The Center for Immigration Studies presents the video “European Lessons for America’s Mass Migration Crisis” and a companion podcast, offering key findings from a European field-research trip by Todd Bensman, the Center’s national security fellow. Bensman was a visiting fellow at the Budapest-based Migration Research Institute, and examined borders in Hungary, Slovenia, Poland, Croatia, Bosnia, Serbia, Kosovo, North Macedonia, and Greece.
In addition to the video and podcast, Bensman has published several articles based on his research while in Europe:
- Are Borders Back in Europe?
- Will Mass Migration Breach Poland’s Famous Border Fence?
- The Road from Damascus: Time to recall the bloody history of border crossings from Syria
Bensman’s research revealed a resurgence of illegal human traffic along the “Western Balkan Route”, reminiscent of the 2015-2016 crisis. The 380,000 migrant detections in Europe during 2023 are merely suggestive of much larger undetected flows indicated by the nearly one million asylum claims also filed during that year. The trip also revealed the intense political debates among the European Union’s 27 members as they consider how to handle the rising challenge. Unfortunately, these debates have received little attention in the United States, where a U.S. border crisis is now entering its fourth year featuring many similar dynamics and policy factors.
Conversely, Europe could learn from the U.S. experience. For example, the New Pact on Migration and Asylum, approved in December by EU members and the European Parliament, but not yet ratified, includes a regulation which would allow in all illegal-alien family units and unaccompanied minors almost without exception. This is the current policy in the U.S. under the Biden administration, and it has resulted in a strong pull factor attracting migrants to the southern border.