A German expert on migration has stated that Europe is at risk unless it stops resettling large numbers of migrants, and recommended that the bloc’s entire approach to asylum must be overturned.
In an interview with Die Welt, Dr. Kay Hailbronner warned that in terms of capacity and national security, resettling migrants is the wrong approach for countries in the West. Dr. Hailbronner is a professor emeritus of the University of Konstanz and director of its Research Centre for International and European Immigration and Asylum.
Asked whether the federal government’s migration policy puts Germany at risk, Dr. Hailbronner said that rising numbers of immigrants always pose an increased security threat.
“An increase in the number of asylum seekers naturally increases the security risk because it can never be ruled out that there are dangerous people among them. In addition to this general factor, the risk was again increased in that [Merkel’s open borders policy led to an even more] excessive demand,” he told Die Welt.
Die Welt brought up the fact that Canada, Australia, and the USA “take very few irregular migrants but more refugees who have been screened from the centres within the conflict region”. Dr. Hailbronner acknowledged that this process can reduce the security risk but that along with background checks, countries should assess migrants’ willingness to integrate.
The interviewer asked whether Germany should follow those countries and take people from camps while minimising irregular migrants. Dr. Hailbronner insisted resettling migrants from camps is not the solution.
Dr. Hailbronner said that approach “ignores the fact that refugee protection in the long term can not be realised without regard to national capacity and security interests”.
He recommended that a global approach should be developed to protect people seeking asylum, one which “understands refugee protection is part of an international refugee management, involving many States.
“Not only through resettlement or other recording programmes, but also through joint financing and agreements on external protection areas.”
Dr. Hailbronner stated that resettlement should be temporary, and criticised the Geneva Convention’s demand that countries must facilitate the naturalisation of refugees. He pointed out that the Convention’s rules neglect the security needs of member states, and said they should be revised.
The professor said: “The approach of the Geneva Convention, namely national granting of protection and connection of non-refoulement with immigration and naturalisation, fails to recognise the different protection needs and security interests of the Member States and the need for international control and inspection. The Geneva Convention is, so far, partially in need of revision.”
With regards to how the European Union (EU) should respond to irregular migration, Dr. Hailbronner advocated “a return to EU-funded centres or protection zones or third countries in the region”.
Dr. Hailbronner said Germans “would pay” for “an increasing exposure to a large number of refugees from other cultures”. The legal scholar argued widescale integration is unsustainable, and that incidents such as the Ansbach axe attack are “the price” of Germany’s open door approach.