps de réfugiés du Haut Commissariat aux Réfugiés de l’ONU, mais aussi et surtout dans les pays d’origine et de transit, de telle sorte que les migrants, d’où qu’ils viennent, n’aient pas besoin de poser le pied sur le territoire européen pour y déposer leur demande d’asile : il ne doit plus y avoir d’excuse à l’entrée de manière illégale sur notre territoire. Les migrants entrant illégalement dans l’UE par bateau ou voie terrestre pourront alors être interceptés et transférés vers ces centres offshore. (…) nous devons pouvoir éloigner l’intégralité des étrangers en situation irrégulière. (…) Le problème est bien connu : les pays d’origine de l’immigration ne délivrent pas suffisamment de laissez-passer consulaires, documents aujourd’hui indispensables à l’éloignement. Face à ce problème ancien, la vieille solution du conditionnement de l’aide au développement de la France à cette délivrance de documents ne sera jamais qu’une solution partielle et peu applicable. Nous devons donc aussi signer des accords avec des pays tiers afin que tous les clandestins ressortissants de pays récalcitrants à leur retour puissent être acheminés vers des centres de rétention construits dans le pays tiers, sur le modèle de l’Australie avec le camp de rétention à Nauru. C’est une solution gagnant-gagnant pour la France (le migrant illégal est expulsé) et pour le pays tiers (le centre de rétention fournit de l’emploi et est assorti d’aides financières), et qui permet de court-circuiter l’assentiment du pays dont l’étranger est ressortissant. De plus, l’éloignement se fait vers un endroit où le migrant sera en parfaite sûreté, nous protégeant ainsi des décisions idéologiques de la CEDH. Cette politique étant fortement dissuasive (comme démontré par l’Australie, première à avoir appliqué cette politique, où le nombre de traversées illégales, et donc le nombre de morts en mer, ont largement baissé), l’effort budgétaire (certes conséquent) ne sera que temporaire, car une fois le système en place, plus personne ne cherchera à venir illégalement sur notre territoire. William Thay et Florian Gérard-Mercier

Et si on écoutait les Australiens ?

Alors qu’avec l’annonce, sous la pression de nouvelles autorités italiennes enfin dignes de ce nom, de leur volonté d’affréter un nouveau navire après l’immobilisation définitive de l’Aquarius …

De prétendus humanitaires qui avaient, entre l’augmentation des chargements et la réduction de la navigabilité des embarcations, réussi l’exploit de non seulement faire exploser les profits des passeurs mais d’augmenter le nombre de migrants disparus en mer  …

Viennent de confirmer la nature proprement scandaleuse de leur entreprise de chantage moral et de collusion active avec les trafiquants d’êtres humains …

Et que sous prétexte d’une prétendue nécessité économique ou démographique, des gouvernants qui jusqu’ici ô combien moralisateurs viennent de démontrer leur incroyable autisme et surdité aux volontés de leurs électeurs …

S’apprêtent à signer une convention onusienne appelant à criminaliser ou pénaliser toute critique de leur folie immigrationniste …

Pendant qu’au rythme actuel, nos voisins africains pourraient doubler en 30 ans leur population de 1,2 à 2, 5 milliards …

Comment ne pas voir …

L’urgente nécessité d’emboiter le pas d’une Australie qui avec son prétendu « Guantanamo » et sa rétention de toute information susceptible de faciliter la tâche des trafiquants a réussi en quelques années à diviser son nombre d’arrivées de bateaux clandestins par – excusez du peu – 20 000 …

Et surtout de réviser enfin des conventions et un droit international bien impuissants

Face à de nouvelles formes de criminalité qui par leur exploitation cynique – jusqu’à l’utilisation à Gaza comme à Tijuana d’enfants « boucliers humains » – de tous les vides et de toutes les ficelles de la législation sur les réfugiés …

Ressemblent de plus en plus furieusement …

Au type de conflits asymétriques que représentent …

Non seulement la piraterie de haute mer qui nous rappelle les plus sombres heures des razzias barbaresques

Mais le terrorisme djihadiste aux combattants sans uniforme visant exclusivement des civils ?

Trois mesures pour mettre fin à l’immigration illégale

Une tribune du think tank, Le Milliénaire

William Thay et Florian Gérard-Mercier
Causeur
1 novembre 2018

Une tribune du think tank, Le Millénaire, qui travaille à la refondation du projet politique des Républicains.

L’immigration est un sujet trop essentiel pour ne pas le traiter de manière factuelle, sans hystérie et sans caricature. Le dernier remaniement, avec l’abaissement protocolaire du ministre de l’Intérieur de la 2ème à la 11ème place, démontre pourtant qu’il ne s’agit pas d’une priorité pour Emmanuel Macron, alors même que les questions d’immigration et de sécurité sont redevenues dans les derniers sondages les premières préoccupations des Français.

La France et, plus largement, l’Union européenne (UE) sont mises à l’épreuve d’une pression migratoire sans précédent. L’UE chiffre le nombre de migrants arrivés entre 2015 et 2017 sur son territoire, et qui ne peuvent prétendre à l’asile, à 1,5 million. En France, le nombre de demandeurs d’asile a augmenté de 17% pour la seule année 2017, dépassant ainsi la barre des 100 000. En parallèle, la primo-délivrance des titres de séjour bondit de 13,7 % en 2017, avec 262 000 titres de séjour délivrés, ce qui peut s’expliquer notamment par une forte augmentation des premiers titres de réfugiés et bénéficiaires de la protection subsidiaire (35 825 titres, +56,5% par rapport à 2016). A l’inverse, le nombre d’étrangers reconduits est de 26 000 pour 2017, et le nombre de mesures d’éloignement exécutées était de 18% en 2016. 75 587 étrangers sont donc restés sur notre territoire malgré la mesure d’éloignement prononcée à leur encontre.

A cet égard, force est de constater que les dispositions de la loi asile et immigration votée en août sont totalement insuffisantes. Les ténors de La République en marche ont beau claironner leur « fermeté », nous nous demandons où elle se trouve au milieu de dispositions favorables aux migrants (notamment l’augmentation de la durée de titre de séjour des bénéficiaires de la protection subsidiaire), de mesures proprement hallucinantes (comme l’octroi automatique de l’asile aux frères et sœurs des mineurs réfugiés) et de mesures essentiellement techniques et procédurales (la réduction du délai de traitement de l’asile). Quant à l’augmentation de la durée de séjour en Centre de rétention administrative, l’extension des pouvoirs d’investigation ou le raccourcissement des délais de dépôt des demandes… ce ne sont, très honnêtement, que des rustines sur une jambe de bois. En effet, ces dispositions n’interviennent qu’a posteriori, une fois que le migrant illégal est déjà sur notre territoire. Or, tant qu’il sera possible d’y pénétrer illégalement, et de commencer à s’y installer, l’immigration illégale ne fera que croître, et les morts en mer sur le chemin de l’UE également.

Pour faire face à un enjeu migratoire d’une ampleur sans précédent, ne sont donc à la hauteur ni les ajustements paramétriques et normatifs votés par la majorité, ni l’immigration zéro dont rêve le Front national. En effet, le zéro immigration (y compris qualifiée) nous serait extrêmement dommageable économiquement, et romprait avec notre ADN de pays accueillant envers les étrangers partageant nos valeurs républicaines.

Au contraire, nous estimons nécessaire rien de moins qu’une révolution copernicienne en matière migratoire, traduite dans les faits par une action ferme et résolue aux niveaux nationaux et européens.

La priorité absolue doit être la lutte sans merci contre l’immigration illégale. Il est urgent de rétablir le délit de séjour irrégulier en France, supprimé sans explication par le quinquennat précédent. De même, le respect de nos lois est un principe non négociable : le placement en centre de rétention administrative des étrangers en situation irrégulière, puis leur expulsion, doit redevenir la règle et non l’exception. Malgré ce que nous dit le gouvernement, ce n’est pas du tout sa priorité, et cela le sera encore moins avec M. Castaner à l’Intérieur : l’allongement de la durée maximale de rétention et l’augmentation du taux d’occupation (qui avoisine les 100%) n’ont pas été pris en compte dans le budget 2018. Le budget des Centres de rétention administrative est de 45,8 millions d’euros pour 2018 alors que le budget exécuté en 2016 était de 61,3 millions d’euros pour le placement en rétention de 44 086 personnes. Comment veut-on exécuter cette politique si l’on n’y alloue même pas les moyens budgétaires nécessaires ?

Cependant, la simple application des lois existantes est loin de suffire. Nous devons changer de paradigme. Au lieu de continuer à favoriser l’immigration illégale (en n’expulsant pas les clandestins et en continuant d’offrir des services comme l’Aide médicale d’Etat) au détriment de l’immigration légale (qui nécessite de faire des queues scandaleuses dans nos préfectures pour l’obtention de titres de séjour légal), nous devons faire l’inverse. Trois mesures s’imposent.

Premièrement, les demandeurs d’asile provenant de pays dits « sûrs », comme l’Albanie, ne doivent plus pouvoir déposer leur demande d’asile dans notre pays, mais dans leur pays, au consulat français le plus proche de chez eux. De la même manière, nous devons installer des centres offshore de traitement des demandes d’asile, non seulement dans les camps de réfugiés du Haut Commissariat aux Réfugiés de l’ONU, mais aussi et surtout dans les pays d’origine et de transit, de telle sorte que les migrants, d’où qu’ils viennent, n’aient pas besoin de poser le pied sur le territoire européen pour y déposer leur demande d’asile : il ne doit plus y avoir d’excuse à l’entrée de manière illégale sur notre territoire. Les migrants entrant illégalement dans l’UE par bateau ou voie terrestre pourront alors être interceptés et transférés vers ces centres offshore.

Deuxièmement, nous devons nous doter d’un système de gestion de l’immigration légale à la fois simple, efficace, et surtout fiable, à l’instar de l’ensemble des pays développés ayant une politique migratoire où la loi est appliquée. En effet, nous devons bien mieux distinguer entre immigration légale et illégale. Pour cela, il est impératif de créer enfin un véritable statut de résident, avec des cartes de résident à la durée de validité égale à la durée du contrat de travail (ou des études) de l’étranger. De même, il convient de créer un statut de résident permanent, qui pourra être octroyé aux étrangers les plus qualifiés (ex : expatriés de multinationales, scientifiques ou artistes reconnus), qui dispensera l’étranger de devoir renouveler sans cesse son titre de séjour et lui évitera la tentation de demander la nationalité pour de simples questions de droit au séjour. Ce système, amplement prouvé dans des pays comme le Canada ou le Japon, permettra de désengorger les préfectures de manière drastique et permettra à ces dernières de se focaliser sur la répression de l’immigration illégale.

Enfin, nous devons pouvoir éloigner l’intégralité des étrangers en situation irrégulière. En effet, tous les efforts investis dans les politiques des visas, des frontières et de l’asile sont réduits à néant si les déboutés et les migrants ayant  pénétré illégalement sur notre territoire ne sont qu’une petite minorité à être éloignés. Il n’y a pas de gestion possible de l’immigration sans politique de retour efficace pour les illégaux. Le problème est bien connu : les pays d’origine de l’immigration ne délivrent pas suffisamment de laissez-passer consulaires, documents aujourd’hui indispensables à l’éloignement. Face à ce problème ancien, la vieille solution du conditionnement de l’aide au développement de la France à cette délivrance de documents ne sera jamais qu’une solution partielle et peu applicable. Nous devons donc aussi signer des accords avec des pays tiers afin que tous les clandestins ressortissants de pays récalcitrants à leur retour puissent être acheminés vers des centres de rétention construits dans le pays tiers, sur le modèle de l’Australie avec le camp de rétention à Nauru. C’est une solution gagnant-gagnant pour la France (le migrant illégal est expulsé) et pour le pays tiers (le centre de rétention fournit de l’emploi et est assorti d’aides financières), et qui permet de court-circuiter l’assentiment du pays dont l’étranger est ressortissant. De plus, l’éloignement se fait vers un endroit où le migrant sera en parfaite sûreté, nous protégeant ainsi des décisions idéologiques de la CEDH. Cette politique étant fortement dissuasive (comme démontré par l’Australie, première à avoir appliqué cette politique, où le nombre de traversées illégales, et donc le nombre de morts en mer, ont largement baissé), l’effort budgétaire (certes conséquent) ne sera que temporaire, car une fois le système en place, plus personne ne cherchera à venir illégalement sur notre territoire.

Ces trois mesures mettront un terme définitif à l’immigration illégale tout en permettant toujours un accueil des véritables réfugiés (et ce dans de bien meilleures conditions qu’aujourd’hui), et faciliteront grandement la vie des étrangers résidant légalement en France, leur permettant ainsi de mieux s’intégrer.

Voir aussi:

Des ONG alertent sur le « Guantanamo australien »
Le Figaro.fr avec AFP
30/08/2018

Amnesty International et 80 autres ONG ont appelé aujourd’hui les dirigeants des 18 nations du Pacifique (Fip) à exiger la fermeture d’un camp de rétention financé par l’Australie sur l’île de Nauru, où ils se réuniront en sommet du 3 au 6 septembre.

Le camp de rétention abrite des demandeurs d’asile qui ont tenté de rejoindre l’Australie par la mer. Mais à cause d’une politique d’immigration draconienne, ils sont envoyés dans des infrastructures reculées du Pacifique, dans le micro-Etat de Nauru ou en Papouasie-Nouvelle-Guinée. L’Australie justifie sa politique par la nécessité d’empêcher les arrivées de bateaux de clandestins et d’ainsi sauver la vie de migrants tentés d’entreprendre le périlleux voyage maritime. Même si la demande d’asile des migrants est jugée fondée, ils ne sont pas acceptés sur le sol australien.

Dans une lettre ouverte, Amnesty et 80 organisations non gouvernementales ont demandé aux dirigeants des nations du Fip d’agir et d’effacer « la tâche sur la région ». « Les leaders des îles du Pacifique ne peuvent ignorer plus longtemps cette question qui doit figurer en tête du menu des discussions du Fip », écrit Roshika Deo, chercheuse chez Amnesty pour le Pacifique. Les demandeurs d’asile envoyés à Nauru et sur l’île papouasienne de Manus subissent « un traitement cruel et dégradant », poursuivent les ONG. « Les informations sur des violences généralisées contre les réfugiés en Papouasie-Nouvelle-Guinée sont nombreuses de même que sur les violences et le harcèlement sexuel contre les femmes et les enfants sur Nauru ». D’après l’organisation Refugee Council of Australia, plus de 200 personnes vivent dans le camp de Nauru, dont des dizaines d’enfants.

Voir également:

Australie : les méthodes musclées contre l’immigration clandestine
Le gouvernement australien ne se démonte pas malgré les violentes critiques qui se multiplient contre son traitement des immigrés clandestins.
Léa Desrayaud
Le Point
10/07/2014

« Treize mères ont tenté de se suicider, dont sept en 48 heures » dans le camp de réfugiés de l’île australienne Christmas, annonçait mercredi dernier la Commission australienne des droits de l’Homme, une agence gouvernementale. Pensant maximiser les chances de leurs enfants de rester en Australie en les laissant orphelins, ces femmes étaient prêtes à mourir. Devant cette détresse, le Premier ministre australien, Tony Abbott, a affirmé qu’il ne céderait pas à un « chantage moral » et a précisé que « le gouvernement n’allait pas se laisser conduire sa politique par des gens qui arguent de la morale à mauvais escient ».

Terre d’immigration, l’Australie accueille chaque année plus de 200 000 étrangers. Pourtant, l’immigration est devenue un sujet de crispation, notamment lors des dernières élections. Et depuis un an, le pays mène une politique extrêmement sévère de lutte contre l’immigration clandestine à travers l’opération « frontières souveraines ». Les bateaux d’immigrés sont ainsi interceptés en pleine mer, avant même d’atteindre les côtes de l’île. Placés dans des camps provisoires, les passagers hommes, femmes et enfants sont ensuite transférés dans des centres de rétention basés en Papouasie-Nouvelle-Guinée ou sur les îles du Pacifique de Nauru et Manus, en attendant que leur dossier soit examiné.

Violation de la convention sur les réfugiés

Le gouvernement australien a annoncé, en début de semaine, avoir intercepté deux bateaux de demandeurs d’asile sri-lankais alors qu’ils se dirigeaient vers les îles Cocos et Christmas. Un premier bateau a été directement renvoyé aux autorités sri-lankaises. Les 41 personnes à bord ont alors été arrêtées avant d’être relâchées après avoir payé une amende. Un autre bateau, parti de Pondichéry, en Inde, le 13 juin avec 153 personnes à bord, dont 37 enfants, a été appréhendé au large de l’île Christmas mardi. Les avocats des passagers ont réussi à ce qu’ils ne soient pas renvoyés au Sri Lanka, mais les autorités australiennes n’ont pas précisé le sort qui les attend.

Or, le Haut-Commissariat aux Réfugiés des Nations unies s’inquiète, et l’Australie pourrait être accusée de violer la loi internationale et la convention des réfugiés de 1951, qui imposent le « non-refoulement » des réfugiés et leur droit à une procédure équitable d’examen de leur demande d’asile. Scott Morrison, ministre australien de l’Immigration, a défendu mardi la position de son gouvernement, refusant que l’on « essaie d’exploiter et de manipuler l’adhésion de l’Australie (aux conventions internationales) comme outil pour saper sa politique de forte protection des frontières qui est de stopper les bateaux et les morts en mer ».

En 2013, près de 20 000 clandestins, arrivés par bateau, ont demandé l’asile en Australie. Mais depuis six mois, aucune embarcation clandestine n’aurait atteint les côtes australiennes, affirme fièrement le gouvernement conservateur.

Voir de même:

How Australia’s migrant policy works – and is it transferable to the Mediterranean?

As Tony Abbott claims Europe should copy his controversial « turn back the boats policy », we look at how Australia’s approach has evolved and whether it could work here

Tony Abbott’s call for Europe to adopt Australia‘s own hard-line « stop the boats » approach to asylum seekers crossing the Mediterranean has come under heavy criticism.

Experts have warned the controversial Australian methods – which include deploying the navy to tow back boats, setting up remote island detention centres and even providing fresh lifeboats for the voyage back to foreign water – are inhumane, unlawful and will not work in Europe.

But how exactly does Australia’s approach work – and could it really be replicated here?

 Voir encore:

Australia’s migration rates the lowest they’ve been in 10 years

OUR nation’s migration rate hasn’t been this low since 2007 and it’s all to do with Peter Dutton waging war on “fraudulent” claims.

Natalie Wolfe
News.com.au
July 13, 2018

AUSTRALIA’s migration rate is the lowest it’s been in 10 years, largely due to Peter Dutton and the way the Department of Home Affairs has cracked down on “fraudulent” migrants.

In the past financial year, the nation’s migration rate has dropped by 10 per cent with 21,000 less people being allowed into Australia.

Speaking on the Today show this morning, the Home Affairs Minister said the drop was about “restoring integrity to our border”.

“Looking more closely at the applications that are made. Making sure that we’re bringing the best migrants possible into our country,” Mr Dutton said.

Mr Dutton said the people who were being rejected the most were those making “fraudulent claims”, admitting some people trying to gain access to Australia were “overstating their qualifications” with false documents.

The nation’s immigration intake hasn’t been this low since John Howard was prime minister.

The 2017/18 intake plummeted to 162,417 and there has been a 46 per cent increase in visa refusals, while skilled migrant numbers dropped by more than 12,000, and the family stream was cut by 15 per cent to 47,732.

“I want to make sure we scrutinise each application so we’re getting the best possible migrants,” Mr Dutton said on Today.

“People who are going to work. Not be on welfare. People who will integrate into our community.”

Mr Dutton said one area the Department of Home Affairs was specifically cracking down on was false relationships and accused the Labor government of “ticking and flicking” through applications to meet the annual target of 190,000 migrants.

“We want to make sure particularly that people coming through the spousal program that they are in legitimate relationships,” he said.

Senior Labor frontbencher Anthony Albanese agreed with Mr Dutton, telling Today the government had toughened up the system.

“Of course it’s a good result if there’s more integrity in the system,” Mr Albanese told Nine.

Despite the drastic drop, Today host Ben Fordham insisted Australia’s migration system was still “pretty generous” — a claim Mr Dutton agreed with.

“We still have a pretty generous approach to things though. It’s not like we’ve turned off the taps. There are still plenty of people coming here because they want to live in the greatest country on earth,” Fordham said.

Mr Dutton replied: “Of course. We’re a destination for many people. 65 million people in the world that are displaced.

“Our country is built on migration. We’ve had wonderful people who have come to our country over a long period of time. We have a lot to protect. Lot of values that those migrants believe in strongly. Ultimately apart from our indigenous population all of us are from migrant stock. We want to make sure we get the best people into our country so we can protect our

values. As you say we’ve been listening to concerns that Australians have had.”

Australia’s deportation rates are also on the rise after the Migration Act was amended in 2014 that enforces all migrants pass and maintain a “character test” to stay here.

The amendment gave Mr Dutton the powers to expel anyone he deems a risk to Australian society and has resulted in thousands of deportations since December 2014 when the law was changed.

New Zealanders have been particularly hurt by the 2014 change, especially a 17-year-old Kiwi boy who has been stuck in an adult detention centre since March.

Voir de plus:

Accord sur les migrants : l’Italie et l’Autriche, nouveaux chefs de file de l’Europe ?
Paul Sugy Etienne Campion
Le Figaro
29/06/2018

FIGAROVOX/ENTRETIEN – Pour Jean-Thomas Lesueur, les leaders des pays d’Europe centrale et d’Italie sont désormais les hérauts d’une opinion européenne de plus en plus favorable à un durcissement de la politique migratoire. C’est cette voix qu’ils ont fait entendre au Conseil européen.


Jean-Thomas Lesueur est délégué général de l’Institut Thomas More.


FIGAROVOX.- Cette nuit, le chef du gouvernement italien Giuseppe Conte semble être parvenu à imposer ses conditions lors des négociations sur les migrants. L’Italie est-elle en train de prendre un rôle de leader en Europe?

Jean-Thomas LESUEUR.- Sur cette question, en effet. À la lecture du communiqué du Conseil européen, on trouve une inflexion, qu’on peut trouver trop lente bien sûr, dans le sens d’un durcissement de la réponse à la question migratoire. Dans le vocabulaire employé, on relève des euphémismes, des prudences, tout un champ lexical de pondération, mais il est notamment question du rôle des ONG, ce qui est nouveau. On assiste à une prise de conscience des peurs que suscite en Europe la question migratoire, et de la volonté de juguler les flux de la part des dirigeants européens. Et c’est assurément par l’Italie et l’Autriche que ces changements adviennent. On a beaucoup dit, hier soir, que le processus bloquait parce que l’Italie avait des revendications particulières qu’elle voulait voir prises en compte. Or c’est justement grâce au rôle de l’Italie que ce conseil a lieu et que la stratégie européenne de contrôle des flux commence à changer.

L’accord signé est-il significatif? On voit que beaucoup de décisions reposent sur le volontariat des pays, notamment pour établir des postes de contrôle en dehors de l’Union européenne. Que va-t-il sortir de concret?

Je pense que l’Italie va se sentir confortée dans sa stratégie de refus d’accueillir les navires de migrants. Concrètement, tout conduit à une décomplexion par rapport aux mesures de restriction de l’immigration et d’interdiction d’accès aux ports nationaux. Malte en profitera peut-être aussi pour durcir d’accueil des navires de migrants.

Quant aux décisions prises, elles reposent effectivement sur le volontariat. Lorsque l’on suit cela de près, rien de très neuf n’émerge de cet accord. Il s’agissait d’abord, pour les dirigeants européens, que ce sommet ne tourne pas au psychodrame: ça aurait pu bien mal finir! Les partisans d’une politique migratoire ferme prennent la main, mais Bruxelles et pas mal d’États membres restent dans l’optique d’une politique européenne concertée. Toute la culture européenne est une culture de consensus et de compromis. Et cette recherche d’équilibre est fragile. Il n’y a plus que Macron, à la sortie du conseil, pour mettre en avant l’idée d’un «dialogue européen». Les autres chefs d’État ou de gouvernement ont plutôt insisté sur la nécessité de tarir les flux migratoires.

La position de la France est-elle hypocrite?

Oui, c’est le triomphe du «en même temps». Cela dit, Emmanuel Macron n’invente rien: François Hollande faisait la même chose, à savoir accueillir beaucoup moins de migrants que prévu sans l’assumer publiquement. Sur le fond, Macron est soulagé de ne pas avoir à assumer l’accueil de nouveaux migrants auprès de sa population, et publiquement il se targue de respecter les droits de l’homme et de bousculer l’Europe sur cette question.

Pourquoi les récalcitrants, comme l’Autriche ou la Hongrie, ont-ils signé l’accord, si ce n’est pour sa flexibilité et le flou qui entoure les décisions prises?

Le fond de l’accord est assez peu contraignant, voilà le fond de l’affaire. L’Italie va par exemple pouvoir continuer sa politique de fermeté migratoire avec ce qui apparaît comme une forme de blanc-seing de la part du conseil européen. Politiquement, c’est une vraie victoire pour elle. Les Autrichiens ou les Italiens se rendent d’ailleurs compte que leur position est exactement celle attendue par les populations d’Europe occidentale. Cela constitue une situation politique inédite: la convergence d’un message porté par les dirigeants d’Europe centrale et italiens et des attentes d’une large partie de l’opinion des pays de l’Ouest. Politiquement, les résultats sont encore difficiles à cerner. Il reste que, sociologiquement et culturellement, les pays d’Europe de l’Est ont une influence considérable et portent une parole influente dans toute l’Europe. Ce qu’Angela Merkel et Emmanuel Macron sont obligés de prendre en compte.

Comment va-t-on «trier» entre les migrants économiques et les réfugiés qui demandent l’asile? Quels moyens seront mis en œuvre?

Le «laboratoire» de cette mesure sera l’Italie. Il faudra installer de vrais moyens, des hommes, du matériel et des procédures, notamment à la frontière entre la Libye et le Niger. Et l’enjeu portera sur la durée des procédures, qui doit passer de plusieurs mois à seulement quelques semaines. Mais il va sans dire que les migrants n’iront pas s’arrêter volontairement à ces postes de tri… Un Sénégalais de vingt ans, par exemple, qui tente d’atteindre l’Europe ne fuit ni la guerre, ni aucune persécution, ni même la famine, il n’a donc pas de moyens légitimes d’obtenir l’asile: il ne s’y présentera pas de lui-même.

Il faut ainsi mettre les moyens pour obtenir une vraie politique migratoire européenne et renforcer le mécanisme de garde-frontières européens. Ce qui demanderait un coût de plusieurs milliards: l’Union européenne sera de toute façon amenée à dépenser beaucoup d’argent pour mettre au point cette politique réclamée par les peuples… Car raccompagner un clandestin à la frontière coûte cher.

Et que deviendront les migrants des navires de sauvetage en mer affrétés par les ONG?

C’est la première fois que le sujet est évoqué dans les conclusions d’un Conseil européen. Je pense que, pour un pays comme l’Italie, cela ouvre la possibilité de mieux contrôler ses eaux, voire d’aller intervenir au plus près des ports libyens pour bloquer les passeurs ou les ONG en mettant ensuite ses partenaires devant le fait accompli. L’Italie aurait d’ailleurs l’aval des populations européennes en recourant à ce genre de démarche. Cet accord européen pourra créer un socle d’action pour que l’Italie monte d’un cran dans sa politique migratoire. Le climat européen et les mentalités changent énormément: nous sommes à un moment de rupture, notamment par rapport au renvoi des migrants. Il y a donc aussi un problème de droit qui doit être posé…

Voir de plus:

Michèle Tribalat, démographe et Cassandre

Causeur

Causeur. En 1995, vous publiez Faire France, qui offre une vision franchement optimiste de l’intégration des immigrés et de leurs enfants. Puis, à la fin des années 1990, vous semblez changer d’avis ou au moins d’état d’esprit. En 1999, sur la base d’une enquête menée l’année précédente à Dreux, vous publiez Voyage au cœur du malaise français. Que vous est-il, ou que nous est-il arrivé ?

Michèle TribalatJe travaille sur l’immigration depuis quarante ans. Les questions de mesure et de méthode m’ont toujours plus intéressée que la nature des résultats. Mon évolution est directement liée aux études successives que j’ai menées. En 1992, les résultats de l’enquête statistique « Mobilité géographique et insertion sociale (MGIS) » (qui était la base statistique de Faire France) incitaient à un certain optimisme. Cette enquête reposait sur trois échantillons tirés du recensement de 1990 : un premier composé d’immigrés appartenant aux grands courants migratoires, un échantillon dit témoin de la population de France métropolitaine et un troisième échantillon portant sur des enfants nés en France de parent(s) immigré(s). On y observait une sécularisation importante des jeunes d’origine algérienne, des unions mixtes en nombre non négligeable pour les débuts de vie en couple de ces jeunes, une certaine mobilité sociale, ainsi qu’un recul des pratiques matrimoniales traditionnelles. La sécularisation des jeunes d’origine algérienne paraissait prometteuse. Je n’ai pas, alors, anticipé le mouvement de désécularisation que je décris dans mon dernier livre (Assimilation. La fin du modèle français, Éditions du Toucan, 2013), qui a coïncidé avec la réislamisation des jeunes. Combiné à une forte endogamie religieuse, il ne favorise pas la mixité ethnique des mariages.

Pourquoi n’avez-vous rien vu venir ? Est-ce parce que vous manquiez de données ?

L’enquête MGIS était rétrospective et recueillait l’histoire des individus sur le temps long, autrement dit, le passé. Elle ne pouvait donc, en aucun cas, répondre aux interrogations sur l’évolution récente et les phénomènes émergents. Il aurait fallu mener des enquêtes de ce type régulièrement. Je ne l’ai pas obtenu pour le recensement de 1999 et il a fallu attendre 2008 pour qu’une nouvelle enquête statistique soit entreprise. Pendant ce temps, les médias continuaient à commenter les résultats de 1992, laissant croire que ces résultats seraient éternellement pertinents. Et ils en faisaient souvent un usage inapproprié. Exemple, j’avais mis en garde contre l’extrapolation du taux de mixité lors des débuts de vie en couple des jeunes d’origine algérienne pour évaluer le taux de mariages mixtes : une copine c’est une chose, une épouse une autre. Je n’ai guère été entendue. Par ailleurs, ces résultats nationaux étaient trop souvent opposés aux perceptions communes, qui se forgent souvent dans l’environnement local. L’observation nationale fait la moyenne de situations locales extrêmement contrastées et ne constitue donc pas un outil suffisant à la description du réel. Différents niveaux de réalité peuvent coexister de manière contradictoire. Il est possible que des situations locales évoluent mal sans que les données nationales n’en rendent compte, au moins pendant un certain temps.

Donc, c’est l’enquête sur Dreux qui vous a « ouvert les yeux » ? Avez-vous forgé de nouveaux outils d’observation ou, à tout le moins, revu vos méthodes de travail ?

Non, en un sens, c’est parce que j’avais compris l’importance de l’observation locale pour détecter à temps d’éventuelles dérives que je me suis retrouvée à Dreux. Mon idée était que, pour y parvenir, il fallait se porter sur des lieux où la concentration ethnique est très élevée et construire des outils d’observation rigoureux dans quelques communes soigneusement sélectionnées. J’avais donc élaboré, en 1996, un projet d’observatoire de la vie locale que je comptais proposer à des élus locaux. J’ai eu un premier contact positif avec André Gerin pour étudier la faisabilité d’un tel projet à Vénissieux. Puis, en 1997, l’institut de sondage IPSOS m’a proposé de prendre en charge une étude commandée par le député-maire de Dreux, Gérard Hamel, dont l’aboutissement pouvait être la mise en place d’un tel observatoire. L’observation était locale mais l’enjeu national : ce qui se passait à Dreux était peut-être annonciateur de difficultés à grande échelle. Suite à ce travail, un rapport a été remis au maire en 1998 et a abouti à la publication du Voyage au cœur du malaise français. En revanche le projet d’observatoire local a capoté. Comme l’indique la postface de Gérard Hamel, celui-ci n’était pas très content des conclusions de l’enquête et n’avait aucune envie de prolonger l’observation.

Il ne voulait pas voir ce qu’il voyait, en somme. Comment en êtes-vous venue à intégrer la dimension culturelle, ethno-religieuse, dans vos travaux de démographe ?

Ma formation démographique m’a conduit très tôt à me poser des questions de méthode et, avec le temps, j’ai essayé de faire en sorte que l’appareil statistique français soit adapté. Avec Bernard Aubry, j’ai également utilisé les recensements et les enquêtes annuelles de recensement qui les ont remplacés, pour construire des indicateurs de concentration ethnique et de voisinage, qui ont révélé de grandes disparités géographiques. Aujourd’hui, la catégorie des immigrés est entrée dans les mœurs statistiques françaises et l’Insee a introduit le pays de naissance et la nationalité de naissance des parents dans la plupart de ses grandes enquêtes. Le dernier pas à franchir est l’introduction de ces données dans les enquêtes annuelles de recensement.

N’étant ni anthropologue ni sociologue, je traite des origines ethniques ou de l’affiliation religieuse sous l’aspect démographique, par exemple pour observer comment certaines pratiques évoluent avec l’âge. C’est ainsi que j’ai pu montrer que l’importance accordée à la religion était plus grande chez les jeunes adultes musulmans que chez les plus vieux, alors qu’on observait le phénomène inverse chez les catholiques. Classer n’implique aucune fixité de comportement dans le temps. Classer, c’est ce que fait la statistique tout le temps. Je ne vois pas pourquoi les variables culturelles et religieuses seraient écartées d’emblée avant d’avoir été étudiées. L’introduction de la religion dans l’enquête « Trajectoires et origines » de 2008, ce qui n’avait pas été possible en 1992, nous a appris beaucoup de choses. Il a ainsi été possible d’estimer le nombre de musulmans, et pour un démographe, les nombres comptent, d’estimer leur potentiel démographique et d’analyser l’évolution de leur rapport à la religion selon l’âge, notamment à travers une transmission croissante de l’islam.

Votre travail sur Dreux marque un double virage dans votre œuvre : vous découvrez que l’intégration des enfants d’immigrés marque sérieusement le pas et subissez vos premiers procès en sorcellerie…

Il faut dire que j’avais connu un certain état de grâce médiatique. À la parution de l’étude « Mobilité géographique et insertion sociale », l’accueil de la presse avait été dithyrambique. DansLe Monde du 24 mars 1995, Philippe Bernard écrivait « C’est une révolution salutaire dans l’approche de la question des immigrés en France qu’inaugure l’enquête de l’Institut national d’études démographiques (INED) sur l’insertion des populations d’origine étrangère… Cette démarche inédite a permis d’embrasser, bien au-delà des seuls étrangers, la population des jeunes Français de première et parfois de deuxième génération suivant l’immigration. Plutôt que de continuer à manier un vocabulaire hypocrite propice aux manipulations, l’étude saisit la question ethnique à bras-le-corps, transgressant un tabou sans pour autant encourir la moindre suspicion de xénophobie ou de ségrégation. » Et, en prime, Philippe Bernard reprenait l’expression Français de souche sans guillemets !

À la fin des années 1990, le ton de la presse a changé. Moi, j’ai le sentiment d’avoir évolué avec les résultats de mes recherches. Certains ont préféré voir dans cette évolution personnelle somme toute normale au cours d’une existence un revirement idéologique. Par exemple, dans un article publié dans Le Monde du 17 juin 2003, Xavier Ternisien préconisait de me psychanalyser pour trouver la raison cachée de ces changements. D’autres y ont vu la persistance d’un racisme jusque-là passé inaperçu. Pourtant, en 1998, l’année de la remise du rapport sur Dreux, sortait un livre que j’avais coécrit avec Pierre-André Taguieff – Face au Front national. Arguments pour une contre-offensive – dans lequel je démontais les supercheries statistiques du rapport Milloz de 1997 – « L’immigration sans haine ni mépris. Les chiffres qu’on vous cache ». Ma réponse à cet auteur proche du FN me vaudra même, en 1999, le prix Lyssenko, décerné par le Club de l’Horloge, c’est dire si j’étais d’extrême droite ! Mais les procès en sorcellerie que vous évoquez n’avaient rien de spontané. Un collègue de l’INED avait allumé la mèche.

Au-delà de conflits de bureau, que vous reprochait-on ?

En 1998, Hervé Le Bras sortait l’artillerie lourde dans un livre intitulé Le Démon des origines. Il y réglait ses comptes avec l’INED en général et avec moi en particulier, après une histoire interne qui n’avait pas tourné à son avantage. Dans ce livre, il revenait sur un ouvrage collectif, publié sous ma direction, en 1991, dans lequel il croyait déjà déceler les racines du mal qui me rongeait. « Les plus dangereux éléments de l’extrême droite ne sont donc pas ses noyaux durs, mais les pseudopodes qu’elle émet dans des directions éloignées et variées qui permettent aux venins idéologiques du Front national de se répandre dans une large partie de la société », écrivait-il en désignant l’INED comme l’un de ces pseudopodes. Le Bras distinguait les opportunistes des autres, qui « se trouvent sous l’emprise d’une sorte de fanatisme démographique, telle M. Tribalat, la prophète de l’assimilation et de la population “de souche”. Ce dernier groupe est de loin le plus dangereux car il agit masqué, peut-être à l’insu de ses membres qui sont persuadés, soit de leur mission, soit que la poursuite de leur intérêt personnel par tous les moyens n’a pas de conséquence politique ». En gros, j’étais un relais de la pensée frontiste, probablement à mon insu mais aussi par… ambition personnelle !

Plusieurs mois durant, le livre de Le Bras a été le prétexte de salves savamment orchestrées dans la presse, dont les-heures-les-plus-sombres-de-notre-histoire n’étaient évidemment pas absentes. On a même vu circuler à l’INED un document anonyme qui fournissait de prétendues informations sur moi et sur des personnalités liées au Front national – j’y étais traitée de nataliste conservateur et l’on mettait en cause, pour insuffisance professionnelle, ma nomination comme directeur de recherche.

De cette époque date l’étiquette de démographe « douteuse » ou « contestée » que la presse aime m’accoler encore aujourd’hui. Ajoutez à cela que Marine Le Pen a déclaré en 2010 avoir aimé mon livre Les Yeux grands fermés, et vous comprendrez que mon compte était bon !

Si Marine Le Pen vous fait les yeux de Chimène, c’est qu’elle cherche une caution scientifique à sa critique de l’immigration. Que pensez-vous du diagnostic frontiste sur la question ?

