The Myth of Europe's Migrant Crisis

Overblown fears of crime and terror from migrants did not bear out. But the fears were bad for migrants, would-be migrants, and natives alike.


This month marks the five-year anniversary of Alan Kurdi's death in 2015. At the time, the iconic image of his beached 3-year-old body on the coasts of the Mediterranean captured (and broke) the hearts of international observers.

The dangers of refugee migration highlighted by little Alan's corpse were in conflict with the prevailing narrative about refugees in Europe, which insisted that a then-recent mass entry of migrants, ostensibly fleeing war, terror, and extreme poverty, had unleashed crime and terror, and that the proper European reaction is not sympathy, but even stronger barriers against refugees.

To this day, leaders across Europe express fear over migrant entrants. President Donald Trump used what he called Europe's "total mess" to justify his own immigration restrictions in the name of crisis and emergency. U.S. policy on migration, like Europe's, caused its fair share of migrant deaths, including its own tragic versions of Alan Kurdi, by incentivizing migration via more dangerous routes and methods.

But the narrative of a migrant "crisis" in Europe that inspired those tragedies was never true. While a severe migrant uptick did occur circa 2015, the influx rapidly declined to earlier levels. As economist Bryan Caplan has noted, "total arrivals from 2014 to 2018 came to less than 1 percent of the population of the European Union (E.U.). Many European countries—most notably West Germany during the Cold War—have swiftly absorbed much larger inflows in the past." By early 2019, the European Commission officially declared an end to the "migration crisis."

Sifting Truth From Rumors

Europe during the migrant influx had seen its share of crimes perpetrated by migrants, such as attacks in Cologne and other German cities at the close of 2015. All at once, Europe's New Year's celebrations morphed into a nightmare of hundreds of mostly foreign men grabbing women and stealing from them during chaotic public gatherings. In Cologne alone, over 1,000 crimes were reported, including almost 500 sexual assaults against women. Most of the suspects were North African, including recent asylum seekers. Police were unprepared. And the police and media did not report it until public outrage forced their hand.

Other crimes and acts of terrorism around Europe in recent years have implicated immigrants, including those from the recent wave, complete with police cover-ups seeking to protect refugee suspects. The narrative that the "establishment" was trying to protect refugees' reputations was not entirely without merit. Still, the bulk of migrant horror stories are probably untrue.

For a sense of the scope of the fake scare, visit HOAXmap, an internet project constructed in 2016 to track rumors about refugees in Germany. The map currently features 496 rumors in the country and in nearby German-speaking nations.

In early 2018, the German paper Der Spiegel ran its own study of 445 alleged refugee rapes in 10 German states, as reported on One-third of the incidents were filtered out because they were duplicates, broken links, or law enforcement was unaware of the purported crime.

Of the remaining 291 cases, 24 claims were false, others were "less dramatic" than rape (i.e., groping) and 29 percent of cases could not be confirmed or denied. One-third (95) involved refugee suspects. Of 57 actual rape cases, 26 involved refugee suspects, with 18 cases resulting in convictions. Each incident is serious and to be condemned. But the facts don't support fears of epidemic levels of social breakdown caused by migrants.

Unfortunately, it is easy for people to believe rumors when the rumors match already-held fears, such as the West's historical mistrust of foreign migrants. Real horrific events like those in Cologne make it even easier to suspend skepticism about similar—but fake—cases. But the apparent chasm between truth and rumor means we need to abandon salacious anecdotes, and instead focus on hard data before presuming there is a crisis that demands a response.

There Was Never Any Migrant Crime Wave

Most studies (and alarmism) have focused on the two European nations most generous toward migrants: Germany, which welcomed the highest total number of asylum seekers, and Sweden, which took in the most migrants per capita.


Let's begin with Sweden. A Pew survey from mid-2016 showed 46 percent of Swedes believed "refugees in our country are more to blame for crime than other groups."

But crime trends there remained steady or declined both before and after the migration explosion, which in Sweden actually began in 2012. The Swedish National Council for Crime Prevention (or "Brå") reported in 2017 that in 2015, the first year of Europe's influx, the number of "offenses against the person" (assault, threats, sexual offenses, robbery, fraud, or harassment) was "approximately the same level as in 2005." Brå also reports around 15,000 "reported offenses" (a more general category) per 100,000 persons from 2008 to 2019. It is hard to see any migrant-caused Swedish crime wave in these figures.

The same flat or declining trend has held for almost all specific types of crime. One exception is sex offenses, which is so complex that it deserves its own discussion. The other exceptions are fraud and drug crimes. However, these are hardly the categories of crime that concerns most migration skeptics, and, in any case, the increasing trends in both categories long predated the migrant influx.

Then there is the mysterious issue of victimization. Brå shows striking increases in the percent of people who experienced almost all "offences against an individual" from 2014 to 2018, the latest year for which data exists. This means that, although there are not significantly more crimes being reported per capita, the number of people claiming to have been victims of crimes has increased. "Threats" and "harassments" show the largest increase in percent of people claiming to be victims, far more than robbery or assault. Does this mean migrants are responsible? Probably not. With more victims for a steady number of crimes (except for sexual crimes, discussed later), it seems as if crimes are for whatever reason distributed more evenly among the population. If so, then the problem is probably not recent migrants, who tend not to live among the broader population.


