Swiss getting cold feet about taking more Syrians

We’ve written several posts over the last few years (here) about how Switzerland is trying to save itself from being swamped by needy refugees, many from Muslim countries.   They did however agree to take a small number of Syrians over three years, but those numbers are now getting out of control.     (Be sure to see our previous post about the rich pretending to be refugees at Davos this week.)

Secretary of State John Kerry arrives in Switzerland for so-called ‘Peace talks’ on Syria, then immediately stirred anger.

Interesting timing that this story should be published just as ‘Peace talks’ take place in the country since these decisions were actually made late last year.

From Inter Press Service news:

LUCERNE, Switzerland , Jan 23 2014 (IPS) – Switzerland facilitated family reunification for Syrians in September. So far, more than 1,100 Syrian refugees have benefited from the programme, while thousands are waiting at Swiss embassies in the region, hoping for a similar chance. Surprised by these numbers, Switzerland put an end to the programme.

Several European countries responded to an appeal by the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees  (UNHCR) last summer to admit Syrian refugees. Switzerland announced it would accept 500 “especially vulnerable refugees” over three years.

Further, the country that hosts about 2,000 citizens of Syrian origin pledged to open its borders for their relatives. By the end of November, Swiss embassies in Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan had granted 1,600 Syrians a three-month entry visa.

At least 1,100 of these have already travelled to Switzerland. A further 5,000 Syrians have applied for appointments at Swiss embassies to file similar visa requests.

Either Swiss authorities were surprised by these numbers, or considered their humanitarian action short-lived. Already in early November, they introduced bureaucratic hurdles: Swiss-based Syrians who had invited their relatives now needed to meet certain financial requirements.

“Looking at the size of an average Syrian family, these requirements constitute a killer criteria,” said Beat Meiner, secretary-general of the Swiss Refugee Council (SFH). “Few of the Swiss-based Syrians have enough money to clear these hurdles.”

I think that is exactly why the Swiss don’t want more refugees—they bring poverty and a need for more social services.  Not to mention the cultural conflicts already happening.

Photo is here.

Davos: The rich play-act being refugees

As the World Economic Forum gets underway in Davos, Switzerland, the rich and famous will have an opportunity to pretend they are refugees thanks to a charity from Hong Kong—Crossroads Foundation. (I wonder if some of George Soros’ shell organizations are lurking behind this NGO.)

Sheryl Sandberg: Refugee for a day (30 minutes actually)

From the Irish Times:

Facebook executive Sheryl Sandberg may be the world’s newest billionaire, but she will mark the occasion fighting for food and scrabbling in dirt with machine guns pointed in her face. She is one of the global leaders in Davos scheduled to attend “Refugee Run”, an immersive and distressing descent into daily life in a camp for displaced persons.

Organised by the Crossroads Foundation, a not-for-profit organisation based in Hong Kong, Refugee Run is designed to make you look beyond the abstraction of data, such as the two million Syrians displaced from their war-torn homeland.

Crossroads believes that only when world leaders experience the chaotic conditions refugees endure will they experience real empathy and act.

Acting is fine.  Rich people sending money is fine.  Finding solutions to the never-ending Middle Eastern civil wars is fine (good luck!), but moving mostly Muslims into western countries is not fine.

And, get this, we heard exactly these same words only a few years ago about the Iraqi refugees!

Of particular concern at this year’s World Economic Forum is the growing crisis with Syrian refugees. Seven leading aid agencies and human rights groups issued a joint statement yesterday describing the humanitarian crisis in Syria as “the worst of our time”.

They probably just re-wrote some old press release from their Iraq days!

Photo is from The New Yorker, here.

More on Syrians and Switzerland next.  Here!