Immigration has been a hotter-than-ever topic since the 2016 election campaigns of Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. Aside from concerns over the practice in the United States, Europe has also faced an influx of illegal immigrants in recent years from northern African and Middle Eastern countries.
Recently, Clinton made comments on the issues Europe is facing as a result, and many on the far-right lauded her for it. But as NBC News reports, she has clarified what she meant by that statement.
According to the outlet, Clinton originally claimed that “immigration reform, not open borders,” is needed “on both sides of the Atlantic,” adding, “I think Europe needs to get a handle on migration because that is what lit the flame.”
Far-right politicians and groups have used the fear of immigrants to score major victories in recent times.
Clinton continued, saying that while the generosity of leaders in Europe has been great for the immigrants who have been welcomed with open arms, the deluge it has created for first-world countries is becoming a pandemic.
“I admire the very generous and compassionate approaches that were taken particularly by leaders like (German Chancellor) Angela Merkel, but I think it is fair to say Europe has done its part, and must send a very clear message — ‘we are not going to be able to continue provide refuge and support’ — because if we don’t deal with the migration issue it will continue to roil the body politic.”
At the same time, Clinton also criticized those who prey on the fear of immigrants, including fellow American politicians who sow hatred among the population of those coming from outside. Even so, many of her foes in Europe lauded her comments, particularly those from countries who are struggling to cope with the deluge flooding into their borders.
In the two years of 2015 and 2016, more than 1 million refugees and migrants poured into the European Union, causing a major strain on the economies of some of the more economically unstable nations.
Giorgia Meloni, the leader of the far-right Brothers of Italy party, took Clinton’s statement as proof that she finally understands Europe’s plight when it comes to refugees.
On Friday afternoon, Clinton clarified that what she had meant by her statement was that “EU needs a more comprehensive policy that builds societies that are both secure and welcoming.” She further explained that she has no intention of closing borders, but rather creating and enforcing policies that ensure safety for both migrants and citizens.
“We can’t let fear or bias force us to give up the values that have made our democracies both great and good.”
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