Si le FN a, depuis longtemps, fait de l’immigration étrangère son cheval de bataille, jusqu’au début des années 2000, son discours constant sur la question n’avait pas grand-chose à voir avec l’évolution réelle des flux migratoires. En effet, après le cycle migratoire des Trente Glorieuses, la France a connu vingt-cinq ans de « plat » migratoire, avec une proportion d’immigrés n’évoluant pas et une population immigrée qui augmentait au rythme de la population native. Le FN contestait alors farouchement les « chiffres officiels ». Ensuite nous sommes passés à un nouveau cycle. Le cycle migratoire des années 2000, équivalent en intensité de celui des Trente Glorieuses, a offert des opportunités nouvelles au FN. Loin de les contester, Marine Le Pen utilise d’ailleurs volontiers les chiffres donnés par le ministère de l’Intérieur sur l’immigration étrangère. Mais je crois que le diagnostic du FN sur l’impuissance politique est juste. La France n’a pas vraiment la maîtrise de la politique migratoire, qui est une compétence partagée avec l’UE et la Commission européenne est favorable à une politique migratoire très généreuse compte tenu de ses anticipations démographiques.

Partager certains de ses constats ne signifie pas donner quitus au Front national. Approuvez-vous le programme de Marine Le Pen en matière d’immigration et de contrôle des frontières ?

Marine Le Pen propose de diviser par 20 le nombre d’entrées légales en cinq ans pour ne laisser entrer que 10 000 étrangers par an, tout en réduisant à zéro toute immigration clandestine. Quel genre d’État faut-il pour y arriver vraiment ? Telle est la question. En fait, elle déclare vouloir en finir avec tous les droits accordés a priori aux immigrants, même sous certaines conditions. Elle compte interdire le regroupement familial, dont il faut souligner qu’il n’est pas la part la plus importante des flux familiaux, contrairement aux conjoints de Français. Comment limiter les flux de ces derniers ?  Il ne suffit pas de sortir de la Convention européenne de sauvegarde des droits de l’homme. Restent de sérieux obstacles : la Cour de justice de l’UE, qui garantit le respect des traités et dont les décisions font jurisprudence pour les juridictions nationales, mais aussi la jurisprudence du Conseil d’État. Bref, si l’objectif visant à limiter le nombre d’entrées d’étrangers est légitime, cela implique de prendre toute une série de décisions qui ne seront pas sans effet sur les droits des citoyens.

Que faut-il en conclure ? La politique migratoire restrictive que nombre de Français demandent explicitement est-elle irréalisable ?

En l’état du droit français et plus largement européen, oui.

Immigration: le «formidable» modèle australien

Certains, ici ou là, sortent régulièrement de leur chapeau le « modèle australien » comme solution idéale à la crise des réfugiés. D’une certaine manière, l’Europe, à travers l’accord signé avec la Turquie, cherche à appliquer ce modèle. Elle rencontre les mêmes difficultés et devrait aboutir au même constat : ce modèle est exactement ce qu’il faut éviter, à tous points de vue : économique, social, politique et humanitaire. Mais la réalité n’est pas le premier critère de décision lorsqu’il s’agit de sujets que le populisme attise constamment pour s’assurer des succès électoraux.

Sur quoi est fondé le modèle australien ? Et quelles sont d’abord les spécificités de l’Australie ? Au départ, le continent australien a été un gigantesque bagne que le Royaume-Uni a colonisé. Colonisation qui s’est faite au prix d’un ethnocide à l’encontre des aborigènes. Aujourd’hui, l’Australie est un pays à majorité blanche à deux pas de l’Asie, une île sans aucune frontière terrestre avec un autre pays, que l’on ne peut gagner que par les airs ou, pour les candidats migrants, par la mer, avec tous les risques que cela comporte.

Un camp qui rapporte…

Face à ces migrants qui, selon les officiels australiens, menacent un pays pourtant réputé pour son sens de l’accueil (mais il faut être riche et/ou blanc pour être bien accueilli), le gouvernement de Canberra a mis au point une politique du « no way », c’est-à-dire du refoulement radical de toute personne non pourvue d’un visa en bonne et due forme. Il a conclu des accords financiers avec des pays « voisins » (à quelques milliers de kilomètres quand même), comme la Papouasie-Nouvelle-Guinée, pour qu’ils ouvrent des camps de rétention de ces migrants, contre rémunération. Plus précisément, deux camps sont financés par les Australiens : celui de Manus, sur une île de PNG, et Nauru, petit Etat indépendant grand comme un huitième de la région bruxelloise, peuplé de 11.500 habitants et autrefois paradis fiscal – aujourd’hui, sa principale source de revenus est la gestion de ce camp.

Ne peuvent venir en Australie que des « bons migrants », c’est-à-dire capables de s’intégrer dans l’économie et de contribuer à la croissance australienne. J’entends déjà rugir dans les forums toutes celles et tous ceux pour qui cela tombe sous le sens et que « nous ne sommes pas là pour accueillir toute la misère du monde ».

Sauf que…

Les atteintes aux conventions internationales et aux droits humains

L’Australie a adhéré, comme la Belgique et 191 autres pays, à la Déclaration de New York sur les réfugiés et les migrants adoptée par l’Assemblée générale de l’ONU le 19 septembre 2016. Sans la moindre ambiguïté, cette déclaration rappelle que, « depuis que le monde est monde, les hommes se déplacent, soit pour rechercher de nouvelles perspectives et de nouveaux débouchés économiques, soit pour échapper à des conflits armés, à la pauvreté, à l’insécurité alimentaire, à la persécution, au terrorisme ou à des violations des droits de l’homme, soit enfin en réaction aux effets négatifs des changements climatiques, des catastrophes naturelles (dont certaines sont liées à ces changements) ou d’autres facteurs environnementaux. » Si ces flux ont augmenté, il reste que « les réfugiés et les migrants jouissent des mêmes libertés fondamentales et droits de l’homme universels ».

Il faut trouver des solutions valables pour tous, conformes aux droits humains. Cette solution ne peut être que mondiale : « Aucun État ne peut à lui seul gérer ces déplacements.  » Et les signataires de la Déclaration s’engagent à « sauver des vies » dans une tâche « avant tout morale et humanitaire ». Il faut aussi trouver des « solutions durables et à long terme. » Mais ils sont déterminés à combattre « avec tous les moyens à notre disposition les mauvais traitements et l’exploitation dont sont victimes d’innombrables réfugiés et migrants en situation vulnérable. »

Des solutions précaires

L’Australie s’est donc engagée à respecter tout cela. Mais en même temps, l’Australie a décidé de régler seule le problème, par des solutions précaires et à court terme, qui infligent aux personnes des traitements dégradants, voire les met en danger de mort. Le tout pour un coût économique désastreux  : plus de 3 milliards d’euros en 5 ans.

Les critiques à l’encontre de cette politique sont nombreuses. Le Haut-Commissariat aux Réfugiés des Nations Unies l’a publiquement condamnée à plusieurs reprises. La Commission des Droits de l’Homme de l’ONU dénonce quant à elle le fait que des réfugiés sont forcés de rentrer dans leur pays, même s’ils risquent d’y être massacrés, comme les Rohingyas de Birmanie.

Des témoignages effrayants attestent des conditions inhumaines vécues par les réfugié.e.s emprisonné.e.s à Nauru ou à Manus en Papouasie, tels ceux du journaliste Behrouz Boochani (qui a fui l’Iran et s’est retrouvé dans ces camps) et le film bouleversant qu’il a réalisé à partir de témoignages oraux, qui évoque le moment où l’Australie a cessé d’alimenter les camps en eau et électricité, et où les détenus se sont retrouvés confrontés à la violence des populations locales qui ne voulaient pas d’eux. En 2015, face aux critiques de plus en plus nombreuses et afin d’éviter que l’opinion publique soit davantage informée, le gouvernement australien décide que tout reportage sur les conditions de détention à Nauru ou Manus sera illégal.

Les réactions en Australie

L’institut Lowy, un « think tank » australien, pointe aussi les défauts majeurs de la politique australienne  :

1.  Considérant le coût déjà énorme engagé pour les opérations actuelles, il ne serait pas possible d’assumer l’augmentation de ces dépenses si le nombre de réfugiés venait à augmenter ;

2.  Les capacités d’asile de Papaouasie-Nouvelle-Guinée ou de Nauru sont limitées ;

3.  Les agissements de la police sont déjà à la limite de l’illégalité ;

4.  L’Australie est le pays le plus riche de la région. Le moindre conflit dans l’Asie du Sud ou du Sud-Est entraînerait une augmentation importante des demandes d’asile, sans parler des changements climatiques et des désastres naturels qui peuvent frapper la région.

Pour toutes ces raisons, l’institut Lowy appelle l’Australie à reconsidérer sa politique et à jouer un rôle véritablement exemplaire pour le reste du monde : « Le fait que l’Australie n’est actuellement pas confrontée au défi d’une arrivée massive de bateaux ou de demandeurs d’asile est une autre raison pour qu’elle s’engage. Comme les Australiens l’ont appris ces dernières années, il n’y a aucune volonté politique de se concentrer sur une solution à long terme lorsqu’on est au milieu d’une crise des réfugiés. Et c’est pourquoi l’Europe a besoin que l’Australie conceptualise, propose et conduise aujourd’hui les réformes nécessaires. » D’autant que l’Australie a joué un rôle essentiel dans l’application de la Convention de 1951 sur les réfugiés et l’asile, et qu’elle a eu des pages plus glorieuses en la matière.

Des mouvements citoyens se mobilisent aussi, comme « I have a room » et, à l’instar de la Plateforme citoyenne, propose à des gens d’accueillir des réfugié.e.s chez eux.

Un problème mondial

N’en déplaise à la Pologne, à la Hongrie, à la N-VA et à tous ceux qui pensent que la crise des réfugié.e.s peut se régler avec des murs et des politiques « fermes mais humaines », aucun pays ne peut régler seul une crise mondiale, que les conflits croissants et les dérèglements climatiques ne font qu’accroître. La focalisation du discours politique sur la question migratoire est un leurre, au sens premier du terme, un piège pour détourner l’attention ; l’argent public qui est consacré à cette chasse est gaspillé et ne produit aucun résultat à long terme, sans parler du fait qu’il est utilisé pour le non-respect des engagements internationaux que nous avons signés.

Vouloir comme certains réguler la migration pour n’accepter chez nous que la crème est scandaleux : c’est s’assurer que le problème ne sera jamais réglé à la source, si on prive ces pays des élites dont ils ont besoin pour assurer leur développement.

Une politique mondiale, comme le développe l’institut Lowy, repose sur quelques principes : d’abord, la relocalisation des réfugiés, afin de répartir la charge entre plusieurs pays favorisés. Mais le plus important est bien entendu de consacrer l’argent, aujourd’hui englouti à perte dans des murs et des accords avec des régimes indignes, à la reconstruction de ces pays, afin que leurs ressortissant.e.s n’aient plus besoin de les fuir, et que celles et ceux qui en sont parti.e.s puissent y retourner. L’argent doit aussi être investi dans les pays plus pauvres mais en paix, qui peuvent accueillir ces réfugié.e.s – pas dans des camps de concentration.

Et puis, il faut le rappeler encore et encore : les réfugié.e.s n’ont pas envie de venir en Europe. Ils et elles ne sont pas les soldats d’une armée d’invasion. Ce sont des hommes, des femmes et des enfants qui cherchent à sauver leur peau en prenant d’énormes risques et en perdant tout. Nous avons toutes et tous intérêt et envie qu’il n’y ait plus de réfugié.e.s  : celles et ceux qui les aident, celles et ceux qui les détestent, et surtout les réfugié.e.s.

Voir de plus:

Alexandre del Valle

Valeurs actuelles

3 décembre 2018

Le Pacte “Global Compact” vise à favoriser une immigration extra-européenne massive, tant légale qu’illégale. Alexandre del Valle souligne ici les postulats tiersmondistes et anti-souverainistes qui sous-tendent ce texte.

Le « Pacte mondial pour des migrations sûres, ordonnées et régulières » lancé en avril 2017 par l’Assemblée générale des Nations Unies et que les États du monde entier sont invités à ratifier avant le 11 décembre 2018, suscite depuis des semaines des débats houleux entre « immigrationnistes » et « populistes », mais pas seulement, car le Pacte, de son vrai nom « Global Compact », vise en fait à favoriser une immigration extra-européenne massive, tant légale qu’illégale (les deux confondues de façon perverse), que les pays d’accueils européens sont sommés d’accepter et d’organiser sous peine d’être qualifiés de « racistes » et « xénophobes ». Alexandre del Valle souligne ici les postulats tiersmondistes et anti-souverainistes qui sous-tendent le texte mais que les 193 États de l’Assemblée générale de l’ONU, à l’anti-occidentalisme revanchard, ont d’autant plus facilement adopté qu’ils ont intérêt à se débarrasser de populations excédentaires sans travail et que seuls les Etats européens en respecteront réellement les termes « non-contraignants » pour se donner bonne conscience. Sauf si les désistements en chaîne observés ces dernières semaines – Hongrie, Pologne, Slovaquie et République Tchèque en tête – et les demandes d’amendements formulés par nombre d’États occidentaux non-dupes, se multiplient.


Gommer la différence entre « immigrés » et « réfugiés », étrangers et citoyens…

Plusieurs remarques préliminaires sont à faire : les Nations unies n’ont en principe pas du tout vocation à lancer pareille initiative et il est clair que les États cosignataires africains, islamiques, asiatiques ou d’Amérique latine qui n’y ont pas intérêt ne respecteront jamais les règles « morales » édictées dans ce « Pacte » et surtout les devoirs financiers que seuls les pays démocratiques occidentaux sont sommés de mettre en œuvre. D’évidence, la plupart des mesures de cet accord multilatéral sont impossibles à mettre en place dans la vaste majorité des pays membres des Nations Unies. L’effort et le coût se porteront donc sur une minorité de pays développés sur le plan juridique et social.

Entre bases de données géantes, biométrie, et dépenses nécessairement astronomiques, préconisées par les rédacteurs du texte onusien, on comprend mal ce qui a pu mener à ce projet. Ensuite, l’aspect « non-contraignant » du dit Pacte vise en fait assez habilement à contourner les lois des États souverains et les bases mêmes de la démocratie. Il  n’empêchera d’ailleurs absolument pas le « pacte » d’avoir des effets légaux ultérieurs pour les signataires. En effet rien n’empêchera les tribunaux, cours constitutionnelles et autres instances étatiques de judiciariser peu à peu les normes onusiennes comme on l’a déjà vu en France avec la cour constitutionnelle qui, répondant à une « question prioritaire de constitutionnalité », a donné raison à des lobbies immigrationnistes désireux de dépénaliser les migrations illégales et à accorder aux clandestins qui enfreignent les lois les mêmes droits sociaux que les citoyens qui cotisent depuis des années et paient des impôts pour y avoir droit.

La « migration » organisée au niveau global est par conséquent l’outil d’une volonté manifeste de réduire toutes les personnes, citoyennes, étrangères, régulières ou irrégulières, à des entités juridiques et socio-économiques interchangeables, indifférenciées. L’appartenance à la citoyenneté nationale ne peut dans cette perspective en aucun cas donner lieu à des privilèges et droits particuliers « supérieurs » à ceux des étrangers, envers qui les nations occidentales ont, a contrario, des devoirs imprescriptibles.

La légitimation de l’immigration illégale par les confusions sémantiques des termes immigration/immigration/migrants/immigrés

Ces confusions mettent dans le même sac réguliers et illégaux, migrants économiques et réfugiés, vrais et faux demandeurs d’asile. Elles ne trompent certes pas du tout les publics avertis, mais elles introduisent d’énormes confusions dans l’esprit des masses, surtout des peuples occidentaux abreuvés de doxa « diversitaire » cosmopolitiquement correcte et, de ce fait, culpabilisés/diabolisés dès qu’ils osent limiter l’immigration (droit de tout État souverain) ou refusent même simplement l’immigration illégale. Celle-ci, normalement sévèrement punie par les lois dans tout État appliquant la loi, est aujourd’hui présentée comme légitime par nature puisque les frontières seraient une anomalie, d’où le nom de l’ONG pro-Migrants financée par Georges Soros : « No Borders ».

Pour faire accepter les « droits » inaliénables de « migrants » qui n’en ont pourtant normalement aucun face à un État souverain libre d’accueillir ou de ne pas accueillir qui il veut, l’idée est de légitimer « le migrant » (avec un grand M) dans son ensemble, s’il vient du « Sud » et de pays anciennement colonisés par l’Europe, en le présentant comme une « victime » a priori, un réfugié par nature s’il vient d’un pays plus pauvre, une personne persécutée chez elle par des tyrans après avoir exploitée dans le passé par les États européens d’accueil….

De ce fait, le « migrant » cesse d’être un individu responsable capable d’être honnête ou malhonnête, éligible ou pas, mais un « créditeur » par essence dont les droits seraient inversement proportionnels aux devoirs du débiteur occidental. Conformément à cette doxa, le Global Compact on Migration laisse entendre en toute logique idéologique que ce ne sont nullement les pays qui laissent cyniquement leurs ressortissants partir – et refusent par mauvaise foi de les reconnaître comme co-nationaux lorsqu’ils y sont renvoyés – qui sont appelés à supporter le coût de leur entreprise immigrationniste, mais les seuls pays d’accueil.

De même, si l’Arabie Saoudite est la première destination de la migration (après les États-Unis), le pacte ne pose pas les mêmes enjeux pour la monarchie wahhabite totalitaire esclavagiste – où les immigrés n’ont aucun droit par principe et sont des inférieurs, que pour les pays d’Europe égalitaristes au point de ne plus distinguer entre ami et ennemi, étranger et national, membre de sa civilisation et issu de civilisations différentes, voire hostiles comme l’islamisme. De ce fait, les Saoudiens voient arriver sur leur sol soit des coreligionnaires sunnites, soit des non-musulmans qui n’auront jamais ni la nationalité saoudienne ni des droits de citoyens, alors que l’Europe est sommée d’organiser l’arrivée et de favoriser l’implantation de populations mêmes si elles sont adeptes de cultures hostiles à leurs valeurs fondamentales comme l’islamisme radical ou la haine envers l’Occident séculier et libéral.

La page du site des Nations Unies dédiée à ce Pacte « historique » a d’ailleurs un peu plus d’honnêteté intellectuelle que son document de 34 pages : la photo centrale est celle d’une femme voilée et de son mari, les deux faisant un signe de cœur avec leurs mains. C’est là en fait la seule (mais éclairante) allusion à la dimension « culturelle » de la « migration » en question, d’emblée affichée comme islamique, et ce clin d’œil n’est peut-être pas un détail innocent quand on sait que la majorité des 57 pays composant l’Organisation de la Coopération islamique, l’OCI, a adopté ce Pacte à l’Assemblée générale des Nations Unies.

Dissymétrie des responsabilités des pays face aux migrants : un engagement intenable

Le Global Compact on Migration, qui devait au départ engager les 193 pays membres des Nations Unies, fait fi de la disparité criante entre régions développées au niveau socio-économique et juridique et régions à la traîne, et il fait l’impasse sur la dimension culturelle de la migration, ce qui fait d’un accord prétendument « multilatéral » un programme de sur-responsabilisation des seuls pays d’Occident. D’après les Nations Unies, 258 millions de personnes vivent hors de leur pays et sont donc considérés comme « migrants », terme que le Pacte décide de mettre sur le même pied que « réfugiés », alors que ces derniers bénéficient d’un cadre légal particulier.

Qu’il se déplace pour raisons économiques ou pour fuir un pays en guerre, « le migrant » (personnifié de façon habile conformément aux règles de la com efficace) devient ainsi une abstraction juridique, supportant des droits – et des obligations paraît-il, dont le Pacte se garde bien de donner les contours – où qu’il soit, à quelque étape et lieu de son parcours migratoire qu’il se trouve. Or ces droits, pour s’exercer, doivent faire l’objet d’une protection qui incombe au pays dans lequel le migrant se trouve. Ainsi, le Pacte prévoit que soit fournie au migrant une information précise sur ses moyens de réclamation et de compensation en justice si ses droits étaient bafoués (qu’il ait un statut ou non), accompagné d’un accès facilité à une assistance juridique (publique ou « abordable » financièrement). On n’imagine pas que ce soit en Arabie Saoudite, au Soudan ou au Bangladesh que cet accès à la justice sera être le mieux mis en place, au contraire des pays d’Occident justiciables par ailleurs de la Cour européenne de Justice. Les coûts que cela implique reviendront donc toujours majoritairement aux pays hôtes (de transit ou de destination), sans que le Pacte ne se soucie de savoir comment une justice financée par l’impôt des nationaux pourra absorber indéfiniment ces procédures en « extra ».

Un migrant nouvellement arrivé sur le sol français pourrait ainsi se prévaloir du droit français et international pour mettre l’État au pas quant au respect de ses droits. Le migrant en situation illégale serait également protégé, le Pacte précisant que l’illégalité ne doit pas être un « prétexte » à fragiliser l’individu davantage. De même, s’agissant d’accès aux services « de base » (c’est-à-dire notamment soins de santé et sécurité sociale), qu’il s’agit d’accélérer et de faciliter, ce sont encore les pays d’Europe surtaxés qui financent – à perte – des systèmes de ce type.

Faciliter l’immigration de masse et le shopping migratoire

Outre la mise en place de « campagnes d’information », de sites internet et de procédures d’information avant le départ et dès l’arrivée du « migrant », les États d’accueil doivent fournir à ce dernier des renseignements détaillés sur « les formalités à remplir, les conditions de vie et les outils juridiques en vigueur » et, bien sûr, « garantir l’accès aux soins de santé, la justice et au marché du travail », mesures déjà en vigueur en France d’ailleurs, où la seule aide aux migrants irréguliers « mineurs non-accompagnés » (souvent faux mineurs d’ailleurs), coûte déjà deux milliards par an. D’évidence, le Pacte est bel et bien un projet de facilitation massive de la « migration », ou plutôt de « l’immigration », régulière comme irrégulière. Les « campagnes plurilingues » qui « doivent » donner l’état des conditions de vie dans chaque pays d’accueil potentiel sont par ailleurs la porte ouverte au shopping migratoire.

De même, les procédures de « réunification familiale » – un « droit du migrant » et qui « faciliterait son inclusion dans sa société d’accueil » ! – doivent selon les rédacteurs du Pacte être simplifiées et accélérées. À nouveau, le Pacte ne parle du « migrant » que comme entité générique dépourvue de culture, d’identité voire d’origines, comme une figure sans tache idéalisée bénéficiaire de principe de « droits » qu’il revient au pays hôte de « protéger ». Entre un Nigérian, qui peut avoir en moyenne 6 enfants et dont la culture familiale induit des liens très forts sur plusieurs générations, et le Suisse (moins de deux enfant par femme), le Pacte ne fait pas de différence. Quoique très précis sur les mesures concrètes à prendre vis-à-vis du migrant, le document est d’une abstraction confondante sur le comment du financement, l’impact sur les pays concernés, ou tout simplement les circonstances de telles mesures.

Lorsqu’il s’agit de faire « participer » le secteur privé et les employeurs à l’inclusion des migrants – notamment en permettant la formation « sur le terrain », des cours de langue ciblant l’occupation professionnelle, la reconnaissance de compétences obtenues autrement que par le diplôme – les Nations Unies semblent avoir balayé d’un revers de main la situation économique et la réalité du marché du travail de la vaste majorité de ses membres. La France compte en effet 5 649 600 demandeurs d’emploi, l’Espagne plus de dix millions. Les prérequis incombant aux jeunes européens sont de plus en plus exigeants, notamment en termes de compétences en langues étrangères (rappelons qu’à Bruxelles il est fréquent que le candidat doive connaître trois langues), pourtant, le Pacte demande que la « maîtrise de la langue » serait revue à la baisse afin de magiquement « faciliter l’emploi des migrants »…

Appel à la censure et « rééducation » de l’Occidental rempli de préjugés anti-immigration

Le Global Compact est un « tout pour l’autre » vertigineux, où les mesures éminemment concrètes à l’égard des migrants forment un contraste saisissant avec la simple « considération » accordée aux inquiétudes « légitimes » des États et communautés d’accueil. Le citoyen sera donc heureux de savoir que les Nations Unies ont constaté son « désarroi », mais le Pacte lui rappelle benoîtement que la migration est avant tout un « avantage » et, au pire, un « défi ». C’est d’ailleurs en ces termes que le Pacte déclare que l’accès à une information « objective, factuelle et claire sur les avantages et les défis de la migration » doit être fourni à tous, afin de « dissiper les discours qui génèrent une perception négative des migrants ».

L’objectif n°16 du Pacte global est de « donner les moyens aux migrants et sociétés de réaliser une inclusion et cohésion sociale complètes », et c’est à ce titre qu’il s’agit de promouvoir le « reportage éthique » sur le sujet des migrants. Passant sans vergogne du devoir d’objectivité à la nécessité de « dissiper » le négatif, le Pacte enjoint les signataires à mettre en lumière les « contributions positives » des migrants. L’active participation des médias est requise dans cette vaste entreprise de positivisme forcené, notamment en formant et « sensibilisant » les professionnels des médias aux problématiques et à la « terminologie » liées à la migration.

Ceux qui feraient montre d’intolérance, de xénophobie, de racisme et toute autre forme de discrimination à l’égard des migrants verraient leurs subsides se tarir. La même vigilance serait de mise en « période électorale », ce qui laisse à penser que le Pacte Global vise à interdire l’immigration comme sujet politique ! Autorités publiques et médias seraient ainsi soumis à des « mécanismes » spécifiquement mis en place pour protéger le migrant – ce qui laisse à penser que pour les Nations Unies, les nationaux d’un pays sont nécessairement hostiles aux nouveaux venus, et que la culture nationale ne vaut pas la peine, elle, d’être protégée, promue, ou « mise en lumière ». Avec des activités culturelles (« sport, musique, les arts, festivals culinaires, volontariat et autres événements sociaux »), le Pacte entend « faciliter » (décidément le mot-clé de cet accord) la compréhension et « l’appréciation » mutuelles des cultures migrantes et celles des communautés de destination.

Tout comme en France la protection des « minorités » évacue l’antisémitisme musulman (ciblant pourtant une « minorité »), l’élan humaniste et gestionnaire du Pacte Global se préoccupe du migrant dont les droits doivent être protégés des assauts que lui porterait nécessairement la communauté d’accueil. La culture du migrant doit d’ailleurs être « incluse », « acceptée », « appréciée », « mise en lumière », par les autochtones, dont la culture d’accueil est censée tout absorber, en « s’adaptant » au besoin jusqu’à la distorsion à « l’Autre » appelé à être considéré comme le « Même ». C’est jusque dans les soins de santé que le Pacte entend faire subir cette adaptation culturelle et économique : il s’agit en effet « d’incorporer les besoins de santé des migrants aux politiques de soins de santé nationale et locales » et ce, notamment, en réduisant les barrières de communication…y compris culturelles, en « sensibilisant » les fournisseurs de soins de santé aux cultures diverses. La disruption générée dans les hôpitaux occidentaux, où médecins masculins ne peuvent ausculter nombre de patientes musulmanes sans un tiers mâle présent par exemple, ne serait dans cette optique à sens unique que le fruit d’un manque d’acceptation par la culture arrivante de la culture d’accueil, et ce problème est évacué au profit d’un discours d’intégration où c’est la communauté d’accueil qui doit absolument « intégrer ».

Le Pacte désavoué par de plus en plus de pays d’Europe

Pologne, Hongrie, Slovaquie et République Tchèque ont tous fait savoir qu’ils ne signeraient pas l’accord, une décision peu surprenante de la part du Groupe de Visegrad, dont les positions assez dures sur l’immigration sont connues (et commentées) depuis longtemps. La Croatie et la Bulgarie ont également signalé leur refus en novembre, et l’Estonie n’a confirmé son soutien qu’après un débat échauffé au gouvernement. Fin novembre ce sont encore l’Australie et Israël qui quittaient la table et fin octobre l’Autriche après s’être montrée réticente au pacte, actait son refus de signer. L’Italie a déclaré qu’elle ne se rendrait pas à Marrakech et souhaitait laisser le temps à son Parlement de prendre une décision informée, un report de décision partagé également par la Suisse. Au total, ce sont donc 10 non-signataires et 2 pays qui souhaitent reporter la signature (Suisse et Italie), et il y a fort à parier que le gouvernement « populiste » italien de M. Conte ne signera pas. Ce n’est pas un hasard si ce sont majoritairement des pays occidentaux qui désavouent ce Pacte Global qui devait au départ rallier les 193 membres des Nations Unies. Prétendant d’abord être un accord « multilatéral », les objectifs et mesures envisagées pour les atteindre prennent place dans des contextes très différents d’une région à l’autre et n’engageront tout simplement pas les mêmes responsabilités pour les pays membres. Il est évident que les pays d’Afrique (une cinquantaine aux Nations Unies), les pays d’Asie-Pacifique (également une cinquantaine), ceux d’Amérique Latine-Caraïbes (33) ne font pas face aux mêmes difficultés que les 22 pays occidentaux (y compris Canada et États-Unis). Ce sont donc à nouveau les pays les plus avancés en matière de droits et de libertés qui se verront le plus tenus et le paradoxe de sociétés développées qui voient se retourner contre elles les outils qu’elles ont développés, à l’image des droits de l’homme dévoyés pour museler l’esprit voltairien français, est poussé à son paroxysme.

La Représentante pour la Migration Internationale aux Nations Unies, Louise Arbour, déclarait le 27 novembre que les désistements en chaîne de ces derniers mois donnaient une piètre image des pays en question, soulignant les « avantages économiques » que la migration est capable de produire « si elle est bien gérée ». En réalité il n’est aucun chiffre disponible à ce jour qui permette d’affirmer l’avantage concret de l’immigration, qui prennent en compte les accommodements, les délibérations, les dérogations, les procédures judiciaires, qui accompagnent « l’intégration » de nouveaux venus dans un pays donné. En janvier 2016, le Fond Monétaire International publiait un rapport sur les « défis économiques » posés par la vague migratoire, rapport largement relayé comme « très positif » par les médias. L’apport économique (notamment en contribuant par les taxes) des migrants dépendait massivement de leur entrée sur le marché du travail, entrée que le rapport estimait entre deux et cinq ans après leur arrivée, si on voulait bien ajuster les attentes en termes de langue et de compétences notamment. En réalité, les aspects « positifs » étaient enrobés de « pourrait » précautionneux et conditionnés à des circonstances structurellement difficiles à mettre en place.

Pacte « non-contraignant », ou comment contourner le débat public et parlementaire : une tendance des relations internationales en pleine croissance

L’argument a été donné de si nombreuses fois pour invalider les objections au Pacte Global qu’il faut préciser ce qu’il a de faux en plus de malhonnête. Bien entendu s’il n’y a aucune conséquence à signer pareil accord on peut retourner la question et demander « ce que ça peut bien leur faire » de ne pas signer. En réalité les accords dits non-contraignants sont un outil tout à fait courant des relations internationales et ne tombent pas nécessairement hors du droit international. Nombre de chercheurs en droit se sont penchés sur la prolifération de ces accords internationaux notamment en ce qu’ils questionnent la loi en tant que telle. Le Global Compact, en se disant non-contraignant, permet aux gouvernements de faire l’économie d’une bureaucratie lente et coûteuse, certes, mais aussi du débat parlementaire interne et de contourner ainsi un processus de décision démocratique. Or cet argument de la « non-contrainte » du pacte occulte plusieurs aspects, dont celui du « politiquement contraignant » et du poids symbolique de tels accords.

Ainsi certains avis ou décisions du Parlement européen, purement « consultatifs » et sans effet juridique, se voient tout de même entérinés par la Commission en raison de leur haute valeur symbolique et politique difficiles à ignorer sans risque. D’autre part, un accord international tel que celui des Nations Unies, même non-contraignant, peut renforcer la densité de traités parfaitement contraignants, en ramollir d’autres, et être tout à fait pris en compte par la justice elle-même en tant qu’il compte comme preuve d’une pratique internationale et de droit coutumier. Il n’est pas rare d’avoir recours à ce type d’accord pour sa malléabilité, sa facilité de mise en œuvre, que ce soit dans les domaines militaire, environnemental ou des droits de l’homme. Prétendre que ces accords seraient sans effet est un mensonge et une grave erreur, ne serait-ce que dans l’appel d’air qu’il provoque, informant les migrants du monde entier de leur droit souverain devant les nations. Et à tout le moins, le Global Compact on Migration est la manifestation d’un nouvel ordre transfrontières reposant sur le fichage des citoyens quels qu’ils soient, et l’effacement de certaines cultures au profit d’autres mieux protégées ou pourvues de moyens disproportionnés pour s’implanter.

Voir encore:

le 06/12/2018

[COMMUNIQUE] Fin de l’affrètement de l’Aquarius : pour une reprise imminente des opérations de sauvetage

SOS MEDITERRANEE est déterminée à retourner en mer alors que le nombre de morts en Méditerranée augmente

Après avoir secouru près de 30 000 personnes en 34 mois, SOS MEDITERRANEE, en partenariat avec Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), a été contrainte de prendre la décision de mettre fin à l’affrètement du navire l’Aquarius. Face aux attaques incessantes dont le navire et ses équipes ont fait l’objet, cette décision devrait favoriser la reprise rapide et durable de la mission de recherche et de sauvetage en Méditerranée centrale. Ainsi, en dépit du climat hostile dans lequel évoluent les ONG de secours en mer, SOS MEDITERRANEE demeure pleinement engagée à fournir une assistance vitale aux naufragés et se prépare à reprendre les opérations de recherche et de sauvetage début 2019.

Dix-huit mois de criminalisation, de décrédibilisation et de diffamation contre les ONG de recherche et de sauvetage ont encore davantage fragilisé les capacités de sauvetage en mer – déjà insuffisantes -, alors qu’augmentait le taux de personnes mortes noyées sur cette route migratoire connue pour être la plus dangereuse au monde. De la sorte, une campagne politique, judiciaire et administrative acharnée, soutenue par plusieurs Etats européens, a contraint l’Aquarius à rester à quai durant les deux derniers mois, l’empêchant ainsi de reprendre ses activités de recherche et de sauvetage. SOS MEDITERRANEE n’entend pas demeurer inactive plus longtemps : l’association compte poursuivre sa mission et repartir sauver des vies en mer dans le respect le plus complet du droit maritime international.

« Renoncer à l’Aquarius a été une décision extrêmement difficile à prendre, mais elle permettra à nos équipes de reprendre les opérations de recherche et de sauvetage le plus rapidement possible », a déclaré Frédéric Penard, directeur des opérations de SOS MEDITERRANEE. « Nous refusons de rester les bras croisés sur le rivage alors que des gens continuent de mourir en mer. Tant que des êtres humains continueront à tenter la traversée la plus dangereuse du monde, SOS MEDITERRANEE remplira son devoir d’assistance en répondant à l’urgence par tous les moyens professionnels possibles ».

Soumis à de multiples pressions politiques, l’Aquarius a été, à deux reprises en moins de deux mois, sciemment exclu des registres de l’État du pavillon de Gibraltar, puis du Panama. Le navire humanitaire doit aujourd’hui répondre à des allégations d’activité criminelle, des accusations disproportionnées et infondées. « Les attaques répétées et ciblées contre les organisations humanitaires, qui viennent s’ajouter à la négligence criminelle des Etats membres de l’UE qui ne respectent en aucun cas leurs obligations maritimes et internationales, entraînent des risques croissants pour les personnes en détresse en mer », a déclaré Sophie Beau, directrice de SOS MEDITERRANEE France. « Cette année seulement, plus de 2 100 personnes, à notre connaissance, sont mortes en Méditerranée, tandis que beaucoup d’autres ont été interceptées par les garde-côtes libyens, qui sont soutenus par l’UE. Ces naufragés sont ensuite renvoyés de force en Libye, où des traitements inhumains les attendent.  L’Aquarius a tenté de combler le manque de dispositifs de sauvetage en Méditerranée durant ces 34 derniers mois. Mais les attaques inacceptables et répétées à son encontre ont fini par l’arrêter. Aujourd’hui, quasiment aucune opération de recherche et de sauvetage ne subsiste en mer et ce vide est pour nous le plus mortifère des échecs de l’Europe ».

SOS MEDITERRANEE explore déjà activement les options pour un nouveau navire et un nouveau pavillon, et étudie sérieusement toutes les propositions d’armateurs qui lui permettraient de poursuivre sa mission de sauvetage.  « C’est un signe fort de solidarité du monde maritime envers notre mission civile de recherche et de sauvetage. Depuis notre toute première mission, en février 2016, nos opérations n’ont été possibles que grâce au soutien incroyable que nous recevons de la société civile », a déclaré Sophie Beau. « Sauver des vies en mer est et restera notre mission et, aujourd’hui plus que jamais, nous avons besoin du soutien de tous les citoyens qui croient encore en nos valeurs d’humanité en mer et désirent concourir à nos efforts pour trouver un nouveau navire et un nouveau pavillon. »

Dossier de presse : http://www.sosmediterranee.fr/medias/sosmeddossierpresse.pdf

Voir encore:

PC GONE MAD: Criticising migration could become CRIMINAL offence under new planA LEADING MEP has warned EU citizens they could be “jailed” for criticising migration policies if a new United Nations agreement is acted upon.

Thomas Hunt

The United Nations Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration seeks to make immigration a universal human right. MEP Marcel de Graaff said: “I would like to say some words on the global compact on migration. On the 10th and 11th of December there will be an international congress in Marrakesh Morocco. The participating countries are set to sign this agreement and although this joint agreement is not binding it is still meant to be the legal framework on which the participating countries commit themselves to build new legislation.

“One basic element of this new agreement is the extension of the definition of hate speech.

“The agreement wants to criminalise migration speech. Criticism of migration will become a criminal offence.

“Media outlets that give room to criticism of migration can be shut down.

“The compact for migration is legalisation of mass migration.

The United Nations Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration could be signed next week (Image: GETTY • EU)

“It is declaring migration as a human right so it will, in effect, become impossible to criticise Mrs Merkel’s welcome migrants politics without being at risk of being jailed for hate speech.”

In 2015 Angela Merkel pushed for an open-door migration policy across the EU. Critics said the move was motivated by Germany’s need to boost its workforce by at least one million.

The document is an « intergovernmentally negotiated agreement, prepared under the auspices of the United Nations, that covers all dimensions of international migration in a holistic and comprehensive manner”.

Austria, Australia, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Italy, Israel, Poland, Slovakia and Switzerland have already stated they will not sign the agreement.

One of the “guiding principles” of the document asks for a “whole-of-society approach” to promoting mass migration, including the role of the media.

Governments are asked to “promote independent, objective and quality reporting… and stopping allocation of public funding or material support to media outlets that systematically promote intolerance, xenophobia, racism and other forms of discrimination towards migrants”.

Italian deputy prime minister Matteo Salvini said on Wednesday that Italy will not sign the United Nations Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration next month.

He said: « Just like the Swiss, who carried forward the Global Compact up until yesterday and then said ‘everyone stop’, the Italian government will not sign anything and will not go to Marrakech.

« The floor of parliament must debate it. The Italian government will allow parliament to decide.”

Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte warned the migration document tackles issues citizens are divided on.

