The New York Times editorial “Europe Should See Refugees as a Boon, Not a Burden” has not struck a chord with NYT readers. None of the top 30 or more Reader’s Pick comments are supportive. Here are the top two dozen comments:
Maureen New York 4 hours ago
Why? There are large colonies of Muslims in France. They do not benefit France. Are they vibrant, welcoming communities or are they hostile, sullen crime ridden blights? Is that the Europe you want to see developed in the future?
Kevin Hill Miami 4 hours ago
Does the NYT Editorial Board EVER read their own readers’ comments, especially regarding immigration and migration?
Do they care that these sorts of open borders, naive editorials are infuriating to many liberal and left readers?
And why does the NYT print cropped, hand-picked, and outright agitprop photos trying to convince the unwary that most of these are middle class families when in fact the overwhelming majority seem to be young men of military age?
Seriously, I am wondering if there is a strategy here or if the NYT editors just don’t care, or just are this out of touch with their readers.
Const NY 3 hours ago
Honestly, I am not sure how you can say this will be boon and not a burden. Going back to past articles in your paper, I have read about the Muslim communities in France that have failed to assimilate instead living in slums. I have read in your paper the stories of young college graduates in Spain, France and other European countries that cannot find permanent work. The unemployment rate for this group is said to be well above 20%, yet to seem to think, that European countries can absorb hundreds of thousands or even millions of people. Finally, there have been the recent stories about the children of Muslim immigrants who have gone to Syria to fight with ISIS. How do you find this to be a boon?
Laura St. Paul 4 hours ago
Please stop telling Europe what to do from the NYT’s comfortable perch in Manhattan.
Armando Cedillo Los Angeles 4 hours ago
Mass immigration certainly looks sexy on the spread sheets of multi-national corporations and tax collectors but there is a huge cultural and cost when millions of Muslims begin to embed themselves within secular Judeo-Christian nations. There is also an terrible environmental cost associated with endless population growth. Europe should take care of its own poor and dispossessed (of which there are millions) before acting as a safety valve for the failures of Africa and the Middle East. This editorial should be directed at the rulers of Saudi Arabia and Dubai.
European in NY New York, ny 4 hours ago
Dear Editorial Board:
Please take off your Polyanna glasses already!
Do you really believe that some obscure, unnamed “numerous studies” by think-tanks with vested interested or by nerdy scholars who only understand Europe in numbers, could ever know better that each EU sovereign state and its people? How arrogant!
Your insistence on this is preposterous and ignores the FACTS, and how the Muslim immigration failed to assimilate in Europe.
Once upon a time, when Times was a better newspaper, the studies about immigration (EU? American?) Big difference!) you quoted would have been named.
If EU will face a decline of population, each country can open the borders to European countries outside the EU, such as Ukraine, where they can find a pool of ethnically, culturally and religiously well-educated people, not import Middle East and its troubles.
If Arabs were the industrious people you claim, they would have been a boon to their own Middle East, Instead, they destroyed it.
More: Refugees claim a free apt, job, monthly well-fare, free education and healthcare, plus the right to bring in the wife, 5 children, and all the in-laws to whom each beleaguered EU tax payers must pay. In return, they bring radical jihadism, backwards views, hatred of free women,Jews, Catholics, Gays, a desire to outnumber the host country and to reinstall Sharia Law.
Please stop pretending you know better than each European country and citizen and stop pushing the EU toward suicide.
Philip Pompano Beach, FL 4 hours ago
I think any country would be intimidated by a group of people who in general do not share their secular beliefs, coming in a mass of millions, and now starting to attempt to force their way in, if they are not allowed to enter in totally unlimited numbers. This is a cultural as well as an economic issue.
Rob Long Island 3 hours ago
The editorial staff of the Times must live on another planet. It must be fun to pick and choose the data you want. The staff should read the articles in their own paper about the ghetto like areas in France and Britain, framed with people who refuse to assimilate, learn the language, obey the laws, yet demand Sharia law, more welfare, persecute Jewish citizens and on and on.
Study after study has shown the illegal (pardon me, “undocumented”) immigrants in the United States are a net drain on our economy, costing $billions in education and health expenses. They depress wages of minority citizens, and take jobs away from them. People say these illegals only take jobs Americans don’t want, but how many illegal citizens work as roofers, plumbers, in factories.
Many legal businesses can not survive because they are priced out by competition that uses illegal labor.
The editorial staff should get its head out of the clouds and look at the real world.
EK Somerset, NJ 3 hours ago
Yes, I’m sure you’re right.
The unemployable, uneducated, unskilled, undisciplined, unruly, unmarried, and uninterested in the rule of law hordes are going to be as valuable as diamonds.
