Do Refugees Hurt Host Countries?

Donald’s Trump’s policies on refugee assistance have once again led to a diplomatic crisis. President Trump pointed to Sweden as having failed to successfully manage its migrant population. However, Sweden denies a rise in crime following the acceptance of thousands of Syrian migrants. In Sweden and many other destinations for refugees, there is an ongoing debate about whether migrants help or hurt the economy. As the political situation in Syria continues to destabilize, the rest of the world is slowly coming to terms with the need for a long term strategy to help its citizens.

Sweden, the U.K., and Canada offer different solutions to the Syrian refugee crisis.

Trump Blames Refugees for Mythical Swedish Attack

At a Florida rally on Saturday, Trump met with a group of thousands of like-minded conservatives. A key part of his speech covered his planned policies on Syria, including creating safe zones inside the country’s borders. This would be in opposition to allowing refugees to flee without proper background checks. To prove his point, the President referred to an incident that took place “last night” in Sweden, with the implication that there had been a refugee attack. Media fact-checkers immediately seized on this statement, and found that there had been no noteworthy news items related to refugees over the weekend, and denounced Trump’s statement as inaccurate.

Migrants Gaining Reputation for Criminal Behavior

However, Trump later clarified his statement, and noted that it was in reference to an interview conducted by journalist Tucker Carlson, who spoke with documentary director Amir Horowitz, whose film “Stockholm Syndrome” blamed Syrian refugees for an increase of crime in Sweden’s capital. While the local police have stated that crime statistics have remained stable since the beginning of the Syrian Civil War, Sweden’s open border policy has resulted in a growing backlash against foreigners. The right-wing Sweden Democrats party has been gaining popularity, and also stressed the need to close the country’s borders.

Refugees Can Help and Hurt Regional Economies

Economically, refugees have been good for the country’s bottom line so far. However, this has been primarily due to an increase in employment in the sectors related to working with the migrant population. Government spending to help refugees has been a huge boost to wages, and only 5 percent of Swedes are unemployed. The migrants themselves are not benefitting at the same pace. 22.5 percent of foreigners living in Sweden are jobless. This is primarily because only half of refugees have high school diplomas, which is considered the minimum requirement for all but a handful of jobs in the country. Experts are beginning to worry that without massive retraining, the costs of services to support refugees will eventually become unsustainable as the population ages and fewer income tax dollars are collected.

U.K. Concerns About Borders Partially Behind Brexit Outcome

The U.K. is facing a similar dilemma in terms of helping people fleeing from Syria and other war torn regions. As the second largest economic power in Europe, the country has been a prime destination for refugees to resettle. Britain still has a number of industries in which under-educated migrants can find employment, although the influx of foreigners has strained the country’s social services and educational systems. As more refugees entered the U.K., public sentiment eventually turned against them, and closing borders was a priority for many of the citizens who voted to leave the EU in 2016. In Theresa May’s 12 point plan defining her expectations for the U.K. following Brexit, controlling migration was a key issue.

Canada Balances Humanitarianism Against Rising Costs

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has taken the opposite stance from Britain and the United States regarding refugees. President Trump halved the number of refugees accepted every year during his first month in office. Prime Minister Trudeau then agreed to take in the remaining claimants. Canada is also facing a surge of refugees crossing from the United States into Canada to avoid American immigration officials. Currently, the number of migrants is relatively small, and the public supports attempts to assist Syrian nationals with resettlement. Canadian conservatives are beginning to sound an alarm. Can Canada continue to offer a safe haven once Europe and the United States close their doors.

How Does the Syrian Refugee Crisis Affect Trading?

Managing the refugee crisis demands a serious budgetary diversion for the various destination countries. Expect the dollar and the pound to rise in anticipation of lowered costs, due to reduced obligations. The loonie and the euro will fall on the weight of concerns regarding ongoing costs. The political situation in Syria is unlikely to improve dramatically in the near future. The uncertainty about whether the world will intervene more aggressively will boost gold prices. Currently, many European businesses are profiting from supplying goods and services to refugees. The London FTSE index will continue its upward momentum on the strength of these sales.