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Pope slams the brakes on immigration

Has Pope Francis seen the red light on immigration? Marking a watershed take on the crisis, the pontiff has offered a few nuanced distinctions and practical advice on how to deal with an influx of foreigners.

Published: November 8, 2016, 2:45 pm

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    Until now, the pope’s slogans on immigration have only translated into leftist political action for open border enthusiasts, reported.

    Slogans such as “we are all migrants,” that hospitality to refugees is “our greatest security” against terrorism, that it is “hypocritical to call oneself a Christian and send away a refugee,” that “migrants are not a danger,” or begging forgiveness from migrants for “our closed-mindedness and indifference”, certainly left no one pondering the pontiff’s convictions.

    The head of the Catholic Church now seems to have had a change of heart. He gave some pointers on the new arrivals after his recent trip to Sweden, suggesting that guilt-free limits should be set.

    The Pope noted the differences between migrants and refugees, and warned about immigrant “ghettoes”.

    Aboard the flight home from Sweden on Tuesday, Francis displayed a large measure of realism. He said migrants should subjected to rules, but refugees require “more care, more work” because they come from war zones.

    As Sweden is being swamped with migrants who strive to become wellfare recipients, the country is unable to integrate them. In addition the sheer numbers of opportunists are economically unsustainable.

    In 2015 Sweden received a record 163 000 asylum-seekers, yet fewer than 500 had found jobs and were paying taxes, because the vast majority depend on taxpayer-funded welfare assistance for a living.

    During the press conference, Francis mentioned that an anonymous Swedish government official had admitted to Sweden’s inability to integrate the large numbers of foreigners arriving in the country.

    Francis also addressed the risks involved in non-integration. “A culture that does not develop in relation with another culture, that is dangerous,” he said. Due to rising numbers of mostly Islamic immigrants, Muslim-controlled “no-go zones” are growing.

    “If a country is only able to integrate 20 [immigrants], let’s say, then it should only accept that many. If another is able to do more, let it do more,” he said.

    “Today many look to Sweden because they know how welcoming it is, but there just isn’t time to settle them all,” he said.

    For many Catholics the pope’s remarks on immigration will be a welcome relief from earlier leftist rhetoric.

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