Surely these Muslim mobs will be more eager than anyone imagined to abandon their eighth century religious beliefs and primitive tribal associations in order to completely assimilate into the various European cultures they are violently demanding access to.
And most optimistically, surely there is not a single ISIS or Al Quaeda plant or cell in the entire lot, so we won’t ever have to worry about any terror attacks resulting from this completely chaotic rush over Europe’s borders.
What could possibly go wrong?
MCS New York 3 hours ago
Would the NYT Editorial Board take on hundreds of new unskilled, uneducated journalists, and pay them a weekly salary, until one may, with some will and a lot of luck become a real attribute o the newspaper? That’s precisely what it is ;lecturing the E.U to do at a time when Globalism has decimated many economies of democracies in the west, countries that barely know how to keep their own citizens working, much less take on more. Let the rich Muslim countries take the refugees. Why is it always on the West to rescue the world to only be told ungratefully I might add, to stop medalling. No one is advocating xenophobia. I feel deeply for the plight of any person in such tragic circumstances. Yet, is it wrong to truthfully examine why these events are happening? Religion and the violent and inhumane behavior it cultivates, seems to be topical here yet no one will say it. Blame the west is always the easy way out.
smart fox Canada 3 hours ago
frankly, the condescending tone of NYT is getting annoying
and for the record, a chosen, well trained computer engineer may well generate revenues in excess of what he or she costs in various benefits… but there are already hundreds of thousands immigrants in Europe whose lack of education makes them poorly fit in a 21st century, training intensive economy for whom this is certainly not the case.
And for the record again, Denmark is not California, you can’t easily employ untrained people picking fruits …
Basic Human Being USA 3 hours ago
Naive, silly article that ignores the actual situation. The people in question are mostly Muslims, Muslims who will not take kindly to being told to be tolerant to gays, treating women like equals and separation of mosque and state.
Dana Norway 4 hours ago
Has the editorial board ever been to a norther European city? Unlike America where Latino immigrants work impossible hard jobs for low wages to provide the families with a better life – here hundreds of thousands of migrants support their families on generous government benefits while refusing to work the unskilled job opportunities that are available to newcomers with no local language skills. Being a welfare state – we continue to pay the family benefits and naively hope they will take the employment opportunities that are available and offered. The sink or swim system in America is much better at assimilating migrants. Why do you think these migrants are “fleeing” Turkey for Germany and Sweden? Good news travels fast.
Andrew W Florida 3 hours ago
The NYT conveniently conflates an orderly, filtered immigration (a boon to the economy) with a massive chaotic influx of (mostly) uneducated people of a radically different culture. That anyone could see this as a net positive (economically, culturally and socially) for the host country is a rather remarkable thing.
MFF Frankfurt, Germany 4 hours ago
I am in a kind of stupefied awe at the gall of thus editorial – of, indeed, the NYT’s entire slant regarding the refugees/migrants crisis from Syria. This newspaper’s omnipotent fingerpointing at Europe is incredible and unbelievable. I am a longtime NYT subscriber, I consider myself as close to a bleeding-heart liberal as one can be and yet the what can only be termed a demagoguic moralizing from the NYT Editorial Board and most of its journalists is outstanding.
The Syrian crisis, let us not forget, is NOT Europe’s problem or fault – it is basically a consequence of Russian and American idiocy, as are many things in this world, and if at all Europe’s biggest faux pas has been to put up with both these world bullies. Beyond that, the very idea that one small, already overpopulated continent (Europe) should offer unlimited access to these refugees or any other is simply absurd because when, after all, does one say “stop”. Ours is a terrible place for a great deal of humanity, that is the truth, and why should *these* refugees deserve access to Europe, the most civilized place on earth, more than all the others?!! How are we supposed to fit them all in? How are we supposed to support them? How are they supposed to integrate – especially when, as we all know, the great majority come from lands and cultures which are present do NOT want to integrate?
Stop pointing fingers, NYT, and instead look around you, at your own crisis-riddled home.
Flabbergasted Europe 4 hours ago
As usual the whole commentary is misguided. We are not talking about migrants who aspire to join a culture because they admire it. These migrants…NOT REFUGEES…should not be confused the garden-variety immigrant who move because they dream of a better place and a society which is better than what they are escaping. No, these migrants will recreate the world they left behind to the detriment of the hosts. This has nothing to do with any study which says immigrants are a net gain for the host in terms of economics. The issue is obvious and clear: they are not so much a threat to our economy but to our very existence as a free culture. The Koran does not tolerate pluralism. The Editorial Board is like Merkel et al…blinded by their political correctness and protected behind their elitist enclaves.
Again, Europe has enough unemployed that they could bring those from Greece, etc to Germany or Sweden. This is the reason behind the EU and open INTERNAL borders to facilitate the free movement of EU citizens and residents, not foreigners with no investment in the project.
