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In Europe, too, immigrants made headlines as the ship Aquarius, carrying 629 rescued would-be immigrants, was turned away by Italy's new populist government, and by Malta.In 2015, Germany registered 890,000 asylum seekers, and over the 18-month period from Sept. 1 of that year, accepted more than 600,000 applications for asylum.Less than two months after Merkel championed the unlimited right to asylum, Poland's voters put the anti-immigrant Law and Justice party in power. The following year, British voters chose to leave the EU, and Trump was elected.That is tragic, not just for would-be immigrants, but for the world.It is too early to tell how much harm governments that are hostile to immigrants – and skeptical about climate change, the EU, and the United Nations – will eventually cause.The number of immigrants arriving in Europe without permission has now fallen back to pre-2015 levels, so we might hope for a return to pre-2015 politics, too.Political leaders who want to act humanely toward asylum seekers and other aspiring immigrants now face an awful moral dilemma.
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