Mr Conte said: « The Global Migration Compact is a document that raises issues and questions that many citizens have strong feelings about.

« Therefore, we consider it right to put the debate in parliament and subject any final decision on the outcome of that debate, as Switzerland has done.

« So the government will not participate in Marrakech, reserving the option to adopt the document, or not, only when parliament has expressed its opinion.”

Slovak Foreign Minister Miroslav Lajcak has decided to resign in protest at parliament’s decision on Thursday to reject a UN pact on the treatment of migrants, his ministry said.

Mr Lajcak was President of the United Nations General Assembly when the migration pact was adopted and had earlier threatened to quit if his country did not support it.

The Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration was approved in July by all 193 member UN nations except the United States, which backed out last year, and is due to be ratified formally in December.

The ministry said: ”Foreign Minister Miroslav Lajcak has decided, following today’s vote in parliament, to resign.”

Slovakia’s Prime Minister Peter Pellegrini has said his government would « never » accept the pact because of its take on migration as a generally positive phenomenon, which contradicts Slovakia’s will to distinguish among the migrants.

Besides Bratislava, other European Union members like Austria, Hungary or the Czech Republic shunned the pact, while Switzerland delayed its decision.

The pact was conceived after the biggest influx of migrants into Europe since World War Two, many fleeing conflicts and poverty in the Middle East, Africa and beyond.

Voir enfin:

 

 

  • French President Emmanuel Macron rebuked US President Donald Trump last month for putting the interests of US citizens above demonstrating moral values.
  • Three weeks later, Paris was set ablaze by thousands of working-class protesters who objected to Macron promoting an environmentally friendly fuel tax.
  • Macron is about half as popular in France as Trump is in the US. Macron has set himself up as the enemy of nationalist leaders across Europe, but they’re more popular than him.
  • The Trump administration on Tuesday called for European countries to ditch the leadership of the United Nations and the European Union and instead to join the US in putting the interests of their own citizens first.
  • As Macron backpedals on his high-minded fuel tax without appeasing the protesters, it looks as if Trump is having the last laugh.

French President Emmanuel Macron stood at the Arc de Triomphe last month and rebuked President Donald Trump’s « America First » policy at a ceremony marking the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I.

It was a move that, by all accounts, infuriated Trump.

Trump went home from Paris being roundly mocked for the wide perception that he had let rainfall keep him from honoring fallen soldiers, and he fumed at Macron on Twitter.

But three weeks later protesters stormed the monument in central Paris in a massive, violent riot that saw it defaced with slogans calling for Macron’s resignation and leaving the statue of Marianne, the symbol of France’s revolution, with its face smashed in.

« Patriotism is the exact opposite of nationalism, » Macron said on November 11. « Nationalism is a betrayal of patriotism. By saying our interests first, who cares about the others, we erase what a nation holds dearest, what gives it life, what makes it great and what is essential: its moral values. »

His remarks were widely seen as a slap in the face to Trump. But they fell on deaf ears, even among his countrymen.

France’s lower and middle classes in the intervening weeks launched a massive mobilization that saw 36,000 marching in colors in the street.

The French who felt unseen, who felt Macron had not put their interests first, donned high-visibility yellow vests to protest their president’s raising taxes on diesel fuel, a move designed to make the country’s economy more green.

While Macron may have sought to improve the lot of all French people by building a green economy that could attract morally sound investments from around the world, the tax increase immediately hurt the suburban and rural working class. In return, it provides only theoretical, roundabout path toward their long-term gain.

Macron’s high-minded rhetoric fell flat among these workers, and, after the destruction at the Arc de Triomphe, Macron made the first major reversal of his presidency and called off the tax increase, beaten by protests he initially dismissed.

But Macron’s U-turn wasn’t enough, and the Yellow Vests, as they’ve come to be known, have planned more protests for the coming weekend.

‘X country name first’

Any working theory of international relations understands that nations and actors put their own interests first.

Whereas Trump proudly trumpets « America First, » Macron essentially said he’s more interested in signaling his country’s moral values than advancing the interests of his citizenry.

Today Macron’s approval rating stands at about 23%, while Trump’s is double that at about 46%.

Macron has positioned himself as the enemy of nationalist leaders rising around Europe, but leaders like Hungary’s anti-refugee Viktor Orban and Italy’s Matteo Salvini remain more popular than him in their respective countries.

While Trump has often clashed with European leaders over his unilateral decisions to withdraw from the Paris agreement on climate change or the Iran nuclear deal in the name of American interests, Europe’s unity and leadership has weakened terribly.

Macron’s chief ally, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, also lost recent elections and has announced plans to step down when her term ends in 2021.

In a speech to Europe’s leadership in Brussels, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo blasted multinational, multilateral institutions like the United Nations and the European Union as ineffective, failing to address the concerns of the people.

Pompeo called on « noble nations » around the world to put their interests first and « reform or eliminate » multinational bodies that don’t work as intended.

Pompeo pointed to China and Russia disregarding treaties and asserting their national wills as evidence that undemocratic countries were reaping the benefits of the liberal world order, while Europe failed to act.

Read more: Trump’s mockery of Obama for his response to Crimea backfires with a new Ukraine crisis

On Twitter, Trump teased Macron as having only now come around to the realization that imposing costs on workers to pay for a grand vision of global change had proved untenable.

While champions of morality in politics may have celebrated Macron’s rebuke of Trump’s « America First » policies, which are often seen as inhumane and turning away from the US’s much-publicized values of compassion and openness, the massive mobilization of the Yellow Vests and the downfall of liberal leaders across Europe may give Trump the last laugh.


Crise migratoire: Attention, un déni peut en cacher un autre ! (A long series of denials: Beyond the usual pieties and denunciations, who will talk about the hundreds of thousands of young Muslim males running away from sexual misery, the tens of thousands of ever young African females forced into sex work and in the end the many social and cultural problems of massive immigration imposed on destabilized European populations ?)

3 septembre, 2018
Nigerian women working as prostitutes in Turin, Italy.
Ne croyez pas que je sois venu apporter la paix sur la terre; je ne suis pas venu apporter la paix, mais l’épée. Car je suis venu mettre la division entre l’homme et son père, entre la fille et sa mère, entre la belle-fille et sa belle-mère; et l’homme aura pour ennemis les gens de sa maison. Jésus (Matthieu 10 : 34-36)
Le monde moderne n’est pas mauvais : à certains égards, il est bien trop bon. Il est rempli de vertus féroces et gâchées. Lorsqu’un dispositif religieux est brisé (comme le fut le christianisme pendant la Réforme), ce ne sont pas seulement les vices qui sont libérés. Les vices sont en effet libérés, et ils errent de par le monde en faisant des ravages ; mais les vertus le sont aussi, et elles errent plus férocement encore en faisant des ravages plus terribles. Le monde moderne est saturé des vieilles vertus chrétiennes virant à la folie.  G.K. Chesterton
D’abord, il faut que je vous dise. Il y a des gens en Occident (…) qui ont incité les gens à se rebeller contre leurs propres gouvernements (…) Et quand ces sociétés se sont révoltées et les gouvernements se sont confrontées à ces rebellions, des centaines de milliers sinon des millions de gens ont alors commencé à quitter leurs foyers,  leurs territoires et leurs terres et l’approche la plus humaine était d’accepter ces réfugiés sur votre territoire et les territoires étrangers puisque c’est vous qui êtes responsables de les avoir poussés et incités à se rebeller. Bon, c’est arrivé. Mais maintenant ce que nous essayons de faire, c’est de convaincre les pays arabes et surtout les riches (…)  est  de financer l’accueil de réfugiés syriens et irakiens et d’autres réfugiés. (…) Les pays arabes ne limitent pas l’entrée des réfugiés. Le problème, c’est que les réfugiés arrivent dans des pays qui sont aussi en difficulté mais ils vont plutôt en Turquie et de la Turquie en Grèce et dans l’UE pour trouver du travail et les équipements dont ils ont besoin. Ahmed Aboul Gheit (président de la Ligue arabe)
On peut parler aujourd’hui d’invasion arabe. C’est un fait social. Combien d’invasions l’Europe a connu tout au long de son histoire ! Elle a toujours su se surmonter elle-même, aller de l’avant pour se trouver ensuite comme agrandie par l’échange entre les cultures. Pape François
Vous, les Blancs, vous entraînez vos filles à boire et à faire du sexe. Quand elles nous arrivent, elles sont parfaitement entraînées. Ahmed (violeur pakistanais)
L’accueil du réfugié, du demandeur d’asile qui fuit l’organisation Etat islamique ou les guerres récentes pèche en Occident par une surdose de naïveté : on voit, dans le réfugié, son statut, pas sa culture ; il est la victime qui recueille la projection de l’Occidental ou son sentiment de devoir humaniste ou de culpabilité. On voit le survivant et on oublie que le réfugié vient d’un piège culturel que résume surtout son rapport à Dieu et à la femme. En Occident, le réfugié ou l’immigré sauvera son corps mais ne va pas négocier sa culture avec autant de facilité, et cela, on l’oublie avec dédain. Sa culture est ce qui lui reste face au déracinement et au choc des nouvelles terres. Le rapport à la femme, fondamental pour la modernité de l’Occident, lui restera parfois incompréhensible pendant longtemps lorsqu’on parle de l’homme lambda. Il va donc en négocier les termes par peur, par compromis ou par volonté de garder « sa culture », mais cela changera très, très lentement. Il suffit de rien, du retour du grégaire ou d’un échec affectif pour que cela revienne avec la douleur. Les adoptions collectives ont ceci de naïf qu’elles se limitent à la bureaucratie et se dédouanent par la charité. Le réfugié est-il donc « sauvage » ? Non. Juste différent, et il ne suffit pas d’accueillir en donnant des papiers et un foyer collectif pour s’acquitter. Il faut offrir l’asile au corps mais aussi convaincre l’âme de changer. L’Autre vient de ce vaste univers douloureux et affreux que sont la misère sexuelle dans le monde arabo-musulman, le rapport malade à la femme, au corps et au désir. L’accueillir n’est pas le guérir. (…) C’est cette liberté que le réfugié, l’immigré, veut, désire mais n’assume pas. L’Occident est vu à travers le corps de la femme : la liberté de la femme est vue à travers la catégorie religieuse de la licence ou de la « vertu ». Le corps de la femme est vu non comme le lieu même de la liberté essentielle comme valeur en Occident, mais comme une décadence : on veut alors le réduire à la possession, ou au crime à « voiler ». La liberté de la femme en Occident n’est pas vue comme la raison de sa suprématie mais comme un caprice de son culte de la liberté. A Cologne, l’Occident (celui de bonne foi) réagit parce qu’on a touché à « l’essence » de sa modernité, là où l’agresseur n’a vu qu’un divertissement, un excès d’une nuit de fête et d’alcool peut-être. Cologne, lieu des fantasmes donc. Ceux travaillés des extrêmes droites qui crient à l’invasion barbare et ceux des agresseurs qui veulent le corps nu car c’est un corps « public » qui n’est propriété de personne. On n’a pas attendu d’identifier les coupables, parce que cela est à peine important dans les jeux d’images et de clichés. De l’autre côté, on ne comprend pas encore que l’asile n’est pas seulement avoir des « papiers » mais accepter le contrat social d’une modernité. (…) Le sexe est la plus grande misère dans le “monde d’Allah”. A tel point qu’il a donné naissance à ce porno-islamisme dont font discours les prêcheurs islamistes pour recruter leurs “fidèles” : descriptions d’un paradis plus proche du bordel que de la récompense pour gens pieux, fantasme des vierges pour les kamikazes, chasse aux corps dans les espaces publics, puritanisme des dictatures, voile et burqa. (…)  Cologne est-il le signe qu’il faut fermer les portes ou fermer les yeux ? Ni l’une ni l’autre solution. Fermer les portes conduira, un jour ou l’autre, à tirer par les fenêtres, et cela est un crime contre l’humanité. Mais fermer les yeux sur le long travail d’accueil et d’aide, et ce que cela signifie comme travail sur soi et sur les autres, est aussi un angélisme qui va tuer. Les réfugiés et les immigrés ne sont pas réductibles à la minorité d’une délinquance, mais cela pose le problème des « valeurs » à partager, à imposer, à défendre et à faire comprendre. Cela pose le problème de la responsabilité après l’accueil et qu’il faut assumer. Kamel Daoud
Les révolutions arabes de 2011 avaient enthousiasmé les opinions, mais depuis la passion est retombée. On a fini par découvrir à ces mouvements des imperfections, des laideurs. Par exemple, ils auront à peine touché aux idées, à la culture, à la religion ou aux codes sociaux, surtout ceux se rapportant au sexe. Révolution ne veut pas dire modernité. Les attaques contre des femmes occidentales par des migrants arabes à Cologne, en Allemagne, la veille du jour de l’an ont remis en mémoire le harcèlement que d’autres femmes avaient subi à Tahrir durant les beaux jours de la révolution. Un rappel qui a poussé l’Occident à comprendre que l’une des grandes misères d’une bonne partie du monde dit “arabe”, et du monde musulman en général, est son rapport maladif à la femme. Dans certains endroits, on la voile, on la lapide, on la tue ; au minimum, on lui reproche de semer le désordre dans la société idéale. En réponse, certains pays européens en sont venus à produire des guides de bonne conduite pour réfugiés et migrants. (…) Ces contradictions créent des tensions insupportables : le désir n’a pas d’issue ; le couple n’est plus un espace d’intimité, mais une préoccupation du groupe. Il en résulte une misère sexuelle qui mène à l’absurde ou l’hystérique. Ici aussi on espère vivre une histoire d’amour, mais on empêche la mécanique de la rencontre, de la séduction et du flirt en surveillant les femmes, en surinvestissant la question de leur virginité et en donnant des pouvoirs à la police des moeurs. On va même payer des chirurgiens pour réparer les hymens. Dans certaines terres d’Allah, la guerre à la femme et au couple prend des airs d’inquisition. L’été, en Algérie, des brigades de salafistes et de jeunes de quartier, enrôlés grâce au discours d’imams radicaux et de télé-islamistes, surveillent les corps, surtout ceux des baigneuses en maillot. Dans les espaces publics, la police harcèle les couples, y compris les mariés. Les jardins sont interdits aux promenades d’amoureux. Les bancs sont coupés en deux afin d’empêcher qu’on ne s’y assoit côte à côte. Résultat : on fantasme ailleurs, soit sur l’impudeur et la luxure de l’Occident, soit sur le paradis musulman et ses vierges. (…) Sur le plan vestimentaire, cela donne d’autres extrêmes: d’un côté, la burqa, le voile intégral orthodoxe ; de l’autre, le voile moutabaraj (“le voile qui dévoile”), qui assortit un foulard sur la tête d’un jean slim ou d’un pantalon moulant. Sur les plages, le burquini s’oppose au bikini.(…) Certains religieux lancent des fatwas grotesques: il est interdit de faire l’amour nu, les femmes n’ont pas le droit de toucher aux bananes, un homme ne peut rester seul avec une femme collègue que si elle est sa mère de lait et qu’il l’a tétée. (…) L’Occident s’est longtemps conforté dans l’exotisme ; celui-ci disculpe les différences. L’Orientalisme rend un peu normales les variations culturelles et excuse les dérives : Shéhérazade, le harem et la danse du voile ont dispensé certains de s’interroger sur les droits de la femme musulmane. Mais aujourd’hui, avec les derniers flux d’immigrés du Moyen-Orient et d’Afrique, le rapport pathologique que certains pays du monde arabe entretiennent avec la femme fait irruption en Europe. Ce qui avait été le spectacle dépaysant de terres lointaines prend les allures d’une confrontation culturelle sur le sol même de l’Occident. Une différence autrefois désamorcée par la distance et une impression de supériorité est devenue une menace immédiate. Le grand public en Occident découvre, dans la peur et l’agitation, que dans le monde musulman le sexe est malade et que cette maladie est en train de gagner ses propres terres. Kamel Daoud
Dans une tribune publiée par le journal Le Monde le 31 janvier 2016, le journaliste et écrivain Kamel Daoud propose d’analyser « ce qui s’est passé à Cologne la nuit de la Saint-Sylvestre ». Pourtant, en lieu et place d’une analyse, cet humaniste autoproclamé livre une série de lieux communs navrants sur les réfugiés originaires de pays musulmans. (…) Loin d’ouvrir sur le débat apaisé et approfondi que requiert la gravité des faits, l’argumentation de Daoud ne fait qu’alimenter les fantasmes islamophobes d’une partie croissante du public européen, sous le prétexte de refuser tout angélisme. (…) Certainement marqué par son expérience durant la guerre civile algérienne (1992-1999), Daoud ne s’embarrasse pas de nuances et fait des islamistes les promoteurs de cette logique de mort. En miroir de cette vision asociologique qui crée de toutes pièces un espace inexistant, l’Occident apparaît comme le foyer d’une modernité heureuse et émancipatrice. La réalité des multiples formes d’inégalité et de violences faites aux femmes en Europe et en Amérique du Nord n’est bien sûr pas évoquée. Cet essentialisme radical produit une géographie fantasmée qui oppose un monde de la soumission et de l’aliénation au monde de la libération et de l’éducation. (…) Psychologiser de la sorte les violences sexuelles est doublement problématique. D’une part, c’est effacer les conditions sociales, politiques et économiques qui favorisent ces actes (parlons de l’hébergement des réfugiés ou des conditions d’émigration qui encouragent la prédominance des jeunes hommes). D’autre part, cela contribue à produire l’image d’un flot de prédateurs sexuels potentiels, car tous atteints des mêmes maux psychologiques. Pegida n’en demandait pas tant. (…) C’est ainsi bien un projet disciplinaire, aux visées à la fois culturelles et psychologiques, qui se dessine. Des valeurs doivent être « imposées » à cette masse malade, à commencer par le respect des femmes. Ce projet est scandaleux, non pas seulement du fait de l’insupportable routine de la mission civilisatrice et de la supériorité des valeurs occidentales qu’il évoque. Au-delà de ce paternaliste colonial, il revient aussi à affirmer, contre « l’angélisme qui va tuer », que la culture déviante de cette masse de musulmans est un danger pour l’Europe. Il équivaut à conditionner l’accueil de personnes qui fuient la guerre et la dévastation. En cela, c’est un discours proprement anti-humaniste, quoi qu’en dise Daoud. Après d’autres écrivains algériens comme Rachid Boudjedra ou Boualem Sansal, Kamel Daoud intervient en tant qu’intellectuel laïque minoritaire dans son pays, en lutte quotidienne contre un puritanisme parfois violent. Dans le contexte européen, il épouse toutefois une islamophobie devenue majoritaire. Derrière son cas, nous nous alarmons de la tendance généralisée dans les sociétés européennes à racialiser ces violences sexuelles. (…) Face à l’ampleur de violences inédites, il faut sans aucun doute se pencher sur les faits, comme le suggère Kamel Daoud. Encore faudrait-il pouvoir le faire sans réactualiser les mêmes sempiternels clichés islamophobes. Le fond de l’air semble l’interdire. Collectif d’anthropologues, sociologues, journalistes et historiens
Cher Kamel, il y a quelques jours, une amie tunisienne m’a envoyé une tribune parue dans Le Monde. Ce texte portait la signature de plusieurs universitaires que je connais. Des universitaires un peu bien-pensants, c’est vrai, mais, quand même, des gens qui ne sont pas tes adversaires – qui ne devraient pas être tes adversaires. Le ton de la lettre m’a dérangé. Je n’aimais pas le style de dénonciation publique, un style qui me rappelait un peu le style gauche-soviétique-puritain. Et tu dois savoir qu’en tant qu’ami je ne signerai pas de telle lettre contre toi, bien que je ne partage pas du tout les opinions que tu as exprimées dans cet article, et par la suite, même plus férocement encore, me semble-t-il, dans la tribune du New York Times. Pour moi, c’est très difficile d’imaginer que tu pourrais vraiment croire ce que tu as écrit. Ce n’était pas le Kamel Daoud que je connais et dont j’ai fait le portrait dans un long article. Nous avons beaucoup parlé des problèmes de sexe dans le monde arabo-musulman quand j’étais à Oran. Mais nous avons aussi parlé des ambiguïtés de la « culture » (mot que je n’aime pas) ; par exemple, le fait que les femmes voilées sont parfois parmi les plus émancipées sexuellement. Dans tes écrits récents, c’est comme si toute l’ambiguïté dont nous avons tant discuté, et que, plus que personne, tu pourrais analyser dans toute sa nuance, a disparu. Tu l’as fait de plus dans des publications lues par des lecteurs occidentaux qui peuvent trouver dans ce que tu écris la confirmation de préjugés et d’idées fixes. Je ne dis pas que tu l’as fait exprès, ou même que tu joues le jeu des « impérialistes ». Non, je ne t’accuse de rien. Sauf de ne pas y penser, et de tomber dans des pièges étranges et peut-être dangereux. Je pense ici surtout à l’idée selon laquelle il y aurait un rapport direct entre les événements de Cologne et l’islamisme, voire l’« Islam » tout court. Je te rappelle qu’on a vu, il y a quelques années, des événements similaires, certes pas de la même ampleur, mais quand même, lors de la parade du Puerto Rican Day à New York. Les Portoricains qui ont alors molesté des femmes dans la rue n’étaient pas sous l’influence de l’Islam mais de l’alcool… Sans preuve que l’Islam agissait sur les esprits de ces hommes à Cologne, il me semble curieux de faire de telles propositions, et de suggérer que cette « maladie » menace l’Europe… Dans son livre La Maladie comme métaphore (Christian Bourgois, 2005), un ouvrage devenu un classique, Susan Sontag démontre que l’idée de « maladie » a une histoire pas très reluisante, souvent liée au fascisme. Les juifs, comme tu le sais, étaient considérés comme une espèce de maladie ; et les antisémites d’Europe, au XIXsiècle, à l’époque de l’émancipation, se sont montrés très préoccupés des coutumes sexuelles des juifs, et de la domination des hommes juifs sur les femmes… Les échos de cette obsession me mettent mal à l’aise. (…) Kamel, tu es tellement brillant, et tu es tendre, aussi, ça, je le sais. C’est à toi, et à toi seul, de décider comment tu veux t’engager dans la politique, mais je veux que tu saches que je m’inquiète pour toi, et j’espère que tu réfléchiras bien à tes positions… et que tu retourneras au mode d’expression qui, à mon avis, est ton meilleur genre : la littérature. J’espère que tu comprendras que je t’écris avec le sentiment de la plus profonde amitié. Adam Shatz
Nous vivons désormais une époque de sommations. Si on n’est pas d’un côté, on est de l’autre; le texte sur « Cologne », j’en avais écrit une partie, celle sur la femme, il y a des années. A l’époque, cela n’a fait réagir personne ou si peu. Aujourd’hui, l’époque a changé : des crispations poussent à interpréter et l’interprétation pousse au procès. J’avais écrit cet article et celui du New York Times début janvier; leur succession dans le temps est donc un accident et pas un acharnement de ma part. J’avais écrit, poussé par la honte et la colère contre les miens, et parce que je vis dans ce pays, dans cette terre. J’y ai dit ma pensée et mon analyse sur un aspect que l’on ne peut cacher sous prétexte de « charité culturelle ». Je suis écrivain et je n’écris pas des thèses d’universitaires. C’est une émotion aussi. Que des universitaires pétitionnent contre moi aujourd’hui, pour ce texte, je trouve cela immoral parce qu’ils ne vivent pas ma chair, ni ma terre et que je trouve illégitime sinon scandaleux que certains me servent le verdict d’islamophobie à partir de la sécurité et des conforts des capitales de l’Occident et ses terrasses. Le tout servi en forme de procès stalinien et avec le préjugé du spécialiste : je sermonne un indigène parce que je parle mieux des intérêts des autres indigènes et post-décolonisés. Et au nom des deux mais avec mon nom. Et cela m’est intolérable comme posture. Je pense que cela reste immoral de m’offrir en pâture à la haine locale sous le verdict d’islamophobie qui sert aujourd’hui aussi d’inquisition. Je pense que c’est honteux de m’accuser de cela en restant bien loin de mon quotidien et celui des miens. (…) Ces pétitionnaires embusqués ne mesurent pas la conséquence de leurs actes et du tribunal sur la vie d’autrui. (…) Comme autrefois, l’écrivain venu du froid, aujourd’hui, l’écrivain venu du monde dit « arabe » est piégé, sommé, poussé dans le dos et repoussé. La surinterprétation le guette et les médias le harcèlent pour conforter qui une vision, qui un rejet et un déni. Le sort de la femme est lié à mon avenir, à l’avenir des miens. Le désir est malade dans nos terres et le corps est encerclé. Cela, on ne peut pas le nier et je dois le dire et le dénoncer. Mais je me retrouve soudainement responsable de ce qui va être lu selon les terres et les airs. Dénoncer la théocratie ambiante chez nous devient un argument d’islamophobe ailleurs. Est-ce ma faute ? En partie. Mais c’est aussi la faute de notre époque, son mal du siècle. C’est ce qui s’est passé pour la tribune sur « Cologne ». Je l’assume mais je me retrouve désolé pour ce à quoi elle peut servir comme déni et refus d’humanité de l’Autre. L’écrivain venu des terres d’Allah se retrouve aujourd’hui au centre de sollicitations médiatiques intolérables. Je n’y peux rien mais je peux m’en soustraire : par la prudence comme je l’ai cru, mais aussi par le silence comme je le choisis désormais. Je vais donc m’occuper de littérature et en cela tu as raison. J’arrête le journalisme sous peu. Kamel Daoud
Les pays nantis – par exemple, les pays membres de l’UE – qui espèrent décourager la migration depuis des régions très pauvres du monde par un transfert prudent de ressources (grâce à des accords bilatéraux, des annulations de dettes et ainsi de suite) ne devraient pas être trop déçus en découvrant au bout d’un certain temps que leurs initiatives ont échoué à améliorer les conditions de vie dans les pays ciblés. Car un pays qui réussirait effectivement à augmenter son PIB, le taux d’alphabétisation de ses adultes et l’espérance de vie – soit un mieux à tout point de vue – produirait encore plus de candidats au départ qu’un pays qui se contente de son enterrement en bas du tableau de l’économie mondiale. Jeremy Harding
La guerre, la faim et l’effondrement social n’ont pas causé des migrations massives au-delà de la frontière naturelle que constitue le Sahara. Mais les premiers rayons de prospérité pourraient bien motiver un plus grand nombre d’Africains à venir en Europe. Jeremy Harding
Plus de 11 000 femmes nigérianes ont été secourues en Méditerranée l’année dernière, selon l’Office pour les migrations internationales (OMI). 80% d’entre elles faisaient l’objet d’un trafic à des fins d’exploitation sexuelle. “Il y a maintenant des filles qui n’ont que 13, 14 ou 15 ans”, m’a dit un agent anti-trafic de l’OMI. “L’Italie n’est qu’un point d’entrée. De là, elles sont dispatchées et vendues à des mères maquerelles partout en Europe.” Ben Taub
Do you have any idea how much I earn on immigrants? They’re more profitable than drugs. Salvatore Buzzi (Italian mafioso)
More than 80% of women brought to Europe from Nigeria are unknowingly “sponsored” by sex traffickers who have paid for their journey, according to the International Organization for Migration (IOM). The rest will have paid the smugglers to get them to Europe, but once they get there, will be unlikely to escape the sex-trafficking rings. (…) The centre has become a lawless place where people are easy prey for criminal gangs. The state funds these centres by giving them a sum of money for each asylum seeker, but many of them cut corners on food and other amenities, and pocket the profits. Low-level members of Italy’s various mafia organisations and Nigerian gangs come to the centre to recruit drug mules and petty criminals among the bored, idle men who have given up on the life they dreamed of when they crossed the sea. (…) Posing as asylum seekers, traffickers lure women out of the centre on the pretext of shopping trips or other excursions, and deliver them to the Nigerian women who control forced prostitution rings. They are then forced into sex work under the threat of violence, most of them – like Joy – terrorised by a curse that binds them into slavery. Several centres have become the subject of criminal investigations, revealing corruption at local and state level, and infiltration by powerful crime syndicates. Always quick to exploit new opportunities, the mafia is making vast profits off the backs of migrants. (…) Many of the Nigerian women and girls rescued from the smugglers’ boats by charities or coastguard vessels are from small villages around Benin City. Most are single and travelling alone. Many of those trafficked for sex slavery are assured by their “sponsors” that they will take care of getting the necessary documents for them once they leave the centres. Others are provided with false personal details that they are told to use for their applications. Most of the trafficked women end up with fake documents provided by Italian organised-crime groups. The documents are another link in the chain that keeps the women trapped in sexual slavery, because the madams threaten to take them away if they try to escape. In 2012, an investigation was opened into forced prostitution at Cara di Mineo, after doctors at the centre received a series of requests for abortions. In three months, the centre’s doctors performed 32 abortions on migrants – an increase of more than 200% on the year before. The authorities concluded that this was due to an increase in prostitution, along with a lack of birth control options. Because of the church’s influence over migrant care, contraception was not being distributed, and few migrants have the means to source their own. Some aid groups have since tried handing out condoms. In December 2016, four Nigerian asylum seekers were arrested in Cara di Mineo, accused of drugging and raping a female resident. The woman had been told, like Joy, to wait on the street for someone to pick her up. Realising she was being put to work as a prostitute, she had refused to leave the camp. The men raped her as a warning – a typical punishment in sex trafficking. The theory is that if a woman realises that the penalty for refusing to prostitute herself is gang rape, she will likely agree that roadside sex is a better alternative. It is rare to meet a trafficked woman who has not been faced with this choice. After the incident, Francesco Verzera, a prosecutor with jurisdiction over Cara di Mineo, appealed to the authorities to close down the camp, stating that overcrowding and lack of supervision is creating a dangerous criminal environment. (…) Most of the residents are divided by ethnic or religious background, which has done nothing to reduce tensions and fighting. Every year at Cara di Mineo, on average, 10 migrants die while waiting for their asylum requests to be heard, killed in fights or dying from untreated medical conditions, according to Amnesty International and other aid groups that operate in the centre. (…) Verzera’s investigation into criminal activity at the centre turned up inconsistencies in the record-keeping of who was living there. Many of the migrants on the official roster had long since disappeared, even though the centre, under the direction of Maccarrone, was still reimbursed €35 (£31) a day for them. By law, each migrant awaiting asylum is given an electronic card to check in and out of the centre when making outings. If they don’t check back in after three days, they are supposed to be taken off the roster, and that information sent to Rome so the reimbursement will be stopped. But Verzera says he found that migrants who had been gone for months were kept on the list for financial support. The centre was, on paper, far over capacity, and received extra funds to help with the overload when, in reality, they were taking care of far fewer people than the documents stated. In 2016, Maccarrone, who previously ran the migrant reception centre on the island of Lampedusa, came under criminal investigation for corruption at Cara di Mineo. He was accused of collusion with the mafia, and of using funds intended for the care of migrants and refugees for personal gain. Last year, Catania’s chief prosecutor, Carmelo Zuccaro, tried to make it illegal for NGO charity ships to rescue migrants at sea and bring them to Italian shores. In March 2017, in an interview with the rightwing newspaper Il Giornale, he revealed that the state had started investigations into prisons and refugee camps where extremists were recruiting migrants awaiting word on their asylum requests. (…) The alarm about radicalisation overshadowed the fact that criminal groups are recruiting migrants from the camps for forced or low-paid labour. At harvest times, men leave Cara di Mineo in the early morning and gather along a triangle of dirt off the state highway. Local farmers come in pick-up trucks, looking for i neri (“the blacks”), choosing the biggest and strongest for casual labour, harvesting tomatoes and citrus fruits. The farmers call them ragazzo or “boy”, demanding they turn around or show them how straight their backs are. It is a degrading display, made worse by the fact that they are paid a mere fraction of what Italians would be paid for the same work. Their wages are part of the illicit economy that makes up around 20% of Italy’s overall GDP. When asylum requests are rejected, applicants have one chance to appeal. If they fail, they are given a slip of paper that says they have five days to leave the country, but no means to do so. Torn-up shreds of those papers are a common sight in the ditches beside the road near the centre. Those turned down are easy bait for criminal gangs working inside the camps, who get paid for providing mafia groups with illegal cheap labour, running drugs and arms or working in the many industries those groups have infiltrated. In 2014, an investigation known as “Mafia Capitale” found that a criminal group had been running Rome’s municipal government for years. The group, which prosecutors defined as a mafia-style association, had siphoned off millions of euros intended to fund public services. The group had also infiltrated asylum centres across the country, buying and selling names and details of migrants who had long disappeared, in order to keep the per-person state funding coming. (…) Administrators in some centres are accused of taking kickbacks for selling personal details of asylum seekers who have escaped to smaller centres (some of whom don’t exist). Those in charge of the smaller centres then use the names to claim daily allowances. This is one of the reasons trafficked women have been allowed to leave so easily: their names tend to stay on the lists, and the centres continue to receive funding. As they leave, they are quickly replaced. Some centres take on more migrants than they can manage, in order to earn extra revenue, so refugees end up living in dangerously overcrowded conditions. Trafficked women who disappear to work as sex slaves have little chance of being rescued, because their absence causes no concern. Nigerian girls who are trafficked directly to madams in Naples and elsewhere are forced to do sex work to pay off large debts. Before they’ve even started work, they will owe around €60,000 (£53,000). A cut goes to the recruiter in Nigeria, a cut to the traffickers and smugglers who expedited the women’s journey, and a large portion goes to the Nigerian gang members, who must pay the Naples mafia, the Camorra, or other crime syndicates in whose territories the women will be forced to work. There are other incidentals, including room, board, clothing and rent for the space on the pavement from which they solicit sex. If we assume half of the estimated 11,000 Nigerian girls who came to Italy in 2016 generated €60,000 each through debt bondage for the madams’ gangs, the profits off those girls alone would top €300m (£264m), even after their travel costs are deducted. It can take five years or more of sexual slavery to pay the debts. Then, women are free to go, but some end up becoming madams themselves, either convinced there are lucrative profits to be made, or as an act of revenge: to visit on others what they had to endure. This cycle has continued for more than a decade, but in 2016, the number of Nigerian women who arrived by smugglers’ boats was 60% higher than the previous year. Many of the trafficked Nigerian women end up in Castel Volturno, outside Naples, known as the most lawless part of Italy. Murder rates are the highest in the country, and locals call it Beirut, or the Bronx. Sergio Nazzaro, a local journalist, says it is the Camorra’s graveyard. (…) African migrants first started coming to the area in large numbers in the 1980s, to work in the tomato fields for low wages. The Africans were not welcome to integrate with the Italians and instead set up a peripheral society where they lived outside the law, often squatting in illegally built or unfinished buildings. Italian authorities did not pay much attention to them at the time, but they were not ignored by the Camorra. By the 1990s, women started arriving in greater numbers. They were rarely hired for farm work, so many had no choice but to prostitute themselves. Many of those first prostitutes eventually became madams, controlled by Nigerian drug-smuggling gangs, who had to pay protection money to the Camorra to operate on their territory. When the gangs discovered there was a demand, madams recruited more women from Nigeria to the area. They started using traffickers to trick them into coming, eventually expanding the trade further north to Italy’s larger cities and into Europe. The Guardian
En 2015, le risque de mourir en Méditerranée (0, 37%) était inférieur au risque en France d’une personne de plus de 45 ans de subir un AVC (0, 4$%); en 2016, 363 000 migrants ont traversé la Mare nostrum (…) et 4 576 s’y sont noyés ou ont disparu, soit 1, 3% ou le double du risque de décéder apres une intervention chirurgicale – toutes catégories confondues – dans un pays industrialisé, ou encore le double du risque de mourir d’une anesthésie générale au sud du Sahara. En 2017, entre janvier et fin aout, 126 000 migrants ont traversé la Méditerranée et 2 428 ont été portés disparus, soit 1, 92%, ce qui est légèrement inférieur à la mortalité post-opératoire en chirurgie cardiaque en Europe de l’ouest (2%). Même si le risque est heureusement limité, on se demande évidemment pourquoi il ne cesse d’augmenter alors que les yeux du monde sont braqués sur la Méditerranée et que les secours devraient se perfectionner. La réponse: l’humanitaire est trop bon ! En effet, les bateaux de secours se rapprochent de plus en plus des eaux territoriales libyennes et, s’il y a danger de naufrage, n’hésitent plus à y entrer pour sauver les migrants. Si bien que les trafiquants embarquent un nombre croissant de migrants sur des embarcations toujours plus précaires (notamment des canots pneumatiques longs de 9 mètres, fabriqués en Chine, sur lesquels se serrent 130 personnes). (…) Les trafiquants emmènent donc les migrants à la limite des eaux territoriales, avant de repartir avec le moteur hors-bord dans un autre bateau en laissant les leurs clients dériver. A charge pour les humanitaires … Ceux-ci font bien, voire très bien leur travail, au risque de voir les migrants de moins en moins regardants sur la navigabilité des embarcations choisies par les trafiquants. Au cours des premiers six mois de 2017, quelque 93 000 migrants ont été secourus et transportés vers l’Italie, soit presque les trois quarts du total ayant embarqué pour la traversée pendant cette période. Stephen Smith
Je dis ça sans affolement. Quand vous avez un voisin qui en 2050 sera 5 fois plus nombreux que toute l’Europe comprise, il y a une pression migratoire qui est très forte et il faut s’arranger entre voisins (européens), il faut négocier. Il faut prendre la mesure du réel d’abord. Puis il faut des négociations entre l’Europe et l’Afrique pour éviter notamment que ses forces vives quittent le continent. Tant que l’Afrique croit à ce rythme, c’est impossible (de juguler). Tous les progrès sont noyés par la progression démographique. Il faut à un moment maitriser cette croissance démographique. C’est un problème de long terme qui se jouera sur les deux générations à venir, pas avant 2050. Toutes les régions du monde ont migré. En Europe il y avait 300 millions d’habitants et 60 millions en sont partis, dont 40 millions vers les Etats-Unis. L’Afrique ne fait que reproduire des scenarii qui ont eu lieu en Europe et en Amérique latine. Et il est évident que l’Europe va faire face à une migration très forte depuis l’Afrique, c’est inévitable. [l’aide au développement] c’est une imposture. Nous allons développer un continent d’1,3 milliards, soit l’équivalent de la Chine. Et tous ceux qui se sont développés, les millions de personnes qui sont sortis de la pauvreté ces dernières décennies – les Chinois, les Indiens -, n’en sont jamais sortis par l’aide au développement. L’aide au développement va d’abord permettre à une classe moyenne qui émerge de migrer, de partir du continent. Toutes les volontés de fermer les frontières sont inutiles. Avec 6 milliards d’euros, les européens se sont achetés la paix de 2,5 millions de migrants, bloqués en Turquie. Mais c’est cynique de parler comme ça. Les gens passeront, par une porte ou une autre. C’est inévitable. Mettez-vous à la place des Africains qui voient de telles inégalités et qui pensent à leur vie ou à leurs enfants. Nous ferions pareil à leur place. Bien sûr qu’un moment l’Afrique arrivera à retenir ses forces vives. On oublie souvent qu’un tiers des européens partis en Amérique sont revenus en Europe. Ce n’est pas forcément le bonheur d’arriver en Europe, beaucoup de migrants sont déçus, et vous préférez toujours rester parmi les vôtres ». Stephen Smith
Le problème, c’est que quand vous aidez, dans un premier temps, vous créez un horizon qui est plus large: les gens commencent à penser qu’ils peuvent bouger puisqu’ils ont aussi les moyens – il faut plusieurs milliers d’euros pour entreprendre ce voyage – et donc ce ne sont pas les plus pauvres, les plus désespérés qui partent mais ceux qui commencent à sortir la tête de l’eau. Et c’est donc cet effet de seuil qui fait que dans un premier temps l’aide aide les gens à partir. Stephen Smith
Les pays du Nord subventionnent les pays du Sud, moyennant l’aide au développement, afin que les démunis puissent mieux vivre et – ce n’est pas toujours dit aussi franchement – rester chez eux. Or, ce faisant, les pays riches se tirent une balle dans le pied. En effet, du moins dans un premier temps, ils versent une prime à la migration en aidant des pays pauvres à atteindre le seuil de prospérité à partir duquel leurs habitants disposent des moyens pour partir et s’installer ailleurs. C’est l’aporie du « codéveloppement », qui vise à retenir les pauvres chez eux alors qu’il finance leur déracinement. Il n’y a pas de solution. Car il faut bien aider les plus pauvres, ceux qui en ont le plus besoin ; le codéveloppement avec la prospère île Maurice, sans grand risque d’inciter au départ, est moins urgent… Les cyniques se consoleront à l’idée que l’aide a rarement fait advenir le développement mais, plus souvent, servi de « rente géopolitique » à des alliés dans l’arrière-cour mondiale. Dans un reportage au long cours titré The Uninvited, « les hôtes indésirables », Jeremy Harding, l’un des rédacteurs en chef de la London Review of Books, a pointé avec ironie le dilemme du codéveloppement : « des pays nantis – par exemple, les pays membres de l’UE – qui espèrent décourager la migration depuis des régions très pauvres du monde par un transfert prudent de ressources (grâce à des accords bilatéraux, des annulations de dettes et ainsi de suite) ne devraient pas être trop déçus en découvrant au bout d’un certain temps que leurs initiatives ont échoué à améliorer les conditions de vie dans les pays ciblés. Car un pays qui réussirait effectivement à augmenter son PIB, le taux d’alphabétisation de ses adultes et l’espérance de vie – soit un mieux à tout point de vue – produirait encore plus de candidats au départ qu’un pays qui se contente de son enterrement en bas du tableau de l’économie mondiale. » Les premiers rayons de prospérité pourraient bien motiver un plus grand nombre d’Africains à venir en Europe. Pourquoi ? Les plus pauvres parmi les pauvres n’ont pas les moyens d’émigrer. Ils n’y pensent même pas. Ils sont occupés à joindre les deux bouts, ce qui ne leur laisse guère le loisir de se familiariser avec la marche du monde et, encore moins, d’y participer. À l’autre extrême, qui coïncide souvent avec l’autre bout du monde, les plus aisés voyagent beaucoup, au point de croire que l’espace ne compte plus et que les frontières auraient tendance à disparaître ; leur liberté de circuler – un privilège – émousse leur désir de s’établir ailleurs. Ce n’est pas le cas des « rescapés de la subsistance », qui peuvent et veulent s’installer sur une terre d’opportunités. L’Afrique émergente est sur le point de subir cet effet d’échelle : hier dépourvues des moyens pour émigrer, ses masses sur le seuil de la prospérité se mettent aujourd’hui en route vers le « paradis » européen. Stephen Smith
The problem of migration deaths has been created entirely by policy attempts to outlaw migration. (…) There should be no reason for Syrian refugees to be getting on these boats, except that there has been no proper pathway for safe refugee acceptance opened up. (…) It is the border controls that have forced migrants to take more dangerous routes, and that have made them more and more dependent on smugglers to cross borders. Smuggling is a reaction to border controls rather than a cause of migration in itself. Ironically, further toughening of border controls will therefore force migrants and refugees to take more risks and only increase their reliance on smugglers. Hein de Haas (Oxford University’s International Migration Institute)
 Stricter immigration policies might not be effective, because they deter potential legal migrants more than potential illegal migrants. Linguère Mously Mbaye
J’aimerais entendre des critiques contre la politique des réfugiés de Mme Merkel ailleurs qu’à l’AfD. Ahmad Mansour (écrivain allemand)
Si nous ne réduisons pas la taille de nos familles, notre pays continuera à souffrir de la pauvreté parce que les ressources disponibles ne pourront plus couvrir nos besoins. Jonathan Goodluck (ancien président nigérian)
Angela Merkel n’a pas mâché ses mots. Les images des manifestations à Chemnitz de ces deux derniers jours « n’ont pas leur place dans un Etat de droit », a-t-elle déclaré lors d’une conférence de presse à Berlin avec son homologue croate. Évoquant les scènes d’agression d’étrangers par des sympathisants d’extrême droite dimanche à Chemnitz, la chancelière a parlé de « chasses collectives ». Plusieurs vidéos font état de manifestants remontés, pourchassant et s’en prenant physiquement à des étrangers le long du parcours. A l’origine de ce déferlement de haine, la mort d’un Allemand de 35 ans, poignardé dimanche matin en marge d’une fête locale. Les deux suspects de cet homicide, un Syrien de 22 ans et un Irakien de 23 ans, sont soupçonnés d’avoir « sans justification, à plusieurs reprises, porté des coups de couteau à la victime, à la suite d’une altercation », selon le Parquet. Des centaines de personnes s’étaient spontanément rassemblées pour appeler le gouvernement allemand à garantir « la sécurité des Allemands ». Une manifestation marquée par l’agression d’étrangers et de policiers. Lundi, un nouveau rassemblement à l’initiative de Pegida et de l’Alternative pour l’Allemagne (AFD) – deux formations politiques d’extrême droite – a réuni plus de 6000 sympathisants. Outre les violentes attaques dont ils ont fait l’objet, les policiers ont fait état de plusieurs manifestants faisant le salut hitlérien. Pour le parti social-démocrate, membre de la coalition gouvernementale d’Angela Merkel, ces manifestations s’inscrivent dans un contexte de raidissement idéologique au plan national et international. Pour l’extrême droite allemande, cet événement est l’occasion de mobiliser l’opinion contre l’immigration et la politique du gouvernement d’Angela Merkel, à qui elle reproche d’avoir laissé entrer plus d’un million de demandeurs d’asile venant notamment de Syrie et d’Irak, en 2015 et 2016. L’hebdomadaire allemand Der Spiegel va jusqu’à comparer ces démonstrations de force à « la situation de la République de Weimar ». Une référence au régime politique démocratique né en Allemagne dans le sillage de la Première Guerre mondiale, qui dut affronter régulièrement des tentatives de déstabilisation dans la rue et finit par disparaître lors de la prise du pouvoir d’Adolf Hitler en 1933. Le Figaro
The Mediterranean boat people have been coming for more than a decade, paying small fortunes to enter the continent aboard disturbingly overpacked vessels. They began arriving after Europe’s legal migration routes shut down in the 1990s, but never have their numbers been so large – or the death toll so high. When an estimated 850 people died in a single capsizing incident last weekend, driving this year’s toll to over 1,600 – 30 times higher than the toll for the same period last year – their fate became a continent-wide crisis, provoking an emergency European Union meeting on Thursday and an outraged response from across the political spectrum. (…) An unstoppable flood of desperate poor people fleeing Africa to a new life in Europe – that is the phrase uttered, in one form or another, by headline writers and politicians to summarize the crisis. Yet, every word of that sentence is wrong. And much of the current catastrophe, most of the drowning horrors, have been caused by the failure of policy-makers to understand how wrong those words are. (…) To understand why the crisis has become so acute in 2014 and 2015, it helps to understand why it was bad once before, a decade ago; and why it suddenly stopped, almost completely, for several years, then erupted again in 2011, virtually stopped again, then came back in its most dramatic form. It obviously isn’t unstoppable: It has stopped, several times. (…) There were two reasons: First, Italy struck deals with the Arab dictators of Tunisia and Libya, paying them generously to police their beaches. Second, the post-2008 economic crisis reduced demand sharply: Migrants don’t come when there are no jobs. (In fact, there was a net outflow of migrants from Europe back to Africa at the peak of the crisis.) There was a burst of activity on this route in 2011, when the dictators were overthrown and Arabs (often middle-class and educated) left for Europe. (…) And then it fell again to negligible levels in 2012, until the huge spike of 2014 and 2015. This was hardly a constant increase in people: It has stopped and started many times. Even in its worst years, the Mediterranean boat-people flow is only a small part of the migration picture: tens of thousands of entrants in a continent of half a billion people that receives three million immigrants a year. Most Africans living in Europe are fully legal, visa-carrying immigrants who arrive at airports. Even the majority of illegal African immigrants in Europe aren’t boat people: They’re legal visitors who’ve overstayed their visas. What has compounded the matter during the past 24 months has been the conflict in Syria. While only a fraction of people fleeing that country have attempted to go to Europe – the vast majority are encamped in Turkey, Jordan or Lebanon – that fraction has multiplied the numbers of boat people dramatically in 2014 and 2015. It now accounts for perhaps half of Mediterranean boat migrants (though the boat that was the subject of last weekend’s tragedy carried passengers almost entirely from sub-Saharan Africa). Refugees tend to be temporary (the much larger exodus of asylum seekers that confronted Western Europe during the Balkan wars of the 1990s – a population shift that seemed even more intractable – mostly returned to their countries after the conflicts ended), and are dealt with through different policies than are migrants. The most insidious notion is the one that holds that the Africans on the boats are starving villagers escaping famine and death. In fact, every boat person I’ve met has been ambitious, urban, educated, and, if not middle-class (though a surprising number are, as are an even larger number of Syrian refugees), then far from subsistence peasantry. They are very poor by European standards, but often comfortable by African and Middle Eastern ones. And no wonder: The boats cost upward of $2,000 to board (and you need more money to make a start in Europe). That’s a year’s income in many African countries. (…) Linguère Mously Mbaye, a scholar at the Bonn-based Institute for the Study of Labour, conducted a study of hundreds of people in Dakar, Senegal, who were planning to make the crossing to Europe. The migrants tended not to be very poor. And they tended to be well-connected in Europe: They knew large numbers of people from their home country already living in Europe and working in similar occupations. In other words, they were tied into « migration networks » that communicated information about employment, small-business, housing and migration opportunities. Migrants tend to choose their European destinations not according to culture, language or history, but according to the number of people from their network who are living there – and also according to the economic success of their destination country. The Syrian refugees are less tactical – and not as well linked into existing economies – than the Africans, but they, too, tend to come because they have connections to people or organizations in Europe.(…) Both major studies found that the Africans who get onto the boats are not running from something awful, but running toward a specific, chosen opportunity, in employment or small business. That’s a big reason that the boat-people flows have gone up and down so dramatically: Dr. de Haas’s studies found that the main driver of cross-Mediterranean migration is not any economic or political factor in Africa but « sustained demand [in Europe] for cheap labour in agriculture, services, and other informal sectors. » Even those who are fleeing – the Syrians, some Eritreans – are choosing where they flee based on a sense of opportunity. « You saw a lot more people coming into Europe from Africa in the 1960s and 1970s than you do now, » Dr. de Haas notes. But they didn’t make headlines – or die at sea – because they weren’t illegal. The big labour shortages that required migrants (mainly seasonal) were filled because most countries allowed Africans to come and go. (…) By cracking down on these informal and seasonal movements – something that began in the early 1990s with the formation of the EU – Europe turned migration into an all-or-nothing proposition: Once you were in Europe, legally or otherwise, you stayed, because you might not get in again. As a result, Africans now come in, do some agricultural or service work, and then knock around the continent, without opportunities, once they’re done. That’s the paradox of Europe’s response to the migrant crisis: By making entry tougher, it makes illegal entry more commonplace. (…) By turning migration into an all-or-nothing proposition, there’s a risk that a temporary refuge will become a permanent settlement. The flow of people back and forth between Africa and Europe has been a part of both continents’ economies for decades. Europe’s economies need their African workers, more than ever: Germany alone expects to lose seven million working-age people to demographic change, in a fast-growing economy with virtually no unemployment, in the next 10 years. By stopping that flow through ham-fisted measures, Europe’s governments have turned the legal into the illegal, the temporary into the permanent, the routine into the desperate, and a life-improving act into a death-delivering risk. A set of decisions that were bad for both continents’ economies has left thousands of bodies floating in the sea. The Globe and Mail
To see the crisis as an event that began in 2015 and ended the following year is a mistake, because it obscures the fact that the underlying causes have not changed. (…) The European Union has perhaps the world’s most complex system to deter unwanted migrants. Since the 1990s, as borders have come down within Europe, giving most EU citizens free movement and passport-free travel, its external frontier has become increasingly militarised. Amnesty International estimates that, between 2007-2013, before the crisis, the EU spent almost €2bn on fences, surveillance systems and patrols on land or at sea. (…) in 1990, according to research by the geographer Reece Jones, 15 countries had walls or fences on their border; by the beginning of 2016, that number had risen to almost 70. (…) The UN’s refugee agency, the UNHCR, says there are more people displaced by conflict in the world today than at any point since the second world war. This is true: an estimated 66 million people are currently displaced, either within their home countries or abroad. But 86% of these remain in the developing world, not in wealthy regions such as Europe. And despite recent conflicts, according to De Haas, refugees account for around 0.3% of the world’s population; a small and relatively stable proportion. The problem is one of resources and policy, not overwhelming numbers. (…) It is also important to recognise that the stories we consume are, for the most part, commodities produced by profit-making companies. Like other commodities, their production, value and demand are driven by market forces. This can harm those at the centre of the stories, distort our understanding of a crisis and even contribute to a sense of panic – which, in turn, provokes panicked responses from the authorities. Daniel Trilling
For the past several years, the German Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA) has released an annual situation report on crime across the country, with a special emphasis on criminality among immigrants. The term « immigrants » in this context includes; asylum-seekers; those who have been allowed to stay temporarily despite not having received asylum status; illegal immigrants; and refugees who have been brought into Germany on the basis of quotas. Suspects whose asylum applications have been approved are not included. At least one immigrant was indentified as a suspect in 3,404 of the sexual offenses committed in 2016. That’s more than twice as many cases as in the previous year (see graphic below). The increase proved especially dramatic in cases of sexual assault and the sexual abuse of children. « We, as the Bavarian police, take very seriously the fact that immigration influences people’s feeling of security, » says Harald Pickert, the leader of an expert panel in the state’s Interior Ministry, which has been investigating sex crimes that have taken place in the state over the last five years. The group is seeking to identify what might have changed and what has remained the same. It is looking to answers to questions like: Where are the crimes committed? Who are the perpetrators and who are the victims? Is there something that perpetrators typically have in common? The panel exists because Bavarian Interior Minister Joachim Herrmann announced shortly before the German federal election last September that the number of rapes and serious sexual abuses had risen in Bavaria during the first half of 2017 by 47.9 percent. He said 126 of the 685 crimes could be attributed to immigrants, 91 percent more than in the same period the previous year. The latter statistic roughly reflects the findings of the BKA, but the Bavarian crime statistics additionally count those who have been granted asylum as part of its figures for the category of immigrants. Pickert, 54, a deputy police commissioner in Bavaria, ties the rise in reports of sexual offenses to several factors. One is that many German citizens first learned that groping was a punishable offense following the debate over the Cologne attacks. And a change in the law in 2016 meant that groping is no longer solely punishable as an insult, but is now explicitly considered to be sexual harassment. Previously, groping had been absent from the statistics on sexual offenses maintained by police, but now such incidents are included. « It’s that and not some change in everyday reality that explains the sudden surge in the number of crimes reported, » Pickert explains. What is conspicuous in the statistics, however, is the fact that the number of suspected German sex-crime perpetrators has either stagnated or gone down, while the number of immigrants suspected of committing such crimes has increased significantly. This trend, Pickert claims, has been visible for five years. « It’s no wonder, » he adds, since more immigrants have arrived during that time. Futhermore, he says, when compared to the German population, immigrants are more frequently young and male and are more likely to live in a large city, lack education, be unemployed and have no income. « These can all be factors that promote criminal behavior. » During the first half of 2017, Pickert says, about one-fifth of all sex crimes were committed by immigrants living in refugee housing. About 20 percent of all victims were themselves refugees, he says. This means that, at least proportionally speaking, other refugees are at particular risk of becoming victims of sexual assaults by immigrants. So, what can be done to counter this development? « Just because a certain segment of the population is conspicuous for the number of sex crimes it commits doesn’t mean we need new answers, » argues Martin Rettenberger, the director of the Center for Criminology. He says that some of the immigrants come from societies where sex offenses are more rarely punished, where these kinds of crimes are committed more frequently. « But most people quickly adapt their behaviors to their new social environment, » Rettenberger says. « Social values and norms that were once internalized can still be changed. Arabs or Africans are not intrinsically more likely to commit assaults than Europeans. » In the United States, he notes, five times as many people are victims of intentional homicide than in Germany. « And yet nobody would say Americans are more violent than Germans. » What’s key, he believes, is the background of the individual. He notes that many sex offenders have impaired impulse control, often combined with low self-esteem. In a particularly high number of cases, perpetrators have unstable personalities or have suffered trauma — and many aren’t subject to the natural controls exerted by close social relationships, having fled to Germany on their own. Unsurprisingly, such factors are more present among refugees than among other segments of the population. The « only long-term solution, if we want safety, » Rettenberger argues, is sustainable integration: education, jobs and social assistance. « I can understand any citizen who doesn’t feel like investing more money into potential sexual offenders. But I expect more from the politicians. » Der Spiegel
Si nous regardons la question de l’emploi, nous voyons que, toutes catégories confondues, le nombre d’inscrits à Pôle Emploi s’élève à 6 255 800 personnes. Une économie en sous-emploi n’est pas en mesure d’absorber des millions de migrants. N’oublions pas que les vagues d’immigration des années 50-60 arrivaient dans une France en plein boom économique et où le chômage n’existait pas. Ce n’est plus le cas aujourd’hui. Mais surtout, l’immigration de masse pose un problème identitaire et culturel. L’Homme n’est pas qu’un homo economicus désincarné, sans histoire ni racines ; il est avant tout un être de culture. La culture européenne -fille de l’Antiquité, du judéo-christianisme et des Lumières- risque d’être submergée par des populations dont le mode de vie est incompatible avec le mode de vie européen et dont la présence massive sur notre sol ne peut aboutir qu’à des tensions. L’immigration de masse sape la cohérence, l’unité et la solidarité des sociétés occidentales. Au lieu d’une société unie, l’immigration fragmente le corps social en une multitude de communautés indifférentes, voire hostiles, les unes aux autres. Certains membres des minorités (pas tous heureusement!) refusent de s’intégrer et basculent dans la délinquance, leur haine de notre pays pouvant aller jusqu’au terrorisme. Cette crise identitaire risque bien de se transformer en crise politique. D’une part, on constate partout en Europe l’inquiétante progression des mouvements extrémistes – en Allemagne, en France, en Italie, en Grèce…. Ce phénomène politique est une conséquence directe de l’immigration. (…) Il y a quelque chose de paradoxal chez les bonnes âmes bien pensantes qui à la fois fustigent les partis extrémistes et soutiennent l’immigration. Cela est incohérent. En effet, c’est l’immigration qui nourrit les partis extrémistes et risque un jour de les amener au pouvoir. D’autre part, la crise migratoire risque de détruire l’Union européenne. 73 % des Européens considèrent que l’UE ne les protège pas. Partout, l’immigration favorise la montée des populismes. Au Royaume-Uni, le vote en faveur du Brexit s’explique en grande partie par le rejet de l’immigration. Les pays d’Europe centrale refusent tout diktat de Berlin leur enjoignant d’accepter des migrants sur son sol. L’Italie n’en peut plus, qui a vu plus de 70 000 migrants illégaux débarquer sur ses côtes depuis 2013. (…) Nous devons réduire massivement l’immigration. Pour atteindre cet objectif, nous devons reprendre le contrôle de nos frontières, suspendre le regroupement familial, lutter drastiquement contre l’immigration clandestine, rétablir la double peine. Toute personne étrangère qui commet un acte de violence ou connaît un début de criminalisation doit être aussitôt expulsée. Pour l’immigration illégale, terrorisons les passeurs en démantelant leurs réseaux, en menant des actions de guerre contre eux et en leur infligeant des peines drastiques lorsque nous les capturons. Montrons bien aux migrants que leur démarche est vaine en leur refusant systématiquement tout titre de séjour et toute aide sociale. Cela nous permettra d’arrêter l’appel d’air européen. Et faisons le savoir dans leurs pays pour décourager les tentatives. À cela doit s’ajouter, dans la plus pure tradition gaulliste, une politique humaniste, solidaire et active de codéveloppement avec les pays pauvres afin de leur permettre un développement économique, respectueux de l’environnement, créateur d’emplois et réducteur d’inégalités, de façon à réduire la tentation du départ. Nous devons aussi cesser les aventures néocoloniales dans les pays du Moyen-Orient. Sans la catastrophique Guerre en Irak en 2003, il n’y aurait pas eu Daech ni les hordes de migrants syriens et irakiens de l’été 2015. En Libye, Kadhafi n’était peut-être pas très sympathique, mais il nous rendait service en servant de verrou face à l’immigration. (…) Les nouvelles priorités sont limpides: reconstruire un État en Libye et aider ses forces armées à combattre les trafiquants d’êtres humains et à sécuriser ses frontières méridionales dans le Fezzan ; déployer, aux côtés de la marine nationale de Libye, et dans ses eaux territoriales, des navires de surveillance européens capables de ramener les naufragés ou les dinghies surchargés d’êtres humains vers leur rivage d’origine. Le littoral libyen était naguère équipé de radars de surveillance que l’Union européenne avait financés. Ils furent détruits par des frappes franco-britanniques durant la guerre de 2011 contre le régime de Kadhafi. La coopération militaire, policière, humanitaire, avec les autres États d’Afrique du nord doit évidemment se poursuivre. En Afrique noire, il faut en même temps accroître l’aide économique de l’Union européenne et la soumettre à condition. Tout d’abord, il faut être sûr que cette aide bénéficie bien aux populations et ne soit pas détournée par des administrations ou des gouvernements corrompus. Ensuite, il faut lier cette aide, c’est-à-dire la conditionner, à la mise en place d’un planning familial efficace. Soixante ans de coopération technique européenne avec l’Afrique n’ont pas réussi à y greffer le concept pourtant élémentaire de planning familial. (…) Le but de cette aide n’est pas d’industrialiser l’Afrique (ce qui ne ferait qu’augmenter les déséquilibres et donc accroître l’immigration) mais de développer des projets locaux, respectueux des sociétés traditionnelles (microcrédit, circuits courts, agriculture vivrière, biologique et équitable…). (…) C’est un jeu auquel tout le monde perd. Le trafic d’êtres humains sur lequel repose aujourd’hui l’immigration africaine est profondément délétère à la fois pour les États africains et pour les États européens. Comme je l’ai dit, l’Europe y perd sur les plans économique, culturel, sécuritaire et identitaire. L’Afrique y perd, car elle se vide de sa sève. L’émigration prive l’Afrique d’une jeunesse intelligente, entreprenante et débrouillarde. Car les 3000 euros qu’il faut payer pour le trajet y représentent une somme considérable à rassembler. Dans les pays du Continent noir, c’est un beau capital de départ pour créer une affaire, pour creuser un puits dans un village, ou pour monter une installation photovoltaïque. Bien souvent, les migrants ne sont pas les plus pauvres mais des membres de la petite classe moyenne. Dans les pays de transition comme le Niger, le trafic attire des jeunes pressés de faire fortune, les éloignant de l’élevage, de l’agriculture, de l’artisanat. Il n’est pas sain que les villages africains vivent dans l’attente des mandats qu’envoient ou qu’enverront les migrants une fois arrivés en Europe, plutôt que de chercher à se développer par eux-mêmes. Il est vital que les aides financières de l’Union européenne pour le Sahel et l’Afrique centrale aillent dans des actions qui combattent l’économie de trafic, mais aussi dans des projets agricoles ou énergétiques capables de fixer les populations sur leurs terres ancestrales. Enfin, les migrants eux-mêmes sont perdants. Ils déboursent de l’argent pour voir leurs rêves déçus. Ils attendaient le Paradis et se retrouvent perdus dans des pays où leur situation est très difficile. Les seuls gagnants, ce sont les passeurs. (…) Les passeurs sont des bandes mafieuses sans scrupule, qui promettent monts et merveilles aux migrants avant de se livrer aux pires exactions sur eux (escroquerie, racket, violences, viols, abandon en pleine mer…). Aujourd’hui, ce sont les mêmes réseaux mafieux qui procèdent indifféremment au trafic d’armes (destinées aux djihadistes), à l’acheminement de la drogue vers l’Europe, au trafic des êtres humains. Les passeurs – ces nouveaux Barbaresques – ont une méthode éprouvée. Ils entassent les candidats aux voyages dans des canots pneumatiques de fortune ; ils les poussent jusqu’aux eaux internationales à 12 nautiques du rivage libyen ; ensuite ils émettent un SOS ou appellent un centre de secours italien pour indiquer qu’un naufrage est imminent ; puis ils s’en retournent dans leurs repaires, abandonnant à leur sort leurs malheureux passagers, souvent sans eau douce ni nourriture. Le reste du voyage ne coûte plus rien aux passeurs, puisqu’il est pris en charge par les navires des marines ou des ONG européennes. Pourquoi ces derniers ne ramènent pas simplement les naufragés vers les ports les plus proches du littoral libyen? Parce qu’ils considèrent qu’il s’agirait d’un refoulement contraire au droit humanitaire international. Les nouveaux Barbaresques le savent bien, qui sont passés maîtres dans l’art d’exploiter le vieux sentiment de charité chrétienne de cette Europe si riche, si bien organisée, si sociale. (…) Sans le vouloir, certaines ONG participent, de manière gratuite, à un immense trafic, qui a dépassé depuis longtemps en chiffre d’affaires le trafic de stupéfiants. Les ONG détournent le droit d’asile. Le meilleur moyen de s’installer en Europe pour un immigré illégal est de se faire passer pour un réfugié politique et d’invoquer le droit d’asile. Celui-ci a été forgé par les Français de 1789 pour accueillir les étrangers persécutés dans leurs pays pour avoir défendu les idéaux de la Révolution française. Le droit d’asile ne peut concerner que des individus, et non pas des groupes. Il ne peut s’appliquer qu’à des gens engagés politiquement et visés personnellement à cause de leur engagement. Il ne saurait valoir pour des gens qui fuient la misère ou même la guerre. Or, on assiste aujourd’hui à un détournement massif du droit d’asile, car l’écrasante majorité des réfugiés sont des réfugiés économiques. Une fois qu’il a mis le pied sur le sol européen, le migrant sait qu’il pourra y rester à loisir, car les reconduites forcées vers l’Afrique sont statistiquement rares. Pour comprendre le problème des ONG, il faut revenir à la distinction du sociologue allemand Max Weber entre éthique de conviction et éthique de responsabilité. Ceux qui agissent selon une éthique de conviction sont certains d’eux-mêmes et agissent doctrinalement. Ils suivent des principes sans regarder les conséquences de leurs actes. Au contraire, l’éthique de responsabilité repose sur le réalisme, le pragmatisme et l’acceptation de répondre aux conséquences de ses actes. Aujourd’hui, les ONG qui viennent au secours des migrants sont dans l’éthique de conviction. Elles déposent les migrants sur les côtes italiennes et s’offrent un frisson narcissique en jouant au sauveteur. Mais après elles n’assurent pas la suite du service: elles ne se demandent pas ce que devient le migrant en question ni quelles sont les conséquences politiques et culturelles de ces migrations sur l’Europe. Pour sortir de la facilité, les membres des ONG devraient héberger eux-mêmes les migrants, les éduquer, leur trouver du travail. Peut-être auraient-ils une autre attitude (…) L’arrivée incontrôlée et en masse de migrants peu au fait de la culture européenne déstabilise profondément les États de l’UE, comme on l’a vu avec le vote référendaire britannique et le vote législatif italien. Dans les années cinquante et soixante, les peuples européens se sont exprimés par les urnes pour accepter les indépendances des ex-colonies. En revanche on ne les a jamais consultés démocratiquement sur l’immigration, qui est le phénomène social le plus important qu’ils aient connu depuis la seconde guerre mondiale. En France, la décision d’État la plus importante du dernier demi-siècle porte aussi sur la question migratoire. C’est le regroupement familial. Il a changé le visage de la société française. Il est fascinant qu’une décision aussi cruciale ait été prise sans le moindre débat démocratique préalable. Il s’agit d’un décret simple d’avril 1976, signé par le Premier ministre Jacques Chirac et contresigné par Paul Dijoud. Ce ne fut donc ni un sujet de débat, ni l’objet d’un référendum, ni une loi discutée par des représentants élus, ni même un décret discuté en Conseil des Ministres, mais un décret simple comme le Premier Ministre en prend chaque jour sur des sujets anodins. Cette mesure provoqua immédiatement un afflux très important de jeunes personnes en provenance de nos anciennes colonies d’Afrique du nord. Consultés par référendum par le général de Gaulle – qui ne voulait pas d’un «Colombey-les-deux-Mosquées» -, les Français ont accepté, en 1962, de se séparer de leurs départements d’Algérie, où une insurrection arabe brandissant le drapeau de l’islam avait surgi huit ans auparavant. Cinquante-six ans plus tard, ils voient les titres inquiets de leurs journaux: «450 islamistes vont être libérés de prison!». Ils s’aperçoivent alors qu’on leur a imposé en France une société multiculturelle, sans qu’ils l’aient réellement choisie. Jamais les Français ne furent interrogés sur l’immigration de masse, le multiculturalisme et le regroupement familial. De même, Angela Merkel (qui avait pourtant reconnu l’échec du multiculturalisme allemand en 2010) n’a pas jugé bon de consulter son peuple lorsqu’elle déclara unilatéralement que l’Allemagne accueillerait 800 000 migrants. Pourtant il s’agit là de choses fondamentales qui concernent à la fois la vie quotidienne des citoyens et l’identité profonde du pays. (…) dans une démocratie qui fonctionne, le minimum est que la population soit consultée sur l’ampleur du multiculturalisme qu’elle aura ensuite à gérer sur le long terme. Renaud Girard

