The U.S. policy of diverting Haitian refugees began in 1991. It was a kind of loophole: if the refugees did not arrive on American shores, the United States was technically not obliged to listen to their claims. Although no one was deceived, he kept Washington in line with American law, which was written in accordance with international obligations, as in many countries.
Over the years, there has been another surge in refugees worldwide to 20 million in 2017, a figure that has risen slightly since then, although it remains smaller than the share of the planet’s populationthan the peak of 1992. The current refugee crisis is almost certain smaller than after World War II, which forced tens of millions of people to flee their homes across Europe and Asia and devastated entire societies, almost forced world powers to act.
But by the 2010s, when the outflow of refugees had increased mostly from poor countries, the reaction was quite different. The United States has applied a similar policy to Central Americans as it did to Haitians, negotiating with governments, especially in Mexico, to prevent refugees and other migrants from crossing the border. Europe and Australia followed a similar strategy.
The result: concentric rings of insulators, some of which are notorious for their brutality, right outside the world’s richest countries. Most are along refugee routes or near the borders they hoped to reach, allowing governments to follow suit. Britain’s new proposal, sending people to distant places on another continent, makes it a step further, emphasizing how the new system really works.
Some argue that the fixation new international agreements or the complete abandonment of the old could more sustainably distribute global responsibilities, especially given the rise of climate refugees destroying the boundaries between economic migrants and political refugees. World leaders, however, have expressed little interest in such plans. And if the problem is that governments do not want refugees and cannot be forced to accept, then replacing one half-ignored agreement with another will change little.
A new order
It would seem that Europe’s double standards are like its governments welcome Ukrainians but keep walking of unusual length to prevent Middle Eastern refugees – especially exposes the unwritten rules of the new refugee system.