The migrant wave's effect on Germany's crime rates had also been negligible, as revealed in a series of analyses of local police data from early 2016. For example, a "large majority" of refugees who are registered never show up in police records. Those from Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan are rarely in criminal statistics. In Cologne, for example, only five of 1,100 (under 0.5 percent) registered Syrians were in trouble with the police between October 2014 and November 2015.

The German Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA) concluded in 2015 that, "on average, refugees commit as many or as few crimes as the local population." From 2014 to 2015, the refugee population increased 440 percent, while the number of refugee crimes committed rose only 79 percent, according to the BKA. Here, there wasn't even a correlation: While offenses increased significantly in early 2015, offenses stagnated in late 2015, precisely when "most refugees arrived in Germany." The BKA concluded that the "vast majority of asylum-seekers [commit] no offenses."

By 2018, although 44 percent of Germans felt less secure than they did in recent years, their government announced that crime was at a quarter-century low, while Germany's migrant population was at a record high. As of 2019, the total number of crimes kept falling while the migrant population kept rising.

This does not mean migrants never contribute to Germany's criminal issues. Indeed, certain immigrant areas reported significant gang problems. Moreover, North African nationals registered high criminal activity relative to the rest of the population. No doubt German law enforcement needs to take notice of these issues. But it would be a mistake to conclude from these specifics that the broader Middle Eastern migrant wave is the problem, when crime rates from certain Eastern European nationals who aren't normally considered part of this wave are also relatively crime-prone, while nationals from Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan are relatively crime-free. Rather, the overall picture is clear: Migrants were not a special criminal problem in Germany.

"No-Go Zones"

No discussion of crimes and migrants in the E.U. is complete without considering the alleged "no-go zones" that anti-immigrant sources decry. These are areas where it is alleged that police are unable to enter, where sharia law displaces secular law, and where crime is rampant.

This claim has been adequately debunked with respect to Sweden, Britain, France, and the United States. Daniel Pipes, a noted critic of Islam, after the "first-hand experience" of visiting some of these areas, expressed "regret" at using the phrase, because "one can indeed 'go' in them." While they can be violent, "they are unthreatening, routine places" in "normal times," he said.

The mundane reality is that high crime areas exist in all societies, where socioeconomic development is stunted, where police and rescue personnel require special protocol, and where the reach of a nation's legal system is limited. But focusing on national origin only serves to divert political action from real solutions. The problem of crime-riddled slums, which is really what is at issue, is not unique to migrant neighborhoods.

There Was Never Any Migrant Sex Crime Wave

"Malmo in Sweden is the rape capital of Europe due to EU migrant policies," according to U.K. politician Nigel Farage in 2017, echoing a Fox News segment cited by Trump.

Sweden does indeed have an inflated rate of sexual assaults of all kinds. But that is a creature of statistics. According to Brå, "when a single case is reported that turns out to involve hundreds or even thousands of instances of offences committed against an individual over the course of many years, every single incident is recorded as an offence in the year it was reported."

In other words, as sociologist Klara Selin of the National Council for Crime Prevention in Stockholm explains, if an intimate partner is accused of rape "almost every day during the last year," that is 300 reported offenses, not one. For this reason, "it is very difficult to say anything about the real level using reported cases," Stockholm University criminology professor Felipe Estrada cautioned.

Brå also explains that "the number of reported rape offences has increased by 34 per cent over the last ten years (2009-2018)" because the definition of rape was legally expanded. In 2013, just before the latest European migrant wave, the definition was "expanded to include cases where the victim reacts passively." An earlier legislative change in 2005 meant that "certain acts which were previously classified as sexual exploitation are now classified as rape." These include sex with persons who are asleep or intoxicated.

The changing definition of rape maps much better to the data than do refugee numbers, as sociologist Philip N. Cohen of the University of Maryland notes. Indeed, Brå has more recently accounted for this by counting "serious sexual offences (such as rape)" separately. According to their most recent statistics from 2016 and 2017, serious sexual offenses remained mostly stable from 2006 to 2012, before the recent migrant wave began.

After the definitional change in 2013, no correlation can be seen between reported sex offenses and migration patterns. According to Brå, the figures zigzagged up and down from 2013 to 2016 (about 18,000 to 20,000 to 18,000 to 20,000). Meanwhile, Sweden's migrant population steadily increased each of those years. In 2017 and 2018, the population of migrants fell, and yet total sex crime figures climbed.

For better or worse, Sweden does not collect statistical data on the ethnic or national background of criminals. However, in response to amplified calls for such collection, Brå conducted a study in 2019 of the data already available from 2005 to 2017. It concluded there was no link between refugees and sex crime. For one thing, crunching the numbers of total migrants and total sex crimes reveals that asylum seekers would have to be 83 times more likely to commit sex crimes than others. The report reasoned with enviable understatement, "such a high over-risk does not seem likely."

