There are whole villages in Spain standing empty. In France, some parts of the countryside are fallow; small farms are choked with weeds and villages have half their houses boarded up as the young abandon the country and head to the city. Elderly people are more and more isolated, and in hospitals and care centers, lack of personnel is creating interminable waits in many services.  In fact, there is a demographic emergency happening in Europe. For ten years now, birthrates have toppled and now, for every baby born, 2, or in some cases, 3 people die. Meanwhile, thousands of people are lining the borders, fleeing war, famines, & terrorism, and Europe needs these people. Why can’t they settle in Spain’s abandoned villages? What is stopping us from putting them to work in our deserted countrysides, in our care centers, in our hospitals? We need skilled and unskilled workers – yes, we have an unemployment crisis – but it’s centered in highly populated urban areas. In other parts of the country, and in Europe, there is a real need for young people to help care for a rapidly aging population. Statistics show that Europe is on the route to lose 20 million people in the next 40 years. The population pyramid, with should point upwards, has been flipped and has pointed down for five years now. What that means is the young, working population is now shrinking and the older, retired population will soon outnumber them. The (few) young cannot be expected to support the (many) old – and letting the migrants enter the system would strengthen it, not weaken it.

Some people are concerned that the people coming from Africa and the Middle East do not share European values. Perhaps they do not. But assimilated into the population, after one or two generations, they will be – that is, they will be if they are welcomed in, and not kept apart like pariahs. We have a choice that we have to make very soon. Use our taxpayer money to militarize our borders, or use it to create a structure to welcome a much needed population boost into our countries. I vote we welcome them.

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