The Refugee Crisis That Isn’t
Photo © 2015 Reuters
By Kenneth Roth
European leaders may differ about how to respond to the asylum-seekers and migrants surging their way, but they seem to agree they face a crisis of enormous proportions. But before we get carried away by their apocalyptic rhetoric, we should recognize that if there is a crisis, it is one of politics, not capacity.
This "wave of people" is more like a trickle when considered against the pool that must absorb it. The European Union's population is roughly 500 million. The latest estimate of the numbers of people using irregular means to enter Europe this year via the Mediterranean or the Balkans is approximately 340,000. In other words, the influx this year is only 0.068 percent of the EU's population.