“Irrespective of the political forces at play,” says Trey Dimsdale in this week’s Acton Commentary, “there is no arguing with the fact that such a large number of displaced immigrants presents a monumental humanitarian crisis in which survival becomes the initial, but not final, concern.”
Prior to 2014, fewer than 300,000 refugees and migrants arrived in the European Union each year. Due to war and unrest in the Middle East and North Africa, that relatively slow trickle more than quadrupled by the end of the year. The result was squalid refugee and migrant camps, crowded train stations, and anti-immigrant demonstrations across the continent. Most refugees and migrants entered Europe via nations least able to absorb and support them, causing internal EU tensions to rise. By mid-2015 it was clear that Europe was facing a major humanitarian and political crisis not likely to be easily resolved.