Pro-refugee groups are rightly appalled at Britain taking only four thousand children a year when there is a need to rehouse tens of thousands. The Anti-refugee faction will be quietly satisfied until it dawns on them that we are proposing to house, feed and educate children and that they will be returned to their own country just when they are reaching the age when they might return some of our investment.
The government abhors what it describes as economic migrants at present flooding Europe. Roughly nine out of ten of the people who have fled from the fighting in Syria are prepared to remain in temporary camps. They are forced to accept the charity of neighbours and organisations funded by other countries round the world. Some will be assimilated into the countries they are now living in but the majority of them will remain as refugees until they can return home.
About one in ten is not prepared to continue to live in that way. Knowing the risks, they are prepared to make a dangerous journey to improve the lives of their families. They are, in fact, just the sort of people you want in your country. They show initiative, judgement and determination. It may take them a year to settle and another year to learn the language but they will then become an economic powerhouse.
They may even help to counter the radicalisation of their co-religionists. We think of young Muslims departing our shores to fight in Syria as traitors to our way of life. What they actually represent is an extreme form of teenage rebellion. If you think that they are betraying our society think how their parents and their community must feel. Contact with refugees who have survived the reality of war in Syria might persuade young Muslims to limit their rebellious behaviour to spraying slogans on walls.