Attention: un déni peut en cacher un autre !

A l’heure où déjà submergée par l’arrivée massive des millions de migrants des années 2015-2016 …

Une Europe de plus en plus divisée voit ses dirigeants dénoncer la haine qu’ils ont eux-mêmes semée chez leurs concitoyens par leur laxisme immigrationniste …

Qui rappelle que des ONG occidentales s’engagent désormais ouvertement pour faciliter – avec les risques de mortalité accrue que l’on sait pour les migrants – la tâche des passeurs et des mafias qui approvisionnent en chair fraiche les rues et les eros centers allemands ou italiens …

Qui s’étonne que fuyant la « misère sexuelle » et attirés par « l’impudeur et la luxure de l’Occident » tant de jeunes « réfugiés » musulmans hésitent à gagner ces pays arabes riches qui pourtant leur tendent les bras …

Qui ose encore dire avec l’éditorialiste du Figaro Renaud Girard

Au-delà de son obsession de la guerre d’Irak dont ce n’est pas tant l’invasion (par Bush) mais son abandon (par Obama) qui a généré l’Etat islamique…

Et contre l’angélisme de nos belles âmes et les intérêts bien compris de nos industriels en manque de main d’oeuvre bon marché pour qui, oubliant commodément – entre deux attaques au couteau ou à la voiture-bélier de « déséquilibrés » – les coûts annexes sociaux et culturels, ce sont les frontières qui créent les problèmes

Non seulement le scénario perdant-perdant qu’est devenue, entre une Afrique incapable de contrôler sa démographie qui se vide de ses forces vives et une Europe déstabilisée sur les plans économique, culturel, sécuritaire et identitaire, l’immigration de masse incontrôlée …

Mais le véritable déni de démocratie que constitue, de la part de nos dirigeants et élites protégés, son imposition à l’ensemble des populations qui doivent désormais en subir les conséquences ?

Renaud Girard : « L’immigration de masse est un scénario perdant-perdant »
Jean-Loup Bonnamy/Renaud Girard
31/08/2018
FIGAROVOX/GRAND ENTRETIEN – Alors que la question de la crise migratoire occupe l’espace médiatique et le débat public, Renaud Girard analyse les conséquences de l’immigration massive sur les pays d’Europe comme ceux d’Afrique.

Renaud Girard est correspondant de guerre et chroniqueur international du Figaro.
FIGAROVOX.- Aujourd’hui, le continent africain connaît une explosion démographique et l’Europe vieillit. Pourquoi ne pas tout simplement accepter l’immigration?

Renaud GIRARD.- Il est évident que les pays européens n’ont plus les moyens économiques, sociaux et politiques d’accueillir toute la misère du monde.

Prenons le cas de la France. Si nous regardons la question de l’emploi, nous voyons que, toutes catégories confondues, le nombre d’inscrits à Pôle Emploi s’élève à 6 255 800 personnes. Une économie en sous-emploi n’est pas en mesure d’absorber des millions de migrants. N’oublions pas que les vagues d’immigration des années 50-60 arrivaient dans une France en plein boom économique et où le chômage n’existait pas. Ce n’est plus le cas aujourd’hui.

Mais surtout, l’immigration de masse pose un problème identitaire et culturel. L’Homme n’est pas qu’un homo economicus désincarné, sans histoire ni racines ; il est avant tout un être de culture. La culture européenne -fille de l’Antiquité, du judéo-christianisme et des Lumières- risque d’être submergée par des populations dont le mode de vie est incompatible avec le mode de vie européen et dont la présence massive sur notre sol ne peut aboutir qu’à des tensions. L’immigration de masse sape la cohérence, l’unité et la solidarité des sociétés occidentales. Au lieu d’une société unie, l’immigration fragmente le corps social en une multitude de communautés indifférentes, voire hostiles, les unes aux autres. Certains membres des minorités (pas tous heureusement!) refusent de s’intégrer et basculent dans la délinquance, leur haine de notre pays pouvant aller jusqu’au terrorisme.

Cette crise migratoire peut-elle avoir de graves conséquences politiques?

Cette crise identitaire risque bien de se transformer en crise politique.

D’une part, on constate partout en Europe l’inquiètante progression des mouvements extrêmistes – en Allemagne, en France, en Italie, en Grèce…. Ce phénomène politique est une conséquence directe de l’immigration. Dans les années 70, le Front National était un obscur groupuscule de nostalgiques de l’Algérie française. Sa percée électorale à partir du début des années 80 s’explique par l’immigration massive et les craintes qu’elle suscite. Il y a quelque chose de paradoxal chez les bonnes âmes bien pensantes qui à la fois fustigent les partis extrêmistes et soutiennent l’immigration. Cela est incohérent. En effet, c’est l’immigration qui nourrit les partis extrêmistes et risque un jour de les amener au pouvoir.

D’autre part, la crise migratoire risque de détruire l’Union européenne. 73 % des Européens considèrent que l’UE ne les protège pas. Partout, l’immigration favorise la montée des populismes. Au Royaume-Uni, le vote en faveur du Brexit s’explique en grande partie par le rejet de l’immigration. Les pays d’Europe centrale refusent tout diktat de Berlin leur enjoignant d’accepter des migrants sur son sol. L’Italie n’en peut plus, qui a vu plus de 70 000 migrants illégaux débarquer sur ses côtes depuis 2013.

Sa générosité a des limites. Son nouveau ministre de l’Intérieur a prévenu que l’Europe institutionnelle jouait son existence même sur la question migratoire. Venant de la part d’un pays fondateur du Marché commun, c’est un message qu’il faut prendre au sérieux.

Mais alors comment s’y prendre concrètement pour régler le problème migratoire?

Nous devons réduire massivement l’immigration.

Pour atteindre cet objectif, nous devons reprendre le contrôle de nos frontières, suspendre le regroupement familial, lutter drastiquement contre l’immigration clandestine, rétablir la double peine. Toute personne étrangère qui commet un acte de violence ou connaît un début de criminalisation doit être aussitôt expulsée.

Pour l’immigration illégale, terrorisons les passeurs en démantelant leurs réseaux, en menant des actions de guerre contre eux et en leur infligeant des peines drastiques lorsque nous les capturons. Montrons bien aux migrants que leur démarche est vaine en leur refusant systématiquement tout titre de séjour et toute aide sociale. Cela nous permettra d’arrêter l’appel d’air européen. Et faisons le savoir dans leurs pays pour décourager les tentatives.

À cela doit s’ajouter, dans la plus pure tradition gaulliste, une politique humaniste, solidaire et active de codéveloppement avec les pays pauvres afin de leur permettre un développement économique, respectueux de l’environnement, créateur d’emplois et réducteur d’inégalités, de façon à réduire la tentation du départ.

Nous devons aussi cesser les aventures néocoloniales dans les pays du Moyen-Orient. Sans la catastrophique Guerre en Irak en 2003, il n’y aurait pas eu Daech ni les hordes de migrants syriens et irakiens de l’été 2015. En Libye, Kadhafi n’était peut-être pas très sympathique, mais il nous rendait service en servant de verrou face à l’immigration.

De manière plus précise, quelles sont les priorités pour faire face à l’afflux de migrants africains traversant la Méditerranée depuis les côtes libyennes?

Les nouvelles priorités sont limpides: reconstruire un État en Libye et aider ses forces armées à combattre les trafiquants d’êtres humains et à sécuriser ses frontières méridionales dans le Fezzan ; déployer, aux côtés de la marine nationale de Libye, et dans ses eaux territoriales, des navires de surveillance européens capables de ramener les naufragés ou les dinghies surchargés d’êtres humains vers leur rivage d’origine. Le littoral libyen était naguère équipé de radars de surveillance que l’Union européenne avait financés. Ils furent détruits par des frappes franco-britanniques durant la guerre de 2011 contre le régime de Kadhafi. La coopération militaire, policière, humanitaire, avec les autres États d’Afrique du nord doit évidemment se poursuivre.

En Afrique noire, il faut en même temps accroître l’aide économique de l’Union européenne et la soumettre à condition. Tout d’abord, il faut être sûr que cette aide bénéficie bien aux populations et ne soit pas détournée par des administrations ou des gouvernements corrompus. Ensuite, il faut lier cette aide, c’est-à-dire la conditionner, à la mise en place d’un planning familial efficace. Soixante ans de coopération technique européenne avec l’Afrique n’ont pas réussi à y greffer le concept pourtant élémentaire de planning familial.

