Angelina Jolie is a Special Envoy for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. In her speech “Refugee system breaking down”, she says:
“The point is every country must do its fair share, and no country can abdicate its responsibility. I suggest this should be based on four principles. First, it is not wrong for citizens in any country faced with a sudden surge of people seeking refuge within their borders to want to know that there are strong processes in place to prevent law and order, to preserve and to protect their security. No one should be crossing a border and not registering and going through an asylum process.”
Oh, so no one should be crossing a border and not registering and going through an asylum process?! Yes, sure, that's what governments and government entities like UNHCR wants. One of the comments on the talk went like this: “As for refugees abusing aid that is why how we let them in must be organised and follow law and order without loopholes. Those who come in must all be registered, have a legitimate reason to come in and their progress followed whatever needs to be done to benefit both sides.”
This is the real naiveté! To think you can order everything, control every human being, where they go and what they do. Don't you think it's time to let go a bit? Let life take its course.
Let alone the human life cost, Not seeing the total absurdity of the cost-ineffectiveness of trying to impose and control borders is the real naiveté.
In the paper “International Migration, Border Controls and Human Rights: Assessing the Relevance of a Right to Mobility” by Antoine Pécoud and Paul de Guchteneire, published in Journal of Borderlands Studies, Volume 21 No.1 Spring 2006, it says:
“Controlling migration is costly. According to an International Organization for Migration (IOM) report, the twenty-five richest countries spend 25 to 30 billion dollars per year on the enforcement of immigration laws (Martin 2003). These costs stem not only from controlling borders, but also from issuing visas and residence permits, prosecuting, detaining and removing undocumented migrants, carrying out labor inspections and implementing sanctions on employers, treating asylum-seekers’ claims, resettling refugees, and searching for undocumented migrants.”
Thinking that border controls can stop the movement of people is the real naiveté.
“Restrictive policies do not keep people from trying to migrate illegally. More liberal policies would have little impact on those who leave their country, whether it is authorized or not; it would only reduce the dangers they are exposed to. Restrictions on mobility also limit migrants’ freedom to circulate, thus leading to a higher rate of permanent settlement and discouraging migrants from returning, temporarily or not, to their country. Mexican migration to the United States illustrates these points: migrants keep trying to cross the border until they succeed and, given the difficulty of doing so, tend to remain on a more permanent basis in the country. (Cornelius 2001)”
Thinking that border controls can stop "terrorists" is the real naiveté.
The paper concludes:
“A right to mobility may appear as a naïve utopia. However, it is equally utopian and naïve to believe that minor arrangements of contemporary policies will provide sustainable answers to the challenges raised by international migration. Considering mobility as a right is a provocative way of questioning the justification of policies that are now taken for granted. Today’s utopia may be tomorrow’s reality and innovative debates and ideas are necessary to ensure new direction.”
And I heartily subscribe to it.
PS: Please read the full version of the analysis of this speech.