Tim Costello, a Baptist minister and World Vision Australia’s Chief Executive Officer, argues that the best way to manage the Europe migration mess is to resettle the refugees in a place where it will be easy for them to return home once conditions permit. Costello rejects resettlement because he insists that the refugees’ deeply held desire is to return home, not start new lives in unfamiliar countries like Australia, the EU or the United States.
As migrant crisis overwhelms Europe, concerned Australians
reject mass scale resettlement in their country.
World Vision, which works in more than 100 countries, provides emergency assistance to families affected by disasters, and partners with communities to initiate long-term solutions to poverty. Costello suggested that no number of refugees that Australia might accept would make a meaningful difference. What was once considered generous, Australians’ typical intake of 20,000 to 30,000 people, has been dwarfed by Germany’s 800,000. According to Costello’s math, Australia would have to accept 215,000 refugees to be on a per capita par with Germany’s generosity.
William Bourke, president of the Australian Sustainable Population Party, agreed with Costello that the short-term goal should be to help refugees live safely today, while keeping in mind that the long-term mission is to assist in their return home. Bourke said that Australia’s plan to accept 12,000 refugees would, conservatively, cost the government $500 million, or $40,000 per refugee per annum. If those funds were put towards supporting refugees in safe temporary shelters at UN camps, 6 million people would be provided for versus only 12,000.
Syria’s runaway population growth has contributed to the nation’s instability. As Bourke noted, the country’s population exploded from 3.5 million in 1950 to 23 million today, making food and water scarcer, creating economic problems and increasing costs of education and living. By 2050, population will reach nearly 35 million which will put more pressure on resources and intensify religious conflicts.
The positions of Costello and Bourke are consistent with that of CAPS: resettling tens of thousands of Syrians in the U.S. is reckless, and not in the refugees’ best interests. Please go to the CAPS Action Alert page here to tell your representative to support HR 3314. According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, “Helping refugees in their regions of origin…is a lot cheaper than it is to help them only when they get here….solutions include enabling people to go home, or at least to stay as close to home as possible.”