«Si nous ne réduisons pas la taille de nos familles, notre pays continuera à souffrir de la pauvreté parce que les ressources disponibles ne pourront plus couvrir nos besoins», a reconnu Jonathan Goodluck, ancien président (2010-2015) du Nigeria. C’est de ce pays aux richesses naturelles fabuleuses, mais mal gérées et mal partagées depuis l’indépendance en 1960, que proviennent aujourd’hui le plus grand nombre de ces jeunes immigrants illégaux qui essaient par tous les moyens d’atteindre les rivages du nord de la Méditerranée. Le Nigeria comptait 34 millions d’habitants en 1960. Il en compte aujourd’hui presque 200 millions. Enfin, il faut orienter cette aide vers un développement de projets agricoles et énergétiques concrets, capables de nourrir et retenir chez elles les familles africaines. Le but de cette aide n’est pas d’industrialiser l’Afrique (ce qui ne ferait qu’augmenter les déséquilibres et donc accroître l’immigration) mais de développer des projets locaux, respectueux des sociétés traditionnelles (microcrédit, circuits courts, agriculture vivrière, biologique et équitable…).

Vous dites que l’immigration de masse est un «scénario perdant-perdant». Pouvez-nous nous expliquer ce concept?

C’est un jeu auquel tout le monde perd. Le trafic d’êtres humains sur lequel repose aujourd’hui l’immigration africaine est profondément délétère à la fois pour les États africains et pour les États européens.

Comme je l’ai dit, l’Europe y perd sur les plans économique, culturel, sécuritaire et identitaire.

L’Afrique y perd, car elle se vide de sa sève. L’émigration prive l’Afrique d’une jeunesse intelligente, entreprenante et débrouillarde. Car les 3000 euros qu’il faut payer pour le trajet y représentent une somme considérable à rassembler. Dans les pays du Continent noir, c’est un beau capital de départ pour créer une affaire, pour creuser un puits dans un village, ou pour monter une installation photovoltaïque. Bien souvent, les migrants ne sont pas les plus pauvres mais des membres de la petite classe moyenne. Dans les pays de transition comme le Niger, le trafic attire des jeunes pressés de faire fortune, les éloignant de l’élevage, de l’agriculture, de l’artisanat. Il n’est pas sain que les villages africains vivent dans l’attente des mandats qu’envoient ou qu’enverront les migrants une fois arrivés en Europe, plutôt que de chercher à se développer par eux-mêmes. Il est vital que les aides financières de l’Union européenne pour le Sahel et l’Afrique centrale aillent dans des actions qui combattent l’économie de trafic, mais aussi dans des projets agricoles ou énergétiques capables de fixer les populations sur leurs terres ancestrales.

Enfin, les migrants eux-mêmes sont perdants. Ils déboursent de l’argent pour voir leurs rêves déçus. Ils attendaient le Paradis et se retrouvent perdus dans des pays où leur situation est très difficile.

Les seuls gagnants, ce sont les passeurs.

Justement, parmi les acteurs centraux de cette immigration illégale, il y a les passeurs…

Les passeurs sont des bandes mafieuses sans scrupule, qui promettent monts et merveilles aux migrants avant de se livrer aux pires exactions sur eux (escroquerie, racket, violences, viols, abandon en pleine mer…).

Aujourd’hui, ce sont les mêmes réseaux mafieux qui procèdent indifféremment au trafic d’armes (destinées aux djihadistes), à l’acheminement de la drogue vers l’Europe, au trafic des êtres humains.

Les passeurs – ces nouveaux Barbaresques – ont une méthode éprouvée. Ils entassent les candidats aux voyages dans des canots pneumatiques de fortune ; ils les poussent jusqu’aux eaux internationales à 12 nautiques du rivage libyen ; ensuite ils émettent un SOS ou appellent un centre de secours italien pour indiquer qu’un naufrage est imminent ; puis ils s’en retournent dans leurs repaires, abandonnant à leur sort leurs malheureux passagers, souvent sans eau douce ni nourriture. Le reste du voyage ne coûte plus rien aux passeurs, puisqu’il est pris en charge par les navires des marines ou des ONG européennes. Pourquoi ces derniers ne ramènent pas simplement les naufragés vers les ports les plus proches du littoral libyen? Parce qu’ils considèrent qu’il s’agirait d’un refoulement contraire au droit humanitaire international. Les nouveaux Barbaresques le savent bien, qui sont passés maîtres dans l’art d’exploiter le vieux sentiment de charité chrétienne de cette Europe si riche, si bien organisée, si sociale.

Quel regard portez-vous sur les ONG?

Sans le vouloir, certaines ONG participent, de manière gratuite, à un immense trafic, qui a dépassé depuis longtemps en chiffre d’affaires le trafic de stupéfiants.

Les ONG détournent le droit d’asile. Le meilleur moyen de s’installer en Europe pour un immigré illégal est de se faire passer pour un réfugié politique et d’invoquer le droit d’asile. Celui-ci a été forgé par les Français de 1789 pour accueillir les étrangers persécutés dans leurs pays pour avoir défendu les idéaux de la Révolution française. Le droit d’asile ne peut concerner que des individus, et non pas des groupes. Il ne peut s’appliquer qu’à des gens engagés politiquement et visés personnellement à cause de leur engagement. Il ne saurait valoir pour des gens qui fuient la misère ou même la guerre. Or, on assiste aujourd’hui à un détournement massif du droit d’asile, car l’écrasante majorité des réfugiés sont des réfugiés économiques. Une fois qu’il a mis le pied sur le sol européen, le migrant sait qu’il pourra y rester à loisir, car les reconduites forcées vers l’Afrique sont statistiquement rares.

Pour comprendre le problème des ONG, il faut revenir à la distinction du sociologue allemand Max Weber entre éthique de conviction et éthique de responsabilité. Ceux qui agissent selon une éthique de conviction sont certains d’eux-mêmes et agissent doctrinalement. Ils suivent des principes sans regarder les conséquences de leurs actes. Au contraire, l’éthique de responsabilité repose sur le réalisme, le pragmatisme et l’acceptation de répondre aux conséquences de ses actes.

Aujourd’hui, les ONG qui viennent au secours des migrants sont dans l’éthique de conviction. Elles déposent les migrants sur les côtes italiennes et s’offrent un frisson narcissique en jouant au sauveteur. Mais après elles n’assurent pas la suite du service: elles ne se demandent pas ce que devient le migrant en question ni quelles sont les conséquences politiques et culturelles de ces migrations sur l’Europe. Pour sortir de la facilité, les membres des ONG devraient héberger eux-mêmes les migrants, les éduquer, leur trouver du travail. Peut-être auraient-ils une autre attitude.

Bien sûr, la compassion et la bienveillance sont des valeurs cardinales. Il n’est pas envisageable de laisser des gens se noyer en mer quand un navire les croise. Il faut les sauver. Mais il faut ensuite les redéposer sur les côtes libyennes, leur point de départ. Puisque de toute façon, leur présence en Europe est illégale.

Pourquoi les politiques migratoires européennes sont-elles selon vous un «déni de démocratie»?

L’arrivée incontrôlée et en masse de migrants peu au fait de la culture européenne déstabilise profondément les États de l’UE, comme on l’a vu avec le vote référendaire britannique et le vote législatif italien. Dans les années cinquante et soixante, les peuples européens se sont exprimés par les urnes pour accepter les indépendances des ex-colonies. En revanche on ne les a jamais consultés démocratiquement sur l’immigration, qui est le phénomène social le plus important qu’ils aient connu depuis la seconde guerre mondiale.

En France, la décision d’État la plus importante du dernier demi-siècle porte aussi sur la question migratoire. C’est le regroupement familial. Il a changé le visage de la société française. Il est fascinant qu’une décision aussi cruciale ait été prise sans le moindre débat démocratique préalable. Il s’agit d’un décret simple d’avril 1976, signé par le Premier ministre Jacques Chirac et contresigné par Paul Dijoud. Ce ne fut donc ni un sujet de débat, ni l’objet d’un référendum, ni une loi discutée par des représentants élus, ni même un décret discuté en Conseil des Ministres, mais un décret simple comme le Premier Ministre en prend chaque jour sur des sujets anodins. Cette mesure provoqua immédiatement un afflux très important de jeunes personnes en provenance de nos anciennes colonies d’Afrique du nord.

Consultés par référendum par le général de Gaulle – qui ne voulait pas d’un «Colombey-les-deux-Mosquées» -, les Français ont accepté, en 1962, de se séparer de leurs départements d’Algérie, où une insurrection arabe brandissant le drapeau de l’islam avait surgi huit ans auparavant. Cinquante-six ans plus tard, ils voient les titres inquiets de leurs journaux: «450 islamistes vont être libérés de prison!». Ils s’aperçoivent alors qu’on leur a imposé en France une société multiculturelle, sans qu’ils l’aient réellement choisie. Jamais les Français ne furent interrogés sur l’immigration de masse, le multiculturalisme et le regroupement familial.

De même, Angela Merkel (qui avait pourtant reconnu l’échec du multiculturalisme allemand en 2010) n’a pas jugé bon de consulter son peuple lorsqu’elle déclara unilatéralement que l’Allemagne accueillerait 800 000 migrants. Pourtant il s’agit là de choses fondamentales qui concernent à la fois la vie quotidienne des citoyens et l’identité profonde du pays.

La démocratie ne consiste-t-elle pas à interroger les populations sur les choses les plus importantes? La démocratie ne sert-elle pas à ce que les peuples puissent décider librement de leurs destins? On peut fort bien soutenir que le brassage culturel enrichit les sociétés modernes. Mais, dans une démocratie qui fonctionne, le minimum est que la population soit consultée sur l’ampleur du multiculturalisme qu’elle aura ensuite à gérer sur le long terme.

Voir aussi:

L’identité allemande plus divisée que jamais
L’identité allemande plus divisée que jamais
Madeleine Rouot

Les Echos

30/08/2018

DANS LA PRESSE ETRANGERE: Selon le « Spiegel », l’Allemagne souffre d’une crise identitaire, avec deux courants antagonistes : les « tolérants excessifs » et les « nationalistes alarmistes ».
« Hitler est-il vraiment de retour ? », s’interroge le « Spiegel », préoccupé par l’état de l’identité allemande après les manifestations d’extrême droite anti-immigration en début de semaine. « Pas Hitler lui-même… », répond Timur Vermes, écrivain allemand interrogé par le magazine allemand, « … mais l’AfD [le parti nationaliste Alternative pour l’Allemagne, NDLR] n’a aucun problème avec le fait qu’un grand nombre de ses partisans soient nazis ».

La peur d’un retour en force du national-socialisme est de plus en plus récurrente dans les milieux de gauche dont fait partie l’écrivain. Mais c’est « un milieu qui entretient exactement le genre de polarisation qu’elle accuse la droite de créer », analyse l’article. Elle cultive une forme d’arrogance morale, où tous ceux qui critiquent les réfugiés sont perçus comme « extrémistes » ou « ultranationalistes ». « J’aimerais entendre des critiques contre la politique des réfugiés de Mme Merkel ailleurs qu’à l’AfD », confie Ahmad Mansour, un écrivain allemand. Mais le sujet est devenu tabou et inabordable dans les milieux centristes. La gauche allemande aurait donc, elle aussi, une part de responsabilité dans l’essor des mouvements radicaux.

Le débat sur l’intégration n’implique aujourd’hui plus que deux courants de pensée : d’un côté « les tolérants excessifs », gardant en mémoire les ravages du nazisme, et de l’autre « les alarmistes » nationalistes, qui réagissent violemment à l’impression d’un afflux migratoire. L’Allemagne devient « un pays où la communication politique n’est plus que prise de position idéologique » entre moralisateurs et nationalistes, affirme l’article. Ce qui apporte finalement peu de solutions concrètes pour l’avenir du pays.

Voir également:

Manifestations anti-migrants en Allemagne : Merkel dénonce «la haine de la rue»
International|V.I.A avec AFP

Le Parisien

28 août 2018

La chancelière a réagi aux incidents survenus dimanche et lundi à Chemnitz, lors de manifestations d’extrême droite contre les étrangers.
Angela Merkel n’a pas mâché ses mots. Les images des manifestations à Chemnitz de ces deux derniers jours « n’ont pas leur place dans un Etat de droit », a-t-elle déclaré lors d’une conférence de presse à Berlin avec son homologue croate.

De l’émoi à la haine
Évoquant les scènes d’agression d’étrangers par des sympathisants d’extrême droite dimanche à Chemnitz, la chancelière a parlé de « chasses collectives ». Plusieurs vidéos font état de manifestants remontés, pourchassant et s’en prenant physiquement à des étrangers le long du parcours.

A l’origine de ce déferlement de haine, la mort d’un Allemand de 35 ans, poignardé dimanche matin en marge d’une fête locale. Les deux suspects de cet homicide, un Syrien de 22 ans et un Irakien de 23 ans, sont soupçonnés d’avoir « sans justification, à plusieurs reprises, porté des coups de couteau à la victime, à la suite d’une altercation », selon le Parquet. Des centaines de personnes s’étaient spontanément rassemblées pour appeler le gouvernement allemand à garantir « la sécurité des Allemands ». Une manifestation marquée par l’agression d’étrangers et de policiers.

Lundi, un nouveau rassemblement à l’initiative de Pegida et de l’Alternative pour l’Allemagne (AFD) – deux formations politiques d’extrême droite – a réuni plus de 6000 sympathisants. Outre les violentes attaques dont ils ont fait l’objet, les policiers ont fait état de plusieurs manifestants faisant le salut hitlérien.

Le réveil des radicalités
Pour le parti social-démocrate, membre de la coalition gouvernementale d’Angela Merkel, ces manifestations s’inscrivent dans un contexte de raidissement idéologique au plan national et international. Pour l’extrême droite allemande, cet événement est l’occasion de mobiliser l’opinion contre l’immigration et la politique du gouvernement d’Angela Merkel, à qui elle reproche d’avoir laissé entrer plus d’un million de demandeurs d’asile venant notamment de Syrie et d’Irak, en 2015 et 2016.

L’hebdomadaire allemand Der Spiegel va jusqu’à comparer ces démonstrations de force à « la situation de la République de Weimar ». Une référence au régime politique démocratique né en Allemagne dans le sillage de la Première Guerre mondiale, qui dut affronter régulièrement des tentatives de déstabilisation dans la rue et finit par disparaître lors de la prise du pouvoir d’Adolf Hitler en 1933.

« Une menace pour la cohésion de nos sociétés »
Pour le chef de la diplomatie, Heiko Maas, ce sursaut d’extrême droite doit être pris au sérieux : « Il représente une menace pour la cohésion de nos sociétés. Nous devons tout faire pour défendre […] la démocratie et la liberté, pas seulement à Chemnitz, mais partout dans le monde ». Josef Schuster, le chef du Comité central des Juifs en Allemagne, a lui aussi exprimé ses inquiétudes, jugeant que « chaque citoyen avait le devoir de s’élever contre les mouvances d’extrême droite ».

Mardi après-midi, une nouvelle manifestation prévue à Dresde, où l’extrême droite est fortement implantée, n’a rencontré que peu d’écho.

Voir encore:

Crime families have cashed in on the ‘refugee industry’.

Barbie Latza Nadeau

Joy, a young Nigerian woman, was standing in the street outside the sprawling, overcrowded Cara di Mineo reception centre for asylum seekers in central Sicily, waiting for someone to pick her up when I met her. It was late summer 2016, and the weather was still hot. She said she was 18, but looked much younger. She was wearing a faded denim jacket over a crisp white T-shirt and tight jeans, and six or seven strings of colourful beads were wrapped around her neck. A gold chain hung from her left wrist, a gift from her mother.

As we spoke, a dark car came into view and she took a couple of steps away from me to make sure whoever was driving saw her, and saw that she was alone. There were a handful of other migrants loitering along the road. The approaching car didn’t slow down, so Joy came back over to me and carried on our conversation.

The oldest of six children, Joy (not her real name) told me she had left her family in a small village in Edo state in Nigeria at the age of 15, and gone to work for a wealthy woman who owned a beauty salon in Benin City. She had since come to suspect that her parents had sold her to raise money for their younger children. “They probably had no choice,” she said as she looked down the road toward the thick citrus groves that hid the coming traffic.

There were six other girls who worked for the woman, whom Joy said they called their maman, meaning “mother”. When Joy turned 16, she went through a ceremony that bound her to the maman by a curse: if she disobeyed the maman, her family would die. A few weeks later, she was told she was moving to Italy, where she would work for her maman’s sister. She believed she would be working in a hair salon. She was given €45 (£40) and a phone number to call once she got to Italy – but no name, no address, and no documents.

Joy’s new life would turn out to be nothing like what she had expected. Instead of working for a hairdresser, she fell into the trap set by traffickers who lure women into slavery and prostitution. More than 80% of women brought to Europe from Nigeria are unknowingly “sponsored” by sex traffickers who have paid for their journey, according to the International Organization for Migration (IOM). The rest will have paid the smugglers to get them to Europe, but once they get there, will be unlikely to escape the sex-trafficking rings.

After an appalling journey, via Tripoli, which took nearly three weeks, Joy arrived at the port of Augusta on Sicily’s east coast. She had no papers or passport. All she had was an Italian phone number, which her maman had stitched into the sleeve of her jacket. When the migrants got off the boat, an armed military policeman in a bulletproof vest stood guard as another patted them down and took knives from some of the men. Those with documents were taken to a large tent lined with army cots. One woman handed out shoes and flip-flops, and another gave them bruised yellow apples from a large metal tub. An officer used a black marker pen to write a number on the migrants’ left hands. Joy was number 323.

The new arrivals were divided into groups and put on buses. Joy’s bus headed to the Cara di Mineo migrant camp, one of the biggest in Europe. In this context, Cara stands for centro di accoglienza per richiedenti asilo, or asylum seekers reception centre; cara also means “dear” in Italian, but Mineo is not a place that makes people who have risked everything for a new chance at life feel cherished. About 70km from the coast in central Sicily, it is a hellish place where the vast majority of African migrants who arrive by sea start their lengthy journey to asylum. But often, before they can obtain legal status, they are claimed by the criminal underworld.

The site was built as luxury housing for US military personnel, but it is ill-equipped to deal with the number of migrants washing up on the shores of Sicily. (At last count, it housed 4,000 people.) Accommodation blocks are often so overcrowded that people have to sleep on the floor or in tents. The buildings are overrun by cockroaches and rats that feed off festering piles of garbage, while mangy, flea-infested dogs duck in and out of holes in the razor-wire fence. Mount Etna, and its steady stream of smoke, is clearly visible in the distance.

The centre has become a lawless place where people are easy prey for criminal gangs. The state funds these centres by giving them a sum of money for each asylum seeker, but many of them cut corners on food and other amenities, and pocket the profits. Low-level members of Italy’s various mafia organisations and Nigerian gangs come to the centre to recruit drug mules and petty criminals among the bored, idle men who have given up on the life they dreamed of when they crossed the sea.

Cara di Mineo, like the Sant’Anna asylum centre in Isola di Capo Rizzuto in Calabria, and others on the mainland, has also become a hunting ground for traffickers. Posing as asylum seekers, traffickers lure women out of the centre on the pretext of shopping trips or other excursions, and deliver them to the Nigerian women who control forced prostitution rings. They are then forced into sex work under the threat of violence, most of them – like Joy – terrorised by a curse that binds them into slavery. Several centres have become the subject of criminal investigations, revealing corruption at local and state level, and infiltration by powerful crime syndicates. Always quick to exploit new opportunities, the mafia is making vast profits off the backs of migrants.


Once Joy was taken off the bus in the reception centre with the other passengers, she was given a bed in a villa with 10 Nigerian women around her age. Most of them had come to Italy to work in hair salons, and all had contact numbers to call. A Catholic charity had given Italian phone cards to all those who had been rescued, which they could use to call home. Joy still had her jacket with the phone number sewn inside. The woman who answered the phone told her to apply for political asylum using a fake name and birthdate, and never to give the phone number she had just called to anyone.

She applied for asylum the morning after she arrived, using her own birth date and the name of her younger sister. Once migrants apply for asylum, they can come and go from the centre at designated times, while they wait for word about their application, which can take months. After three days, a man Joy didn’t recognise came to find her in the camp and told her she was to wait at a roundabout down the road from the entrance every morning, and eventually someone would come for her. Joy asked how she would know who was picking her up.

“You will know,” the man told her. “Just get into the car when it stops.”

It was at that roundabout that I met Joy. When I asked her what she thought would happen when she was picked up, she said she was sure she would be taken to a beauty salon owned by her maman’s sister, where she would be given a job as a hair braider, as she had been in Benin City. She said she might have to start by cleaning floors, but that she would work her way up. I asked her if she knew that a lot of girls like her ended up as sex workers. She said she had heard about Nigerian women who ended up as prostitutes after coming to Italy, and that she would “never do that”, no matter how desperate she got.

Eventually, she had to go back inside the compound, or risk missing her evening meal. Once again, her ride had not come. I wished her good luck and gave her my phone number, which she saved in her phone before walking through the sliding metal gate back inside the centre. Later I would regret not trying to warn her in a more concrete way. At the time, she was just one of so many young women I saw sliding into the abyss.

Many of the Nigerian women and girls rescued from the smugglers’ boats by charities or coastguard vessels are from small villages around Benin City. Most are single and travelling alone. Many of those trafficked for sex slavery are assured by their “sponsors” that they will take care of getting the necessary documents for them once they leave the centres. Others are provided with false personal details that they are told to use for their applications. Most of the trafficked women end up with fake documents provided by Italian organised-crime groups. The documents are another link in the chain that keeps the women trapped in sexual slavery, because the madams threaten to take them away if they try to escape.

In 2012, an investigation was opened into forced prostitution at Cara di Mineo, after doctors at the centre received a series of requests for abortions. In three months, the centre’s doctors performed 32 abortions on migrants – an increase of more than 200% on the year before. The authorities concluded that this was due to an increase in prostitution, along with a lack of birth control options. Because of the church’s influence over migrant care, contraception was not being distributed, and few migrants have the means to source their own. Some aid groups have since tried handing out condoms.

In December 2016, four Nigerian asylum seekers were arrested in Cara di Mineo, accused of drugging and raping a female resident. The woman had been told, like Joy, to wait on the street for someone to pick her up. Realising she was being put to work as a prostitute, she had refused to leave the camp. The men raped her as a warning – a typical punishment in sex trafficking. The theory is that if a woman realises that the penalty for refusing to prostitute herself is gang rape, she will likely agree that roadside sex is a better alternative. It is rare to meet a trafficked woman who has not been faced with this choice.

After the incident, Francesco Verzera, a prosecutor with jurisdiction over Cara di Mineo, appealed to the authorities to close down the camp, stating that overcrowding and lack of supervision is creating a dangerous criminal environment. “This sort of violence will become the norm if you continue to operate a community-based asylum centre with nearly 4,000 people,” he warned. “The crimes continue to get more violent, and the growing disregard for life is a clear sign of a deteriorating situation.”


The complex that houses Cara di Mineo was built in 2005 by the Pizzarotti Company of Parma, which is still the primary contractor for US defence logistics in Italy. It was built for officers stationed at the Sigonella naval air base about 40km away. The boulevards and tree-lined streets of the compound were meant to replicate a US suburb, complete with a recreation centre, supermarket, American-style steakhouse and a coffee and pastry shop. There was a baseball diamond and American football field, along with a non-denominational house of worship that doubled as a cinema. More than 400 villas were built to accommodate the standard family of five.

In 2011, the US navy gave up its $8.5m (£6m) annual lease and returned the property to Pizzarotti. The same year, during the height of the Arab spring, Silvio Berlusconi’s government decided to lease the complex as an asylum “hot spot”, for processing the growing number of asylum seekers coming to Italy. At that time, the complex was completely locked down, and the mostly Tunisian and Moroccan migrants were held until they were repatriated. Now the people inside are called “guests” and are free to come and go once they have applied for asylum.

Ghosts of the centre’s former life remain. The playground equipment scattered throughout the compound is rusty and in disrepair, now mostly used by men in their 20s who sit on the swings and lie on the slides, whiling away the long hours. The bar is now the medical centre, and the restaurant a canteen where migrants pick up rations of rice and bananas. The recreation room is now a makeshift school, and offices have become dormitories.

Inhabitants dry their laundry next to signs protesting against the Italian government, condemning the bad food and the time it takes to process asylum requests. The compound is guarded by military police who check the asylum seekers in and out, and keep out anyone who isn’t registered. The incentive to return each night runs beyond food and shelter. They come back for the promise of documents that will allow free movement through Europe’s passport-free Schengen zone, and the right to work. Still, dozens of people disappear each month, quickly replaced by new arrivals from Sicily’s ports.

The conditions are deplorable. Most of the villas house 15 to 20 people, sleeping in bunk beds or on mattresses on floors. The villas are falling apart, and the migrants are left to do what they can to take care of maintenance with scant tools. The stench of sewage permeates the grounds, attracting rodents and insects. There is no cleaning service other than in the administrative and kitchen areas. Some of the villas are burnt out, and others are missing windows or doors. After the Americans left, Pizzarotti removed many of the amentities – from washing machines and air-conditioning units to ceiling fans and bathtubs – leaving exposed wires and holes in the walls.

Most of the residents are divided by ethnic or religious background, which has done nothing to reduce tensions and fighting. Every year at Cara di Mineo, on average, 10 migrants die while waiting for their asylum requests to be heard, killed in fights or dying from untreated medical conditions, according to Amnesty International and other aid groups that operate in the centre.

The camp’s director, Sebastiano Maccarrone, admitted in a series of media interviews in early 2016 that it was virtually impossible to protect the inhabitants. “It’s like a small city,” he said. “The big crimes get reported, but the smaller ones are usually handled among the residents.”

Verzera’s investigation into criminal activity at the centre turned up inconsistencies in the record-keeping of who was living there. Many of the migrants on the official roster had long since disappeared, even though the centre, under the direction of Maccarrone, was still reimbursed €35 (£31) a day for them. By law, each migrant awaiting asylum is given an electronic card to check in and out of the centre when making outings. If they don’t check back in after three days, they are supposed to be taken off the roster, and that information sent to Rome so the reimbursement will be stopped. But Verzera says he found that migrants who had been gone for months were kept on the list for financial support. The centre was, on paper, far over capacity, and received extra funds to help with the overload when, in reality, they were taking care of far fewer people than the documents stated.

In 2016, Maccarrone, who previously ran the migrant reception centre on the island of Lampedusa, came under criminal investigation for corruption at Cara di Mineo. He was accused of collusion with the mafia, and of using funds intended for the care of migrants and refugees for personal gain. The charges against him have since been reduced to aggravated fraud and corruption. He maintains he is innocent, and is working as a volunteer at one of the smaller migrant centres in Catania while he awaits trial.


Last year, Catania’s chief prosecutor, Carmelo Zuccaro, tried to make it illegal for NGO charity ships to rescue migrants at sea and bring them to Italian shores. In March 2017, in an interview with the rightwing newspaper Il Giornale, he revealed that the state had started investigations into prisons and refugee camps where extremists were recruiting migrants awaiting word on their asylum requests. “We have received very specific reports of recruitment activities and radicalisation,” he told the paper. “There are radicalised individuals who attract foreigners in order to incite them to fundamentalism.”

The alarm about radicalisation overshadowed the fact that criminal groups are recruiting migrants from the camps for forced or low-paid labour. At harvest times, men leave Cara di Mineo in the early morning and gather along a triangle of dirt off the state highway. Local farmers come in pick-up trucks, looking for i neri (“the blacks”), choosing the biggest and strongest for casual labour, harvesting tomatoes and citrus fruits. The farmers call them ragazzo or “boy”, demanding they turn around or show them how straight their backs are. It is a degrading display, made worse by the fact that they are paid a mere fraction of what Italians would be paid for the same work. Their wages are part of the illicit economy that makes up around 20% of Italy’s overall GDP.

When asylum requests are rejected, applicants have one chance to appeal. If they fail, they are given a slip of paper that says they have five days to leave the country, but no means to do so. Torn-up shreds of those papers are a common sight in the ditches beside the road near the centre. Those turned down are easy bait for criminal gangs working inside the camps, who get paid for providing mafia groups with illegal cheap labour, running drugs and arms or working in the many industries those groups have infiltrated.

In 2014, an investigation known as “Mafia Capitale” found that a criminal group had been running Rome’s municipal government for years. The group, which prosecutors defined as a mafia-style association, had siphoned off millions of euros intended to fund public services. The group had also infiltrated asylum centres across the country, buying and selling names and details of migrants who had long disappeared, in order to keep the per-person state funding coming.

During the investigation, one of the alleged bosses of the group, Salvatore Buzzi, was caught on a wiretap bragging about how much money he made off the backs of asylum seekers. “Do you have any idea how much I earn on immigrants?” he was heard telling an associate. “They’re more profitable than drugs.” Buzzi and his associates were sentenced to decades in prison after a trial that ended in 2017, although their sentences were reduced on appeal. Another appeal is under way.

In 2017, anti-mafia police arrested 68 people, including the local parish priest, in the Calabrian town of Isola di Capo Rizzuto, where one of the country’s largest migrant and refugee reception centres has been in operation for more than a decade. Investigators say the criminals stole tens of millions of euros in public funds intended for asylum seekers to live on while their applications were heard. Gen Giuseppe Governale, chief of the anti-mafia forces, said the centre was a lucrative source of funds for the Calabrian mafia, the ‘Ndrangheta. Prosecutor Nicola Gratteri said detectives had filmed appalling conditions inside the centre. “There was never enough food, and we managed to film the food that was on offer,” he said. “It was the kind of food we usually give to pigs.” The local mafia had set up shell companies that were being paid to provide services including feeding the migrants. (The investigation is ongoing, and no trial date has been set. The priest has denied the charges and claims he has always fought against the mafia.)

Administrators in some centres are accused of taking kickbacks for selling personal details of asylum seekers who have escaped to smaller centres (some of whom don’t exist). Those in charge of the smaller centres then use the names to claim daily allowances. This is one of the reasons trafficked women have been allowed to leave so easily: their names tend to stay on the lists, and the centres continue to receive funding. As they leave, they are quickly replaced. Some centres take on more migrants than they can manage, in order to earn extra revenue, so refugees end up living in dangerously overcrowded conditions. Trafficked women who disappear to work as sex slaves have little chance of being rescued, because their absence causes no concern. Nigerian girls who are trafficked directly to madams in Naples and elsewhere are forced to do sex work to pay off large debts. Before they’ve even started work, they will owe around €60,000 (£53,000). A cut goes to the recruiter in Nigeria, a cut to the traffickers and smugglers who expedited the women’s journey, and a large portion goes to the Nigerian gang members, who must pay the Naples mafia, the Camorra, or other crime syndicates in whose territories the women will be forced to work. There are other incidentals, including room, board, clothing and rent for the space on the pavement from which they solicit sex. If we assume half of the estimated 11,000 Nigerian girls who came to Italy in 2016 generated €60,000 each through debt bondage for the madams’ gangs, the profits off those girls alone would top €300m (£264m), even after their travel costs are deducted.

It can take five years or more of sexual slavery to pay the debts. Then, women are free to go, but some end up becoming madams themselves, either convinced there are lucrative profits to be made, or as an act of revenge: to visit on others what they had to endure. This cycle has continued for more than a decade, but in 2016, the number of Nigerian women who arrived by smugglers’ boats was 60% higher than the previous year.

Many of the trafficked Nigerian women end up in Castel Volturno, outside Naples, known as the most lawless part of Italy. Murder rates are the highest in the country, and locals call it Beirut, or the Bronx. Sergio Nazzaro, a local journalist, says it is the Camorra’s graveyard. “You can’t imagine how many bodies are buried in fields and tied to rocks at the bottom of the river.”

Most migrants live in another former military residential development, now dilapidated and controlled by the Camorra, who charge rent to squatters and trafficked women. African migrants first started coming to the area in large numbers in the 1980s, to work in the tomato fields for low wages. The Africans were not welcome to integrate with the Italians and instead set up a peripheral society where they lived outside the law, often squatting in illegally built or unfinished buildings. Italian authorities did not pay much attention to them at the time, but they were not ignored by the Camorra.

By the 1990s, women started arriving in greater numbers. They were rarely hired for farm work, so many had no choice but to prostitute themselves. Many of those first prostitutes eventually became madams, controlled by Nigerian drug-smuggling gangs, who had to pay protection money to the Camorra to operate on their territory. When the gangs discovered there was a demand, madams recruited more women from Nigeria to the area. They started using traffickers to trick them into coming, eventually expanding the trade further north to Italy’s larger cities and into Europe.

In 2016, anti-mafia police conducted an operation named “Skin Trade”, which uncovered one of the networks set up to get women out of the Cara di Mineo camp and on to the streets. Among those arrested were Nigerian women who worked with what were termed “connection men” inside the camp. The women arrested in Castel Volturno included Irene Ebhoadaghe, 44, who called herself Mummy Shade. The investigators say that in 2016 she was waiting for three young women to make their way to Naples from Cara di Mineo. One of those young women was Joy. The car she was waiting for was never going to take her to a hairdressing job. It was going to take her straight to Mummy Shade.

During the investigation, an undercover police officer was tipped off by one of the aid agencies working in Cara di Mineo, and picked Joy up on the road leading through the citrus groves. He convinced her to help them catch the people who had trafficked her, and her evidence became key to the operation’s success. Because Joy was named in the sealed arrest warrant as a victim of trafficking, after cooperating with the police, she was given asylum and moved to northern Europe to join a relative.

I caught up with Joy by email thanks to a local anti-trafficking advocate in Sicily who took an interest in her case and acted as a liaison with the court. She remembered our conversation outside Cara di Mineo.

“I was so stupid,” she wrote. “How could I have been so trusting? How could I have been so dumb?”

I wrote back to console her, telling her not to worry, that many women fell into the same trap.

She wrote again. “You knew about this. Why didn’t you tell me what was going to happen?”

I had tried, I thought, but obviously not hard enough. I admitted that I hadn’t known exactly what to do. I had no idea how to help her. I was also selfishly scared that if I intervened, I might get caught up in some sort of retaliation act, that someone might harm me or my children for taking one of the madam’s precious “assets” off the streets. She wrote back a third and final time.

“You could have saved me.”

Roadmap to Hell: Sex Drugs and Guns on the Mafia Coast by Barbie Latza Nadeau is published by Oneworld.

Voir de même:

I met Marlon, a Sudanese man who had walked across great expanses of desert to Libya, on the edge of Tripoli as he prepared to visit a remote beach at midnight and pay a hard-saved $2,000 to get onto an overcrowded, unseaworthy boat headed to Italy. He knew that the risk of death was high, so was trying to choose his boat carefully, to avoid the sort of fate that has made headlines around the world. He knew the risk too well: « My good friend paid the man and then disappeared, and then I learned that he had drowned when his ship sank, » he told me. « I want to get out of here, but not that badly. »

I met Jacques Kamra, a 27-year-old Liberian, in Madrid’s Plaza Mayor, a few weeks after he got off a similar boat. Like Marlon, he was well educated and articulate, and had made a tough gamble, and a big investment, in his family’s future to get there. « When I arrived here alive, » he told me, « I started praying every day that Spain will win the World Cup, to bring them a miracle like the one that has brought me here. » He knew he would eventually be deported, but, he believed, the earnings would be enough to transform the fate of his family.

And I met Jouhar in an eastern Tunisian beach town shortly after he had been returned by Italian authorities. His packed boat had broken in half at sea, killing his best friend and dozens of others, many of them university graduates with connections in Europe, in the process wasting the almost $1,500 Jouhar had saved to pay the smuggler.

People like these three – and dozens of others I have met in Tunis, Alexandria, Marseilles, Paris, Munich and London – have now become Europe’s biggest concern.

The Mediterranean boat people have been coming for more than a decade, paying small fortunes to enter the continent aboard disturbingly overpacked vessels. They began arriving after Europe’s legal migration routes shut down in the 1990s, but never have their numbers been so large – or the death toll so high. When an estimated 850 people died in a single capsizing incident last weekend, driving this year’s toll to over 1,600 – 30 times higher than the toll for the same period last year – their fate became a continent-wide crisis, provoking an emergency European Union meeting on Thursday and an outraged response from across the political spectrum.

But « How do we stop this from happening? » is not such a simple question. To answer it, you first need to answer another question: « Why are these people taking such risks? » And it’s worth asking a third, often ignored question, as well: Why has illegal-boat migration to Europe peaked during certain years, then virtually vanished for long periods, only to reappear again? What has made it stop before, and what will make it stop again?

We know what doesn’t work. Efforts to end the nautical tragedy by force – by banning migration, or by cracking down on people-smuggling, or, as European governments did last year, by refusing to rescue drowning migrants – have all resulted in driving migration further underground, raising both the cost and demand for passage on illegal boats, and increasing net numbers of undocumented migrants, as well as the danger they face.

« The problem of migration deaths has been created entirely by policy attempts to outlaw migration, » said Hein de Haas, the Dutch scholar who runs Oxford University’s International Migration Institute, in an interview this week. He and his colleagues recently assembled a large-scale database, Determinants of International Migration, which looks at the motivations for migration for tens of thousands of people. What it, and a growing body of other research, shows is that we have framed the European migration problem wrong.

An unstoppable flood of desperate poor people fleeing Africa to a new life in Europe – that is the phrase uttered, in one form or another, by headline writers and politicians to summarize the crisis.

Yet, every word of that sentence is wrong. And much of the current catastrophe, most of the drowning horrors, have been caused by the failure of policy-makers to understand how wrong those words are. It’s worth looking at them one by one.

Unstoppable

To understand why the crisis has become so acute in 2014 and 2015, it helps to understand why it was bad once before, a decade ago; and why it suddenly stopped, almost completely, for several years, then erupted again in 2011, virtually stopped again, then came back in its most dramatic form. It obviously isn’t unstoppable: It has stopped, several times.

I spoke to Marlon, the Sudanese man in Libya who opened this article, in 2004. That was a full year before the boats first erupted into front-page headlines, but after the first really tragic sinking, earlier in 2004, in which a boat headed for Italy had capsized and 64 people drowned. That led to an Italian clampdown, which provoked a huge burst of illegal crossings until 2008.

Most of the boat tragedies a decade ago were in what the EU border service Frontex calls the West African Route, which passes from West Africa into Spanish territory in the Canary Islands; and the Western Mediterranean Route, which crosses the narrow strait between Morocco and Spain. More than 30,000 people a year were crossing each of these routes in 2005, and the tragedies were mounting. I spoke to Jacques in Madrid in 2006, when the smugglers had become more desperate, expensive and dangerous.

Then, Spain took action. Madrid negotiated deals with Morocco, Algeria, Mauritania and West African countries that included not only agreements to take returnees back to their home countries (in exchange for aid money) and to police their borders, but also to open legal migration channels, and pathways to Spanish citizenship. Those changes drew criticism from Spain’s tougher-minded neighbours, but they effectively ended illegal migration in that part of the Mediterranean for many years.

