In an interview with the Guardian, Hillary Clinton has said that Europe must curb mass migration, in order to stop the rise of right-wing populists across the continent.
Clinton argued that migration was what “lit the flame” of populism across Europe, causing the Brexit vote in 2016, and the recent prevalence of populist-led or populist-involved governments such as in Italy, Hungary, and Poland, among others; a curb on migration would therefore be crucial to stopping such things happening in future:
I admire the very generous and compassionate approaches that were taken particularly by leaders like Angela Merkel, but I think it is fair to say Europe has done its part, and must send a very clear message – “we are not going to be able to continue to provide refuge and support” – because if we don’t deal with the migration issue it will continue to roil the body politic.
She also talked about the importance of removing criminal migrants who had invaded these countries:
You deport the bad actors, you deport the criminals, you deport people who have some other kind of threat to our national security. People who have been here for a long time, you have a cut-off point and after that point, they have to learn English, they have to pay taxes, they have to follow the law, they have to wait in line, and you have a process. For people who then keep coming, you turn them back, unless they qualify for asylum, which has been in our law for hundreds of years.
Her comments come as part of a series of interviews and articles the Guardian is currently running about populism, including interviews with Tony Blair and Matteo Renzi, the former Italian Prime Minister. Blair admitted not properly addressing the migration issue when he was in power:
You’ve got to deal with the legitimate grievances and answer them, which is why today in Europe you cannot possibly stand for election unless you’ve got a strong position on immigration because people are worried about it… You’ve got to answer those problems. If you don’t answer them then … you leave a large space into which the populists can march.
Unsurprisingly, she couldn’t resist also bashing the supporters of populist parties, saying that “maybe people are tired” of freedom: “They don’t want that much responsibility and freedom. They want to be told what to do and where to go and how to live … and only given one version of reality.”