Research Shows Refugees Entering Europe Are Not ‘Scared Widows And Orphans’

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Russ Read Pentagon/Foreign Policy Reporter
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A survey conducted by Pew Research Center shows that the 1.3 million asylum seekers that entered Europe in 2015 are overwhelmingly male– not widows and orphans as President Barack Obama claimed last year.

Pew’s research shows that four out of 10 refugees in Europe are young men, aged 18 to 34. Approximately three-fourths (73 percent) of refugees entering Europe in total were male, while 53 percent of all refugees were young adults between the ages of 18 and 34. Individuals hailing from war-torn countries making up a large portion of all refugees were also overwhelmingly male. Syrian refugees were 71 percent male, Iraqi refugees were slightly higher at 75 percent, while Afghan refugees were a remarkable 80 percent male. Refugees from these three countries made up over half of Europe’s refugees in 2015.

Research found that young male refugees make up a large portion of asylum applicants in certain countries. Italy’s applicants were heavily young and male, at 74 percent. Germany, which fell victim to a spat of terror attacks committed by refugees last month, saw 39 percent of asylum applications come from young men. Germany has seen the most applications for resettlement, with 442,000– or 33 percent of all applications in Europe.

The European Union has attempted to disperse refugees evenly across its member states, though Pew’s research shows that the endeavor has largely failed. Eighty-four percent of Syrian refugees traveling to Europe applied for asylum in Germany, Hungary, Sweden, Austria and the Netherlands. The E.U. plans to fine member countries an astronomical $280,000 for each refugee a member country refuses to accept as part of the plan.

Obama lambasted Republican politicians who opposed allowing Syrian refugees into the U.S. after the Paris attacks last November, claiming they were “scared of widows and orphans.” He also accused several former Republican presidential candidates of engaging in rhetoric that serves as a “potent recruitment tool” for the Islamic State.

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