I'm nearly 100 years old, I saw the 1945 refugee crisis firsthand – and I need people to listen to my warning

FORMER French Justice Minister Christiane Taubira: Europeans have become the “spectators” of an “abominable” show in which Mr Trump is the lead protagonist

I'm nearly 100 years old, I saw the 1945 refugee crisis firsthand – and I need people to listen to my warning
I cannot sit back in good conscience while the world my generation built is left to turn feral in the hands of right-wing populists and indifferent capitalists

FORMER French Justice Minister Christiane Taubira said on Thursday that the global refugee crisis was here to stay, and that “cruel” immigration policies like the ones advocated by Washington would not deter migrants and refugees – Crimson Tazvinzwa

Christiane Taubira
Christiane Taubira, former French Justice Minister

“The [refugee] crisis is a climactic moment because a crisis that doesn’t end isn’t a crisis, it’s a new state of play,” Mrs Taubira told France’s Europe 1 radio.

“The new state of play is the new reality: international migration flows will continue because of war, poverty, famine, rising water levels, the submergence of island territories, climate change, but also because of the desire to start a new life elsewhere,” she said.

“It is inconceivable to imagine that all we need to do [to solve the migrant crisis] is barricade ourselves – that’s the kind of thing Trump would do!”

US President Donald Trump on Wednesday backed down and abandoned his controversial policy of separating immigrant children from their families on the US-Mexico border after shocking reports that some 1,995 children had been taken from their parents between April 19 and May 31 sparked international outcry.

“We’re used to the American president’s U-turns, but what is so tragic about the current situation is that he’s toying with people’s freedoms and with children’s well-being. He’s playing around with human rights … and we can only be overcome with emotion in the face of such cruelty, cynicism and lack of shame,” the former justice chief added.

The international community, Mrs Taubira said, is “weak and powerless” in the face of Washington and seemingly “indifferent” to Mr Trump’s shenanigans.

READ MORE: I’m nearly 100 years old, I saw the 1945 refugee crisis firsthand – and I need people to listen to my warning

Europeans have become the “spectators” of an “abominable” show in which Mr Trump is the lead protagonist, she warned: “Europe is not a political power – it must first position itself as a political power if it is to become a geopolitical power.”

World leaders must become aware of the magnitude of the migration phenomenon, which is more than “just a crisis,” she continued.

The French far-right, for its part, hailed the US’ unbending stance on immigration, saying that while Mr Trump had given in to calls to end family separations, he was unlikely to soften his approach.

“A firm immigration policy is more humane and fairer” than a weak one, Nicolas Bay, the secretary-general of nationalist leader Marine Le Pen’s Rassemblement National party, told Europe 1.

“I don’t think Mr Trump made a U-turn [on immigration]. He simply solved a thorny problem that had humanitarian implications,” Mr Bay said.

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Crimson Tazvinzwa

Teacher and media trainer based in the United Kingdom.

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