Solaris New York, NY 3 hours ago
This entire editorial is ridiculous (framing the enormous cultural and security aspects of the migrant crisis only in terms of profitability from the new arrivals), but I take special offense to the claim that these migrants are not coming for “benefits tourism.” The Times points out that immigrants in Britain pay more in taxes than they receive in benefits, but what on earth makes you think they will be paying taxes at all? They are undocumented migrants without so much as a driver’s license and no knowledge of the language! But you think they will be paying taxes and otherwise “chipping in” for the common good? You honestly believe these immigrants will make their first priority filling out a W-2?
Beyond that, so much I’ve seen of the crisis reeks of a bizarre form of entitlement which runs contrary to the narrative of desperate families fleeing war-torn countries in search of peace. Attacking police officers, laying down on tracks to stop trains, refusing to yield until they reach their country of choice? Every story that comes out of this crisis feels less like a genuine “refugee crisis” and more of a free-for-all of Middle Eastern migrants espousing to cash in on benefits and hospitality for Western countries they have spent their entire lives denouncing.
It’s easy to lecture Europe about its moral obligations from this side of the pond, but Lord knows if 100,000 undocumented Middle Easterners washed up on our shores, the Times would be signing a different tune.
L’historien CA 4 hours ago
The EU, especially Germany, is committing cultural suicide. No culture can remain stable with this many people coming in this fast that have very different ideas on women, other religions and freedom of speech.
DHL Washington DC 4 hours ago
These migrants will pay more in tax revenue than they will take in benefits???
Guess what, using blanket stats on ALL immigrants, and applying it to this specific wave of Muslim migration, is the epitome of intellectual dishonesty.
Trump isn’t the only crazy person around here…
JohnD Connecticut 4 hours ago
This article sees this as only a dollars and cents economic situation, and ignores the historical perspective and long-term social implications. European countries had to repel numerous Muslim invasions from the 8th century to the 18th century. Spain, Italy, Austria-Hungary, Serbia, Romania and others were in the forefront of what were wars of survival. Now the New York Times sees unfettered migrations as good economics.
I am much more concerned about my individual freedoms than dollars. Unfortunately, the Muslims religion appears incompatible with the ideals of individual rights that Western democracies cherish Therefore, so I see no reason to allow the seeds of destruction to be planted now – even if this does not become apparent until a couple of generations from now.
Basic Human Being USA 3 hours ago
Skilled immigrants can be a boon. Millions of unskilled Muslims with large families and a sexist belief system that denies women their potential are hardly likely to be anything but a burden.
JMAN BETHESDA, MD 4 hours ago
This is a disingenuous editorial. Allowing in vetted documented refugees may be good both economically and socially- but the current Middle Eastern diaspora to Europe is unfiltered and is overcoming any security measures. I favor liberal immigration in our country- but the border has to be controlled so we know who is coming in and where they reside. The NYT and Obama administration obviously favor no accountability for migrants either here or in Europe.
floramac Maine 4 hours ago
This editorial is so disingenuous I can’t take it seriously.
Outside the Box is a trusted commenter America 2 hours ago
This is economic fiction. And ironically it comes in the same paper on the same day Krugman accused the Republicans of spouting economic fiction.
Europe cannot absorb billions of immigrants and grow exponentially.
This is not hundreds of years ago. We can easily see that resources are limited. Jobs are limited. The billions of people that the NYT is speaking of will not save Europe. They will not improve its cultures. Instead they will overrun the existing cultures and institutions.
natan japan 4 hours ago
NYTimes is conflating issues in its race to the bottom with the Guardian. There is a difference between legal and illegal immigrants. There is even a greater difference between illegals in the US, who would, if given opportunity, be very happy to register and become legal, and the Muslim invaders in the EU who refuse to respect the laws even when that would benefit them.
I don’t see how violent migrants who are attacking the police before even entering a country are going to benefit any society let alone the one that’s based on law. These people break the laws just for the sake of breaking them – they can easily enter the EU legally but refuse to do so! Slovenia is the latest example of a state that allows the migrants to freely move on to Austria or stay in the country legally with all the help provided. But apparently honoring the laws of the infidel countries is bellow these war-like young men. They want to be illegal.
ann Seattle 3 hours ago
“Another study found that an influx of refugees into Denmark in the 1990s led native workers to switch to more skilled jobs and away from jobs that were mostly manual labor. As a result, some local workers earned higher wages.”