Further, the report noted that there was no rise in outdoor attacks by strangers, but rather a rise in nonviolent sex crimes by perpetrators known to the victim—the opposite of what one would expect if the problem was "immigrant men wantonly attacking Swedish women." Finally, the report could not link high-migrant municipalities with high-sex offense statistics.

One short-term study during the migrant wave is on point, however. Between November 2015 and January 2016, Swedish police tracked asylum seekers involved in police interactions. Only 1 percent of the police reports involved asylum seekers, even though they made up about 1.8 percent of the Swedish population. While acknowledging certain limitations of the data, Christopher Fariss of the University of Michigan and Kristine Eck of Uppsala University concluded, "we consider a rate of four reports of rape over 76 days for a [sic] asylum-seeking population of 180,000 as not convincing evidence of an 'epidemic' perpetrated by its members."

In Germany as well, despite the nation's crime rate being at a 26-year low in early 2018, sex crime statistics are complicated. Some figures in Germany in 2016 and ones more specifically focused on the region of Bavaria in early 2017 showed reports of sex crimes rising significantly, with refugees' and non-Germans' share of the suspects increasing. On the other hand, though the BKA reported a 2 percentage point increase throughout Germany in migrant suspects as a proportion of sex crimes perpetrators from 2016 to 2017, this was followed by a stabilizing in 2018, and then a 6 percent decrease in early 2019. All this, while the immigrant population steadily increased.

In light of this sometimes-positive, sometimes-negative relationship between migrants and sex crimes in Germany, it would appear the spike in migrant sex crimes at the height of the migrant wave was a mere coincidence.

Perverse Effects of Migrant Rape Fears

The myth of the migrant rapist perversely endangers native European women, because it diverts attention and resources from the universal nature of sex crimes. For example, Sweden had a great opportunity to address sex crimes when a Swedish police report in May 2016 blamed "Nordic alcohol culture," and toxic "masculinity."

Even though the report was about sexual assault generally, the immigration restrictionist Breitbart London mischaracterized it as "excus[ing] migrant rape." To be sure, the report admits (quotes via Google Translate, with minor edits), "In cases where the crimes were committed by perpetrators in larger groups in public places…the perpetrators were mostly young people seeking or having been granted asylum in Sweden." But "offenses committed in public places…are relatively few and represent only a small percentage of the total number of crimes. The vast majority of offenders act alone." Indeed, "the school is the public environment in which most physical sexual assaults take place, mainly between pupils."

Unfortunately, the anti-migrant narrative prevailed in June 2016, when Swedish police wrongly attributed more than 50 cases of sexual assault at two music festivals to "foreign young men." The statement said, "There is no doubt…about who takes these liberties."

But a few hours later, the police admitted they misrepresented a majority of the suspects. They promptly retracted the "unfortunate" statement. Yet by then, papers across Europe were already parroting "reports of rapes by 'migrants.'" And so, while Sweden myopically focused its energies against migrants, sexual assaults remained tragically elevated the next year at the nation's largest music festival. Its organizers would cancel the festival the following year.

The migrant rapist scare and other anti-foreign myths, thanks to the anti-migrant policies they spawn, ironically increased the risk of sexual violence against another class of women: those trying to migrate to Europe.

The first wave of migrants to Europe in 2015 included mostly young males. Young males were at elevated risk of violence or being forced to join armed conflict. They were also more likely to survive the dangerous travel to Europe.

Meanwhile, the high price of human smugglers disincentivized women and children migrants. Instead, many of them gambled on Europe's family reunification channels to arrive safely and cheaply the following year. So women and children came over in a second wave. In early 2016, Doctors Without Borders reported that "the demographic has completely flipped."

But the damage was already done by the fears of migrant young men. Europe tightened its borders and family reunification pathways in response to the first wave. This kept some foreign women and children from fleeing war, crime, and sexual violence. European restrictions forced women who did leave to use less-than-ideal routes or refugee camps, exposing them to sexual violence from smugglers, border guards, police, fellow refugees, and even intimate partners.

When migrant women finally arrived at their destination country, many would be relegated to refugee shelters, where sexual violence is more prominent. Even where shelters are segregated by gender, inadequate accommodations would force vulnerable women outside the security of their homes.

Migrant Crime Is About Socioeconomics, Not Nationality

Regardless of whether recent migrant trends created alarming new levels of crime, it is true that Europe's migrants as a whole (as opposed to those in America and Canada) tend to commit more crimes than do European natives. This issue long predated the most recent wave of migrants. The reasons, though, are familiar and do not involve culture or anything peculiar to migrants since 2015.

A 2013 Swedish study followed over 63,000 resident children from the early 1990s and found that parental and neighborhood resources account for much of the gap in criminality between native Swedes and immigrant Swedes (both first- and second-generation). Among males, socioeconomics and not country of origin per se account for much of the gaps in suspected offenses (75–78 percent), convictions (69–72 percent), violent crime (65–72 percent), and incarceration (49–57 percent). Among females, the gap is entirely or almost entirely eliminated.

