Saturday, April 2, 2011

Welcome to 812 new inhabitants

True progressives would first express solidarity with migrants from war zones like Libya, then insist that these traumatized people are not detained, and finally call for greater European solidarity without losing a sense of proportion.
812 people are a lot but far from a cataclysm or a biblical exodus.
We only weaken our case in Europe by crying wolf all the time.
And fundamentally most of these people who have no country to go back to, qualify for protection by right. They are also likely to stay and live here for a long time.
The right for asylum is not conditional. And as a civilized state we have to grant these rights. Keeping people who clearly qualify for protection in detention simply prolongs their suffering.
A government which constantly refers to Christian values should show more compassion. Unfortunately for this government christian values are mostly invoked to oppose divorce and persecute novelists.
And the Labour Party's stance on immigration (which is devoid of any discourse of rights and solidarity) seems bent on exploiting xenophobic sentiments on this sensitive issue, which makes it anything but progressive.