This study cannot be read by members of the general public unless we pay to do so. But the summary of it that the reporter has made, is refuted by David Frum in a January 15, 2015 highly readable essay in The Atlantic titled “Does Immigration Harm Working Americans?” He wrote that most of the American workers displaced by illegal immigrants are not switching to more skilled jobs. “…millions of native-born Americans, especially men, have abandoned the job market altogether. The percentage of men aged 25 to 54 who are working or looking for work has dropped to the lowest point in recorded history.” Many are receiving disability pensions even though they would be working if illegal immigrants had not taken their jobs and driven down wages.
Honeybee Dallas 4 hours ago
Their presence will drive down labor costs and that will indeed be a boon to business owners.
But the costs to actually feed and educate these masses will fall on the middle classes.
The NYT board is a bunch of 1%ers; all 1%ers love low wages.
Paco Hernandez Phoenix 3 hours ago
Easy to tell Europe what to do when you live on the other side of the Atlantic.
DCBarrister Washington, DC 3 hours ago
Now the NY Times Editorial board, after declaring the “Black Lives Matter” thugs (I’m Black, so put away the race card) the 21st century equivalent of the Civil Rights Freedom Riders of the 1960s, fresh off declaring Barack Obama’s Iran Deal (the one where Iran gets everything including nukes and America gets nothing)…this Times Editorial Board is now telling European leaders what they should see when it comes to the Syrian Refugee Crisis, created by Barack Obama, someone the NYT Editorial Board has never held accountable.
As someone who travels to Europe several times a year, trust me when I say they are laughing at this.
Forrest Chisman Stevensville, MD 3 hours ago
Are the interns writing the editorials today or is the Times being coy? The information in this editorial is at best half-digested. It’s based on research on settled immigrant communities that arrived in moderate numbers over a long period of time. Yes, in the long term a moderate influx is beneficial to the immigrants and the host country in most economic conditions. But that’s not what we’re looking at in Europe today. We’re looking at realistic concerns about the near term effects of a large influx of migrants in a very short period of time when host economies are shaky.
And even if the Times is right about this research, what does it mean European nations and the US should do? Should they/we admit all the refugees who want to come? If not, how many and when? That’s the issue in dispute and the research cited by the Times doesn’t help to resolve it. One has the sense that The Times wants a very liberal immigration policy. If so, why hint about it? Tell us exactly what you recommend.
Ted Pikul Interzone 3 hours ago
Is that the same CBO report that cheerily observed that “[a]verage wages would be slightly lower…through 2024…However, the rate of return on capital would be higher”? Why, yes it is!
Sometimes best to say nothing…
Anonymous CA 4 hours ago
This is pure rubbish. How is Germany spending 6 billion on immigrants helping Germany? They will never recoup these costs. USA Today just published a report last week that showed more than 50% of immigrants in the USA are on Welfare: http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2015/09/01/immigrant-welfare-u….
These are facts, not groundless assumptions that importing more low-skilled workers is going to be good for the host country.
Germany’s lower birthrate is not a problem, with a smaller population, more of the wealth will now be concentrated in fewer people. German citizens will actually become richer on a per capita basis. In fact, populations should be decreasing now that society is entering the technological age where machines and automation can do most of the work and less people are needed, not more!
What Europe’s countries need to do is protect their borders, their cultures, their heritage, and their people from the destabilization caused by mass immigration or else Europe will turn into the foreign countries the immigrants are fleeing.
Basic Human Being USA 3 hours ago
The American CBO report was written by business interests to justify the importation of foreign scabs. If the majority of illegals were economically useful, Mexico would be demanding they return home rather than shoving them on us. People have the right to control their nation’s borders. More is not always better.
carla van rijk virginia beach, va 3 hours ago
The issue of immigration should be left up to the people of each European country rather than coerce them into action. The disruption that occurs when certain religious cultures refuse to assimilate & demand cultural accommodations including demanding free speech be stifled & viewing women’s rights differently.
My husband is of Dutch Indonesian heritage & was among the first wave of immigrants of color to arrive in Holland after Sukarno exiled them after the revolution. The Dutch Indonesians assimilated quickly into society, worked hard & were too proud ever to rely on the generous Dutch social safety net. In fact, my husband & his brother attended Catholic school, excelled & became a prominent dentist & business owner. Then, the various waves that followed included the Turks, Moroccans, Somali & Surinamese who had difficulty assimilating into the homogeneous society & placed a heavy burden on the already extremely overtaxed citizens. Many of the devout Muslims demanded that the tolerant & permissive Dutch should change their society especially after the murder of film director, Theo van Gogh & threats against Somali women’s right activist, Ayaan Hirsi Ali. This is too much pressure for such a small country & now the society is full of conflict & increasing crime & stress. Europe is not as big as the US nor as heterogeneous. The countries have long cultural histories & traditions unlike the Us that is connected through pop culture rather than centuries of culture.
