A boy gets his hair cut at a refugee and migrant camp in the Keleti train station in Budapest, Hungary, on Friday. (Marko Drobnjakovic / AP)

Contrary to the perception pushed by officials and the dominant media, the refugees arriving on European shores constitute a small minority of the immigrants within and going to the European Union, writes author and journalist Richard Seymour in the magazine Jacobin.

Seymour continues:

The success of anti-immigrant racism depends on us accepting the idea that Europe “can’t take” so many migrants. But the fact is that most immigrants to Europe arrive by air, with work visas. When you see statistics claiming a large number of “illegal immigrants,” the majority of that is migrants whose visa ran out while they were at their work placement.

Thus, it is not that Europe “can’t take” the number of immigrants that arrive, which consideration can only be temporarily set aside in emergencies. It is that European economies need, and depend upon the immigrants that arrive. The determination of the European Union to maintain a “fortress” has nothing to do with the supposed material burden that refugees place upon those states, and far more to do with the political management of the labor force.

But in setting up non-nationals as parasites, as a burden, as usurpers of national resources, and so on, European governments and their loyal media are generating a dangerous political fantasy.

Read more here.

— Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly.

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