The challenge of fair immigration

There's no point in avoiding the toughest subjects. We all still remember the huge influx of asylum seekers in 2015. Some are shouting for closed borders, some are shouting for limitless immigration, and everyone in the middle is bleeding from the ears. If we set up a few ground rules, a few widely accepted cornerstones, we can work on a fair solution. It's not interesting, but has a chance of working.

Cornerstones and carrots

I won't go deeply into the matter of populist talk, I may have another episode for that, so I'll go straight into the cornerstones for handling asylum seekers. I think a notable majority of the EU population can agree that...
  1. We can't close the borders from everyone
  2. We can't let everyone in without any limits
  3. We can't force countries to accept migrants
  4. We can't allow people to drown in the Mediterranean Sea
It seems a lot of notable EU leaders are planning for a processing center outside the EU. Due to the popularity of this idea, I'll accept it as feasible. We'll also need a points system, and we need this processing center to validate points. We need them to strongly verify the identity of asylum seekers and we need them to verify the skills they claim to have. This builds trust and works as a strong incentive for member countries to accept migrants from this center.

If a person at the center has high points - let's say from language skills and professional skills, this person will be a great benefit to a member country and should have no problem finding a place. However, if the person has lower points, less skills, injuries or such, the EU can compensate for the extra costs. Thus member countries have a carrot to choose either types of migrants, those ready for a job or school immediately, and those needing more assistance first.

Each member state has their own rules on the validity and length of permits. Maybe they'll get a six month or one year permit first. Maybe they'll have a chance to try again if something goes wrong, or maybe they will be returned to the center immediately. Naturally the reason of return would matter. If the job just doesn't work out or more skills are needed, that's no reason for not applying again. If the reason of return is committing a violent crime, then this person has no chance to apply again. Just the possibility of returning a person to the center will work as an incentive both for member countries wary of immigration, and for the migrants themselves to do their best.

Taking responsibility

We must be smart with the whole package. The EU needs to operate this center themselves and be absolutely sure of humane conditions. We can't delegate that to anyone, though of course we'll need to work closely with the UNHCR. On the side, we'd need to put more skill into managing development aid. Money can do good or bad, so we should stop looking at the amount of aid, and focus on the end results instead. The number one issue is unsustainable population growth. Statistics can easily help us see whether we're able to help countries with this problem. We should also not look blindly at religions, neither our own or the ones in the target countries. They may help, but they may also harm.

As many will say, immigration is a part of human history. Borders have been crossed as long as there have been borders to cross. But of course, the world changes, thus the rules of immigration must change alongside. There's no drama in that, simply a boring reassessment of facts every now and then. Anything else would be unfair for every party and usually tends to end in criminal gains, as we've obviously seen in the previous years with human trafficking. That end result we cannot accept, no matter how good our intentions may be.