Tim B is a trusted commenter Seattle 4 hours ago
I read an article today about the difficulties and aspirations which some of those migrating have expressed, it is hard not to feel empathy for so many who wish to escape dangerous places and times. I admire the Times for its compassionate concern for these many travelers.
For those who have expressed grave concerns about this unprecedented migration, those concerns should not be dismissed as cruel or unfeeling. European countries have undergone significant transformations over centuries, slowly working toward freer, non monarchical and egalitarian societies.
Those victories for all people in Europe and other democratic nations have slowly evolved toward greater acceptance of individual differences and over time, toward less patriarchal societies, toward ones with more acceptance of equality at work and home for women and men, toward expression of different ideas and sentiments, a more free press, more tolerance, and more acceptance of those along the vast array of the sexual rainbow.
Many understandably fear the intrusion into Europe of hundreds of thousands of immigrants, mainly Muslim, whose creed teaches far less flexibility to the open expression of ideas, and for some who openly teach antagonistic and violent approaches to be vented toward democratic societies, whose values are often antithetical to the teachings of their holy book and prophet. How will so many of these new people be assimilated into their host countries, or will they ever wish to be?
Joseph albany 4 hours ago
The “refugees” are mostly single men, or married men who have left their wives and children behind. They are coming to Europe for economic reasons, not political reason and not for fear of their lives. Many want to go to Germany, the Netherlands and Sweden because of their generous welfare benefits. Many, like many who have come before them, have absolutely no intention of assimilating into a secular society. Some are radicals who wish to bring Islam to Europe, and a few of these radicals are Jihadi terrorists.
These are not the types of “refugees” most Europeans are welcoming with open arms. And I cannot blame the in the least.
Maria London 4 hours ago
“Even a large influx of immigrants does not mean fewer jobs for the existing population, since economies do not have a finite number of jobs.” No but for Sweden, which takes mainly refugees, this means importing unemployment since the vast majority of them are unskilled whereas Sweden’s economy requires mainly skilled labor. So instead we are importing unemployment that is life long for a lot of these people and, given Sweden’s very generous welfare, life long unemployment benefits. So instead of supporting an ageing population we now have to also support unemployed refugees. Then add the cost of increased crime rates and health care… It is not sustainable. It is a lie to think that it is economically beneficial for any European country to take on tens of thousands, if not millions, of asylum seekers per year when unskilled Europeans can not even get employment. Where is my source? Tino Sanandaji at Stockholm School of Economics. Check his blog for data.
GS Berlin 3 hours ago
The ignorance emanating from this editorial is breathtaking. As if the amount of taxes potentially paid were the only factors here. Not even a mention of the huge potential risks associated with immigration by millions of people who are up to 20% analphabets, come from war-ravaged countries and mostly follow a strict form of islam.
Our goal shouldn’t be to raise our GDP. I’m totally fine with declining population in my country. The number of humans should decline everywhere, that is the only real answer to climate change and environmental degradation. And I don’t need our ‘decline’ filled up with desperate people from other continents for economic reasons, thank you very much.
Chris 10013 4 hours ago
It’s rather naive to make an entirely economic argument. A rapid introduction of a group that strains social resources, speaks a different language, brings a different religion and conservative cultural norms trumps modest economic gains. I suspect that I can demonstrate that allowing taller buildings on the upper east side of NYC would result in economic growth. Shockingly, the residents of the UES (some of whom are on this board) reject the idea of economics over preservation of their current lifestyles.
DD Los Angeles 3 hours ago
“Immigrants generally pay more in taxes than they claim in government benefits.”
Come and spend some time in California, where billions in taxpayer money is spent yearly on health care and education and ID cards and welfare and food stamps benefits, not to mention prison facilities, all of it on people who have no permission to be here.
Additionally, the low end of the labor market is severely depressed, and those millions working off the books because they are getting less than minimum wage aren’t paying taxes at all. Yet they all send their children to public schools, and use the emergency medical system as their personal doctors at incredible expense to the rest of us.
And no, the solution is NOT to just open the floodgates and make them ALL citizens. That way lies madness. Remember, Reagan gave amnesty to five million, and now there are fifteen million more. If we do it again, in twenty years there will be 100 million.
TL ATX 4 hours ago
If the world weren’t overpopulated with people and if Islam weren’t incompatible with Western values, then I’d agree with the NYTs editorial board. But neither of the two things I mentioned is the case. If we don’t hold people accountable for their reckless reproducing or for their antiquated, backwards ideologies, how else will they learn?