The Central Mediterranean Route, as the pathway of this year’s crisis is known, goes from Tunisia, Libya and Egypt across to Italy, Malta and the region’s islands. It became crisis-prone in the mid-2000s, and then, in 2009 and 2010, its traffic virtually halted. There were two reasons: First, Italy struck deals with the Arab dictators of Tunisia and Libya, paying them generously to police their beaches. Second, the post-2008 economic crisis reduced demand sharply: Migrants don’t come when there are no jobs. (In fact, there was a net outflow of migrants from Europe back to Africa at the peak of the crisis.)

There was a burst of activity on this route in 2011, when the dictators were overthrown and Arabs (often middle-class and educated) left for Europe. That was when I spoke to Jouhar in eastern Tunisia. And then it fell again to negligible levels in 2012, until the huge spike of 2014 and 2015. This was hardly a constant increase in people: It has stopped and started many times.

Flood

Even in its worst years, the Mediterranean boat-people flow is only a small part of the migration picture: tens of thousands of entrants in a continent of half a billion people that receives three million immigrants a year. Most Africans living in Europe are fully legal, visa-carrying immigrants who arrive at airports. Even the majority of illegal African immigrants in Europe aren’t boat people: They’re legal visitors who’ve overstayed their visas.

What has compounded the matter during the past 24 months has been the conflict in Syria. While only a fraction of people fleeing that country have attempted to go to Europe – the vast majority are encamped in Turkey, Jordan or Lebanon – that fraction has multiplied the numbers of boat people dramatically in 2014 and 2015. It now accounts for perhaps half of Mediterranean boat migrants (though the boat that was the subject of last weekend’s tragedy carried passengers almost entirely from sub-Saharan Africa).

Refugees tend to be temporary (the much larger exodus of asylum seekers that confronted Western Europe during the Balkan wars of the 1990s – a population shift that seemed even more intractable – mostly returned to their countries after the conflicts ended), and are dealt with through different policies than are migrants. In Europe, those policies are deeply dysfunctional, with little agreement among the 28 EU countries about how to handle refugee claimants or how to deport illegitimate ones – which has contributed to the death toll.

« There should be no reason for Syrian refugees to be getting on these boats, except that there has been no proper pathway for safe refugee acceptance opened up, » Dr. de Haas says. If Western countries would take their United Nations refugee responsibilities more seriously, Syrians wouldn’t be dying at sea.

Desperate poor people

The most insidious notion is the one that holds that the Africans on the boats are starving villagers escaping famine and death. In fact, every boat person I’ve met has been ambitious, urban, educated, and, if not middle-class (though a surprising number are, as are an even larger number of Syrian refugees), then far from subsistence peasantry. They are very poor by European standards, but often comfortable by African and Middle Eastern ones. And no wonder: The boats cost upward of $2,000 to board (and you need more money to make a start in Europe). That’s a year’s income in many African countries.

Why would somebody risk their life, and their comfort, for a journey that at best would promise a marginal life in the underground economies of Europe?

Linguère Mously Mbaye, a scholar at the Bonn-based Institute for the Study of Labour, conducted a study of hundreds of people in Dakar, Senegal, who were planning to make the crossing to Europe.

The migrants tended not to be very poor. And they tended to be well-connected in Europe: They knew large numbers of people from their home country already living in Europe and working in similar occupations. In other words, they were tied into « migration networks » that communicated information about employment, small-business, housing and migration opportunities. Migrants tend to choose their European destinations not according to culture, language or history, but according to the number of people from their network who are living there – and also according to the economic success of their destination country.

The Syrian refugees are less tactical – and not as well linked into existing economies – than the Africans, but they, too, tend to come because they have connections to people or organizations in Europe. Concludes Dr. Mbaye, « Illegal migration starts first in thoughts, based upon the belief that success is only possible abroad. »

Fleeing

Both major studies found that the Africans who get onto the boats are not running from something awful, but running toward a specific, chosen opportunity, in employment or small business.

That’s a big reason that the boat-people flows have gone up and down so dramatically: Dr. de Haas’s studies found that the main driver of cross-Mediterranean migration is not any economic or political factor in Africa but « sustained demand [in Europe] for cheap labour in agriculture, services, and other informal sectors. » Even those who are fleeing – the Syrians, some Eritreans – are choosing where they flee based on a sense of opportunity.

A new life

« You saw a lot more people coming into Europe from Africa in the 1960s and 1970s than you do now, » Dr. de Haas notes. But they didn’t make headlines – or die at sea – because they weren’t illegal. The big labour shortages that required migrants (mainly seasonal) were filled because most countries allowed Africans to come and go.

And, in the main, they weren’t out to start a new life in Europe. Only a small fraction of Africans who went to Europe for work before the 1990s settled there: Most used their earnings to support families back home, and eventually returned, knowing they could do another stint in Europe in the future.

By cracking down on these informal and seasonal movements – something that began in the early 1990s with the formation of the EU – Europe turned migration into an all-or-nothing proposition: Once you were in Europe, legally or otherwise, you stayed, because you might not get in again. As a result, Africans now come in, do some agricultural or service work, and then knock around the continent, without opportunities, once they’re done.

That’s the paradox of Europe’s response to the migrant crisis: By making entry tougher, it makes illegal entry more commonplace. « Stricter immigration policies, » Dr. Mbaye says, « might not be effective, because they deter potential legal migrants more than potential illegal migrants. »

And a slow-paced and disunited asylum policy, combined with the lack of legal pathways, means that large numbers of refugee claimants, legitimate and otherwise, spend years moving around Europe, neither deported nor accepted, and afraid to leave. In the process, they are tarnishing the image of immigrants and creating an unnecessary social problem.

« It is the border controls that have forced migrants to take more dangerous routes, and that have made them more and more dependent on smugglers to cross borders, » Hein de Haas notes. « Smuggling is a reaction to border controls rather than a cause of migration in itself. Ironically, further toughening of border controls will therefore force migrants and refugees to take more risks and only increase their reliance on smugglers. »

And rigidly closed borders will also make the Syrian refugee problem worse than it needs to be: By turning migration into an all-or-nothing proposition, there’s a risk that a temporary refuge will become a permanent settlement.

The flow of people back and forth between Africa and Europe has been a part of both continents’ economies for decades. Europe’s economies need their African workers, more than ever: Germany alone expects to lose seven million working-age people to demographic change, in a fast-growing economy with virtually no unemployment, in the next 10 years.

By stopping that flow through ham-fisted measures, Europe’s governments have turned the legal into the illegal, the temporary into the permanent, the routine into the desperate, and a life-improving act into a death-delivering risk. A set of decisions that were bad for both continents’ economies has left thousands of bodies floating in the sea.

Doug Saunders is The Globe and Mail’s international-affairs columnist, and was European bureau chief from 2003 to 2012.

Voir également:

Fact-Check Is There Truth To Refugee Rape Reports?
Right-wing websites claim that Germany is facing an alleged epidemic of rape cases committed by refugees, fueling panic about the recent influx of foreigners and the safety of women in the country. We investigated one site’s reports and found many problems with them.
Der Spiegel
January 17, 2018

On April 6, 2016, an unidentified assailant attacked a 20-year-old woman on a playground in the German port city of Rostock and forced her to engage in oral sex before fleeing the scene. The woman reported that the man had been dark-skinned.

On Aug. 6, 2016, an unidentified man attacked a 21-year-old female university student from China near the university of Bochum, choked her with a rope and raped her. The woman said the perpetrator had spoken with a foreign accent. The police conducted a manhunt for a suspect with a « Central Asian/dark skin type. »

The two rapes in Germany were picked up by the national media. But one of them didn’t even happen.

The « university rapist » in Bochum, it turns out, did actually exist — and he would go on to attack another female student from China three months later. Ultimately, police captured a 31-year-old asylum-seeker from Iraq, who had lived with his wife and two children in a refugee camp located near the crime scene. A court sentenced him in the first verdict to 11 years in prison.
Advertisement

But the alleged Rostock rapist did not exist. Police had expressed some doubt about whether the incident had in fact taken place in their first press release on the case and a forensic investigation indicated that the woman herself had been responsible for her injuries. In June 2016, the public prosecutor in Rostock closed the investigation, but by then the news of a dark-skinned rapist had already been shared thousands of times on the internet. The Schweriner Volkszeitung newspaper in the state capital even reported on its website about the alleged sex crime, citing « internal sources. » The article began with the words: « The Rostock chief of police is keeping silent. »

Baseless Rumors

Meanwhile, in a report on the Facebook page NonStopNews Rostock, the dark-skinned man became a « Südländer, » a term often used to describe those living in some Mediterranean countries. « Sex crime in Warnemünde? Was a young woman raped? Südländer reportedly attacked woman. »

The website Rapefugees.net, meanwhile, was even more precise in its allegations. « Rostock police are hushing up oral rape perpetrated by an Arab. »

The truth behind these baseless rumors is important because such stories influence Germans’ image of refugees. They play into age-old clichés about the threat of foreign rapists. Few other arguments were cited as frequently by people in Germany in recent years for wanting to keep refugee camps from being opened in their immediate proximity. Once « they » are here, the argument went, the streets would no longer be safe for women or children unaccompanied by men.

After the events of new year’s eve in Cologne on Dec. 31, 2015, during which hundreds of women were sexually assaulted, the police held young men, largely of North African extraction, responsible for the attacks. The night brought an end to the sense of euphoria that had accompanied the welcoming of hundreds of thousands of refugees into the country earlier that year. Some Germans now found to their horror that the migrants had also brought problems along with them into the country.

In fall 2016, the body of Maria L., a university student, was found in a river in the city of Freiburg, where she had been drowned after getting raped. The suspect in the killing, an Afghan asylum-seeker, is currently on trial. In spring 2017, an asylum-seeker from Ghana whose application had been rejected raped a woman who was camping with her boyfriend near the city of Bonn. In an initial verdict in the case, a court sentenced the man to 11.5 years in prison.

Is Everyday Life More Dangerous for Women Than Before?

These kinds of reports reaffirm the attitudes of those who have always held the view that refugees are dangerous. But is there any truth to the claim that everyday life has grown more dangerous for women living in Germany as a result of the growing numbers of immigrants? Is life in fact less safe than it was for women three years ago? And how often do refugees commit sex crimes?

To answer these questions, DER SPIEGEL reviewed crime statistics, interviewed police officials, consulted academic experts and analyzed around 450 online news reports about purported sex crimes alleged to have been committed by asylum-seekers and immigrants. Our reporters also visited police stations, public prosecutors and courts to uncover the background behind the news reports and the ultimate outcome of any proceedings. Some cases were revisited up to five different times and in several instances, reporters also met with people involved in the cases for background interviews. The reporters then analyzed the documents and information together with data-journalism specialists and fact-checkers.

Incitement?

As soon as you hit the like button on Facebook pages like Heimatliebe.Deutschland (Love for the German Fatherland), Truth24.net or any local branch page of the right-wing populist Alternative for Germany (AfD) party, you enter a parallel reality. And it is dark. Day after day, your timeline is filled with reports of horrific violent crimes and rapes. The images show men who look Arab or African and women looking into the camera as someone holds a hand over their mouth from behind. Or images of children cowering in the shadows.

One particularly egregious page is Rapefugees.net. The site’s creators claim that the police, politicians and the media are working together to cover up the truth. Using an online map of Germany, they use pins to mark sites of violence or sexual offenses purportedly committed by refugees.

The inflammatory term « rapefugee » has been appearing with increasing frequency on far-right web pages since the events of new year’s eve 2015 in Cologne. « Rapefugees not welcome » T-shirts have also appeared from time to time at demonstrations in Dresden by PEGIDA, the anti-immigration group known in full as Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamization of the West.

Spending a bit of time on the site is enough to leave anyone frightened. It renders Germany, a country generally celebrated for its relative safety, nearly unrecognizable. The entire map is covered with red, yellow and purple flags, squares and pins purportedly marking the locations of incidents of rape, sexual abuse and exhibitionism. There are also a few gravestones marked with « RIP » for alleged murders committed by refugees.

A closer look at the site reveals that other immigrants suspected of committing these types of crimes are also listed, not just refugees. The site’s creators claim their data is based on reputable sources, including police and newspaper reports. It all looks real. Anonymous authors post stories with headlines like, « Gang Rape: Bed-Ridden Grandmother Hospitalized Following Rape by Economic Migrants. » Or: « Gang Rape: How Justice Officials in North Rhine-Westphalia Banned a Local Newspaper from Publishing These Pictures. » Each story is packed with the same narrative — that rapes like the ones in Bochum, Freiburg and Bonn aren’t isolated cases and that refugees, mostly Muslims, represent a real threat to women.

DER SPIEGEL researched the veracity of the supposed incidents on the Rapefugees.net map. To create the most comprehensive overview possible, the reporters chose 10 German states, both large and small: among them the city-states of Berlin, Bremen and Hamburg; the western German states of Bavaria, North Rhine-Westphalia, Rhineland-Palatinate, Saarland and Schleswig-Holstein; and the eastern states of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania and Saxony Anhalt. In each of these states, reporters looked into all of the alleged incidents reported for 2016. In many cases, results from police and justice investigations were available for that period. There were 445 cases in all.

Some cases appeared multiple times on the map and some of the locations marked had broken links or led to pages that did not contain any information about the alleged crime. In some instances, neither prosecutors nor police had ever heard of the purported crime. All of these pins, roughly a third of the total, were filtered out before the in-depth reporting began.

Strong Exaggeration?

The remaining reports, as is true with most well-constructed lies, contain at least a bit of truth. In about one-third of the cases DER SPIEGEL investigated — around a hundred of them — the suspects or perpetrators are indeed refugees. In a further third of the cases, the assailants remain unidentified. The remaining ones are foreigners with unresolved residency status, European Union citizens or, in 22 cases, German nationals (see graphic below). But the website’s incendiary name creates the impression that 445 sex crimes had all been committed by refugees.

The descriptions of the crimes provided on the website are often erroneous. The website lists 205 of the 291 incidents reviewed as cases of rape. But reporting into the claims found that rape was only suspected in 59 of the cases. Although these should not be downplayed, many of the cases in question were less severe incidences of sexual assault or harassment. In 47 cases, the authorities determined that the incident did not meet the criteria to be considered a criminal act. In other words, the map seems to involve some strong exaggeration, at least when compared to the findings of police and judicial officials.

Twenty-six suspects or perpetrators were refugees in the rapes investigated. Each of the crimes committed is, of course, one too many, but the ultimate figure is low compared to what the map suggests.

Eighteen refugees were convicted on charges of rape, and courts also convicted or upheld rulings against 51 refugees — for sexual abuse or sexual assault in more than half of the cases. An additional 18 foreigners have been convicted who are not refugees but whose residency status remains unresolved, including Turks and Afghans, several Serbians, an Azerbaijani and a Ukrainian tourist who sexually abused an inebriated woman at Oktoberfest in Munich. Six of those convicted are EU citizens and eight are German. They include a 46-year-old man who attacked a blind woman in the Bavarian town of Pfaffenhofen from behind on an open street and sexually assaulted her.

On the Rapefugees.net map, the case is noted as a « cover-up attempt. » But no information is provided about what might have been swept under the rug.

A closer inspection of the crimes for which refugees were convicted showed that many took place in refugee camps. In most cases, the victims were the children of other refugees. In August 2016, for example, a young Eritrean man lured a six-year-old girl, likewise from Eritrea, into his room in a Hamburg camp and abused her. Police arrested the man.

Twenty-four of the reports investigated on Rapefugees.net appear to be false claims. They include the rape in Rostock that was likely fabricated, but nevertheless remains listed on the map. And the case of a 15-year-old school girl from the city of Möchengladbach, who claimed in January 2016 that she had been raped near the city’s central train station. The perpetrator had a « tanned face » she said and spoke with a foreign accent. In response, angry local residents formed their own vigilante group. A week later, the police announced that the crime « had not happened » in the way described by the teen. The alleged perpetrator was an acquaintance who said everything had happened with mutual consent. Public prosecutors opened an investigation into the 15-year-old for making up a crime, but later dropped it.

A Less Dramatic Reality

For most of the news reports on the Rapefugees map, it’s unclear at first glance whether the story is true or false. With most, the only takeaway is that there was some kind of encounter between the perpetrator and victim. Nevertheless, the incidents on the map are often listed as attempted rape, gang rape or, rather inventively: « GANG RAPE Attempt and Beating Attacks by ISIS Sex Jihadists. » The actual incidents as reported by police seem a lot less dramatic.

To cite but a few examples:

May 13, 2016, in Hagen, Germany: At midnight, three young men harassed a 13-year-old girl at the train station and groped her. The 13-year-old boy accompanying her intervened and the three young men then attacked him. Passersby arrived and the three young men fled. The description given of the men: « North African appearance. »
May 21, 2016, Düsseldorf: A couple was walking along the banks of the Rhine River when the young woman was suddenly hugged from behind and fondled. As her boyfriend stepped in, he was hit by several people. The description of all perpetrators: « Mediterranean appearance. »

July 2, 2016, Nuremberg: A young women was walking home at 3 a.m. when someone approached her from behind and touched her sexually. She screamed and he fled. The physical description provided: « Mediterranean appearance. »
Aug. 28, 2016, Türkismühle in rural Saarland: An unidentified man approached a 38-year-old woman at the train station. He pushed her against the wall, grabbed her from behind and attempted to kiss her. As she « energetically spoke to him, » he fled. Description: « Mediterranean appearance. »

There’s no question about the seriousness of the four cases, but contrary to the claims made by Rapefugees.net, they were not rapes. And there was no indication of alleged « ISIS sex jihadists. »

Prosecutors dropped the investigations in all of these cases because they were unable to identify any assailants. The same is true of the investigations into about 29 percent of the incidents listed on the map: The question as to whether the perpetrators were refugees will likely never be resolved. It is certainly possible that it is true in some of the cases. And theoretically, it’s also possible that all of the unidentified assailants were asylum-seekers. But that’s unlikely in the case that unfolded at the train station in Hagen. Witnesses say there was only one perpetrator and that he spoke accent-free German.

Research into this data is highly detailed and complex, but it’s the only way of getting a true grasp on what these kinds of claims really amount to and the way in which right-wing websites operate. It is the convergence of many things that unsettle people in Germany: the refugee crisis, concern about domestic security and the loss of trust in politics and the traditional media. It also demonstrates the growing influence of websites and forums where people can mutually affirm their questionable worldviews.

Spreading Fear

There has been an assumption in Germany — one that goes deep into even the middle class — that the traditional media made a pact with Chancellor Angela Merkel to hide widespread criminal activity in order not to threaten support for her refugee policies.

In the past two years, many readers have written to DER SPIEGEL imploring the newsmagazine to stop hiding the truth and clearly state the danger: that refugees are raping women and children in Germany. One woman wrote that it was imperative « to report about the cover-up of information about rapes committed by migrants. » She also frequently sent links to internet sites collecting alleged rape cases purportedly perpetrated by refugees.

The classical media find themselves in a quandary here. If we don’t write about the issue and about the rumors circulating on the internet, skeptics see that as proof that something is being hidden. Yet if we do write about specific websites like the one covered in this story, we run the risk of enhancing the profile of pages meant to incite hatred online.

The people behind Rapefugees.net, who spend so much time filling the map with content, are apparently equally fastidious in their efforts to conceal their identities. The imprint refers to a person named F. Mueller in Uruguay and the page is hosted on a server based in the United States. Queries made by DER SPIEGEL went unanswered. Facebook deleted the site’s page on the social media platform in May 2016.

The site’s operators exploit the fundamental fear of foreignness — a latent fear that most people can harbor. To make the world simpler, people have a tendency to ascribe certain traits to certain groups of foreigners, meaning that whole groups of people can quickly get lumped into certain problematic stereotypes: Roma steal, Italians like to flirt and refugees, most of whom are Muslims, are dangerous and rape women.

Amplifiers

Why this specific prejudice is attached to refugees is something that Wolfgang Benz is trying to explain. The professor emeritus at the Technical University of Berlin, who researches prejudice, believes that the arrival of the refugees has « reactivated » an image that has long existed in the minds of Germans — one of a country occupied by foreign forces behaving like barbarians.

« Today, the horde that is invading us, is no longer the Russians but the refugees, and the rapes, as in every past war, are part of the conduct of war, » says Benz, describing the most recent iteration of that image. He says the events of new year’s eve 2015 in Cologne and the tone of the reporting on them has exacerbated that prejudice. Every report of a refugee committing sexual assault or harassment, he says, acts as an amplifier, and reports to the contrary are no longer taken seriously.

The public does, in fact, only hear about a small number of the sexual assaults that are committed each year, although this is not because they are covered up. There are so many that you could fill an entire newspaper with reports about them every day. According to police crime statistics, approximately 47,401 alleged criminal offenses against sexual self-determination were recorded in 2016, committed by Germans as well as by non-Germans. That represents about 130 reported crimes per day. The true number is likely much higher than that, but many victims don’t go to the police.

When the term « rape » comes up, many people instinctively think of an unknown assailant pulling women into the bushes at night. But according to calculations by the Center for Criminology, a research institute run by Germany’s federal government in conjunction with state governments, the alleged perpetrator is only a stranger in one-fifth of all reported rapes and serious sexual assaults. Most often, the alleged perpetrator is an acquaintance, friend or relative.

For the past several years, the German Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA) has released an annual situation report on crime across the country, with a special emphasis on criminality among immigrants. The term « immigrants » in this context includes; asylum-seekers; those who have been allowed to stay temporarily despite not having received asylum status; illegal immigrants; and refugees who have been brought into Germany on the basis of quotas. Suspects whose asylum applications have been approved are not included. At least one immigrant was indentified as a suspect in 3,404 of the sexual offenses committed in 2016. That’s more than twice as many cases as in the previous year (see graphic below). The increase proved especially dramatic in cases of sexual assault and the sexual abuse of children.

« We, as the Bavarian police, take very seriously the fact that immigration influences people’s feeling of security, » says Harald Pickert, the leader of an expert panel in the state’s Interior Ministry, which has been investigating sex crimes that have taken place in the state over the last five years.

The group is seeking to identify what might have changed and what has remained the same. It is looking to answers to questions like: Where are the crimes committed? Who are the perpetrators and who are the victims? Is there something that perpetrators typically have in common?

The panel exists because Bavarian Interior Minister Joachim Herrmann announced shortly before the German federal election last September that the number of rapes and serious sexual abuses had risen in Bavaria during the first half of 2017 by 47.9 percent. He said 126 of the 685 crimes could be attributed to immigrants, 91 percent more than in the same period the previous year. The latter statistic roughly reflects the findings of the BKA, but the Bavarian crime statistics additionally count those who have been granted asylum as part of its figures for the category of immigrants.

Did New Groping Offense Shift Statistics?

Pickert, 54, a deputy police commissioner in Bavaria, ties the rise in reports of sexual offenses to several factors. One is that many German citizens first learned that groping was a punishable offense following the debate over the Cologne attacks. And a change in the law in 2016 meant that groping is no longer solely punishable as an insult, but is now explicitly considered to be sexual harassment. Previously, groping had been absent from the statistics on sexual offenses maintained by police, but now such incidents are included. « It’s that and not some change in everyday reality that explains the sudden surge in the number of crimes reported, » Pickert explains.

What is conspicuous in the statistics, however, is the fact that the number of suspected German sex-crime perpetrators has either stagnated or gone down, while the number of immigrants suspected of committing such crimes has increased significantly. This trend, Pickert claims, has been visible for five years. « It’s no wonder, » he adds, since more immigrants have arrived during that time. Futhermore, he says, when compared to the German population, immigrants are more frequently young and male and are more likely to live in a large city, lack education, be unemployed and have no income. « These can all be factors that promote criminal behavior. »

During the first half of 2017, Pickert says, about one-fifth of all sex crimes were committed by immigrants living in refugee housing. About 20 percent of all victims were themselves refugees, he says. This means that, at least proportionally speaking, other refugees are at particular risk of becoming victims of sexual assaults by immigrants.

So, what can be done to counter this development? « Just because a certain segment of the population is conspicuous for the number of sex crimes it commits doesn’t mean we need new answers, » argues Martin Rettenberger, the director of the Center for Criminology.

‘Arabs or Africans Not Intrinsically More Inclined to Assaults’

He says that some of the immigrants come from societies where sex offenses are more rarely punished, where these kinds of crimes are committed more frequently. « But most people quickly adapt their behaviors to their new social environment, » Rettenberger says. « Social values and norms that were once internalized can still be changed. Arabs or Africans are not intrinsically more likely to commit assaults than Europeans. »

In the United States, he notes, five times as many people are victims of intentional homicide than in Germany. « And yet nobody would say Americans are more violent than Germans. » What’s key, he believes, is the background of the individual. He notes that many sex offenders have impaired impulse control, often combined with low self-esteem. In a particularly high number of cases, perpetrators have unstable personalities or have suffered trauma — and many aren’t subject to the natural controls exerted by close social relationships, having fled to Germany on their own. Unsurprisingly, such factors are more present among refugees than among other segments of the population.

The « only long-term solution, if we want safety, » Rettenberger argues, is sustainable integration: education, jobs and social assistance. « I can understand any citizen who doesn’t feel like investing more money into potential sexual offenders. But I expect more from the politicians. »

By Laura Backes, Anna Clauss, Maria-Mercedes Hering, Beate Lakotta, Sandra Öfner, Ansgar Siemens and Achim Tack

Voir enfin:

The cameras have gone – but the suffering endures. deconstructs the beliefs that still shape policy and public opinion

Myth 1: The crisis is over

The refugee crisis that dominated the news in 2015 and 2016 consisted primarily of a sharp rise in the number of people coming to Europe to claim asylum. Arrivals have now dropped, and governments have cracked down on the movement of undocumented migrants within the EU; many thousands are stuck in reception centres or camps in southern Europe, while others try to make new lives in the places they have settled.

But to see the crisis as an event that began in 2015 and ended the following year is a mistake, because it obscures the fact that the underlying causes have not changed. To see it in those terms only gives the impression of a hitherto unsullied Europe, visited by hordes of foreigners it has little to do with. This is misleading. The disaster of recent years has as much to do with immigration policies drawn up in European capitals as it does with events outside the continent, and the crisis also consists of overreaction and panic, fuelled by a series of misconceptions about who the migrants are, why they come, and what it means for Europe.

The European Union has perhaps the world’s most complex system to deter unwanted migrants. Since the 1990s, as borders have come down within Europe, giving most EU citizens free movement and passport-free travel, its external frontier has become increasingly militarised. Amnesty International estimates that, between 2007-2013, before the crisis, the EU spent almost €2bn on fences, surveillance systems and patrols on land or at sea.

In theory, refugees – who have the right to cross borders in search of asylum under international law – should be exempt from these controls. But in reality, the EU has tried to prevent asylum seekers from reaching its territory wherever possible: by closing down legal routes, such as the ability to claim asylum at overseas embassies; by introducing penalties for transport companies that allow people to travel into the EU without the correct documents; and by signing treaties with its neighbours so they control migration on the EU’s behalf. And within the EU, an agreement called the Dublin regulation forces asylum seekers to apply in whatever country they reach first.

After the Arab uprisings of 2011, the number of people coming to Europe to seek asylum – via Turkey, or across the central Mediterranean from north Africa – began to rise. But Europe continued to make security its priority, rather than the protection of vulnerable people. In the same period as it spent €2bn euros on border security, the EU spent only an estimated €700m on reception conditions for refugees. Almost 3 million people claimed asylum in the EU in 2015 and 2016 – still only a small fraction of the EU’s total population of 508 million – but the manner of their arrival was chaotic; thousands died in the attempt. Most of the migrants who arrived tried to continue their journeys to north-west Europe, and enforcement of the Dublin regulation temporarily collapsed.

Border defences often produce or exacerbate the very problems they purport to solve, by forcing irregular migrants to take more dangerous routes, often with increasing reliance on people smugglers, which in turn encourages states to crack down even harder. In November 2017, a coalition of human rights groups published a list of 33,293 people who had died since 1993 as a result of “militarisation, asylum laws, detention policies and deportations” in Europe. But Europe has continued to try and push the thousands of uninvited migrants who try to reach European shores further and further away from the continent. A deal with Turkey, launched in March 2016, has reduced the movement of Syrians towards Europe, even though over 12 million Syrians remain displaced by the war – 5 million of these outside their country – and many are still in need of urgent humanitarian assistance. Even as Afghanistan becomes more dangerous, European governments persist in their attempts to deport many Afghans to Kabul. And to stem unwanted migration from sub-Saharan Africa, Europe has tried to strike deals to stop the people-trafficking routes that run across the desert and through north Africa. Italy has cracked down on NGO sea rescues and paid off militias in Libya, even as evidence of torture and abuse in Libyan detention centres trickles out; the EU has explored deals with Sudan’s repressive dictatorship; in Niger, one of the world’s poorest countries, European money, troops and diplomats have flooded the desert city of Agadez, to try to put a stop to the smuggling trade. Hundreds of thousands of vulnerable individuals will be directly affected by these new policies.

We are often encouraged to think about “solutions” to the crisis, but there is no neat end to it. For as long as wars continue – wars that are sometimes started or joined by European states, or fuelled by their arms sales – people will continue to flee them. And others will continue to try to migrate even when states don’t want them to. But our governments’ efforts to stem unwanted migration can end up creating or exacerbating the very problems they purport to solve. Decisions to ramp up immigration control taken at moments of crisis, or in response to media pressure, can have profound and long-lasting effects – from the treatment of Windrush citizens in the UK to the thousands of refugees languishing in filthy camps on Greece’s Aegean islands.

The crisis is not only the movement of refugees, but the border systems designed to keep them out – and it is still happening.

Myth 2: We can neatly separate ‘refugees’ from ‘economic migrants’

Most of us are economic migrants – even if within our own countries – but the term has taken on a new and pejorative meaning since the refugee crisis. It is often deployed in much the same way that “bogus asylum seeker” was in the past by the British tabloid press – to suggest that people are trying to play the system, that their presence is the cause of problems at the border, and that if we could only filter them out, order would be restored. In fact, the history of migration is a history of controls on the movement of all but a wealthy elite.

In the past, states sought to restrict the movement of their own populations, through slavery or serfdom, or poor laws and vagrancy acts; today the right to move freely within one’s own territory is enshrined in the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Most of us take this right for granted, even though it is relatively recent. Now, instead, the movement of people across international borders is tightly controlled and regulated. As a proportion of the world population, the total number of international migrants – of any kind – has stayed relatively steady: roughly 3% since 1960, according to the sociologist Hein de Haas.

This might seem surprising in an age where goods, communication and certain kinds of people can move with greater ease than ever before, but globalisation is a highly unequal process. Although the proportion of migrants has not grown significantly, the origin and direction of migration has changed: research by De Haas and Mathias Czaika suggests that people are leaving a much wider range of countries than ever before, and they are heading to a much narrower range of destinations than ever before. They are going to the places where power and wealth have become concentrated. Europe, and north-west Europe in particular, is one of those places. It is by no means the only destination – most African migration, for instance, occurs within Africa. And most migration to Europe takes place legally: an estimated 90% of migrants who enter Europe do so with permission. But wealthier countries are making increasingly severe efforts to keep out the uninvited: in 1990, according to research by the geographer Reece Jones, 15 countries had walls or fences on their border; by the beginning of 2016, that number had risen to almost 70.

International law aims to protect refugees while allowing states to retain control of their borders – but the definition of “refugee” status is political, and subject to a constant struggle over who is deserving and who is not. The term has both a legal meaning, in that it describes a person who is eligible for asylum under international law, and a colloquial meaning, in that it describes a person who has fled their home.

Under the 1951 refugee convention, a refugee is defined as someone who has left their country due to “a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion”. At first, the convention only applied to Europeans, and did not cover everyone who fled a war zone; this kind of protection was only created after pressure from newly independent African states in the 1960s and Latin American states in the 1980s. People forced from their homes by economic disaster or catastrophic climate change have never been included. Even today, the convention leaves power mainly in the hands of nation states. It does not oblige its signatories to give anybody asylum, merely to hear their case and not push them back to a country where they might be in danger.

In the 21st century, a border is not just a line on a map; it is a system for filtering people that stretches from the edges of a territory into its heart, affecting those who are already in the country – as we have learned since Theresa May’s “hostile environment” has come to light. Asylum seekers are subject to particularly complex and often violent filtering. Once they cross Europe’s frontiers, their movement is restricted: they are locked up or segregated in accommodation far from city centres. Their right to work or to access social security is denied or severely limited. While their claims are being assessed, often by a process that is opaque, hostile and inconsistent, they live with the threat that the freedoms they do have may be curtailed at any moment. The system tries to place them into categories – refugee or economic migrant, legal or illegal, deserving or undeserving – that do not always fit the reality of their lives. And if the system breaks down, people are cast into a legal and moral grey zone that lasts for many months or even years. As Caesar, a young man from Mali who I met while reporting in Sicily, put it to me: “It’s not as if one person has ‘refugee’ printed on his forehead and another has ‘economic migrant’.”

Myth 3: Telling ‘human stories’ is enough to change people’s minds

Empathy matters, but it always has limits, and it should not be a precondition for people to access their rights. Caesar arrived in Sicily in late 2014, rescued from a drifting smuggler boat in the Mediterranean by the Italian navy. When he arrived, Sicily had the attention of the world’s media: journalists wanted to know the stories of people like Caesar: where they had come from, what kind of journeys they had taken, what the worst things they had experienced were. But by the following summer, attention had drifted elsewhere. In late August 2015, as unprecedented numbers of refugees from Syria and elsewhere in the Middle East made their long walk through the Balkans, I was visiting Caesar at his home in Sicily. As we watched TV, which was showing looped footage of people clamouring to board trains to Germany at Budapest’s Keleti station, Caesar gestured towards the screen. “You see? The cameras don’t come here any more because it’s only blacks arriving in Sicily now.” He felt very strongly that people like him had been abandoned – by the media, and by a system that was taking years to process his asylum claim.

When there is a major disaster, the understandable response of journalists is to rush in and find the most urgent stories as quickly as possible. It serves a necessary purpose: to tell people what the problem is, who is affected and what help is needed. Aid agencies and NGOs often follow a similar logic in their public communications. The idea is that vivid “human stories” that focus on the experiences of vulnerable individuals – very often children – will elicit sympathy from an audience whose attention is fleeting.

But these stories also have the potential to alienate. If I tell you that Caesar spent 18 months being handed from one trafficking gang to another in Algeria and Libya, during which time he was tortured and put to work as a slave, does that help you understand who he is and why he has made the choices he has – particularly if that is all you know about his life? And what if hundreds of people all have similar stories? At some point, we feel overwhelmed and start to switch off. Some of us may even start to feel hostile: why are we constantly being told to feel sorry for these strangers?

What is more, media coverage that jumps from one flashpoint of a crisis to another can neglect to examine underlying causes – Europe’s complex border system, for instance. And a sense of panic can inadvertently be encouraged by well-meaning attempts to produce dramatic statistics and soundbites. The idea of a “global refugee crisis” may provoke sympathy among some, but for others it may increase the sense that we are, in the words of Ukip’s leave campaign, at “breaking point”.

The UN’s refugee agency, the UNHCR, says there are more people displaced by conflict in the world today than at any point since the second world war. This is true: an estimated 66 million people are currently displaced, either within their home countries or abroad. But 86% of these remain in the developing world, not in wealthy regions such as Europe. And despite recent conflicts, according to De Haas, refugees account for around 0.3% of the world’s population; a small and relatively stable proportion. The problem is one of resources and policy, not overwhelming numbers.

If we want to understand why some people will keep moving despite the obstacles put in their way, then we need to see the whole person, rather than only the worst aspects of their situation or their most traumatic experiences. I have met a number of people who had journeys similar to Caesar’s, and each one is trying in very different ways to retain control of their lives and make decisions about the future. Caesar told me he just wants to find a dull job and “forget about the past”. By contrast, Fatima, a woman from Nigeria who also ended up in Sicily, made “a bargain with God” when she stepped on to an inflatable boat on the Libyan coast, and wants to devote the rest of her life to raising the alarm about trafficked women. Azad fled Syria because although he was sympathetic to the uprising against Bashar al-Assad, and proud of his Kurdish identity, he simply didn’t want to kill people.

It is also important to recognise that the stories we consume are, for the most part, commodities produced by profit-making companies. Like other commodities, their production, value and demand are driven by market forces. This can harm those at the centre of the stories, distort our understanding of a crisis and even contribute to a sense of panic – which, in turn, provokes panicked responses from the authorities.

Myth 4: The crisis is a threat to European values

In recent years, “European values” have been invoked both in support of refugees and migrants and to attack them. On the one hand, demagogues such as Hungary’s Viktor Orbán have positioned themselves as defenders of a Christian European civilisation, enacting anti-migrant policies to protect Europe from being overrun by Muslim hordes. On the other, humanitarians have frequently appealed to a vision of Europe like the one set out by José Manuel Barroso, president of the European commission in 2012, when the EU was awarded the Nobel peace prize. “As a community of nations that has overcome war and fought totalitarianism,” Barroso said in his acceptance speech, “we will always stand by those who are in pursuit of peace and human dignity.”

Both visions are wrong. The first tries to erase the fact that Europe is a diverse continent, in which Christian, Muslim, Jewish and secular traditions have been present for centuries. Orbán’s vision also has a liberal companion, especially popular in western Europe, which holds that Muslim immigrants present a threat to “European” traditions of tolerance, freedom and democracy: this, too, ignores the fact that where these principles do exist they have been fought for and won, usually against the violent resistance of European elites. It is no small irony, either, that many of the refugees who arrive on European shores today have been engaged in similar struggles for rights and equality in their home countries.

The second vision presents Europe as a beacon of hope to the rest of the world. Europe certainly has great power to affect the world for better or worse, and pressing our politicians to live up to such an aspiration is worthwhile. But the aspiration will remain unfulfilled if we ignore the fact that while the nations of Europe have overcome war and fought totalitarianism, many of these same nations became rich and powerful by conquering and administering huge empires, which were partially justified by the idea of European racial supremacy. And European unity, in its founding documents, was conceived of as a way of maintaining imperial power, as well as preventing future conflict in Europe.

Rather than seeing European racism as a thing of the past, the recognition of its persistence is essential if we are to understand the refugee crisis and some of the responses to it. Thousands of people from former European colonies, whose grandparents were treated as less than human by their European rulers, have drowned in the Mediterranean in the past two decades, yet this only became a “crisis” when the scale of the disaster was impossible for Europeans to ignore.

In 2015, the UN’s special rapporteur on migration proposed two responses that would have done much to alleviate the crisis: mass international resettlement of refugees from Syria, and a temporary work visa scheme so that economic migrants could come and go, without getting trapped in the deadly clandestine routes. The reason this hasn’t happened is because European governments simply don’t want to do it. There are domestic political pressures within Europe, and a wider crisis of the international system through which conflicts and disagreements between states are supposed to be resolved.