A similar story exists in Germany. According to Harald Pickert, Bavaria's deputy police commissioner and head of an expert panel on sex crimes in Bavaria's Interior Ministry, "compared to the German population, immigrants are more frequently young and male and are more likely to live in a large city, lack education, be unemployed and have no income." Christian Pfeiffer, a criminologist at the Crime Research Institute of Lower Saxony, emphasizes that males under 40, a group highly represented among refugees, "are the most dangerous in every country." A 2018 study by German criminologists found the crime rate of Germans between the ages of 16 and 30 to be "absolutely in the range that is calculated…when observing refugees only."

One takeaway is that poorer Europeans' criminality is comparable with that of poor migrants. A possible solution is to open economic, education, and integration opportunities to migrants. Further, to the extent which the criminal discrepancy is related to the fact that migrants are predominantly male, looser family reunification rules can flatten the numbers.

The Migrant Terrorism Crisis Is Overstated

European fears over terrorism have increased substantially in recent years. Since 2015, Europe has witnessed a noticeable increase in terrorist activity, which did coincide with the migrant wave. But migrants don't seem to be the main source of terror.

When contemplating fears of migrants and terror, it's worth first realizing the chances of death from terror attacks in Europe are "minuscule," according to a 2017 analysis of five nations that either suffered the largest terror attacks during the recent migrant wave or took in the most migrants.

Even in these nations, terror fatalities among the deadliest years in recent history (380 in 1988; 354 in 1976; 252 in 1975) significantly eclipse those at the height of the migrant influx (172 in 2015; 133 in 2016), and dwarf terror fatalities since (62 in 2017; 16 in 2018; 10 in 2019). Perhaps this is why E.U. nations with direct experience of recent terror attacks have been comparatively less nervous about them.

"A real and imminent danger" regarding migrants and terror is ideological, said Europol, the E.U.-wide police agency, in 2017. Islamist organizations like ISIS may seek to exploit the migratory crisis to recruit refugees. This is contrary to Europol's earlier claim in late 2016 that violent jihadis may have infiltrated the migrants. Upon further reflection, Europol had since found "no concrete evidence that terrorist travellers systematically use those flows of refugees to enter Europe unnoticed."

This stands to reason; Denmark's Security and Intelligence Service noted in 2015 that "the majority [of refugees] are actually fleeing from militant Islamic movements and therefore unlikely to have sympathy for Isis or similar groups."

Part of ISIS's strategy at its height was to "provoke overreactions by European governments against innocent Muslims, thereby alienating and radicalizing Muslim communities." This—not infiltration of or recruitment among refugees—has been extremists' bread and butter in Europe. The European University Institute concurred in a 2017 working paper: "At present and using the best available evidence, the main terrorist threat to Western countries does not come from recently arrived refugees, but from home-grown extremists."

According to Europol, in 2018, "EU and non-EU citizens were almost equally represented among jihadist arrestees and attack perpetrators." In 2019, 72 percent of jihadist arrestees were E.U. citizens. Neither of these reports includes ethnonationalist, separatist, left-wing, anarchist, or right-wing terrorism.

When it comes to terrorism, neither migrants nor migration are the dominant part of the problem. They could, however, be part of the solution to extremist threats, especially threats from the Middle East. If the American experience is at all transferable to Europe, welcomed and assimilated Muslims could be an asset that would strengthen Europe's security and reduce radicalism.

Taking the myth of Europe's migrant "crisis" seriously has unleashed and continues to risk a parade of negative consequences. It has both spurred the rise of far-right politics across Europe, and ever more restrictive borders, which make mankind poorer, less humane, more hateful, and more dangerous, not to mention needlessly afraid. For the sake of all future Alan Kurdis, it's time to abandon such damaging myths.

NEXT: Half of All False Convictions in the U.S. Involved Police or Prosecutor Misconduct, Finds New Report

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  1. “But the narrative of a migrant “crisis” in Europe that inspired those tragedies was never true. While a severe migrant uptick did occur circa 2015″

    Author calls himself a liar.

    1. This was a damningly bad use of source data. Check this quote:

      “The Swedish National Council for Crime Prevention (or “Brå”) reported in 2017 that in 2015, the first year of Europe’s influx, the number of “offenses against the person” (assault, threats, sexual offenses, robbery, fraud, or harassment) was “approximately the same level as in 2005.””

      Get it? Roughly the same as a period 10 years earlier? That might lead one to ask what about 2014 or 2013? Right? In the US, crime has been steadily decreasing decade over decade, so to compare this year to ten years ago, one shouldn’t see it about the same. And here the author DELIBERATELY misleads the reader based on selective quotation.

      The study ACTUALLY says that 13.3% of people in 2015 reported these offenses, compared to 11.3% in 2014. So the author should have said that 2015’s crime levels ERASED declines of 10 years.

      I am pro immigration, so it drives me nuts to see “my side” outright distorting the data in an effort to steal bases. This is disgusting.

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    2. Author is a lawyer, and ought to know a lot about lying.

  2. So there aren’t any “no go zones“ in Europe? Really?

    1. Sure there are “no go” zones. Israel is a no go zone for Muslim immigrants but France, Germany, and Sweden are open borders!

