Update, October 18, 9:59 pm:

Henriette Reker, the pro-refugee independent candidate for Mayor of Cologne, Germany who was the victim of a knife attack by a suspect with reported anti-immigrant views and a history of Neo-Nazi sympathies, was elected Mayor on Sunday, even as she was recovering from the stabbing in a hospital, according to The Guardian.

My original post appears below:

The inhumanity of some Central and Eastern European officials toward refugees and other migrants from Syria, Afghanistan and other war torn and/or poverty ridden countries in the Middle East and Africa is escalating with the closure of Hungary's border by its right wing, anti-immigrant government, and increasing barriers to entry into Slovenia, which has become an alternate transit route for refugees and migrants seeking to reach Western Europe.

Huffington Post reports:

"Croatian police said Sunday nearly 4,000 people, including women holding babies in their arms, remained in the refugee camp in Opatovac, Eastern Croatia, where buses and trains were waiting to take them toward Slovenia, the next step on their journey toward richer EU states, such as Germany and Sweden."


Huffpost continues:

"Across the border in Serbia, thousands of people have been sitting in some 50 buses since early hours Sunday waiting to cross to Croatia. More are expected to arrive during the day.

'We are waiting here 4 hours on the bus,' said Muhammad Samin from Afghanistan. The weather is too cold. We wear lots of shirts. The children are also in the cold. No food.'

Babar Balogh, Regional Spokesman for Central Europe for the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, said the new migrant route through Slovenia has significantly prolonged their weeks-long journey.

'The decision by Hungary to close its border has certainly added to the suffering and misery and the length of the journey for these desperate people, Balogh' said. 'There will be challenges if the process becomes slow or if we have a backlog of people.'"

In the meantime, Henriette Reker, a candidate for mayor of Cologne, one of Germany's largest cities, has been stabbed by a right wing suspect with a history of Neo-Nazi connections who reportedly told police that he acted out of "ethnic intolerance" and disagreement with her liberal policies toward refugees.


The above cnn.com story also states:

"In poll after poll, large majorities of Germans have voiced approval of their government's decision to welcome new arrivals with open arms and applause.

"But right wing radicals - and residents tagging along with them - have hurled stones and bottles carrying migrants while screaming hate slogans at them. Dozens of new housing complexes for asylum seekers have gone up in flames lit up by arsonists."

​Is there a lesson for America in all this? The German right wingers who are stabbing pro-immigrant politicians and burning down refugee living quarters are not doing so out of concern that Germany's economy or social services may have difficulty absorbing migrants seeking a better life, and refugees seeking to save their lives by fleeing from war and barbarism carried out in the name of religion. Nor are security considerations high on their agenda. They are motivated only by intolerance against people of a different culture, religion or skin color.

Arguably, Germany, more than any other country, might have a legitimate excuse for such concerns, since their government has offered to let in a million newcomers. But this has not stopped the great majority of the German people from welcoming these immigrants. And, so far, not a single one of them has been reported as having committed and act of violence or terrorism. to the best of my knowledge.

The violence and terrorism, to the contrary, have been directed against immigrants, not by them. While it can also be argued that small countries such as Slovenia, Serbia and Croatia may have logistical problems dealing with the migrants and refugees, these problems appear mainly due to right wing prejudice and anti-immigrant ideology on the part of neighboring Hungary's right wing nationalist government which will no longer let them into that country, rather than to rational considerations.

So what about America? Why is the US not doing more to relieve the suffering of Syrian refugees and other refugees or migrants fleeing intolerable conditions in their own countries? Is is because our rich country of 300 million people cannot find room for them, just as we had no room for more than a small trickle of Jews fleeing the Holocaust in the 1930's?

Or is it because prejudice and paranoia against, not only refugees, but all immigrants, ranging from unaccompanied children fleeing murderous gangs in Central America to highly educated H-1B and L-1 computer scientists, engineers and business professionals who are seeking to boost our economy and create more jobs for US workers, are now spreading through our society and body politic like a cancer?

In America, as well as in Europe, many leaders are turning a deaf ear to the sufferings of hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of desperate people mainly for one reason: Hate Trumps Humanity.
Roger Algase is a New York immigration lawyer and a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School. For more than 30 years, he has been helping business and professional immigrants obtain work visas, green cards and US citizenship. He believes that immigration is an issue that affects not only the economy, society and law enforcement, but also human beings and human rights.

Roger's email address is algaselex@gmail.com