It’s hard to imagine how western European countries could have handled immigration any worse even if they tried. I’ve been casually following news sites aimed at non-citizens from a few Northwest European countries for a few years now (esp the Netherlands and Scandinavia) and can make some preliminary observations.
These countries are mostly _terrible_ at integrating newcomers. Oddly, they are really terrible at teaching new arrivals the local language (which should be the simplest task) and this has cascading bad effects because without language skills the rest of the integration effort is doomed before it begins.
What’s very frustrating (for someone who believes in integration and believes it shouldn’t be that hard) is that vast amounts of efforts (and often resources) go into projects and policies that anyone who knows anything about human nature and/or the relationships between language and culture and politics could easily predict will fail. Then each failed project is replaced by another….. which fails.
I imagine that this failure will be replaced by a different policy that will also fail. If you want to know why the populists and nationalists are winning in Europe now. This is a part of it. I’m not sure how big a part, but it’s definitely a significant part.
Sometime in the nearest future I’ll try to write about what types of policies might work better.