Todd Stuart key west,fl 3 hours ago
I sometimes wonder if the NYT editorial board reads the stuff they write. Europe isn’t the USA, they don’t have a strong immigrant underpinning. In American everyone who isn’t a native American has to acknowledge if they go far enough back they are children of immigrants. European countries each define themselves with a common language and typically go back centuries. When countries are build without regard for those commonalities you get a place like Yugoslavia. Which once looked pretty stable but ultimately was a ticking time bomb. To think these countries can comfortably absorb vast numbers of people with different languages, a different religion and an unclear level of commitment to socializing into these societies is absurd. The issues places like France are already having with their significant Muslim minority only adds to the concerns. The answer is to try to fix the countries the refugees are fleeing which is a major undertaking but not a big as trying to resettle half the population of Syria.
Hopeoverexperience Edinburgh 4 hours ago
This is I’m afraid is a fallacy and underplays the stresses already existing in our countries due over populated schools which have to cater to multiple languages and to our health services which are already groaning under the weight of demand. Add to that mix uneducated young Muslim men whose work ethic is questionable and I believe we are creating an explosive mix. Longer term the change to our societies as a result of a failure to integrate will create insurmountable problems as we already see. No, the answer is to provide temporary help in a safe environment so that ultimately those people can return to their home. Enough of the bleeding hearts and lack of basic common sense.
Dawit Cherie Saint Paul, MN 3 hours ago
I am not so sure about that. The Saudis have changed a lot of things for worse. If we don’t try to change them first, they won’t stop trying to mold the world in their radical image. That’s hardly a boon to Europe, or the world.
silverfox24 Cave Creek, AZ 3 hours ago
While it is no doubt true that the initial surge of immigrants into Europe will have economic benefits fairly quickly and for some time to come, those benefits will fade over time as the immigrants become assimilated, most likely in a very imperfect way if past experience can be a guide, leading to a monumental transformation of European culture and institutions, and not necessarily in a positive way. While I applaud the European countries that display a humanity that most Islamic countries have yet to accede to, I fear they may have unwittingly signed their own death warrants since these immigrants constitute a demographic time bomb that will eventually explode. All we have to do is look to the UK, France, Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands (to name a handful) at the simmering unrest, often among second and third generations of immigrants. The Europe in the year 2100 will be quite different from the Europe of the year 2015.
al boston 3 hours ago
Again and again reporters misuse statistics to obfuscate this issue.
The fact that in 20 out of 19 countries (I’d be very interested in the analysis of the outlier country – could be most revealing) immigrants pay more in taxes than draw in benefits does not mean that they benefit the host countries because these statistics do not account for the hidden cost of massive immigration (massive means exceeding the assimilative capacity of the host):
1. The cost of crime especially by 2nd and 3rd immigrant generations, which is significant at least in USA and France.
2. The cost of education that is usually not included in calculating immigrants’ benefits.
3. Probably most importantly, the cost of eroding the host culture, which cost is almost impossible to measure, although I’m not sure if anyone’s tried.
What history teaches us is that Roman slaves were a huge economic asset until they destroyed that civilization and plunged it into the dark ages. Btw, many if not a majority of those slave had been freed by the time of that carnage.
Besides, there’s a much better and safer way to benefit from those people’s labor – guest worker visas. All the gulf countries, Russia, Singapore, etc have figured that out long ago. Look at Dubai to see what guest workers are capable of.
GP Los Angeles, CA 4 hours ago
The two economist cited here calculate the costs of education in the UK, and apply it to immigrants as if the education in their home country was the same. By that logic, the UK should simply eliminate their own education system. What a boon that would be.
We can see right through your agenda, NY Times.
Joe Seattle 3 hours ago
“The less skilled often take jobs that are hard to fill”. Sometimes because of low pay. This is a good thing? Low-paying jobs contribute to higher poverty levels.
Justice Holmes Charleston 3 hours ago
I’m sorry but I find it hard to believe that any rational human could suggest to the poor, working class and middle class humans in Europe that tens of thousands of migrants will be anything less that a burden. Most of the people now screaming for unlimited reception of the migrants won’t have to give up their housing benefits or unemployment or access to health care to accommodate them. Why because they live in beautiful houses or flats with regular pay checks or big stock portfolios.
No one wants to deal with the negatives of this crisis. But there are negatives that will be visited on those who are ill equipped to carry them. But who cares the elite can now feel superior.
David Savir Bedford MA 4 hours ago
Nothing that is uncontrollable is a boon.
Ulus Mcduff Los Angeles 3 hours ago
If you America think the Refugees are such a boon, why don’t doesn’t America a take them all?
I would like to see your comments if they did.
Diomedes Florida 4 hours ago
This discussion of migrants focuses solely on the economic consequences. Allow that to be true (although it’s debatable in the European context). What is overlooked, though, is the cultural dimension. Uncontrolled immigration to England, France and Germany have brought deep changes to the cultural life and values of those countries. England is very different to the country I grew up in in the ’50s and ’60s; France has changed so much that it can feel a parody of itself. The elephant in room is that the migrants don’t share a Judeo-Christian world view, by and large, and that they have little intention or desire to integrate or assimilate.
