Rodrigo Duterte, the irascible leader of the Philippines, has slammed Western nations for their "hypocrisy" when it comes to migrants and said the Philippines will happily take them until it is "filled to the brim." It's an interesting comment, given the generosity of the West by any objective measure, especially compared with the Philippines, which is very much a sending, as opposed to a receiving, nation — but hey, let's not let the facts get in the way of his magnanimity.
Australia, the nation that also happens to be an island continent, should immediately seize this opportunity with both hands. As I've mentioned in prior postings, Australia in recent years has had a serious problem with intended entrants arriving illegally by water. To stem the flow, the government has responded with increasingly stringent interdiction measures and now contracts with other nations to intern the would-be migrants on the islands of Nauru and Manus. This has caused no small amount of criticism and controversy. Problem solved! The Ozzies should immediately begin airlifts to the Philippines so that they can close down the camps. As for future maritime arrivals? I'm thinking of a giant "wall" of sea buoys with flashing lights and arrows pointing north, and large signs in a variety of languages saying "DETOUR! PHILIPPINES 4,417 KM AHEAD."
But why stop there? Everyone is aware of Europe's seemingly endless migrant crisis. Although the landward flow from Turkey through the Balkans and Eastern Europe has been bottlenecked by angry nations building fences and creating new border police forces, as with Australia the maritime flow is unabated, with some illegal arrivals landing on Greek islands and huge numbers arriving (or being deposited by European navy rescuers) on Italian islands such as Lampedusa. Problem solved! Start the charter flights! The initial outlay for military or civilian air transport will more than make up for the long-term outlay for social benefits and services that the European nations would otherwise be obliged to absorb — not to mention that pesky risk of admitting jihadists masquerading as refugees.
Then, of course, there is the United States with its continuing influx of tens of thousands of Central American illegal arrivals on our southern border. We, too, should simply move these individuals, as they are interdicted by our own border patrol agents, into transit centers where they could also be put on flights to the Philippines where, I'm sure, the indigenous population of Filipino citizens will be waiting with open arms to welcome them. After all, they share a back history of hundreds of years of Spanish colonization and indeed many of the words in Tagalog (the predominant language of the Philippines) are Spanish in origin. Problem solved! Thanks, Mr. Duterte!
A final note: Since this is clearly a story in which islands figure so prominently, it's worth noting that the Philippines, like Australia, is an island nation — only instead of consisting of a giant land mass, it is an archipelago made up of about 7,500 islands. All Duterte needs to do to complete his generous gesture of largesse is choose which island he wants to receive these new arrivals. Hmmm. Speaking of jihadists, the Philippine island of Mindanao has been home to a long-simmering Islamist insurrection. If Duterte were to designate Mindanao, he could kill two birds with one stone, so to speak. By flooding the island with hundreds of thousands of new arrivals, many if not most of whom would also be Muslim, he could so overwhelm the jihadists as to exhaust them into submission. Once again, problem solved!