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Response to migrants issue must be rational

Published 23/09/2015

The refugee crisis has triggered much emoting, with little tolerance for arguments that compassionate treatment of individual genuine cases must be accompanied by rational thinking and decision making taking into account the long-term, broader picture.

To a degree this has been driven by a manipulative media selectively using mostly images of crying children and not the many young men who perhaps should be home fighting for their country, as well as the many people who are clearly economic migrants.

Maybe more people should visit a Native American reservation and ask how they feel about the consequences of the policy reflected on a plaque at the Statue of Liberty: "Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free."

No country can call itself independent if it cannot control its borders.

There must be a clear definition of what constitutes genuine asylum seekers and the countries or conflicts currently relevant and these should be warmly welcomed and cared for.

Economic migrants can also be welcomed, but only on the basis of a rational, points-based system. This can only be done after the unemployment problem in Europe has been addressed.

To tackle the current and future problems at source, the West must stop interfering, even with the best of intentions. Emotional responses to the Arab Spring just resulted in dictators being replaced by chaos.

Western companies should be encouraged to create employment directly or through trade in poorer countries, as this is more effective than aid in raising living standards.

ALAN HOPE

By email

Belfast Telegraph

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