French Muslims say constant talk about banning veils has made them targets of abuse. Credit Dmitry Kostyukov for The New York Times
In response to the article ‘French Muslims Say Veil Bans Give Cover to Bias‘ which appeared in the New York Times on May 26, 2015:
As the history of countries like the USA, Australia, New Zealand and Canada demonstrates, there is no integration for marginalised communities, such as migrants or aboriginals (to take two contrasting situations), which is not based on the principle of equality and the prohibition of discrimination. A discrimination is a decision that creates a distinction between one person and the other members of society. Many distinctions are justifiable and have been recognised by courts as justified: the right to vote at 18, prenatal care for women only, pension at 65… Freedom of religion includes the freedom to express one’s religion, as long as one doesn’t infringe on the rights of others.
Migrants arriving on the island of Lampedusa in August 2007. Credit Sara Prestianni.
In response to the op-ed ‘Open Up, Europe! Let Migrants In‘ which appeared in the New York Times on May 6, 2015:
At last, economic studies contribute to the debate and show that migration is not an economic threat for Europe, contrary to all the fantasies and stereotypes carried by the prevalent nationalist populist discourse. Legalising, facilitating, regulating and taxing mobility would be a much better answer than prohibiting and repressing migration. We should not think of mobility through international borders in very different terms as mobility within States or mobility through EU internal borders: with appropriate labour law and human rights law safeguards, mobility responds to the needs of individuals looking for jobs and facilitates an optimal allocation of skills to the needs of employers. Banking on mobility is a much more promising solution to the Mediterranean tragedy over the long term than trying to enhance Fortress Europe.
The legal avenues for asylum seekers will only reduce irregular migration if they offer meaningful refugee resettlement for the large number of persons in need of protection abroad, which does not seem to be the intent at this time. Unless the announced European Agenda for Migration changes tack quite considerably, the EU is doing more of the same and continues to expect a different result.
— François Crépeau