Even now, a hierarchy of suffering pervades much of the debate, in which people’s struggles are ignored or dismissed depending on their background, with little discussion of how Europe might have contributed to the situation of the countries the migrants leave behind – either historically, or through the military and economic policies of current governments. And when local conflicts involving newly arrived refugees break out in European countries, many commentators jump seamlessly from an incident that needs a considered response, to declaration of an existential threat to Europe from its Muslim minority. At its extreme end, this is genocidal logic, of a kind Europe has known in its past.

We do not have to accept this. A more honest conversation about the crisis would involve a reckoning with our own past – and a good starting point would be to recognise that for many of the migrants making perilous journeys to Europe today, Europe is already a part of their lives. “We remember the past, we remember slavery; they started the world wars and we fought for them,” I was once told by a group of men from west Africa marooned in a southern Italian reception centre. This isn’t about apportioning blame or guilt. It is about recognising that the world is not easily divided into “European” and “non-European”. This is as true for Britain as it is for the rest of Europe, even if Britain leaves the political union. “I’m always surprised when people ask, ‘Why are refugees coming to the UK?’” said Zainab, who fled Islamic State in Iraq and brought her three young children to Britain via Calais, hidden in a series of lorries. “I would like to answer back: ‘Hasn’t Iraq been occupied by Britain and America?’ I want people to see the suffering that the populations from these places have gone through. I really wish for people to see the connection.”

Myth 5: History is repeating and there’s nothing we can do about it

The Holocaust is never far from the surface of European consciences. And its presence has been felt in a range of responses to the refugee crisis – from grand political statements about Europe’s duty to act, to the invocation of the Kindertransport in Britain’s debate over child refugees, to stories about elderly Jewish Europeans helping today’s displaced migrants cross borders. But it can lead us to a Schindler’s List interpretation of history – the one dramatic moment of rescue that either averts disaster, or absolves us of a greater crime.

An awareness of this history matters, and can motivate us to act, but there are considerable differences from the past. Our system of refugee protection was set up primarily to deal with the huge population upheavals in Europe that were caused by the two world wars. Now largely in the past, these upheavals are generally seen as having provided a moral lesson – one of several ways in which Europe declared: “Never again”. But although Europe’s crisis of displacement had a beginning and an end, for much of the world, displacement is persistent, its causes apparently more complicated, the people at the centre of it afforded less significance. Often, they are given no story at all, reduced to a shadow that occasionally flits across European vision.

But it is vital that we pay attention, not just for humanitarian reasons but because displacement points to a dangerous weakness in liberal democratic societies. Although we have come to regard certain rights as fundamental and universal, these are often only guaranteed through membership of a nation-state. In her 1951 book The Origins of Totalitarianism, the political theorist Hannah Arendt argued that the inability of states to guarantee rights to displaced people in Europe between the world wars helped create the conditions for dictatorship. Statelessness reduced people to the condition of outlaws: they had to break laws in order to live and they were subject to jail sentences without ever committing a crime. Being a refugee means not doing what you are told – if you did, you would probably have stayed at home to be killed. And you continue bending the rules, telling untruths, concealing yourself, even after you have left immediate danger, because that is the way you negotiate a hostile system.

But the presence of millions of displaced people also became a powerful tool for those regimes that wanted to undermine the idea of universal human rights. “Look,” they could say, “there’s no such thing; you only get rights by being part of the nation”. Instead of resolving this problem, governments cracked down on unwanted migrants, giving police forces extensive powers that were eventually also wielded over their own citizens. This happened in the western European democracies, argued Arendt, and not just in the totalitarian states.

This has a disturbing parallel with the new powers and security infrastructure – from Britain’s “hostile environment” and laws criminalising European citizens who help migrants to the “temporary-stay facilities” that Italy’s new, far-right interior minister has proposed as part of a plan to increase deportations – that European governments are creating. Far from being the barbarians they are often portrayed as – a mass of “illegals” threatening European security and identity – rightless people appear “as the first signs of a possible regression from civilisation”, Arendt warned.

But Arendt points out a threat, not something inevitable – and importantly, governments respond to pressure from the electorate. In the autumn of 2015, for instance, public outcry over the photograph of a drowned toddler, Alan Kurdi, that circulated in international media pressured the British government into expanding a scheme to resettle Syrian refugees.

We must be alert to the ways in which some politicians try to convince people to give up rights and protections that exist for the benefit of everyone. Any authority figure who says: “We should look after our own before we look after refugees,” probably isn’t interested in doing either. And we should recognise the importance of collective action. There will not be “solutions” to this crisis, in the sense of one or more policy decisions that will make refugees vanish.

Wars produce refugees. People will continue to move to improve their quality of life – not only because of extreme poverty, but because they are connected to global culture and global networks of communication. Climate change has the potential to create far greater displacement than we have seen in recent years; as with refugees from war, it is likely to be poorer countries who feel the greatest impact. We cannot control whether these things happen; what matters will be how we respond, and whether we repeat the errors of this crisis.

You do not have to let your thinking be limited by the categories that currently exist. It is possible to defend the protections that the current system of refugee law offers, while recognising their limits. Politicians may try to draw a distinction between “genuine” refugees and other irregular migrants, and our economy may assign relative values to people’s lives based on their use as workers, but that doesn’t mean we should accept that one of those people is any less a person, or that their experiences are any less real. Refugee law provides an essential protection for some kinds of displaced people, but not all of them. Drawn up in a world where power and wealth are unequally distributed, it has always reflected the concerns of the powerful. The more rigidly we enforce distinctions between the deserving and undeserving, the more likely we are to accept the violence done in our name.

Throughout 2015, I kept hearing and reading about refugees having a “dream” of Europe. Perhaps that’s the case; we are all moved at times by an ideal. But it implies a certain naivety on the part of the beholder, that someone is being pulled by an illusion that the rest of us do not share. It belittles them, while at the same time aggrandising us. To the European audience, and by extension audiences in other rich parts of the world, it is reassuring: they are dreaming of having lives like ours – and who can blame them for idealising our existence?

Yet it is striking how often the word “dream” seems to crop up in place of the less comforting words “want” and “need”. This person has arrived in Europe and they want to go to Britain, where their uncle lives. Wouldn’t you? This person needs to get to Europe to work. Why can’t they earn a living at home? Why should anyone have to put up with these conditions? Whose interests does it serve to regulate their movement? And how likely is it that states which treat migrants with such callousness will behave similarly towards their own citizens? These, I think, are the sorts of questions we should be asking.

Daniel Trilling’s Lights in the Distance, based on years of reporting on refugees in Europe, has just been published by Picador and is available from the Guardian Bookshop


Immigration: Attention, une vérité qui dérange peut en cacher une autre ! (Better green than dead: What other unconvenient truth ?)