      1. Israel has Arab citizens living there with representation in the Knesset. Hell of a No-Go zone. They do have a No-Go zone for terrorists and murderers who are lauded by the likes of you.

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  4. Right, crime is the only indicator. Not a declining population of native Europeans, and a larger population of migrants and their offspring. Who increasingly do not want to be associated with western European culture.

    Whatever. Steyn said it before, the future belongs to those who show up. Take a look at Pews estimate of population totals in this century. Everything you think you know is going to get upended.

  5. About Sweden

    In 2005, the Swedish Crime Prevention Agency published a report about the link between immigration and crime. Since then, no comprehensive study has been conducted even though Sweden has experienced a large influx of migrants in combination with a rising crime rate. This study conducted by Göran Adamson and Tino Sanandaji is the first purely descriptive scientific investigation on the matter in fifteen years. The investigation (from 2002 to 2017) covers seven distinct categories of crime, and distinguishes between seven regions of origin. Based on 33 per cent of the population (2017), 58 per cent of those suspect for total crime on reasonable grounds are migrants. Regarding murder, manslaughter and attempted murder, the figures are 73 per cent, while the proportion of robbery is 70 per cent. Non-registered migrants are linked to about 13 per cent of total crime. Given the fact that this group is small, crime propensity among non-registered migrants is significant.

    Migrants are responsible for 70% of the robberies and 73% of the murders in Sweden. It takes some serious lying to claim Sweden doesn’t have a migrant crime problem. But as usual, reason is up to it. Reason’s capacity to lie about immigration is boundless.

    1. And don’t forget the increase (from zero) of hand grenade attacks in Sweden to the country with the most such attacks outside of a war zone.

  6. As for Germany, well where to begin

    First Stuttgart, then Frankfurt. On both occasions, police were targeted by an outpouring of aggression from hundreds of mainly young men. Shopfronts were destroyed, stores were plundered. Dumpsters were hurled across the streets. Video recordings from Frankfurt show bystanders cheering on as men make a sport of throwing bottles at police officers.

    In fairness reason supports rioting and vandalism as some kind of 1st Amendment Right. So, maybe the author just didn’t count this.

    1. More about Germany

      Bar a blip in the mid-2000s, overall crime has been decreasing in Germany since the early 1990s.
      But that changed in 2015 – about the same time hundreds of thousands of refugees began entering the country.
      In 2014, there were 6.1 million offences recorded by the police. By 2016, this had risen to 6.4 million – these figures include immigration violations which, inevitably, impact migrants.

      Within that, violent crime rose from 180,000 cases to 193,000 between 2014 and 2016.
      The number of murders increased by 14.6% and rapes by 8%, over the same period.
      However, last year saw the total recorded crimes, including immigration violations, drop by 10%.
      Equally, violent crime showed a 2.5% decrease between 2016 and 2017.

      The AfD has made claims about a link between the influx of migrants and a rise in crime.
      Since 2014, the proportion of non-German suspects in the crime statistics has increased from 24% to just over 30% (when we take out crimes related to immigration and asylum irregularities).
      Breaking that down even further, in 2017 those classified as “asylum applicants or civil war refugees or illegal immigrants” represented a total of 8.5% of all suspects.
      This is despite their population representing just 2% of Germany as a whole.
      When it comes to violent crime, 10.4% of murder suspects and 11.9% of sexual offence suspects were asylum-seekers and refugees in 2017.
      A government-backed analysis of the German state of Lower Saxony, which has taken the fourth-highest number of asylum seekers, showed there was an increase of violent crime by 10.4% between 2014 and 2016.
      It analysed the crimes that had been solved, and attributed the overwhelming majority of the rise to migrants.

      That is the BBC saying that. The BBC is more honest about this than Reason. Wow.

      1. The deceit in this article is horrible. The author literally takes studies showing an increase in crime, and says they show no increase in crime. Hell, the entire first half of the article is admitting there is a problem, with everything from increased crime to authorities downplaying or hiding it, until the author then tries to say “Now that I’ve admitted to that, let me tell pretend otherwise!”

        I am pro immigration, but the data is the data. You cannot wish it away or tell people to disbelieve it. You need to account for it, and either your argument is strong despite that argument, or you need to GTFO.

        1. I think Reason does real harm to the pro immigration side by being so blatantly dishonest. You can’t persuade people by lying through your teeth about facts that are easily obtainable and obvious to anyone paying attention. Yet, that is exactly what reason does in pretty much every article they write about immigration.

          1. MICHAEL ZIGISMUND is a criminal defense and immigration attorney based in New York City.


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          2. Reason is anti western enlightenment, and will advocate its destruction by any means necessary

          3. I think Reason does real harm to the pro immigration side by being so blatantly dishonest.

            I think Reason does real harm to the pro immigration side by taking the position that all immigration law is inherently illegitimate. That’s the kind of position a hack ideologue takes, divorced from all reality.

            They do this because it’s hard for them to acknowledge that a million immigrants a year is a whole lot of immigrants.

