By Dylan R.N. Crabb
Earlier this week, three conservative reporters (Brittany Pettibone, Martin Sellner, and Lauren Southern) were traveling to the United Kingdom to cover the current immigration crisis in Europe. Pettibone and Sellner (traveling as a pair) were detained at Heathrow airport in London, England, while Southern (traveling alone) was detained at a British immigration checkpoint in Calais, France.
Petttibone & Sellner’s personal account of their experience at the UK border:
Southern’s personal account of her experience at the UK border:
The detention of these three reporters is a part of a larger story concerning the current immigration crisis throughout Europe. In Britain, the net influx of migrants between 2011 and 2014 was approximately 250,000 people; Germany records numbers upwards of millions of people. Data from the British government shows that the majority of migrants into the country have been from Africa and Asia and the data shows no sign of decline. Data from the United Nations shows the three top countries producing displaced populations are Sudan, Syria, and Afghanistan.
Immigration is a controversial topic for a reason: no politician wants to be the one to start the discussion. However, it is a conversation that must be had especially with rising crime statistics. In general, immigrants (especially illegal immigrants) are less likely to commit crimes within a country but the current crisis in Europe seems to be an outlier to that broad trend. An influx of immigrants into a country would be beneficial for that country if the people arriving make efforts to integrate with the native population and culture. In the United States, we called this “the great American melting pot.” Much of the African and middle eastern migrants across Europe however, do not even speak the native language of the country that has taken them in and live in isolated ghettos marginalized from the general public.
“The newcomers did not speak the local languages, might be traumatized, would probably take a long time to find their footing, and had brought their ethnic, religious and sectarian conflicts with them, causing them to get into battles with each other (Cheryl Bernard, The National Interest, <http://nationalinterest.org/feature/ive-worked-refugees-decades-europes-afghan-crime-wave-mind-21506>, 2017).”
With these immigration facts in mind, why is the British government tightening immigration restrictions against reporters and activists from North America? Brittany Pettibone and Martin Sellner were detained at Heathrow due to “security concerns” regarding the political nature of their visit. Lauren Southern was detained in Calais under the British Schedule 7 terrorism law. Amidst the rising crime statistics through the immigrant influx, are American reporters really the most dangerous people coming into the U.K. right now especially reporters with no history of violent crime?