The previous high was 56 percent in mid-October, and maybe that’s the real news here. The number who say there are already too many asylum seekers inside the country has been north of 50 percent for three months now. Majority support isn’t a blip driven by the New Year’s rape mob in Cologne, although that’s obviously responsible for the latest spike.
In November, men were more likely than women to say that Germany’s already maxed out on Middle Eastern culture. Two months later, after Cologne, women are more likely than men to say so. Go figure.
Another poll taken in Germany after Cologne found that 37 percent said their views of refugees had worsened and 57 percent feared that crime would rise as more refugees flow in. Merkel’s government announced today that they’ve relaxed some of the laws on deportation to make it easier to expel foreigners convicted of certain crimes, including serial shoplifting. (Previously, you weren’t eligible for deportation unless your sentence was a year or more.) But that’s as far as they’re willing to go. Last week, when the leader of one of the parties in Merkel’s coalition called for capping annual refugee admissions at 200,000(!), she shot down the idea. Even if Germany’s able to prevent deported offenders from re-entering (and if they are, we should have them huddle with DHS), they’ll be replacing the number deported annually with a much larger number of arrivals. Essentially, they’re laying a bet that the deterrent effect of piecemeal removals — and even then, only in cases where there’s enough evidence to gain a conviction — will exceed the encouragement refugees will feel to behave the way they did at home by watching the population of men who share their culture grow all around them. How do you think that’s going to work out?
If you think there’s a crisis now, says Ross Douthat, wait a decade or two and see what happens when the population of young men of Arab descent in Germany starts to rival the population of young men whose ancestors have been there for centuries.
In the German case the important number here isn’t the country’s total population, currently 82 million. It’s the twentysomething population, which was less than 10 million in 2013 (and of course already included many immigrants). In that cohort and every cohort afterward, the current influx could have a transformative effect…
If you believe that an aging, secularized, heretofore-mostly-homogeneous society is likely to peacefully absorb a migration of that size and scale of cultural difference, then you have a bright future as a spokesman for the current German government.
You’re also a fool. Such a transformation promises increasing polarization among natives and new arrivals alike. It threatens not just a spike in terrorism but a rebirth of 1930s-style political violence. The still-imaginary France Michel Houellebecq conjured up in his novel “Submission,” in which nativists and Islamists brawl in the streets, would have a very good chance of being realized in the German future.
That’s Merkel’s legacy unless this changes. Douthat’s conclusion: It’s high time she resigned.
The number of criminal complaints filed in Cologne for crimes on New Year’s Eve now stands at 561, incidentally. Roughly 45 percent allege some form of sexual assault.