In an interview with the Guardian published today, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton echoed President Donald Trump’s rhetoric, urging European leaders to “get a handle” on immigration. According to Clinton, refugees are to blame for the rise of right wing populism in Europe, which is why European leaders need to show that they are “not going to be able to continue to provide refuge and support.”
“I admire the very generous and compassionate approaches that were taken particularly by leaders like Angela Merkel, but I think it is fair to say Europe has done its part, and must send a very clear message – ‘we are not going to be able to continue to provide refuge and support’ – because if we don’t deal with the migration issue it will continue to roil the body politic.”
Ironically, Hillary Clinton appears to be echoing the talking points of right wing populists like Donald Trump. Some data, in fact, heavily contradicts Clinton and right wing populists’ political positions, as it is possible that many European economies would likely fail and implode if not for immigration.
For example, as Reuters reported, Germany — which is often criticized by right wing populists for having seemingly loose immigration laws — is looking to further ease its immigration policies in an effort to prevent its economy from imploding. According to official data from Germany’s Federal Labor Office, a record 1.2 million jobs remain unfilled, which is why government officials are scrambling to ease immigration laws and to allow skilled workers to enter the country as soon as possible.
The same can be said for Ireland, according to RTE, which has announced changes to the work permit scheme to address the labor shortage. The situation is not much different in France, according to Reuters, where labor shortages are becoming a significant issue as the economy continues to boom. In Belgium, according to the Brussels Times, workforce shortage is harming the economy. According to Bloomberg, Scandinavian countries are facing similar issues.
President Trump, for instance, has insisted on numerous occasions that crime is on the rise in Germany due to its allegedly loose immigration policies. The president did not provide any evidence for his claims. According to a New York Times fact-checker, Trump’s claims are blatantly false and misleading. In fact, crime statistics for 2017 showed that crime in Germany is the lowest it has been in 25 years.
Hillary Clinton: Europe must curb immigration to stop rightwing populists https://t.co/tuM4q3G0Zf
— The Guardian (@guardian) November 22, 2018
As the Guardian notes, Hillary Clinton’s remarks are likely to be criticized — or ignored — by her fanbase, considering that they can be interpreted as a significant departure from Clinton’s 2016 campaign rhetoric, although not a departure from similar remarks she has given over the years. As the Inquisitr reported, in an op-ed penned for the Wall Street Journal, Clinton’s former aides predicted that the ex-Secretary of State is about to “reinvent” herself as a progressive, and run for the presidency in 2020.