Justice Holmes Charleston 4 hours ago
The economic benefits being touted for immigration are, if they occur at all, long term while the burdens or costs of caring for the migrants are immediate. Further the studies generally do not deal with massive migration of individuals who come with nothing and surge across a border in the thousands. These golden predictions are similar to the jobs predictions made by the supports of the oil pipe line Canada…overblown and illusion at best but more than likely lies.
If migrants are going to be welcomed, it should be based not on some claim of benefit but with a recognition that the host nation will have to bear significant burdens.
Rufus W. Nashville 4 hours ago
Yes, Europe does see migrants as a burden because Europeans have to bear the expense of sheltering, feeding, and educating millions people – who really have no desire to become European (particularly: equal rights for all). Yes, Including a group of people into your society whose religious views -either implicitly or explicitly – place women and anyone from the LGBT community – as
less than – does create a burden.
David Calhoun La Jolla 4 hours ago
Another interesting take on Syrian refugees from the NY Times. If these people are all going to bring with them an economic boom, why don’t you lead the way and bring a few thousand of them here as NY Times employees? The United States, abetted by your indifferent coverage, with our ham fisted military brinksmanship that has created and is solely responsible for the upheavel that these people are fleeng, is the only nation on earth with a genuine moral obligation to harbor refugees of our US caused war. Leave the Europeans alone, they didn’t create this mess, we did.
Bill NYC 4 hours ago
I do not think that people are simply only concerned about the economic benefits of a mass migration of Islamic immigrants…
These new immigrants have a different set of cultural values and intolerant to many ideals of western civilization.
Currently 60 to 70 percent of inmates in France’s prison are Muslim…
In Germany, Muslims are four times as likely to be receiving welfare as non Mulsims…
Although mass migration may help large businesses, does this benefit the people?
Max San Francisco 4 hours ago
Please stop mixing legal and illegal immigration. You only do disservice to refugees and legal immigrants. Driving is necessary for many people, but driving without a license is harmful.
Paulo Ferreira White Plains, NY 4 hours ago
Yes, obviously a high birth rate is a boon for economies because it is plain for all to see that outside of oil, the economies of South America and the Middle East are booming. Gimme a break.
Rufus W. Nashville 4 hours ago
I don’t know….a featured story today in the Guardian newspaper online (U.K) reads: “Munich fears migrants and beer hunters may not mix well at Oktoberfest”. This is not just about people being able to get jobs and contribute to the economy – this is about the clash of two cultures that are really unreconcilable.
Steve Sailer America 4 hours ago
Mass immigration is very good for the billionaire class by driving up the supply of labor and thus driving down its price. Why billionaires deserve this special favor is unexplained, however.
GT NJ 4 hours ago
The USA is a country familiar with immigration. We occasionally have “issues” when numbers become large … be it a particular population or area …. this happened with the Irish and the Italians .. and somewhat less to the germans in the mid 1800’s..
Europe has almost no history of immigration .. and what they have experienced has not gone well. I frequently travel to Germany — Munich in particular. They don’t like the the current influx of UAE residents fleeing the heat of the middle east — and they are paying! This is not going to end well — I don’t think people understand the homogenous nature of the place. It’s not going to work in Italy or Austria either — it’s not London.
I’m Irish BTW
ann Seattle 4 hours ago
The first report referred to in your article was probably underwritten by the government, but cannot be read without a payment.
Another one of the reports says that a quarter of the Europeans moving to Britain since 2000 had a university degree paid for by their country of origin. This is a stark contrast to our illegal immigrants from Mexico and Central America as the overwhelming majority of them have no more than a primary school education taught by rural teachers who either inherited or purchased their positions. Some of the illegal immigrants have never been to school at all, and so cannot read or write even in their native Spanish or Mayan language, let alone in English.
The 2013 Congressional Budget Office Report predicts that if the illegal immigrants are given legal status, that unemployment will rise through 2020 and average wages will decrease until 2025.
Amanda New York 4 hours ago
Once again, you conflate those who immigrate legally with those who do so illegally.
Legal immigrants are filtered by the host country, which chooses those who are healthier, stronger, and smarter than the natives. As you would expect, they use social services less often than natives, and do more work. They are a boon to the economy.
Illegal immigrants typically include a mixture of hard-working but uneducated people who are net contributors until their children enter school, at which point they become expensive, and benefits seekers who are expensive from the very beginning. Studies sometimes obscure this by ignoring the costs of their children on the basis that their children are citizens. But this is invalid and the children and grandchildren of uneducated migrants are usually net recipients of public funds, and much less happy to take the less desirable jobs that the original immigrant parent or grandparent was glad to have.
