While Donald Trump has been spreading hateful anti-immigration slurs and pushing for astonishing mass deportations here in the United States, his ancestral homeland of Germany has taken a very different approach to the immigration crisis currently facing the EU. Germany has just announced that they will take in some 800,000 Syrian refugees and asylum seekers, fleeing their war-torn homelands and looking for peace and stability. They were greeted with open arms. Munich residents volunteered to help the newcomers, holding signs that said, “Refugees Welcome.”
Between 6:00AM Monday and 12:30PM Tuesday about 3,500 refugees poured into Central Station, the city’s main population pipeline. Arrivals were heard calling out, “Thank you Germany,” to the volunteers. Police even instructed the Germans to stop donating, as there were more than enough supplies.
Germany is a target destination for those fleeing the Middle East. The country expects to receive 800,000 asylum seekers this year, alone. This uncharacteristic welcoming of immigrants by Europeans has caused a strain within the European Union, specifically regarding asylum policies. Germany has gone as far as waiving the “Dublin Rules,” which requires asylum seekers to register with and make their application for asylum in the first EU state they have arrived in.
Hungary and Austria in particular, have an undignified grievance with the refugees, and asked Germany to justify the Dublin suspension. A spokesman of the German Interior Ministry, expressed that the waive was not permanent, “Germany has not suspended Dublin. Dublin rules are still valid and we expect European member states to stick to them.” Angela Merkel also commented, saying the situation was, “born out of necessity,” and that Germany had “simply sought a solution to cases where the Dublin rules had not been upheld in other countries.”
“If you deny them – although they have a paid ticket – and you don’t let them get on board, you push them right into the hands of smugglers,” Director General of the International Organization for Migration, William Lacy Swing, warned. “So they get into vans and into trucks and they die.” This comes after the bodies of 71 refugees were found in Austria. They had been left to suffocate inside of a truck abandoned by human traffickers.
The victims of the four-year Syrian Civil War, who are left with no other choice, need a country to call home. Germany and other European Union nations have opened their arms to welcome them, in a beautiful outpouring of empathy for their fellow humans, regardless of race, nationality, or religion. Donald Trump could take some important lessons from the land of his ancestors. Germany is the world’s strongest example of just how far the sort of fascist rhetoric that Trump spews will go- and they are now demonstrating what kindness and understanding truly is.
Editor’s Note: People don’t just up and move to another country for the sake of it, or because they want to “steal your jobs.” They do it because they want stability and peace, to be able to live their lives without fear of barrel bombs in the night, to be able to provide for their families and to have a job that they can be proud of, that gives them purpose- what every human wants and needs. We cannot blame the immigrants for wanting to come to the United States; we should be proud that we’ve built such a secure and prosperous nation that people will literally risk their lives to get here. We should blame ourselves for being so unwilling to accommodate them. Immigration is how our country was founded, and only through embracing our diversity will our nation remain the global superpower that it is today.
Colin Taylor is the editor-in-chief of Occupy Democrats. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice and equality in America.