          4. It’s the same way they do police reform wrong by completely misreporting events and killing their credibility. Reading the brickbat the headline would be “cops tramatize 80 year old grandmother by tackling her to the ground” and the actual story would eighter be grandmother was handing out cookies with out a permit (cops should be punished) or grandmother open fires with an uzi on a crowd of people (cops would be right to tackle her in that case). Reason has been slowly but shurly killing their credibility, but hey all of the media is doing the same thing

    2. Peaceful protests.

  7. And food trucks.

    1. Delicious kebabs are worth keeping women covered with burkhas imo.

  8. Ignore the Rotherham scandal.

    For a detailed breakdown on the effects of mass immigration on Europe– very well researched and discussed, I’d like to direct you to Douglas Murray’s The Strange Death of Europe.

    1. Did he write about food trucks?

    2. The book is also careful to point out how EU officials literally lied about their own internal statistics so as not to appear “racist”.

      1. Indeed. We have seen that police forces in Germany have (for example) been ordered not to record the origin of those arrested as it would make them appear racist.

  9. What’s this about “the West’s historical mistrust of foreign migrants”?

    Literally every culture through all of history has mistrusted foreign migrants. Historically, most were far worse than the (admittedly overblown) fears being batted around today.

    You may not like that bigotry and fear and you may rightly think we should rise above it but it is simply false to imply that it’s unique to Western civilisations.

    1. Please ignore the Uighurs in Western China who are being educated on how to be a loyal Han Chinese citizen.

    2. Western civilization is rooted in white supremacy and greed…Signed the 1619 project.

    3. Uncontrolled immigration has always been a boon for the native people. Like the….and the…and the…. um…

    4. You may not like that bigotry and fear and you may rightly think we should rise above it but it is simply false to imply that it’s unique to Western civilisations.

      Not saying it’s what you said but, no, we shouldn’t rise above it. Every culture should fear/reject the erosion of its morals/mores by outside influences. The alternative is openly accepting the erosion of morals. New cultures *should* demonstrate social/cultural enhancements and those *should* be adopted selectively. Disparate cultures that neither enhance nor erode morals and don’t attract ire are immaterial. Nobody needs to rise above their bigotry against the combination of beer and hummus.

  10. It’s like all those terrorist attacks from permanent residents never happened…

  11. This article is really objectionable.

    Along with everything else already mentioned, you can’t admit that immigrants of all types will inherently commit more crime in an article about how we shouldn’t worry about immigrant crime.

  12. So many myths, so little time.

  13. The cultural ramifications of importing a population of extremely illiberal tribalists who won’t assimilate will not be felt immediately. But give it time.

    As for the fact that the spike in 2015 abated, that is because of policy improvements with regard to ISIS that were not apparent at the time of the criticism. Abusing hindsight is not fair.

  14. “compared to the German population, immigrants are more frequently young and male and are more likely to live in a large city, lack education, be unemployed and have no income.”

    It’s almost like this is a legitimate reason people were against free offers of asylum-admitting large amounts of young men who neither have jobs nor the prospect of obtaining them. Perhaps there are reasonable concerns about mass immigration that go beyond racism?

    1. “So let’s see, you want to immigrate to Germany. You don’t speak the language, you have no family in the country. You don’t have a pending offer of employment and you have listed no job skills on your application. How will you be supporting yourself?”

      “…Can you lend me 50 Euros?”

      1. Sounds like my grandfather from Russia. I think he was barely 19. He did just fine. Ended up with a neighborhood grocery in the Midwest. Raised four kids who all did very well.

        Well in those days there was no welfare system. If you needed something you asked someone for a job. The immigrant communities were connected.

        I do not think people have changed all that much. I am opposed to handouts in general.

        1. L’Shanah Tovah, Echospinner.

        2. My grandfather as well.
          He learned English, and followed the 10 Commandments, and was a law-abiding member of the community who married, raise children, and ran a business, and paid taxes
          He and his children assimilated into American/western culture.
          While still celebrating and observing their Jewish cultural and religious roots

          I don’t think any of these tens of thousands of Muslim immigrants have any plans to assimilate into western culture
          Both Germany and Sweden have elected to commit cultural suicide by letting in so many of these people who are against the values of western civilization.
          We can expect these countries to be Muslim majority in one generation.
          I can easily predict arise in acid attacks, honor killings, and anti-Semitism

      2. “I could take in sewing. Folks here don’t know the first thing about tailoring a suicide vest!”

    2. ICE thinks so. They publish lengthy lists of the number of no-visa immigrants arrested, tried, convicted, imprisoned and deported at the expense of everyone in the USA. A large fraction of the convictions are for assault, theft, property damage, homicide, burglary, stolen vehicle… LOTS of actual crimes complete with victims and huge tax-increasing expenses. Search Libertariantranslator “With Friends Like These” or go to

  15. I cannot believe what colossal liars the anti-migrant restrictionists were. It is an embarrassment that anyone took anything they said seriously. I remember thinking that there must be some grain of truth these anti-migrant narratives must be coming from. I could not bring myself to believe that anyone could be that dishonest or delusional. I am embarrassed to admit that I was wrong. The people peddling these anti-migrant fears really were making it nearly completely up, either intentionally, or by indulging in paranoid delusions.

