The image of three young Kosovans, found dead, roped together, at the foot of a Glasgow high-rise, deserves to go down in the annals of British shame alongside the pictures of the Chinese cockle-pickers who drowned in Morecambe Bay. In their detail, of course, the tragedies are quite different. The Kosovans, it appears, were failed asylum-seekers facing imminent deportation. The Chinese were smuggled into Britain and exploited by illegal gang-masters.
In their generality, however, they are part of the same national scandal. In both cases, people from benighted parts of the world were misled into believing they would find a land of opportunity, if not milk and honey, when what they actually entered was a land of absent authority, incapable of either protecting them or acting on difficult decisions. Given that the Chinese had no legal status here and the Kosovans were within the system from start to their despairing end, it is their suicide that arguably represents the greater failing.
I think it’s supremely ironic that people come to the British Isles (and we might as well throw in the Republic of Ireland for good measure) “…believing they would find a land of opportunity, if not milk and honey…” That’s because, as I point out in an appendix to the Positive Infinity New Testament, same British Isles managed to fill up two continents with the people who wanted or had to leave. How times change…or do they?
The basic problem is that the UK and surrounding countries may have the economies to absorb immigrants, but they don’t have the style of mind to make assimilation work the way it has in the US. That’s why the Muslim immigration issue is more explosive in the EU than it is in the US (geographical proximity and the birthrate disparity only make the bad situation worse.) The situation with asylum seekers in the UK (which I’ve commented on in my piece Calling the Police on Santa Claus) is further complicated by a bureaucracy which can’t (or won’t) keep up the pace in properly processing applications.
The worrisome lesson for the US is that there are many in the upper reaches of our society who want to replicate a European/UK social model here in the US. This country, for better or worse, is a fundamental rejection of that. Doing so will make us as immigrant problematic as our counterparts across the pond, as it will add social and economic rigidities to our system not currently present. Problems such as this should give pause to such an effort, irrespective of how nice it feels to the elitist snobs who are promoting this agenda.