Immigration in Crisis, On Both Sides of the Atlantic

Jessica Hart

Jessica Hart

Director, Finance and Operations

Jessica Hart is the Director of Finance and Operations at AICGS. She has held a number of roles at AICGS, including Financial Officer, Communications Officer, and Research Program Coordinator. Before joining AICGS, Ms. Hart worked at the OSU Foreign Language Center, for an Ohio senatorial campaign, and at the Institute for Cultural Diplomacy in Berlin.

Ms. Hart holds an MA in Political Science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, a BA in Political Science and International Studies from The Ohio State University, and a graduate certificate in Nonprofit Management from Johns Hopkins University.

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As waves of refugees continue to enter Europe, they are being greeted with various reactions by EU member states.  Many migrants are headed for Germany, perceived by many as the safest and most welcoming European country, prompting other EU leaders to describe this as “a German problem.” Chancellor Angela Merkel has rejected other member states’ unwillingness to act, calling the crisis a Europe-wide obligation.  And indeed, as trains are shut down in Hungary and to the UK, and as the number of casualties grows, Europe—led by Germany—will need to act.  Germans have mixed opinions about their chancellor’s open doors policy, but a highly visible league is stepping up with money, aid, and support: the German Bundesliga.

In the U.S., immigration has become an increasingly hot-button issue as the 2016 presidential campaign heats up.  Yet even as they draw attention to the issue, some presidential candidates are getting it wrong: illegal immigration from Mexico is down, and demographic shifts suggest it is unlikely to increase.  When Pope Francis visits the U.S. later this month, it is hoped that he will address the issue of immigration reform, a topic of particular importance to U.S. Catholic churches, with their growing number of Latino parishioners.  Still, studies show that immigrants are more likely to receive welfare benefits due to working in lower-paid jobs—even as they are more likely than their native counterparts to be working.

The views expressed are those of the author(s) alone. They do not necessarily reflect the views of the American-German Institute.