    It is that later group I wonder about. What kind of person enjoys experiencing paranoid delusions? What kind of person, when told that people they are afraid of are far less dangerous than they though, responds with anger instead of relief? If you are scared something bad will happen to you or to society, shouldn’t it make you happy to find out you were wrong?

    1. You should sign up for my hug a suicide bomber program. They are an equally maligned group.

    2. It is easy to stir people up. Facts and logic do not matter to leaders because people are guided by emotion. Great propagandists know that the real trick is to keep people to the point where they cannot tell fact from fiction and no longer care.

      Hydroxychloroquine doesn’t work against the Coronavirus. Oh that is lefty bullshit and drug companies fooling you because they want to make more money.

      “Before mass leaders seize the power to fit reality to their lies, their propaganda is marked by its extreme contempt for facts as such, for in their opinion fact depends entirely on the power of man who can fabricate it.”

      Hannah Arendt

      1. Hanna Arendt was named in “The Ominous Parallels” as one of the intellectuals mouthing the opposite of facts about the nature of German National Socialism and its eugenics extermination Holocaust. Leonard Peikoff correctly identified her conclusions as absolutely misguided and wrong. People who have never set foot in an immigration court ought to try it out and see both sides going at it before pontificating. If you want in on the debates, there’s your chance to arm yourself with facts.

        1. I used to correspond with someone who knew Ayn back in the Yahoo groups days. She said that Ayn never understood mysticism. That was a flaw she saw in her. Took me a long time to know what that meant. Rand never really bridged some gaps for her in human interaction.

          Atlas Shrugged I read back when and it opened some gates for me. I do not wish to put her nor her protege down.

          So what if Piekoff did not like what Arendt had to say. At the time I tried to learn as much as I could about the Holocaust and other horrors. How could such things happen?

          Arendt, Eichmann in Jerusalem, other things she wrote had something to say. Observations about human nature. A way of looking at it I had not seen before. The famous banality of evil.

          She saw something. It was the last execution in Israel.

          What facts do you want?

          1. “I used to correspond with someone who knew Ayn back in the Yahoo groups days.”
            Rand died in ’82, Yahoo was founded in ’94; you had better come up with some *really* slick explanation or simply be called on your bullshit.

            “She said that Ayn never understood mysticism. That was a flaw she saw in her. Took me a long time to know what that meant. Rand never really bridged some gaps for her in human interaction.”
            You are welcome to your superstitions; the rest of us might not find a inability to understand fantasy as an problem.

            1. The person I corresponded with had known Rand before the yahoo libertarian groups were started. She spoke about it.

              Why am I talking with you?

              1. Because you’re a stupid piece of lefty shit who hopes that intelligent people might point out that you are full of shit?

        2. Both sides?

          Is there a debate about Nazi “German National Socialism” what a nice term, kand another side?

          1. You might appeal to “mysticism”; you want fantasy, why does it stop where your superstition does?

            1. By that Ayn Rand, I think she meant something she could not understand. Not just religion which she rejected. She and this was in her life had a difficulty with non transactional interactions. Yet they occur all the time.

              She had some good things to say but I think there were gaps in her understanding of how people actually work.

              She rejected libertarians.

              1. “By that Ayn Rand, I think she meant something she could not understand. Not just religion which she rejected. She and this was in her life had a difficulty with non transactional interactions. Yet they occur all the time.

                Are you drunk? Stoned?
                “Not just religion which she rejected. She and this was in her life had a difficulty with non transactional interactions. Yet they occur all the time.”
                Would you care to put that into English which doesn’t require ‘stare gate’ whako to undertand? Are you capable of doing so?

                1. Sevo, let me try and answer you, because I have made the same kind of observation. And I am a big fan of Ayn Rand’s work.

                  Rand explicitly rejected religion. I can understand this given her personal background (being a Jew in early 1900’s Russia). Rand also rejected altruism, as a singular motive. That is, doing something for someone else without any expectation of reward. Objectivism, as I understand it, is completely transactional.

                  I think this is the point Echospinner was trying to make. People do act out of altruistic motives, for whatever perceived reward that brings to them. There is no transaction, per se.

                  WRT this article, I think this guy is nuts. I work for a German company and the stories I hear about the arab migrants are hair raising. These migrants are a fifth column, whether the EU chooses to see that or not.

    3. “…The people peddling these anti-migrant fears really were making it nearly completely up, either intentionally, or by indulging in paranoid delusions…”

      You should try reading the article before sticking your brogan in your mouth; maybe you won’t look like such an ignoramus.
      There was exaggeration, but limited fabrication.

  16. others were “less dramatic” than rape (i.e., groping)

    So, if you’re going to commit sexual assaults in Europe, just make sure they’re not “dramatic” and it’s OK. Keep your molestations calm and orderly. If your victim becomes hysterical and makes an unnecessary production of it, well, then, she’s the problem.

