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Safeguarding our societies

Uncontrolled illegal immigration threatens social cohesion in Europe and the United States

Migrants on their way to Greece gather at Maritsa River in Edirne, Turkey, on March 1, 2020. Associated Press/Photo by Emrah Gurel

Safeguarding our societies
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On Tuesday, May 14, the nations of the European Union endorsed what is called “The New Pact on Migration and Asylum,” which aims to reform a failed asylum system in the continent.

The pact has been in the making for almost a decade, propelled by a crisis of millions of asylum seekers who sought immigration to Europe due to the wars in Iraq and Syria, particularly after the emergence of the ISIS caliphate in 2014.

Notably, the pact defines rules for the EU countries to deal with illegal immigrants, defined as those trying to enter the countries without authorization. These rules include procedures to screen immigrants, determining whether they actually qualify for protection and asylum, as well as guidelines for deporting them if they’re found not eligible to stay.

While the pact is now in effect for all the 27 nations of the union, many conservatives and liberals alike opposed it, but on different grounds.

On the conservative side, Hungary and Poland voted against it but were unable to block it. These two nations have successfully maintained their countries in a relatively safe and flourishing status as compared to other nations in the union.

Left-leaning parties also opposed the pact, declaring, it “was too tough, marking the abandonment of European values of compassion and human dignity, a surrender to the far right, and a major blow to human rights.” This statement reflects how the timing of the issuance of the pact is noteworthy.

A majority of Europeans have become strongly dissatisfied with the uncontrolled mass migration flooding Europe and draining its resources—a fact that appears to have given momentum to conservative parties, many of which won in June elections. Thus, the timing largely reflects a desire by the pro-EU political centrists and leftists to present the pact as evidence that solutions for the hot topic of immigration are underway in order to slow conservative political momentum.

While we should all hope that the pact would help a struggling immigration system in Europe, we should also acknowledge two realities.

First, the immigration problem in Europe (and in the West in general, including in the USA) has existed long before the past decade, largely due to political calculations of left-leaning politicians who anticipate support at the ballot box from immigrants. This is why left-leaning politicians in Europe hasted in recent days to get a deal accomplished to discourage a conservative momentum.

Uncontrolled illegal immigration undermines legal immigration.

Second, uncontrolled illegal immigration undermines legal immigration and cripples its integrity, validity, and success. To safeguard our societies, we should clearly oppose illegal and uncontrolled immigration.

Illegal immigration infringes on the rule of law, and burdens public services and healthcare systems, thus impacting the quality of life for legal residents in the land. Allowing uncontrolled immigration by maintaining open borders policies poses a huge security risk against our families, by allowing offenders and terrorists to sneak into our land unchecked and undetected.

But what many left-leaning politicians fail to consider—as they endorse uncontrolled immigration—is the harmful destabilization of the society due to the lack of assimilation and integration on the part of immigrants in the welcoming cultures.

A case in point is Sweden.

In 2015, a record high of nearly 163,000 asylum applicants came to the Nordic country, largely from Muslim-majority countries, including Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan.

A fanciful Swedish dream was for these immigrants to assimilate into Swedish culture and integrate into the flourishing society alongside the Swedes, but the reality was a huge disappointment. A clash of views—women’s rights, religious freedom, social matters—erupted. Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson recently admitted that her country is facing a crisis, as the integration of immigrants has failed. And there is undeniable evidence that this failure has fueled gang-related crimes.

Unmanaged immigration definitely threatens the West’s cultural identity and social cohesion.

But Western nations face an even greater danger. Germany received 2.1 million people in 2022 alone, and immigrants make up over 18 percent of its 2022 population. It’s no surprise that a “majority of Germans want fewer refugees to be accepted into the country.”

The instantaneous addition of millions carelessly classified as refugees to a country’s population cannot be wise or helpful. Any recent visitor to Europe can testify to major social challenges and political problems due to uncontrolled illegal immigration.

Policy makers should carefully consider the social consequences of adding millions of immigrants—with their competing cultural leanings, social preferences, and religious loyalties—into a body of residents with their original set of different dispositions.

If you value your freedoms and values, you cannot remain neutral and silent about the influx of illegal immigration. We should be warned that societies would be exhausted, if they don’t totally collapse, with such an abrupt population change.

A.S. Ibrahim

A.S. Ibrahim, born and raised in Egypt, holds two PhDs with an emphasis on Islam and its history. He is a professor of Islamic studies and director of the Jenkins Center for the Christian Understanding of Islam at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He has taught at several schools in the United States and the Middle East, and authored A Concise Guide to the Life of Muhammad (Baker Academic, 2022), Conversion to Islam (Oxford University Press, 2021), Basics of Arabic (Zondervan 2021), A Concise Guide to the Quran (Baker Academic, 2020), and The Stated Motivations for the Early Islamic Expansion (Peter Lang, 2018), among others.

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