Thursday, May 30, 2019

Borderless (Lauren Southern) Documentary

A decent enough documentary to show people who are somewhat ambivalent when it comes to the question of refugees and migration into Europe (or an inflow of migrants/refugees from poor countries to wealthy countries).

While they occasionally do get figures about how much an illegal migrant may have paid a smuggler or the number of migrants per day in a refugee center, statistics are kept to a minimum. It's never really clear how many migrants are going into one area or how much this may cost the taxpayer.

The cost is likely greater per capita in Europe compared to the U.S. if the situation in France is very comparable to the rest of Europe, with its vast swathes of unhoused migrants sleeping in tents under bridges, unable to find employment, even though they speak French, in the case of the ONE example they provide. It's not clear if he was truly seeking work or how widespread this is. But the point to be made is that many fleeing to Europe, despite banners exclaiming "REFUGEES WELCOME", will find themselves impoverished and in the streets, disaffected, perhaps wishing they were home. In fact, when asked, many of them to express a degree of regret. Strangely exempt are any explorations of countries with migrants who are better accommodated with welfare and government subsidized housing, except for two women toward the end in Ireland.

It never makes a strong distinction between how conditions differ in various countries or the extent of how it affects the taxpayer or the host population of these European countries. Of course I understand they have a limited amount of time, but it could be feasible to class some of the countries by how generous they are with welfare and how many are essentially "displaced." After all, some countries tend to be more attractive to migrants based on public services offered. Those crossing the mediterranean often head through Italy and to Sweden, for example—they tend to head where the greatest resources will be supplied.  In Ireland they did ask a representative about the plight of the taxpayer when it came to funding migrants, but he wouldn't answer.

The documentary relies on emotion more than logic. One would think there would be numbers interspersed to really get a feel for how these countries are being affected. Of course what is being presented is good—it simply needs to be buttressed with the cost of these circumstances. Essentially the documentary suffers from imbalance in this regard. Some people will be swayed by more emotional appeals, but the effects are only hinted at, and more people may be swayed if the effects are elaborated upon rather than simply intimated.

The emphasis of the documentary is more towards the experience of the migrant than that of the host population. Which isn't bad, but perhaps more balance could be supplied here, too. Arguments promulgated entirely toward the host population are sometimes not effective for certain individuals because they have a greater empathy for "the other". To show the poor circumstances and the exploitation of the migrants by traffickers has its advantages, especially in a polarized political climate where people who fight back against these policies are often deemed "racist".

One interesting segment is in Turkey where a farmer (not a migrant, but a person living on the Turkish coast) is interviewed. It demonstrates the effects on countries where people are migrating from (well, more so countries that migrants are being trafficked through), who also suffer as a result of the traffickers.

Since they are approaching from the angle of the migrant, it might also be prudent to look at how this flow of migrants affects the country of origin. For example, a shortage of men in Syria and more women being forced into the work force. Since it is costly to migrate, most of the men migrating are wealthier than the average citizen from their home country, which would imply that the more capable or affluent citizens are being funneled out of their countries of origin, perhaps further hollowing out the middle class and deteriorating the country to where it will be even more difficult to transcend its status as a developing country.

They're leaving a country where they were sufficiently integrated and possibly productive for a country where they are seen as a burden, are often on the dole, and segregate to form enclaves where it no longer feels like Europe, but rather Little Somalia, Little Pakistan, etc. It is effective to address both sides of the problem, but the documentary seems light on content and doesn't adequately address the plight of either the host population or the migrating population.

Essentially this is a documentary for people who are afraid to address the problems of third world immigration, and it gives them arguments about the exploitation of migrants by traffickers and NGOs (one person they interviewed was using the NGO for money laundering, not to mention they also charged the migrants several thousand—in fact in just a few minutes this article will do more to show the costs of immigration than Borderless does in 90 minutes), and the poor conditions the migrants are often subjected to, while being very costly to the taxpayer, and if the migration is en masse, then of course there won't be enough housing or welfare to go around, and there are risks of enclaves forming and a lack of assimilation.

It paints a very innocent portrait of migrants as well. You want see anything about the crime they bring. They just show some interviews where a few of them are pretty nice. And this is true, some of them are genuinely nice or don't necessarily mean anyone harm. But the documentary is incomplete if we don't even consider grooming gangs, Rotherdam, London knife crime, etc. It does address violence within the camps themselves, but it doesn't seem to mention this violence spilling into the countries they settle in, except in a quick one-second comment, at best.

One person interviewed mentioned that it's greatly preferable to have a trickle of migrants come in rather than a flood, and too many immigrants are coming at a time. This is true. But if the latter is bad, is the former simply the same, only to a lesser extent? Yes, too much water is bad, but a smaller amount is good, yet the same doesn't necessarily follow for immigrants. I'd rather have 1,000 Somali immigrants than 100,000, but are there problems to be found even in smaller numbers? There is no reason to believe enclaves won't form and that they will assimilate just because there is a smaller number at one time. The history of multiculturalism is plagued with parallel societies. Those who are most alike tend to congregate together. It doesn't matter if they come in small numbers or large numbers.

We had forced school integration in the U.S., and there is government subsidized housing that often shifts the demographics to be more diverse, but these are forced government measures, and when we look beyond that, neighborhoods are still very segregated, and when it comes to voluntary activities that are not influenced by the government, such as churches, they tend to be overwhelmingly of one race. This is true of populations with the highest and lowest incomes, so it's not just a matter of class either.

If it's a burden on the taxpayer with a lot of migrants, it will also be a burden with fewer migrants, just not as noticeably. The sole reason for the migration being thought of as a good thing is to grow the GDP, but this benefits corporations at the expense of the citizen, for their wealth does not increase as a result of this—rather their wages decrease, just as was experienced with women entering the work force—the GDP went up but at a cost to wages. This is not to say certain populations should be excluded from entering the work force, but it is clear that more workers or a larger GDP isn't an inherent good and has costs that must be considered.

But more important than the economy is the fact that even a small shift in demographics is an alteration of what the country was, and sets in motion a trend that will transform the country. In a democracy, people vote based on their own interests. Those who are born within a country will likely favor their own country. But can the same be said for the immigrant, who, despite leaving his country of origin, may still have loyalty to his former country? Do they not have an incentive to lobby for a loosening of immigration policies that will bring the rest of their family into the country they immigrated to? What of the so-called "extended family"? Even if they bring their family here, does that mean they wouldn't want to bring more people who are of their nationality, ethnicity, race, or religion?

Europe typically took in other European immigrants, and the U.S., Australia, Canada, etc, did the same. The new wave of immigrants are non-europeans, third worlders, and not an asset, moreover they are not able to thrive in these countries independently (yes, there are exceptions, but the data shows that as a group they are heavily subsidized).

The state should be serving the interests of the people and not fooling them into diluting their culture (which is intimately tied with race and ethnicity) on soulless economic arguments about immigration of third worlders being necessary for increasing the GDP.

It's a civic nationalist documentary that seems to imply immigration is good, but only in controllable amounts, and as long as they come legally. A large part of my dissatisfaction with the documentary is because I'm not really the target audience, but this should be shown to anyone who blithely goes along with mass migration into Europe (or anywhere for that matter), whether they be refugees or economic migrants.

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