10 août, 2018

 
feux Quand les mille ans seront accomplis, Satan (…) sortira pour séduire les nations qui sont aux quatre coins de la terre, Gog et Magog, afin de les rassembler pour la guerre; leur nombre est comme le sable de la mer. Et ils montèrent sur la surface de la terre, et ils investirent le camp des saints et la ville bien-aimée. Jean (Apocalypse 20: 7-9)
Le titre m’est venu de la lecture de l’Apocalypse, du chapitre 20, qui annonce qu’au terme de mille ans, des nations innombrables venues des quatre coins de la Terre envahiront « le camp des saints et la Ville bien-aimée ». Jean Raspail
Le 17 février 2001, un cargo vétuste s’échouait volontairement sur les rochers côtiers, non loin de Saint-Raphaël. À son bord, un millier d’immigrants kurdes, dont près de la moitié étaient des enfants. Cette pointe rocheuse faisait partie de mon paysage. Certes, ils n’étaient pas un million, ainsi que je les avais imaginés, à bord d’une armada hors d’âge, mais ils n’en avaient pas moins débarqué chez moi, en plein décor du Camp des saints, pour y jouer l’acte I. Le rapport radio de l’hélicoptère de la gendarmerie diffusé par l’AFP semble extrait, mot pour mot, des trois premiers paragraphes du livre. La presse souligna la coïncidence, laquelle apparut, à certains, et à moi, comme ne relevant pas du seul hasard. Jean Raspail
Qu’est-ce que Big Other ? C’est le produit de la mauvaise conscience occidentale soigneusement entretenue, avec piqûres de rappel à la repentance pour nos fautes et nos crimes supposés –  et de l’humanisme de l’altérité, cette sacralisation de l’Autre, particulièrement quand il s’oppose à notre culture et à nos traditions. Perversion de la charité chrétienne, Big Other a le monopole du Vrai et du Bien et ne tolère pas de voix discordante. Jean Raspail
Ce qui m’a frappé, c’est le contraste entre les opinions exprimées à titre privé et celles tenues publiquement. Double langage et double conscience… À mes yeux, il n’y a pire lâcheté que celle devant la faiblesse, que la peur d’opposer la légitimité de la force à l’illégitimité de la violence. Jean Raspail
Aucun nombre de bombes atomiques ne pourra endiguer le raz de marée constitué par les millions d’êtres humains qui partiront un jour de la partie méridionale et pauvre du monde, pour faire irruption dans les espaces relativement ouverts du riche hémisphère septentrional, en quête de survie. Boumediene (mars 1974)
Un jour, des millions d’hommes quitteront le sud pour aller dans le nord. Et ils n’iront pas là-bas en tant qu’amis. Parce qu’ils iront là-bas pour le conquérir. Et ils le conquerront avec leurs fils. Le ventre de nos femmes nous donnera la victoire. Houari Boumediene (ONU, 10.04.74)
Nous avons 50 millions de musulmans en Europe. Il y a des signes qui attestent qu’Allah nous accordera une grande victoire en Europe, sans épée, sans conquête. Les 50 millions de musulmans d’Europe feront de cette dernière un continent musulman. Allah mobilise la Turquie, nation musulmane, et va permettre son entrée dans l’Union Européenne. Il y aura alors 100 millions de musulmans en Europe. L’Albanie est dans l’Union européenne, c’est un pays musulman. La Bosnie est dans l’Union européenne, c’est un pays musulman. 50% de ses citoyens sont musulmans. L’Europe est dans une fâcheuse posture. Et il en est de même de l’Amérique. Elles [les nations occidentales] devraient accepter de devenir musulmanes avec le temps ou bien de déclarer la guerre aux musulmans. Kadhafi (10.04.06) 
Comme jadis avec le communisme, l’Occident se retrouve sous surveillance idéologique. L’islam se présente, à l’image du défunt communisme, comme une alternative au monde occidental. À l’instar du communisme d’autrefois, l’islam, pour conquérir les esprits, joue sur une corde sensible. Il se targue d’une légitimité qui trouble la conscience occidentale, attentive à autrui : être la voix des pauvres de la planète. Hier, la voix des pauvres prétendait venir de Moscou, aujourd’hui elle viendrait de La Mecque ! Aujourd’hui à nouveau, des intellectuels incarnent cet oeil du Coran, comme ils incarnaient l’oeil de Moscou hier. Ils excommunient pour islamophobie, comme hier pour anticommunisme. (…) Comme aux temps de la guerre froide, violence et intimidation sont les voies utilisées par une idéologie à vocation hégémonique, l’islam, pour poser sa chape de plomb sur le monde. Benoît XVI en souffre la cruelle expérience. Comme en ces temps-là, il faut appeler l’Occident « le monde libre » par rapport au monde musulman, et comme en ces temps-là les adversaires de ce « monde libre », fonctionnaires zélés de l’oeil du Coran, pullulent en son sein. Robert Redeker
Si je regarde vers l’avenir, je suis empli de sombres présages ; tel le poète romain, il me semble voir le Tibre écumer d’un sang abondant. Enoch Powell (20 avril 1968)
La fonction suprême de l’homme d’Etat est de protéger la société de malheurs prévisibles. Il rencontre dans cette tâche des obstacles profondément ancrés dans la nature humaine. L’un d’entre eux est qu’il est d’évidence impossible de démontrer la réalité d’un péril avant qu’il ne survienne : à chaque étape de la progression d’un danger supposé, le doute et le débat sont possibles sur son caractère réel ou imaginaire. Ces dangers sont en outre l’objet de bien peu d’attention en comparaison des problèmes quotidiens, qui sont eux incontestables et pressants : d’où l’irrésistible tentation pour toute politique de se préoccuper du présent immédiat au détriment de l’avenir. Par-dessus tout, nous avons également tendance à confondre la prédiction d’un problème avec son origine, ou même avec le fauteur de trouble. Nous aimons à penser : « Si seulement personne n’en parlait, sans doute rien de tout cela n’arriverait…» Cette habitude remonte peut-être à la croyance primitive que le mot et la chose, le nom et l’objet, sont identiques. Dans tous les cas, l’évocation des périls à venir, graves mais évitables (si l’on s’attache à les résoudre), est la tâche la plus impopulaire de l’homme politique. La plus nécessaire aussi. (…) Sur la lancée actuelle, dans 15 ou 20 ans, il y aura en Grande-Bretagne, en comptant les descendants, 3,5 millions d’immigrés du Commonwealth. Ce chiffre n’est pas de moi : c’est l’évaluation officielle donnée au Parlement par les bureaux de l’état-civil. Il n’y a pas de prévision officielle semblable pour l’an 2000, mais le chiffre avoisinera les 5 à 7 millions, soit environ un dixième de la population, quasiment l’équivalent de l’agglomération londonienne. Cette population ne sera bien sûr pas uniformément répartie du nord au sud et d’est en ouest. Dans toute l’Angleterre, des régions entières, des villes, des quartiers, seront entièrement peuplés par des populations immigrées ou d’origine immigrée. Avec le temps, la proportion des descendants d’immigrés nés en Angleterre, et donc arrivés ici comme nous, augmentera rapidement. Dès 1985, ceux nés en Angleterre [par rapport à ceux nés à l’étranger] seront majoritaires. C’est cette situation qui demande d’agir avec la plus extrême urgence, et de prendre des mesures qui, pour un homme politique, sont parmi les plus difficiles à prendre, car ces décisions délicates sont à considérer dans le présent, alors que les dangers à écarter, ou à minimiser, ne se présenteront qu’aux élus des générations futures. Lorsqu’un pays est confronté à un tel danger, la première question qui se pose est celle-ci : « Comment réduire l’ampleur du phénomène ? » Puisqu’on ne peut entièrement l’éviter, peut-on le limiter, sachant qu’il s’agit essentiellement d’un problème numérique ? Car en effet, l’arrivée d’éléments étrangers dans un pays, ou au sein d’une population, a des conséquences radicalement différentes selon que la proportion est de 1% ou 10%. La réponse à cette simple question est d’une égale simplicité : il faut stopper, totalement ou presque, les flux d’immigration entrants et encourager au maximum les flux sortants. Ces deux propositions font partie de la plate-forme officielle du Parti Conservateur. Il est à peine concevable qu’en ce moment même, rien qu’à Wolverhampton, entre 20 et 30 enfants immigrés supplémentaires arrivent chaque semaine de l’étranger, soit 15 à 20 familles supplémentaires dans 10 ou 20 ans. « Quand les Dieux veulent détruire un peuple, ils commencent par le rendre fou » dit le dicton, et assurément nous devons être fous, littéralement fous à lier, en tant que nation, pour permettre chaque année l’arrivée d’environ 50 000 personnes à charge et qui plus tard accroîtront la population d’origine immigrée. J’ai l’impression de regarder ce pays élever frénétiquement son propre bûcher funéraire. (…) Le troisième volet de la politique du Parti Conservateur est l’égalité de tous devant la loi : l’autorité publique ne pratique aucune discrimination et ne fait aucune différence entre les citoyens. Ainsi que M. Heath [leader du parti conservateur] l’a souligné, nous ne voulons pas de citoyens de première ou de seconde «classe». Mais cela ne doit pas signifier pour autant qu’un immigré ou ses descendants doivent disposer d’un statut privilégié ou spécifique, ou qu’un citoyen ne soit pas en droit de discriminer qui bon lui semble dans ses affaires privées, ou qu’on lui dicte par la loi ses choix ou son comportement. Il n’y a pas plus fausse appréciation de la réalité que celle entretenue par les bruyants défenseurs des lois dites « contre les discriminations ». Que ce soit nos grandes plumes, toutes issues du même moule, parfois des mêmes journaux qui, jour après jour dans les années 30, ont tenté d’aveugler le pays face au péril croissant qu’il nous a fallu affronter par la suite. Ou que ce soit nos évêques calfeutrés dans leurs palais à savourer des mets délicats, la tête dissimulée sous les draps. Ces gens-là sont dans l’erreur, dans l’erreur la plus absolue, la plus complète. Le sentiment de discrimination, de dépossession, de haine et d’inquiétude, ce ne sont pas les immigrés qui le ressentent, mais bien ceux qui les accueillent et doivent continuer à le faire. C’est pourquoi voter une telle loi au Parlement, c’est risquer de mettre le feu aux poudres. Le mieux que l’on puisse dire aux tenants et aux défenseurs de cette loi, c’est qu’ils ne savent pas ce qu’ils font. (…) alors qu’arriver en Grande-Bretagne signifie pour le migrant accéder à des privilèges et à des équipements ardemment recherchés, l’impact sur la population autochtone du pays est bien différent. Pour des raisons qu’ils ne comprennent pas, en application de décisions prises à leur insu, pour lesquelles ils ne furent jamais consultés, les habitants de Grande-Bretagne se retrouvent étrangers dans leur propre pays. Leurs femmes ne trouvent pas de lits d’hôpital pour accoucher, leurs enfants n’obtiennent pas de places à l’école, leurs foyers, leurs voisins, sont devenus méconnaissables, leurs projets et perspectives d’avenir sont défaits. Sur leurs lieux de travail, les employeurs hésitent à appliquer au travailleur immigré les mêmes critères de discipline et de compétence qu’au Britannique de souche. Ils commençent à entendre, au fil du temps, des voix chaque jour plus nombreuses qui leur disent qu’ils sont désormais indésirables. Et ils apprennent aujourd’hui qu’un privilège à sens unique va être voté au Parlement. Qu’une loi qui ne peut, ni n’est destinée à les protéger ni à répondre à leurs doléances, va être promulguée. Une loi qui donnera à l’étranger, au mécontent, à l’agent provocateur, le pouvoir de les clouer au pilori pour des choix d’ordre privé. Parmi les centaines de lettres que j’ai reçues après m’être exprimé sur ce sujet il y a 2 ou 3 mois, j’ai remarqué une nouveauté frappante, et je la trouve de très mauvaise augure. Les députés ont l’habitude de recevoir des lettres anonymes, mais ce qui me surprend et m’inquiète, c’est la forte proportion de gens ordinaires, honnêtes, avisés, qui m’écrivent une lettre souvent sensée, bien écrite, mais qui préfèrent taire leur adresse. Car ils craignent de se compromettre ou d’approuver par écrit les opinions que j’ai exprimées. Ils craignent des poursuites ou des représailles si cela se savait. Ce sentiment d’être une minorité persécutée, sentiment qui progresse parmi la population anglaise dans les régions touchées du pays, est quelque chose d’à peine imaginable pour ceux qui n’en ont pas fait directement l’expérience. (…) L’autre dangereuse chimère de ceux qui sont aveugles aux réalités peut se résumer au mot « intégration ». Être intégré, c’est ne pas se distinguer, à tous points de vue, des autres membres d’une population. Et de tout temps, des différences physiques évidentes, particulièrement la couleur de peau, ont rendu l’intégration difficile, bien que possible avec le temps. Parmi les immigrés du Commonwealth venus s’installer ici depuis 15 ans, il existe des dizaines de milliers de personnes qui souhaitent s’intégrer, et tous leurs efforts tendent vers cet objectif. Mais penser qu’un tel désir est présent chez une vaste majorité d’immigrés ou chez leurs descendants est une idée extravagante, et dangereuse de surcroît. Nous sommes arrivés à un tournant. Jusqu’à présent, la situation et les différences sociales ont rendu l’idée même d’intégration inaccessible : cette intégration, la plupart des immigrés ne l’ont jamais ni conçue ni souhaitée. Leur nombre et leur concentration ont fait que la pression vers l’intégration qui s’applique d’habitude aux petites minorités, n’a pas fonctionné. Nous assistons aujourd’hui au développement de forces qui s’opposent directement à l’intégration, à l’apparition de droits acquis qui maintiennent et accentuent les différences raciales et religieuses, dans le but d’exercer une domination, d’abord sur les autres migrants et ensuite sur le reste de la population. Cette ombre, au départ à peine visible, obscurcit le ciel rapidement. Et on la perçoit désormais à Wolverhampton. Elle donne des signes d’expansion rapide. (…) Le projet de Loi sur les Relations Raciales constitue le terreau idéal pour que ces dangereux éléments de discorde prospèrent. Car voilà bien le moyen de montrer aux communautés d’immigrants comment s’organiser et soutenir leurs membres, comment faire campagne contre leurs concitoyens, comment intimider et dominer les autres grâce aux moyens juridiques que les ignorants et les mal-informés leur ont fournis. Je contemple l’avenir et je suis rempli d’effroi. Comme les Romains, je vois confusément « le Tibre écumant de sang ». Ce phénomène tragique et insoluble, nous l’observons déjà avec horreur outre-Atlantique, mais alors que là-bas il est intimement lié à l’histoire de l’Amérique, il s’installe chez nous par notre propre volonté, par notre négligence. Il est déjà là. Numériquement parlant, il aura atteint les proportions américaines bien avant la fin du siècle. Seule une action résolue et immédiate peut encore l’empêcher. Je ne sais si la volonté populaire exigera ou obtiendra de telles mesures. Mais ce que je sais, c’est que se taire devant cette situation serait une trahison majeure. Enoch Powell (1968)
On peut parler aujourd’hui d’invasion arabe. C’est un fait social. Combien d’invasions l’Europe a connu tout au long de son histoire ! Elle a toujours su se surmonter elle-même, aller de l’avant pour se trouver ensuite comme agrandie par l’échange entre les cultures. Pape François
According to the agreement, Kuwait will get 900 million litres of water daily, Shaikh Ahmad said, without providing the financial details of the agreement. Earlier reports have said the project foresees building a pipeline to channel water from the Karun and Karkheh rivers in southwestern Iran to Kuwait at a cost of $2 billion. The Kuwaiti minister said the project is « vital » for Kuwait and is classified as « one of the highly important strategic projects ». Al Jazeera (2003)
Farmers accuse local politicians of allowing water to be diverted from their areas in return for bribes. While the nationwide protests in December and January stemmed from anger over high prices and alleged corruption, in rural areas, lack of access to water was also a major cause, analysts say. In Syria, drought was one of the causes of anti-government protests which broke out in 2011 and led to civil war, making the Iranian drought particularly sensitive. Approximately 97 percent of the country is experiencing drought to some degree, according to the Islamic Republic of Iran Meteorological Organization. Rights groups say it has driven many people from their homes. A United Nations report last year noted, “Water shortages are acute; agricultural livelihoods no longer sufficient. With few other options, many people have left, choosing uncertain futures as migrants in search of work.” In early January, protests in the town of Qahderijan, some 10 km (6 miles) west of Isfahan, quickly turned violent as security forces opened fire on crowds, killing at least five people, according to activists. One of the dead was a farmer, CHRI said, and locals said water rights were the main grievance. Hassan Kamran, a parliamentarian from Isfahan, publicly criticised energy minister Reza Ardakanian this month, accusing him of not properly implementing a water distribution law. “The security and intelligence forces shouldn’t investigate our farmers. The water rights are theirs,” he told a parliamentary session. In early March, Ardakanian set up a working group comprising four ministers and two presidential deputies to deal with the crisis. Since the January protests, Rouhani has repeatedly said the government will do what it can to address grievances. But there is no quick fix for deeply rooted environmental issues like drought, observers say. Reuters
Les médias sont rares à s’intéresser à la question, mais l’Iran fait face à une grande catastrophe, sauf si des mesures techniques sont immédiatement prises: la pénurie d’eau devient dramatique. L’Occident se polarise sur le programme nucléaire ou sur le maintien des sanctions économiques contre l’Iran mais élude le problème de l’eau, qui risque d’entraîner une agitation sociale en Iran avec pour conséquence une migration des populations. Pour camoufler la véritable rupture avec le gouvernement, les contestations sont pour l’instant étouffées dans les grandes villes. (…) Le problème ne date pas d’aujourd’hui puisque des mises en garde ont été publiées dès 2014. (…) En cause: l’absence d’investissements depuis plusieurs années dans les infrastructures des réseaux de distribution d’eau potable alors que la sécheresse sévit dans le pays et que plusieurs rivières iraniennes se sont asséchées. La seule mesure prise par les autorités consiste à rationner l’eau dans la capitale de huit millions d’habitants, avec pour conséquence les nombreuses protestations qui se sont élevées contre les coupures d’eau. (…) Il y a bien sûr des raisons climatiques qui expliquent cette pénurie mais les négligences du pouvoir sont immenses. Par manque d’eau, seules 12% des terres (19 millions d’hectares) sont exploitées pour l’agriculture alors que l’ensemble des terres arables est évalué à 162 millions d’hectares. Or, si des solutions techniques évoluées ne sont pas mises en place, la quantité d’eau n’augmentera pas dans les années à venir alors que le pays connaît une croissance démographique et une urbanisation accélérée. Par ailleurs, l’Iran n’a pas été économe de son eau. À force de pompages désordonnés, son sous-sol s’est vidé et la pluie n’est pas suffisamment abondante pour remplir les nappes souterraines. De nombreux puits ont été creusés illégalement par les Iraniens malgré une eau puisée polluée. L’agriculture iranienne n’est plus suffisante pour permettre une indépendance alimentaire vis-à-vis de l’étranger. À peine 40% des eaux usées sont traitées tandis que le reste est déversé dans les lacs et les rivières, aggravant la pollution. Par ailleurs, les sanctions ont aggravé la disponibilité de produits chimiques pour les installations d’eau. (…) Mais au lieu de prendre des mesures structurelles, le gouvernement a usé de l’arme du rationnement. Eshagh Jahanguiri, le premier vice-président, a prévenu: «Il y aura d’abord des coupures d’eau et, ensuite, des amendes pour les gros consommateurs.» C’est la meilleure manière de se mettre à dos la population qui menace le régime. Jacques Benillouche
Depuis le lancement de la « marche du retour » (tentative d’invasion) par les Palestiniens et les 2 mois d’émeutes et de tentatives d’infiltration terroristes à la frontière de Gaza qui s’en sont suivis, l’attention médiatique a été à juste titre portée sur le bilan humain suite à l’agression du Hamas. Dès le début des violences palestiniennes, Israël est universellement condamné pour le nombre de victimes, la grande majorité des personnes tuées étant pourtant des membres du Hamas. Néanmoins, un autre aspect de l’histoire, qui a été rapporté mais dans une bien moindre mesure, est le phénomène des cerfs-volants incendiaires utilisés par le Hamas et ses membres. Le Hamas a adopté la politique de la terre brûlée, une tactique consistant à pratiquer les destructions les plus importantes possibles, détruire ou à endommager gravement ressources, moyens de production, infrastructures, bâtiments ou nature environnante, de manière à les rendre inutilisables. À maintes et maintes reprises, les terroristes ont attaché des engins incendiaires à des cerfs-volants qui sont normalement des jouets pour enfants. En raison des vents soufflant habituellement d’ouest en est, beaucoup de ces engins ont en fait atterri dans les champs et les forêts israéliennes, les conditions météorologiques extrêmement chaudes et sèches favorisant le départ d’incendies massifs. Les rapports indiquent que des milliers de dounams [1/10e d’hectare] de cultures et de plantes ont été détruits à cause de cette forme de terrorisme – le terrorisme agricole. Bien que le terrorisme agricole ne soit pas une nouvelle tactique, il a pris de l’ampleur, tant dans le sud à la frontière avec Gaza qu’au cours des dernières semaines dans toute la Judée et la Samarie. Le Djihad des forêts : les Arabes palestiniens lancent des incendies de terreur depuis les années 1920. Il n’y a rien de nouveau dans l’utilisation des feux pour la terreur. À la fin des années 1980 et au début des années 1990, les incendies criminels palestiniens représentaient environ le tiers de tous les incendies de forêt en Israël. En 2016, de nombreux incendies se sont déclarés dans le nord d’Israël. Les Arabes célèbrent ces incendies sur les réseaux sociaux. La plupart des incendies criminels à la fin des années 1980 étaient directement liés au soulèvement palestinien (la première Intifada). Dans les années 1920, 1930 et 1940, les Palestiniens ont brûlé des centaines d’hectares (Emek en 1936), des maisons et des juifs. En 1929, sous l’impulsion du Mufti pro nazi Al Husseini de nombreux pogroms anti Juifs eurent lieu et la forêt Balfurya dans le nord fut incendiée. Le New York times rapportait en octobre 1938 que plusieurs Juifs avaient été poignardés puis brûlés par un groupe terroriste arabe à Tibériade – Les victimes du massacre : Jacob Zaltz,  M. Kabin et sa soeur, Joshua Ben Arieh sa femme et son fils, les trois enfants de Shlomo Leimer, âgés de 8, 10 et 12 ans, Shimon Mizrahi, sa femme et ses cinq enfants, âgés de 1 à 12 ans. Lors du massacre d’Hébron de 1929, des Arabes tuèrent environ 67 Juifs, en blessèrent 53 et pillèrent des maisons et des synagogues. Après avoir brûlé des centaines de pneus près de la clôture et tenté de pénétrer les kibboutz avoisinants dans l’unique but de massacrer des civils Israéliens, les terroristes de Gaza ont trouvé une nouvelle arme contre Israël : les cerfs-volants incendiaires et les ballons à l’hélium. Israël Hayom a cité la semaine dernière des personnes impliquées dans le domaine qui ont spéculé que, puisqu’il n’y a pas beaucoup de magasins de jouets à Gaza, la seule source logique pour cette quantité d’hélium seraient les hôpitaux de Gaza qui utilisent normalement l’hélium à des fins médicales. Utiliser les hôpitaux pour promouvoir le terrorisme n’est pas nouveau à Gaza. Durant l’Opération Bordure protectrice de 2014, l’hôpital Al-Shifa dans le quartier de North Rimal à Gaza a été décrit par le Washington Post comme un « quartier général de facto pour les dirigeants du Hamas ». Depuis le début des manifestations dites pacifiques par les médias, Les dégâts causés à la flore, aux cultures et à la faune sont considérables, certaines estimations indiquant que les pertes se chiffrent à plusieurs millions de dollars. Selon un rapport du JNS, « les responsables de l’Autorité israélienne pour la nature et les parcs ont estimé qu’au moins un tiers de la réserve naturelle de Carmia a été détruite, avec des dommages significatifs pour les plantes et la faune locales ». Le passage de Kerem Shalom a même été incendié à trois reprises. Ce passage voit quotidiennement passer plus de 6000 tonnes de marchandises et près de 190 camions chaque jour. Selon un haut responsable local de la sécurité, éteindre les pneus en feu n’est pas si simple car ils sont souvent remplis d’explosifs, dans l’espoir de blesser ou de tuer des pompiers. En conséquence, l’armée doit intervenir pour aider les pompiers, ce qui retarde  les efforts de lutte contre l’incendie. Une autre forme de terrorisme agricole est le vol. Deux semaines à peine avant l’incendie des vergers de cerisiers de Kfar Etzion, les Arabes des villages voisins, au milieu de la nuit, avaient pillé les récoltes près du même endroit, volant des tonnes de fruits. Les estimations indiquent qu’environ 50,000 € de cerises ont été volés. Ces criminels ont envoyé un message clair, ils ont peint une croix gammée nazie sur un rocher dans le verger. Ceci est encore une autre similitude avec les cerfs-volants dans le sud, souvent décorés avec des croix gammées. Aussi horrible que soit le terrorisme agricole, les responsables de la sécurité sont conscients que ce type de terrorisme n’est pas une fin en soi, mais seulement un moyen plus sinistre et abjecte. La crainte est qu’une prochaine fois, l’un de ces incendies puisse se propager dans les communautés elles-mêmes, mettant des maisons et des vies en danger. (…) La nouvelle terreur de Gaza  est le cerf-volant. Les Gazaouis attachent des chiffons enflammés ou une sorte de bombe incendiaire à un cerf-volant ou à un ballon à l’hélium pour les laisser tomber en territoire israélien et brûler les cultures et habitations. On n’est pas dans dans la recherche scientifique ou médicale mais dans la recherche de la terreur. Cela a été extrêmement efficace pour frapper les champs Israéliens dans le Néguev, devenant une arme terroriste dévastatrice. Ce phénomène de terrorisme agricole découle des violences qui ont eu lieu à la frontière de Gaza depuis le début des manifestations du mois de mars. Depuis plusieurs semaines, les Gazaouis lancent régulièrement des cerfs-volants équipés d’objets incendiaires, comprenant souvent du charbon de bois et des sacs de sucre pour assurer une longue et lente brûlure. Plus de 700 cerfs-volants et ballons ont été lancés à partir de Gaza, déclenchant plus de 400 incendies. Les dommages causés par ces incendies à l’agriculture israélienne près de la frontière de Gaza est estimée à 3 millions de dollars. Netanyahu a demandé l’avancement d’un plan pour utiliser les fonds de l’Autorité palestinienne pour payer les dommages causés. L’objectif du Hamas est de détruire complètement Israël, et paralyser l’économie Israélienne en brûlant ses récoltes. (…) Le terrorisme aux cerfs-volants n’est qu’une autre tentative des Palestiniens de détruire Israël avec une arme de choix différente. Les Palestiniens ont utilisé les bombes, les détournements d’avions, les roquettes, les mortiers, les bombes humaines, les armes automatiques, les couteaux, les bulldozers, les voitures béliers, les cocktails molotov, les pierres, les tunnels terroristes, les haches, maintenant ce sont des cerfs-volants et des ballons incendiaires. Les provocations récentes du Hamas où des milliers de Gazaouis tentèrent de démolir la barrière frontalière et d’entrer en Israël avec des cocktails Molotov et d’autres armes improvisées font partie d’une tactique macabre du Hamas appelée « l’enfant mort » pour qu’Israël tue autant de Gazaouis que possible afin que les titres commencent toujours, et souvent se terminent, avec le nombre de Palestiniens tués. Le Hamas envoie délibérément des femmes et des enfants sur la ligne de front comme ce fut le cas avec l’infirmière Razzan Al Najjar (qui dans une vidéo reconnaissait être venu tenir un rôle de bouclier humain), tandis que leurs propres et vaillant combattants se planquent dans leurs bunkers ou derrière ces boucliers humains. Jean Vercors (Dreuz)
More ink equals more blood,  newspaper coverage of terrorist incidents leads directly to more attacks. It’s a macabre example of win-win in what economists call a « common-interest game. Both the media and terrorists benefit from terrorist incidents, » their study contends. Terrorists get free publicity for themselves and their cause. The media, meanwhile, make money « as reports of terror attacks increase newspaper sales and the number of television viewers ». Bruno S. Frey (University of Zurich) et Dominic Rohner (Cambridge)
Comme au bon vieux temps de la Terreur, quand les gens venaient assister aux exécutions à la guillotine sur la place publique. Maintenant, c’est par médias interposés que la mort fait vibrer les émotions (…) Les médias filment la mort comme les réalisateurs de X filment les ébats sexuels. Bernard Dugué
Many observers have expressed concern for the excessive attention given to mass shooters of today and the deadliest of yesteryear. CNN’s Anderson Cooper has campaigned against naming names of mass shooters, and 147 criminologists, sociologists, psychologists and other human-behavior experts recently signed on to an open letter urging the media not to identify mass shooters or display their photos. While I appreciate the concern for name and visual identification of mass shooters for fear of inspiring copycats as well as to avoid insult to the memory of those they slaughtered, names and faces are not the problem. It is the excessive detail — too much information — about the killers, their writings, and their backgrounds that unnecessarily humanizes them. We come to know more about them — their interests and their disappointments — than we do about our next door neighbors. Too often the line is crossed between news reporting and celebrity watch. At the same time, we focus far too much on records. We constantly are reminded that some shooting is the largest in a particular state over a given number of years, as if that really matters. Would the massacre be any less tragic if it didn’t exceed the death toll of some prior incident? Moreover, we are treated to published lists of the largest mass shootings in modern US history. For whatever purpose we maintain records, they are there to be broken and can challenge a bitter and suicidal assailant to outgun his violent role models. Although the spirited advocacy of students around the country regarding gun control is to be applauded, we need to keep some perspective about the risk. Slogans like, “I want to go to my graduation, not to my grave,” are powerful, yet hyperbolic. James Alan Fox (Northeastern University)
Voyez comme c’est devenu énorme, en seulement quelques jours… Voyez à quelle vitesse cet incendie du ‘Mendocino Complex’ est monté dans le classement des sinistres. Scott Mclean (Département des forêts et de la protection contre les incendies de Californie)
Holy Fire 2018: Man arrested on suspicion of arson as ‘DOOMSDAY’ fire spreads. California authorities have charged a 51-year-old man with felony arson for allegedly starting the Holy Fire that has been ripping through the Orange and Riverside counties in Southern California as locals describe « doomsday » scenario. » The Express
Deux foyers qui ravagent le nord de la Californie ont formé ensemble, lundi 6 août, le plus grand incendie de l’histoire de cet État de l’ouest des États-Unis, annoncent les autorités. Appelés « incendie du Mendocino Complex », les deux brasiers ont réduit en cendres plus de 114 850 hectares – une superficie proche de la taille de l’immense ville de Los Angeles – et ne sont maîtrisés qu’à 30% environ, a annoncé Calfire, le service californien de lutte contre les incendies. (…) Le « Mendocino Complex » a surpassé en superficie détruite l’incendie Thomas, qui avait détruit 114 078 hectares en décembre 2017. L’incendie Carr, qui sévit également dans le nord de la Californie, a tué sept personnes et détruit plus de 1 600 bâtiments, dont un millier de logements. (…) L’autre grand incendie de la région, surnommé « Ferguson », qui a provoqué la fermeture partielle du parc national de Yosemite, en pleine saison touristique, était contenu à 38%. Plus de 14 000 pompiers combattent les divers incendies en cours dans l’État de Californie. Plusieurs milliers de personnes ont été évacuées depuis le début de cette série de sinistres. Francetv info
A wildland fire is devouring thousands of acres of grass and brush and some rustic cabins as well in Orange and Riverside counties. It’s dubbed the Holy fire, because it started in the Holy Jim Canyon area, near a road with that name. The Orange county register
Unlike hurricanes, wildfires are not named from a predetermined list. They are named by officials, who choose names based on “a geographical location, local landmark, street, lake, mountain, peak, etc.,” the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said. Officials said that quickly coming up with a label provides firefighters another way to locate the blaze and allows officials to track and prioritize incidents by name. A Twitter hashtag that identified the devastating fires in San Diego in 2007 — #sandiegofire — proved useful as people used it to organize information about road closures and evacuations, officials said. (…) Even names that would seem to have little to do with geography often tie back to location somehow. The 2007 Witch Fire, which destroyed about 1,650 structures, had nothing to do with sorcery, but it did originate in an area of San Diego County known as Witch Creek. (…) during the summer of 2015, there were so many fires, officials named one in southeast Idaho “Not Creative,” according to reports. A spokeswoman for the Idaho Department of Lands rationalized the choice to NPR, saying the name was selected after a long day of firefighting and after officials realized there were no significant landmarks nearby. Then there is the 416 Fire. The blaze, which has blackened more than 50,000 acres in Colorado since June, was named by the Durango Interagency Dispatch Center after its “system-generated number,” officials explained. The conflagration was the 416th “incident” in the San Juan National Forest — where the dispatch center is — this year, officials said. (…) The process of naming hurricanes is much more complicated. An international panel of meteorologists actually names the storms years in advance. Meteorologists use six lists of alphabetically arranged female and male names, which are used in rotation. (The 2018 list will be used again in 2024.) But if a storm is so destructive that using its name again would seem insensitive, a committee can remove the name from the list and select a replacement. For instance, Katrina will not be used again. The World Meteorological Organization said the names are never in reference to a particular person. Instead, the group said, the names are meant to be “familiar to the people in each region” because, just as with fires, the point is for the public to be able to remember them. NYT
Selon l’Office for national Statistics, l’usage criminel d’arme blanche, ayant ou non provoqué la mort, est à + 22% de septembre 2016 à sept. 2017 ; usage d’arme à feu, + 11%. La criminalité en général, + 14% (au plus haut depuis 15 ans). Pourquoi cette explosion criminelle dans un pays naguère paisible ?  Cause profonde, l’abolition des gouvernements vraiment « libéraux » ou « conservateurs » en Europe, remplacés par de factices-unanimes petits soldats de la mondialisation heureuse façon DGSI (Davos-Goldman-Sachs-Idéologie). Ainsi Theresa May ou François Hollande, David Gauke ministre conservateur de la Justice à Londres aujourd’hui, ou la libertaire Mme Taubira à Paris naguère, mêmes politiques laxistes et effets pervers. Car c’est la conservatrice Mme May qui, ministre de l’Intérieur, massacre dès 2010 la police britannique, amputant d’un coup son budget de – 18%. En 2015, Mme May dédaigne les alertes des syndicats et cadres de la police, les accusant avec mépris de « crier au loup ». Il y avait en 2010 144 353 policiers dans les rues (Angleterre + Galles) ; en 2015, il en restait 122 859,  – 21 494. Or sur 5 ans, cette décimation fait 4,5 millions de jours d’enquête en moins – à l’immense joie de bandits ainsi laissés la bride sur le cou. Résultat, l’effondrement des taux d’élucidation des polices britanniques. En 2015 encore, Scotland Yard faisait inculper 26% des assaillants au poignard, 11% en 2018. Robberies (braquages, agressions) : 6% d’élucidation en 2017, 94% de crimes impunis. A l’origine de l’explosion criminelle, des gangs toujours plus audacieux et structurés. Or paralysée par le « politiquement correct », Mme May interdit pour l’essentiel aux policiers de fouiller ces jeunes gangsters souvent issus de l’immigration africaine ou ouest-asiatique – comme la majorité des victimes d’homicides et 70 à 80% des gangsters en cause. Les bandits ne s’en cachent d’ailleurs pas, le principal gang juvénile de Londres s’étant lui même baptisé Mali Boys. Face à ce réel criminel, Mme May a empilé formalités absurdes et interdits bienséants – conférant aux gangsters une quasi-impunité. Qui dit explosion dit explosif : c’est l’énorme retour de la cocaïne sur la scène branchée britannique, dans une jeunesse dorée post-crise certes vegan, bobo et fan de café équitable – mais carburant à la coke,  d’où, de mortelles guerres de territoires entre gangs. Ultime cause de l’explosion criminelle : une justice laxiste. L’Angleterre ne poursuit désormais plus les vols en boutiques de moins de 250 euros ; déficit pour le commerce, 7 milliards d’euros – bien sûr répercutés sur les prix. Cette hugolienne mesure coûte à chaque ménage 300 euros par an – déjà l’insécurité dans leur cité, là encore, les pauvres trinquent. (…) Ultime folie: à des policiers abasourdis, le (conservateur) secrétaire d’Etat britannique aux prisons annonce une forte diminution des incarcérations de moins d’un an. Or on l’a vu, la peine réelle pour possession/usage d’une arme blanche est de sept mois et demi de prison ferme ; ce pour moins de 50% des condamnés adultes, et moins de 15% des mineurs – les autres échappant déjà à toute incarcération. Cherchez l’erreur… Xavier Raufer
Dans le cadre d’une enquête pour retrouver un père suspecté d’avoir enlevé son enfant, la police du Nouveau-Mexique, aux États-Unis, a (…) découvert un campement dans lequel onze enfants étaient retenus dans de terribles conditions. Au moins l’un d’entre eux y a été entraîné à l’usage des armes à feu dans le but de le préparer à des tueries de masse, bien que l’objectif précis de cette préparation reste à établir. La dépouille d’un enfant de 4 ans a été retrouvée sur place. L’enquête débute en décembre 2017, dans le comté de Jonesboro, en Géorgie, sur la côte est des États-Unis. Siraj Wahhaj, père de 39 ans, est recherché après la disparition de son fils. La mère affirme à la police que l’enfant, âgé de 3 ans, est allé au parc avec lui et n’en est jamais revenu. Le garçon souffre d’épilepsie, ainsi que de problèmes cognitifs et de développement, explique-t-elle. D’après le Telegraph, elle aurait également évoqué ses craintes d’un «exorcisme» que le père voudrait pratiquer sur son fils, avant de finalement revenir sur ces propos en évoquant une mauvaise traduction du terme. Plusieurs proches du garçonnet, dont son grand-père, imam d’une mosquée de Brooklyn, à New York, lancent une campagne via les réseaux sociaux pour le retrouver, raconte le National Post. (…) Jeudi, de nouvelles informations sont venues ajouter au sordide de l’affaire: au moins un des onze enfants retrouvés a été entraîné à l’usage des armes à feu. «Un tuteur temporaire de l’un des enfants a déclaré que l’accusé avait entraîné l’enfant à tirer avec un fusil d’assaut pour se préparer à de futures fusillades en milieu scolaire», précise le bureau du procureur. Selon CNN, ce dernier mentionne par ailleurs, dans les motivations pour le maintien en prison de Siraj Wahhaj, sa «planification et sa préparation de futures tueries dans des écoles».  (…) Mardi, le shérif du comté de Taos a indiqué que le groupe était «considéré comme extrémiste de la foi musulmane», sans toutefois revenir plus en détails sur ce point. L’homme arrêté avec Siraj Wahhaj, identifié comme Lucas Morten et âgé de 40 ans, a d’abord été inculpé pour hébergement de fugitif, avant que des charges liées à la maltraitance des enfants ne soient ajoutées. Les trois femmes ont été libérées en attendant la suite de l’enquête. Leurs liens avec les protagonistes restent imprécis: selon les sources, elles sont présentées comme étant des mères de certains enfants, ou des sœurs de l’un des deux hommes, ou encore une épouse de l’un d’eux. Le Figaro
Illegal and illiberal immigration exists and will continue to expand because too many special interests are invested in it. It is one of those rare anomalies — the farm bill is another — that crosses political party lines and instead unites disparate elites through their diverse but shared self-interests: live-and-let-live profits for some and raw political power for others. For corporate employers, millions of poor foreign nationals ensure cheap labor, with the state picking up the eventual social costs. For Democratic politicos, illegal immigration translates into continued expansion of favorable political demography in the American Southwest. For ethnic activists, huge annual influxes of unassimilated minorities subvert the odious melting pot and mean continuance of their own self-appointed guardianship of salad-bowl multiculturalism. Meanwhile, the upper middle classes in coastal cocoons enjoy the aristocratic privileges of having plenty of cheap household help, while having enough wealth not to worry about the social costs of illegal immigration in terms of higher taxes or the problems in public education, law enforcement, and entitlements. No wonder our elites wink and nod at the supposed realities in the current immigration bill, while selling fantasies to the majority of skeptical Americans. Victor Davis Hanson
Who are the bigots — the rude and unruly protestors who scream and swarm drop-off points and angrily block immigration authority buses to prevent the release of children into their communities, or the shrill counter-protestors who chant back “Viva La Raza” (“Long Live the Race”)? For that matter, how does the racialist term “La Raza” survive as an acceptable title of a national lobby group in this politically correct age of anger at the Washington Redskins football brand? How can American immigration authorities simply send immigrant kids all over the United States and drop them into communities without firm guarantees of waiting sponsors or family? If private charities did that, would the operators be jailed? Would American parents be arrested for putting their unescorted kids on buses headed out of state? Liberal elites talk down to the cash-strapped middle class about their illiberal anger over the current immigration crisis. But most sermonizers are hypocritical. Take Nancy Pelosi, former speaker of the House. She lectures about the need for near-instant amnesty for thousands streaming across the border. But Pelosi is a multimillionaire, and thus rich enough not to worry about the increased costs and higher taxes needed to offer instant social services to the new arrivals. Progressives and ethnic activists see in open borders extralegal ways to gain future constituents dependent on an ever-growing government, with instilled grudges against any who might not welcome their flouting of U.S. laws. How moral is that? Likewise, the CEOs of Silicon Valley and Wall Street who want cheap labor from south of the border assume that their own offspring’s private academies will not be affected by thousands of undocumented immigrants, that their own neighborhoods will remain non-integrated, and that their own medical services and specialists’ waiting rooms will not be made available to the poor arrivals. … What a strange, selfish, and callous alliance of rich corporate grandees, cynical left-wing politicians, and ethnic chauvinists who have conspired to erode U.S. law for their own narrow interests, all the while smearing those who object as xenophobes, racists, and nativists. Victor Davis Hanson
There is a small minority of Pakistani men who believe that white girls are fair game. And we have to be prepared to say that. You can only start solving a problem if you acknowledge it first. This small minority who see women as second class citizens, and white women probably as third class citizens, are to be spoken out against. (…) These were grown men, some of them religious teachers or running businesses, with young families of their own. Whether or not these girls were easy prey, they knew it was wrong. (…) In mosque after mosque, this should be raised as an issue so that anybody remotely involved should start to feel that the community is turning on them. Communities have a responsibility to stand up and say, ‘This is wrong, this will not be tolerated’. (…) Cultural sensitivity should never be a bar to applying the law. (…) Failure to be “open and front-footed” would “create a gap for extremists to fill, a gap where hate can be peddled.  (…) Leadership is about moving people with you, not just pissing them off. Baroness Warsi
The terrible story of the Oxford child sex ring has brought shame not only on the city of dreaming spires, but also on the local Muslim community. It is a sense of repulsion and outrage that I feel particularly strongly, working as a Muslim leader and Imam in this neighbourhood and trying  to promote genuine  cultural integration. (…) But apart from its sheer depravity, what also depresses me about this case is the widespread refusal to face up to its hard realities. The fact is that the vicious activities of the Oxford ring are bound up with religion and race: religion, because all the perpetrators, though they had different nationalities, were Muslim; and race, because they deliberately targeted vulnerable white girls, whom they appeared to regard as ‘easy meat’, to use one of their revealing, racist phrases. Indeed, one of the victims who bravely gave evidence in court told a newspaper afterwards that ‘the men exclusively wanted white girls to abuse’. But as so often in fearful, politically correct modern Britain, there is a craven unwillingness to face up to this reality. Commentators and politicians tip-toe around it, hiding behind weasel words. We are told that child sex abuse happens ‘in all communities’, that white men are really far more likely to be abusers, as has been shown by the fall-out from the Jimmy Savile case. One particularly misguided commentary argued that the predators’ religion was an irrelevance, for what really mattered was that most of them worked in the night-time economy as taxi drivers, just as in the Rochdale child sex scandal many of the abusers worked in kebab houses, so they had far more opportunities to target vulnerable girls. But all this is deluded nonsense. While it is, of course, true that abuse happens in all communities, no amount of obfuscation can hide the pattern that has been exposed in a series of recent chilling scandals, from Rochdale to Oxford, and Telford to Derby. In all these incidents, the abusers were Muslim men, and their targets were under-age white girls. Moreover, reputable studies show that around 26 per cent of those involved in grooming and exploitation rings are Muslims, which is around five times higher than the proportion of Muslims in the adult male population. To pretend that this is not an issue for the Islamic community is to fall into a state of ideological denial. But then part of the reason this scandal happened at all is precisely because of such politically correct thinking. All the agencies of the state, including the police, the social services and the care system, seemed eager to ignore the sickening exploitation that was happening before their eyes. Terrified of accusations of racism, desperate not to undermine the official creed of cultural diversity, they took no action against obvious abuse. (…) Amazingly, the predators seem to have been allowed by local authority managers to come and go from care homes, picking their targets to ply them with drink and drugs before abusing them. You can be sure that if the situation had been reversed, with gangs of tough, young white men preying on vulnerable Muslim girls, the state’s agencies would have acted with greater alacrity. Another sign of the cowardly approach to these horrors is the constant reference to the criminals as ‘Asians’ rather than as ‘Muslims’. In this context, Asian is a completely meaningless term.  The men were not from China, or India or Sri Lanka or even Bangladesh. They were all from either Pakistan or Eritrea, which is, in fact, in East Africa rather than Asia. What united them in their outlook was their twisted, corrupt mindset, which bred their misogyny and racism. (…) In the misguided orthodoxy that now prevails in many mosques, including several of those in Oxford, men are unfortunately taught that women are second-class citizens, little more than chattels or possessions over whom they have absolute authority. That is why we see this growing, reprehensible fashion for segregation at Islamic events on university campuses, with female Muslim students pushed to the back of lecture halls. There was a telling incident in the trial when it was revealed that one of the thugs heated up some metal to brand a girl, as if she were a cow. ‘Now, if you have sex with someone else, he’ll know that you belong to me,’ said this criminal, highlighting an attitude where women are seen as nothing more than personal property. The view of some Islamic preachers towards white women can be appalling. They encourage their followers to believe that these women are habitually promiscuous, decadent and sleazy — sins which are made all the worse by the fact that they are kaffurs or non-believers. Their dress code, from mini-skirts to sleeveless tops, is deemed to reflect their impure and immoral outlook. According to this mentality, these white women deserve to be punished for their behaviour by being exploited and degraded. On one level, most imams in the UK are simply using their puritanical sermons to promote the wearing of the hijab and even the burka among their female adherents. But the dire result can be the brutish misogyny we see in the Oxford sex ring. (…) It is telling, though, that they never dared to target Muslim girls from the Oxford area. They knew that they would be sought out by the girls’ families and ostracised by their community. But preying on vulnerable white girls had no such consequences — once again revealing how intimately race and religion are bound up with this case. (…) Horror over this latest scandal should serve as a catalyst for a new approach, but change can take place only if we abandon the dangerous blinkers of political correctness and antiquated multiculturalism. Dr. Taj Hargey (Imam of the Oxford Islamic Congregation)
Les immigrés sont une excellente affaire pour l’Etat français: ils rapportent une grosse douzaine de milliards d’euros par an et paient nos retraites. Juan Pedro Quiñonero (ABC)
L’entrée de 50 000 nouveaux immigrés par an permettrait de réduire de 0,5 point de PIB le déficit des retraites. Comité d’orientation des retraites
Il s’agit d’un processus historique lié à la structure de la population immigrée, majoritairement jeune. Comme ils sont peu qualifiés, les immigrés sont très souvent au chômage. Mais ils dépensent aussi beaucoup et sont très entreprenants. Les pensions que nous versons aux retraités sont plus que compensées par la consommation et les cotisations sociales que paient les plus jeunes, parmi lesquels on trouve des gens très dynamiques. Xavier Chojnicki
Maintenant, je me sens carrément isolée, je suis une toute petite minorité. C’est difficile de devenir une minorité chez soi, vous savez (…). Ce qui est nouveau, c’est que les Français d’origine étrangère se replient sur leur origine, ne se sentent plus français. Et moi, Française, je me sens mal (…) Même mes fils sont d’une autre culture que moi. Pour eux, être français, ça ne veut rien dire. Ils n’ont plus de nationalité, ils s’identifient de manière vague à une religion, celle qui est majoritaire. Ils observent les gestes de l’islam, une façon musulmane d’être et de parler, ils sont fiers d’appartenir à la majorité. Ils ne veulent pas être français, ils ne veulent pas s’intégrer dans la société, ils voudraient être blacks et beurs comme tout le monde, mais ils ne se comportent pas comme des musulmans. Tant de choses incohérentes. Christine C. (47 ans, cinq enfants, 28 ans de Courneuve, Le Monde, 12.11. 05)
L’explosion de l’immigration extra-européenne est venue paradoxalement des restrictions à l’entrée légale de travailleurs dans les années 1970. (…) à la fin des «Trente Glorieuses» (1944-1974), les gouvernements de droite comme de gauche, saisis de peur par la montée du chômage, ont multiplié les obstacles à l’entrée de nouveaux travailleurs au nom d’une certaine forme de «préférence nationale».(…) Depuis cette époque, les lois européennes organisent la prise en charge des étrangers qui se présentent au titre du regroupement familial ou de l’asile politique. Mais elles rejettent ceux qui prétendent travailler, créer des richesses et ne pas rester à la charge du pays d’accueil !… On convient d’appeler «clandestin» (ou plus pudiquement «sans-papier») un jeune Africain qui traverse au péril de sa vie le détroit de Gibraltar pour s’embaucher dans une exploitation agricole ou une entreprise de construction… Mais on considère comme immigrante régulière l’adolescente turque, nord-africaine ou noire qui est vendue par son père à un sien cousin déjà installé en Europe et présentée par ce dernier au consulat de son pays d’adoption comme son «épouse» légitime…(…)De la sorte, le mariage et le «regroupement familial» sont devenus le prétexte à une immigration clandestine déguisée. Cette immigration est de loin la plus importante et la plus pernicieuse car les femmes concernées et leurs enfants sont voués à la relégation dans des logements sociaux avec peu d’espoir d’assimiler un jour les valeurs et le mode de vie du pays d’accueil. L’assimilation est d’autant plus utopique que la majorité des enfants d’immigrants reviennent dans le pays d’origine de leurs parents pour y prendre un conjoint (98% des jeunes Turcs de France seraient dans ce cas). Chaque nouvelle génération effectue ainsi un retour à la case départ, vidant de son sens le concept de «deuxième ou troisième génération». Avec pour conséquence l’émergence de sociétés séparées et d’une ségrégation de fait. (…) La riche culture que les Français ont reçue en héritage est confrontée au développement d’une contre-culture archaïque (rejet de l’école, vocabulaire primaire, violence gratuite). Les chansons des rappeurs de banlieue expriment sans équivoque la montée de la haine. Ces paroles d’un racisme outrancier valent à leurs auteurs la compréhension énamourée de la bourgeoisie, comme si le mal-vivre excusait toutes les violences, y compris l’apologie du racisme et du meurtre ! (…) Ces violences sont attisées par l’attitude de la classe dominante, blanche, bourgeoise et bien-pensante. Celle-ci dénigre sa propre Histoire et jette Napoléon, Corneille et La Fontaine dans les poubelles de l’Histoire. Elle prive les nouveaux-venus d’un modèle dont ils pourraient tirer fierté. Elle «victimise» d’autre part les pauvres diables en peine de s’insérer dans le pays où ils ont cherché refuge. (…) La fracture nationale fait au moins l’affaire des classes supérieures qui tirent parti de leurs atouts (éducation, héritage) pour renforcer leur position sociale comme le démontre le chercheur Éric Maurin. Dans les «ghettos blancs» du VIIe arrondissement, de Neuilly, de Saint-Germain-en-Laye ou Chevreuse… les privilégiés considèrent avec détachement les troubles qui agitent le reste du pays. Qu’ont-ils à craindre ?… De l’École Alsacienne au lycée Henri IV, leurs enfants bénéficient d’un parcours fléché qui leur garantit de conserver leur statut social et les préserve de tout mélange. Les revenus de ces classes supérieures progressent à qui mieux mieux tandis que les classes moyennes voient les leurs stagner ou régresser sous le fardeau d’un État boulimique et impotent. À l’autre extrémité de l’échelle sociale, les enfants des classes populaires et immigrées n’ont plus guère l’espoir d’accéder un jour aux premières places de la fonction publique et des grandes entreprises. Depuis un quart de siècle, l’ascenseur social est en panne et les clivages culturels, religieux et linguistiques qui se mettent en place rendent plus minces encore leurs chances de promotion. (…) La très grande majorité des immigrants qui affluent en Europe par-dessus la Méditerranée ou le Bosphore n’ont pas de qualification professionnelle. Ils sont exclus des emplois légaux et grossissent l’économie souterraine (travail au noir, réseaux esclavagistes…), à moins qu’ils ne se cantonnent dans des emplois précaires (vigiles, nurses, aides-ménagères…). Quant aux diplômés du tiers monde qui quittent leur pays, ils choisissent unanimement les États-Unis et le Canada, assurés de pouvoir y travailler et développer leurs talents dans d’excellentes conditions et sans restrictions administratives (la moitié des 180.000 immigrants qu’a reçus le Canada en 2005 avaient un niveau d’études supérieures. Sans commentaire !). (…) Des démographes mandatés par l’ONU ont publié en 2000 un rapport mi-sérieux, mi-ironique où ils faisaient valoir que la France aurait besoin de 25 millions d’immigrants d’ici 2025 pour combler les postes vacants dans les entreprises… en l’absence de toute réforme d’envergure et à supposer que l’on trouve dans le tiers monde les compétences indispensables aux besoins d’une économie moderne. Il va de soi que l’entrée d’un aussi grand nombre d’immigrants ruinerait les fondations sociales, historiques et culturelles de la France et de l’Europe, et l’on comprend le désarroi des citoyens auxquels leurs leaders présentent cette éventualité comme une chance à saisir ! (…) Il est antinomique de faire venir de l’étranger des laveurs de carreaux, des infirmières ou des bûcherons et de prétendre résorber le chômage massif chez les jeunes Français issus des précédentes vagues de travailleurs immigrés. Les petits (et grands) patrons de la restauration jurent leurs grands dieux qu’ils ne trouvent personne à qui confier leur plonge ou même leur cuisine en-dehors d’Africains de la brousse n’ayant jamais touché la queue d’une poêle. Comment est-il possible dans ces conditions que McDonald’s arrive à recruter des jeunes dans les banlieues ou les milieux estudiantins pour des travaux similaires ? Les petits (et grands) patrons du bâtiment expliquent de la même façon qu’ils ne trouvent personne pour les emplois de manœuvres ou même de maçons et doivent recourir à des travailleurs africains. Mais comment se peut-il que les centres de tri d’ordures ménagères arrivent à recruter du personnel dans les milieux populaires pour des travaux autrement plus pénibles ? (…) Les sociétés de gardiennage recourent désormais de façon presque systématique à des immigrés africains… mais les entreprises de logistique trouvent bien à employer des jeunes Français dans des tâches autrement plus éprouvantes. Et que dire des musées ? La plupart, y compris les plus prestigieux, confient désormais la garde de leurs salles à des personnes étrangères qui souvent maîtrisent à peine la langue française. (…) La France n’échappera sans doute pas au retour des internats surveillés ni à l’apprentissage dès 14 ans (au lieu de 16) pour lutter contre la déscolarisation (pourquoi pas aussi des études surveillées dans les écoles jusqu’en fin de soirée pour dissuader les enfants de traîner dans les rues, selon une suggestion de feu Françoise Dolto ?). Un service civique obligatoire et universel devrait compenser la suppression hâtive du service militaire, qui était le seul lieu où les jeunes déclassés pouvaient rencontrer des Français d’autres milieux que le leur. Ce service civique devrait privilégier les échanges entre jeunes Français(es) de milieux différents, les plus favorisé(e)s instruisant les autres (alphabétisation, instruction civique, tenue d’un ménage, apprentissage de la conduite automobile, formation professionnelle…). André Larané
La version originale de cet article a donné une représentation inexacte de ce qui est arrivé à la petite fille après la photo. Elle n’a pas été emmenée en larmes par les patrouilles frontalières ; sa mère l’a récupérée et les deux ont été interpellées ensemble. Time
Sur le plateau de la NBCNews, l’ancien président du Comité national du parti Républicain, Michael Steele, vient de comparer les centres dans lesquels sont accueillis les enfants de clandestins aux Etats-Unis à des camps de concentration. Il s’adresse alors aux Américains : « Demain, ce pourrait être vos enfants ». La scène résume à elle seule la folie qui s’est emparée de la sphère politico-médiatique après que Donald Trump a ordonné aux autorités gardant la frontière mexicaine d’appliquer la loi et de séparer les parents de leurs enfants entrés illégalement aux Etats-Unis. Passons sur la comparaison. Aussi indécente que manipulatrice : ces enfants ne sont pas enfermés en attendant la mort. Quant à la mise en garde, elle est grotesque. Aucun Américain ne se verra subitement séparé de ses enfants. A moins d’avoir commis un crime ou un délit puni de prison. Quand un citoyen lambda est condamné à une peine de prison, personne ne s’offusque jamais de cette séparation … Jusqu’à ce que cela touche des clandestins. Leur particularité étant de n’avoir aucun logement dans le pays dont ils viennent de violer la frontière, leurs enfants sont donc pris en charge dans des camps, en attendant que la situation des adultes soit examinée. Aux frais des Américains. (…) Reste que les parents, prévenus de la loi que nul n’est censé ignorer, sont les premiers responsables du sort qui menace leurs enfants, en choisissant de la violer. Ce sont eux qui font payer leur délit à leur propre progéniture. Les clandestins sont des adultes tout aussi responsables que n’importe quel autre adulte : leur retirer leur capacité de décision, leur liberté et donc leur responsabilité n’est pas exactement les respecter. Mais (…) remontons à 2014, époque bénie du président Barack Obama. Cette année-là, 47.017 mineurs sont appréhendés, alors qu’ils traversent la frontière… seuls. Des enfants, envoyés par leurs parents qui n’ont apparemment pas eu peur de s’en séparer pour leur faire prendre des risques inconsidérés. Comment est-ce possible ? L’administration américaine d’alors avait affirmé que les étrangers envoyaient leurs enfants seuls, persuadés qu’ils seraient ainsi mieux traités que des adultes. Le New York Times avait donné raison à l’administration : « alors que l’administration Obama a évolué vers une attitude plus agressive d’expulsion des adultes, elle a, dans les faits, expulsé beaucoup moins d’enfants que par le passé. » Les clandestins le savent, tout comme ils connaissent aujourd’hui les risques qui pèsent sur leurs propres enfants. On apprend également qu’à l’époque, les enfants mexicains sont directement reconduits de l’autre côté de la frontière et que les autres sont « pris en charge par le département de la Santé et des Services humanitaires qui les place dans des centres temporaires en attendant que leur processus d’expulsion soit lancé. » En 2013, 80 centres accueillaient 25 000 enfants non accompagnés. Et ce, dans les mêmes conditions aujourd’hui dénoncées. Si similaires d’ailleurs que certains ont voulu critiquer la politique migratoire de Donald Trump en usant de photos datant de… 2014 ! Rien n’a changé. A un détail près. Les enfants dont on parle en ce mois de juin 2018 sont parfois accompagnés d’adultes. Comme sous l’administration Obama, les enfants sont séparés de ces adultes lorsqu’il y a un doute sur le lien réel de parenté, en cas de suspicion de trafic de mineurs ou par manque de place dans les centres de rétention pour les familles. Restent les enfants effectivement accompagnés de leurs parents et malgré tout séparés de ces derniers qui partent en prison. Chaque mois, 50.000 clandestins entrent aux Etats-Unis, parmi lesquels 15% de familles. Une fois arrêtés, les clandestins sont pénalement poursuivis avant toute demande d’asile. (…) Mais il a suffi de quelques images, publiées en même temps que la sortie du très attendu rapport sur la possible partialité du FBI lors des dernières élections présidentielles américaines, pour que l’opinion politico-médiatique hurle au scandale. Jusqu’à la première dame du pays, Mélania Trump, qui a confié « détester » voir les clandestins séparés de leurs enfants. Le Président lui-même a fini par douter publiquement : «Le dilemme est si vous êtes mou, ce que certaines personnes aimeraient que vous soyez, si vous êtes vraiment mou, pathétiquement mou… le pays va être envahi par des millions de gens. Et si vous êtes ferme, vous n’avez pas de coeur. C’est un dilemme difficile. Peut-être que je préfère être ferme, mais c’est un dilemme difficile.» Donald Trump a subi l’indignation générale (à moins d’en profiter), au point de montrer au monde que même lui avait du cœur en annonçant la signature d’un décret mettant fin à cette séparation forcée. Tout le monde s’est félicité du résultat de la mobilisation : enfin, les enfants vont pouvoir rejoindre leurs parents en prison ! Quelle victoire… Charlotte d’Ornellas
L’humoriste Yassine Belattar (…) est venu à Nantes, pour rencontrer les proches d’Aboubakar Fofana, tué le 3 juillet par un tir policier, parler aux animateurs du quartier du Breil où a eu lieu le drame, aux avocats de la famille… Sans mettre en avant sa nouvelle casquette de membre du Conseil présidentiel des villes. L’humoriste issu des banlieues franciliennes a une voix qui porte, quitte à faire grincer des dents, et il n’est pas du genre à la fermer quand un sujet lui tient à cœur. « Ça sert à quoi, sinon, d’être artiste ? » Jordan, 24 ans, habitant du Breil et  «meilleur ami» d’Aboubakar se tient à ses côtés. Ils partagent la même indignation.  « Pendant 48 heures, notre ami s’est fait traiter de voyou. Il a été insulté sur les réseaux sociaux. Des commentaires racistes se sont réjouis de sa mort ! Une double peine pour sa famille,  se désole le jeune Nantais.  « Tout ça parce que la police – via les médias- a laissé croire qu’il avait été tué dans un acte de légitime défense »,  renchérit Yassine. Ils racontent : «  Ce garçon de 22 ans vivait à Nantes depuis un an et neuf mois. Ok, il avait fait des conneries à Garges-lès-Gonesses, difficile d’y échapper quand on grandit dans l’une des banlieues les plus mal famées de France. Mais, fort d’une famille très unie, aimante, il était parti à Nantes pour se reconstruire, trouver du travail. Et il est victime d’un fait divers affreux. »  Yassine Belattar ajoute : « Je suis tombé de ma chaise quand je me suis rendu compte que le policier avait menti ! » Le drame a provoqué cinq nuits d’émeutes à Nantes : 175 voitures brûlées, une trentaine de bâtiments public et commerces dégradés ou ravagés par des incendies… Un choc pour la ville.  « En banlieue parisienne, ça aurait été bien pire, affirme Belattar.  Ici, les habitants espèrent encore dans la justice, les associations sont présentes dans des quartiers qui ne sont pas éloignés du centre-ville. Mais la violence n’est pas une solution. Ce n’est pas en brûlant une bibliothèque qu’on va faire revivre Aboubakar. Le problème des émeutes, c’est qu’au bout d’un moment, ça devient comme une espèce de jeu pour des très jeunes gens. Et dans cinq ans, à cause de ça, le gamin qui aura marqué Breil sur son CV ne va pas forcément se faire rappeler ». Ils ne veulent pas évoquer les suites judiciaires de cette affaire, pour laisser le champ aux avocats de la famille. Mais l’humoriste, confirmant que le CRS auteur du tir est d’origine maghrébine, balaie l’hypothèse d’un homicide raciste :  « Pour nous, ce n’est pas un Rebeu qui a tué un Noir. C’est un policier qui a tué un jeune. Voilà le problème. »  Jordan et lui espèrent que le « mensonge » initial du policier, provoquera un déclic,  « un renouveau »,  dans les relations devenues détestables entre les forces de l’ordre et les jeunes.  « C’est peut-être l’occasion d’ouvrir une nouvelle page. Il faut qu’ils se parlent. Qu’ils crèvent l’abcès pour de vrai. Oui, des policiers n’en peuvent plus de se faire insulter. Oui, certains peuvent friser le  burn-out . Oui, les gens des quartiers se font maltraiter, insultés eux aussi et ont peur de la police, contrairement aux gens des centres-villes, martèle l’humoriste. Ouest France
Les médias convenus n’aiment guère qu’on les critique : pour un peu, on en deviendrait complotiste. Mais sans voir aucunement de complot, on est bien obligé de trouver la trace de l’idéologie sommaire que l’on ne reconnaît que trop dans l’unanimisme de leurs mensonges et de leurs silences. La première semaine d’août nous en apporte les preuves les plus caricaturales. C’est ainsi que l’ensemble de la presse française aura rapporté uniment qu’une jeune athlète noire nommée Daisy Osakue, née à Turin de parents nigérians et qui avait reçu un jet d’œuf sur la cornée avait été victime « d’un attentat raciste ». La palme académique revenant au journal Le Monde qui, se saisissant de l’événement, y voyait dans un éditorial le signe définitif « d’une inquiétante montée du racisme en Italie » en imputant la responsabilité principale au vice-président du Conseil et ministre de l’Intérieur, le détesté par lui, Matteo Salvini. De là à penser, idéologiquement et politiquement, que l’occasion était trop belle pour la presse convenable de régler son compte au détestable, il n’y a qu’un pas qu’il est difficile de ne pas vouloir franchir. Rien n’explique sinon pourquoi la presse se serait saisie avec un si vorace appétit d’une affaire aussi modeste dans laquelle le procureur de Turin, dès le début avait fait montre d’une bien plus grande prudence en faisant observer que d’autres victimes blanches avaient fait l’objet du même type d’agression dans les mêmes moments. Mais on ne fait pas d’omelettes idéologiques sans casser quelques œufs sur la tête du public. C’est dans ces tristes conditions que le 3 août, les Décodeurs du Monde reconnaissaient que l’hypothèse raciste avait perdu grandement de sa consistance. Simple question, en passant, n’appelle-t-on pas cela un fake, un peu infect ? et celui-ci, une fois encore, n’émane pas d’une télévision russe ou de la fâcheuse sphère, mais de la presse sévère. Après le mensonger tumulte, la discrétion complice : le samedi soir 28 juillet, un jeune homme, Adrien Perez, fêtait son anniversaire dans une discothèque de Meylan près de Grenoble. À la sortie de l’établissement au petit matin celui-ci prêtait secours à un ami agressé par trois voyous dont deux frères, Younes et Yanis El Habib, et mourait sous leurs couteaux. La presse convenue a fait profil bien plus bas que pour un lancer d’œuf à l’étranger, mais le père d’Adrien n’a pu se retenir : « En tuant notre fils, ils ont détruit notre vie, je ne pardonnerai jamais. » Lorsque j’écris que la presse a fait profil bas, je suis trop bon : l’audiovisuel de service public s’est montré comme toujours très idéologique. C’est ainsi que France 3 Rhône-Alpes a voulu retenir que ce père ne voulait pas être catalogué comme « raciste » et ne désirait pas « que les politiques récupèrent cette affaire ». Raciste ? Tiens ! C’est vrai, pourquoi non ? Si on doit questionner continûment la présence du racisme. Mais aucun danger : on aura fait un tintamarre pour rien à Turin, mais la question sera interdite d’être posée dans l’Isère. Quant à la « récupération politique », que France 3 se rassure, aucun danger d’émeute, quand bien même le Juge de la Liberté a refusé de suivre les réquisitions du parquet et a laissé libre le troisième suspect, le peuple restera calme. Il ne bouge pas le peuple. Il regarde la télévision, le peuple. Il n’y a que lorsque ce sont les délinquants qui sont victimes d’accidents du travail, que l’on brûle les édifices, que l’on blesse la police, et que l’on hurle au racisme. Tout de même, entre les marches blanches avec bougies victimaires et les saccages, il devrait désormais exister un juste milieu pour la juste colère. Les marches dignes ne seraient plus forcément silencieuses. Gilles-William Goldnadel
Mais le peuple, c’est pas le peuple qui  gouverne, c’est pas le peuple qui décide de quelle loi on doit faire à un instant T. Si on écoutait le peuple on aurait encore la peine de mort, nous aurions l’alcool au volant et peut-être d’autres excèsC’est pas au peuple de décider si on doit recevoir ou pas ces migrants, c’est au gouvernement pour qui le peuple a voté. (…) Même s’il y a des manifestations contre les migrants, ça ne change rien au fait qu’on doit au moins les accueillir … Jimmy Mohamed (médecin urgentiste, RMC, 14.08.2018)
Les pays du Nord subventionnent les pays du Sud, moyennant l’aide au développement, afin que les démunis puissent mieux vivre et – ce n’est pas toujours dit aussi franchement – rester chez eux. Or, ce faisant, les pays riches se tirent une balle dans le pied. En effet, du moins dans un premier temps, ils versent une prime à la migration en aidant des pays pauvres à atteindre le seuil de prospérité à partir duquel leurs habitants disposent des moyens pour partir et s’installer ailleurs. C’est l’aporie du « codéveloppement », qui vise à retenir les pauvres chez eux alors qu’il finance leur déracinement. Il n’y a pas de solution. Car il faut bien aider les plus pauvres, ceux qui en ont le plus besoin ; le codéveloppement avec la prospère île Maurice, sans grand risque d’inciter au départ, est moins urgent… Les cyniques se consoleront à l’idée que l’aide a rarement fait advenir le développement mais, plus souvent, servi de « rente géopolitique » à des alliés dans l’arrière-cour mondiale. Dans un reportage au long cours titré The Uninvited, « les hôtes indésirables », Jeremy Harding, l’un des rédacteurs en chef de la London Review of Books, a pointé avec ironie le dilemme du codéveloppement : « des pays nantis – par exemple, les pays membres de l’UE – qui espèrent décourager la migration depuis des régions très pauvres du monde par un transfert prudent de ressources (grâce à des accords bilatéraux, des annulations de dettes et ainsi de suite) ne devraient pas être trop déçus en découvrant au bout d’un certain temps que leurs initiatives ont échoué à améliorer les conditions de vie dans les pays ciblés. Car un pays qui réussirait effectivement à augmenter son PIB, le taux d’alphabétisation de ses adultes et l’espérance de vie – soit un mieux à tout point de vue – produirait encore plus de candidats au départ qu’un pays qui se contente de son enterrement en bas du tableau de l’économie mondiale. » Les premiers rayons de prospérité pourraient bien motiver un plus grand nombre d’Africains à venir en Europe. Pourquoi ? Les plus pauvres parmi les pauvres n’ont pas les moyens d’émigrer. Ils n’y pensent même pas. Ils sont occupés à joindre les deux bouts, ce qui ne leur laisse guère le loisir de se familiariser avec la marche du monde et, encore moins, d’y participer. À l’autre extrême, qui coïncide souvent avec l’autre bout du monde, les plus aisés voyagent beaucoup, au point de croire que l’espace ne compte plus et que les frontières auraient tendance à disparaître ; leur liberté de circuler – un privilège – émousse leur désir de s’établir ailleurs. C