B. Granat Lake Linden, Michigan 4 hours ago
“In Britain, for example, immigrants from the rest of Europe pay more in taxes than they receive in government benefits, according to an analysis by two economists.”
Ok. Now exactly WHICH immigrants of that totality pay more in taxes?
John Graham Phoenix 4 hours ago
Another example of why the editorial board lacks credibility on this topic. The penultimate paragraph refers to a CBO report that allegedly referred to “giving undocumented workers a path to citizenship.” Search that report–it doesn’t once mention “citizenship.” In truth, it refers to “legal status,” which is a crucial difference. How can we believe anything from the board when it willingly misrepresents the report’s contents (and when the misrepresentation is so easy to uncover)? And, as usual, the editorial board conspicuously dodges stating its position regarding immigration, which appears to be open borders for every nation state in the world. [If that is incorrect, please let your readers know.] At some point, someone on the editorial board needs to stand up and be the adult in the room on this topic.
Un PRK 4 hours ago
This refugee crisis created by Obama and Hillary Clinton is now being foisted upon Europe. Solutions are needed … not excuses from the Times editorial board hoping to shed a positive light on the greatest humanitarian disaster of this millennium.. Most readers are simply not dumb enough to believe the editorial board that this refugee crisis is such a great gain to the countries that take these people in and will create high wage jobs for the currently unemployed in those countries. New York Times readers may be ill-informed, but they are not stupid enough to believe such rancid slop.
laikalee California 3 hours ago
Well intended, but still voodoo economics!
Maria London 3 hours ago
Totally, anybody living in a northern European country knows that it is a fairy tale to say that massive immigration of Muslims is actually working out. It is a ticking bomb!
In Reply to Maureen Reply 10Recommend
Joe Yohka New York 4 hours ago
Of course the studies are based on orderly immigration, which is routinely quota based on criteria, education and a country’s needs. This is quite different. The root cause is in Syria, where our foreign policies and red lines are non existant.
marymary DC 4 hours ago
I don’t know. I suspect that this situation may play out much as it would in more micro terms. If a friend and his friends and their families decided to ‘visit’ my home for an indefinite period of time, eating my food, consuming my resources, after a little bit I would not be feeling the boon.
Ryan New York 4 hours ago
The studies referenced in this article may all be true; immigration bolsters growth. However this article only references the conclusion arrived at by these studies. It is disingenuous to continue to claim that immigration is a boon for countries without examining the controlled naturalization process many countries use to ensure immigrants are assimilated into their society.
Refugee crises surely cannot be conflated to the controlled immigration these studies reference. How can one take the Editorial Board’s opinion seriously when, instead of posing a humanitarian viewpoint, the Board attempts to cite studies on controlled immigration and apply them to a refugee crisis.
When an individual immigrates to the U.S. (for example) they must endure an arduous naturalization process. This process essentially forces them to be sponsored by an employer (if working) and motivates them to engage in socially productive behavior in order to become a citizen. Taking this into account, I for one, can see how someone immigrating (LEGALLY) to the U.S. would be motivated to find and keep work, pay taxes, and assimilate into society.
With all of that said, this isn’t immigration. This is a refugee crisis spurred by civil war throughout Syria and ISIS in Iraq. This is a crisis that occurred while Obama “drew a red line” and called ISIS a “JV-team”. This is a crisis that the U.S. actually supported in Syria via CIA weapons and cash paid to rebel fighters. This is not immigration
O’Brien Airstrip One 4 hours ago
Yes. Because all those immigrants from Muslim countries have worked out oh-so-well in France. For our part in the United States, let’s follow this argument. open up the borders, and watch the American economy take off into the stratosphere. What are we waiting for?
Look. It is a terrible humanitarian crisis. But if tiny Israel could resettle tens of thousands of Yemeni and Ethiopian Jews to its territory in a matter of weeks, the West could resettle a million of these migrants in any Arab or majority-Muslim country or countries that is willing to take them on. We’ve got the logistical capability to do that. The Moroccan and Algerian airlines can keep flying their commercial flights. So can the Turks and Emiratis. In doing this, we’ll more than meet our responsibility.
Outside the Box is a trusted commenter America 2 hours ago
Maybe the NYT thinks editorial is penance for the way is disparaged Irish and Italian immigrants to the US.
Joanna Berkeley, CA 3 hours ago
Have you looked at Sweden? They thought educating the youth would integrate them. Now most of the refugees are still on welfare, unemployed and not integrated. Europe isn’t America. You can’t assume that what happens in America will happen in Europe. We are a nation of immigrants.
Have you looked at France to see how integration is proceeding? What about Germany with sky high anti immigration protests? The European economy is very unstable and volatile right now.