    1. If your victim becomes hysterical and makes an unnecessary production of it, well, then, she’s the problem.

      Just target victims too naive and insecure to sufficiently protest. Problem solved.

  17. Mostly peaceful migrants.

  18. The author’s point of view is clearly impervious to facts. I consider myself pro-immigration — but if immigration isn’t going well in a particular scenario, we need to admit it and examine why that is.

    This head-in-the-sand coverage reminds me of Reason’s writings on the BLM-affiliated vandalism and riots.

    The emperor has no clothes, but today’s woke writers don’t see it. I don’t know if it’s groupthink, fear of being regarded as racist, or some combination of the two.

    I’ve been a subscriber for as long as I can remember, and have also been buying people gift subscriptions. But I don’t see how I can continue. The renewal notice came yesterday and was promptly deposited in the recycle bin.

  19. Getting an immigration lawyer to twist reality was a lot better move than dumping more of Shikha’s somewhat specious inferences on the readers. The fact remains that nothing without a border is a country with a government and jurisdiction. The real problem is that as the U.S. Kleptocracy exports economy-destroying prohibition laws (disguised as tax collection), it generates waves of desperate paupers with nothing to lose. Giving them fake hopes is cruel and dishonest, and tarbrushing libertarianism with the stench of communist anarchism is sabotage of LP efforts to reduce coercion where it matters most.

  20. “… To be sure,..”
    Don’t DO that!

    “…This stands to reason; Denmark’s Security and Intelligence Service noted in 2015 that “the majority [of refugees] are actually fleeing from militant Islamic movements and therefore unlikely to have sympathy for Isis or similar groups.”…”
    Perhaps not so simple:
    The Mission district in SF has an on-going gang conflict between the nortenos and the surenos. It’s been posited that the kids (young males) arrived with there parents and imported the gang war. Now it seems gang members will pay the freight to get more gang members across the border.
    Mom and Dad may have held the vain hope that getting away from the gang violence there would cure the kid, when it was up to them to do so.

  21. So Italy, Germany, UK, France can’t control their borders but Israel can Mr Author? I would think fellow folks form the middle east would find Israel in culture and geography more similar that say Norway. Perhaps open borders throughout the middle east..Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Iraq…heck KSA…you game?

  22. What lying idiot is writing this shit?
    Does he himself live in one of the 150+ no-go zone islamic ghettos of Sweden where the sharia police patrols? Where the police themselves have police escort to and from work. Where 2 out of 3 under the age of 18 are first or second generation immigrants, mostly from muslim countries, many analphabets. Where the chief of police recently said that there are at least 40 clans that have immigrated only in order to organize crime. Where rapes are common in public baths, where nurses are threatened and beaten up daily in the hospitals. Where libraries have become too unsafe for Swedish school children to visit. This is the most uneducated and reality denying test ever published on Reason. That guy is severely mentally ill, lives among ghosts of hallucinations.

  23. I have never and will never understand the “pro-immigration” wing of libertarians. That might be ok if it’s France to England, or Sweden to the US, or Italy to Germany. But whole importation of people from backwards cultures into the West? That’s cultural suicide just to avoid looking “xenophobic” or “racist”….including death to libertarian thought and ideas. I’d rather be xenophobic or racist, thank you.

    1. Well you are doing very well at it. Bravo.

      1. Yeah protecting Western Civ is a little more important than being worried about what names you might be called, for doing it. Knock yourself out, though.

        1. It’s not just protecting Western Civilization either. Iranians or Qatarans or whomever shouldn’t just grant loads of illiterate women the right to vote and set up mandated equality regimes to get them into labor and management roles on par with men. They *should* pick and choose virtuous goals and cultural behaviors that wil pay off and pay off in the context of their culture specifically.

          1. mad sounds like you are musing on the effects of exporting Western culture into other societies (Iranians, Qatarans, whomever). I don’t have any desire to do that either. They be them. We’ll be us. Why mix oil and water together?

            1. Passive diffusion of ideas and culture are going to happen no matter how rigidly you enforce borders and codify culture. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t enforce borders or codify culture much less do so selectively or rationally. As the ‘anit-immigration’ people continually point out, the issue isn’t with the immigrant, the issue is with the system that has been built around taking from existing citizens to provide limited services at great cost to existing citizens.

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  25. Libertarians have long supported free movement of goods, services, and people. As individualists libertarians do not discriminate by country of origin or level of education.

    The only exception is violence or history of violence.

    The right start would be to streamline the current process which is intentionally burdensome and expensive.

    It should be no more difficult than getting a drivers license. The individual would be required to present some documentation and fill out some forms. Current technology exists to verify by searchable databases in minutes. This actually happens every time you get an airline ticket.

    They would then be issued a temporary visa allowing them to live and work in the US. It would need to be renewed after a period of time.

    This would cost less than the current system. It would save the taxpayers money by allowing people to work and pay taxes like the rest of us. You would have very few border jumpers.

    Our current approach is costly and ineffective. The people who benefit most from it are the government employees and contractors who are costing us a fortune.

  26. Wonderful article, Michael, just one question: Was Shikha too busy to write it, or just too honest?

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