February 9, 2017

Refugees in the Mind of the West

Special to RealClearWorld

The Trump administration’s executive order temporarily banning admission to the United States for refugees and emigres from seven Muslim-majority countries was a reminder that immigration has been a hotly contested issue in American politics at various times in both the 19th and 20th centuries. Surges of people arriving from abroad have often raised questions about the social impact of new arrivals, about cultural diversity, and about what it means to be a “true” American.

Yet, in the international backlash in reaction to President Donald Trump’s executive order — not to mention the intervention of the U.S. court system — it is easy to forget that debates over refugees and national identity trouble many societies, particularly in Europe.

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