These days it is being debated USA owes its African American citizens a replacement for slavery. It did. But Europe and the United States have a far greater bill to fall: what they owe to other countries for their "adventures" in the colonies, for the wars they have inflicted on them, for the inequality they have introduced into the world order, and not least for the climate emissions they have charged the atmosphere with.
Credit countries do not seriously suggest that West annually send sacks of gold money to India or Nigeria in compensation. What their people are asking for is justice: that the borders of the rich countries are opened to goods and people, be it Indian textiles or Nigerian doctors. They ask for immigration as a substitute.
Today, a quarter of a billion people migrants. They move because rich countries have stolen the future of the poor countries. Whether it is Iraqis and Syrians fleeing the consequences of illegal US wars, or Africans seeking employment with their former colonial powers, or Guatemalans and Hondurans trying to enter the country who supplied them with weapons and bought their drugs: They will come to the West because we've been with them.
Before you ask them to respect our borders, ask yourself: Has the West ever respected anyone's borders?
A large majority of migrants do not move to a rich country, but to a less poor country. Immigration quotas should be proportionate to how much the host country has destroyed other countries. The UK should have quotas for Indians and Nigerians, France for Malaysians and Tunisians, Belgium for Congolese people. And when the migrants arrive in the host country, they should be allowed to take the family with them and stay - unlike the "guest workers" who were lured to build up the much needed workforce of the colonial powers and then asked to go back when there was no need them more.
The Dominican Republic should be high on the US quota list; Americans supported Dominican dictator Rafael Trujillo for thirty years. The same is true of Iraq, where the United States inflicted a war on the country that resulted in 600 deaths. In the name of justice, the United States should now welcome as many Iraqis; For every death we caused there, someone should have the opportunity to start a new life in the United States.
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