And this migrant flood, melding with other refugees from Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia and other African parts, now pushes into Europe, providing a canvas on which the proto-fascist regime in Hungary reverts to barbed wire and a German chancellor strives to demonstrate that her country has learned it racial lesson. (Maybe it has; time and politics will tell.)
Meanwhile, the U.S., which bears deep and continuing responsibility for the deadly chaos in Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, Syria and elsewhere, is doing diddly-squat to to help these people. As of October 21, 1,854 people from Syria have been admitted here in the last four years. It takes two years for a refugee to navigate the bureaucratic hoops of a process more sensitive to excessive fears than too human need. And these are usually the relatively affluent and educated among the migrants.
George Packer, in a forthcoming New Yorker comment, shares some of the history of United States behavior when our wars have unsettled populations.
Packer's right of course. The U.S. can take a lot more of this current flow of displaced people with barely a blip of inconvenience. We're that big, that rich and that accustomed to incorporating diverse peoples.
But amidst our failure to take responsibility for that human migration across the oceans, we need to keep in mind that we are also still the destination for another flow of desperate people from much closer to home. And these people too are on the move from violence we've unleashed. These are the young escapees from Central American gangs who were so much in the news a year ago. Those gangs exist to service our country's drug addiction; they take root under the kleptocratic regimes we prefer for their countries.
Joseph Sorrentino charges at In These Times that there's a reason why we've been hearing less about this migrant flow lately.
My emphasis. Good question.
UPDATE: As of November 5, the New York Times reports: