The authors have graciously asked me to comment on their interesting and welcome proposal, and I am happy to do so. One must applaud all efforts to ameliorate the horrendous problem of refugee flows, one that is vastly greater today than in 1997 when I advanced my own “modest proposal” for refugee burden-sharing. The current Syrian refugee crisis alone demonstrates the utter bankruptcy of the international system of refugee protection. Alas, there are all too many other such crises, albeit on a smaller scale that receive far less publicity.
The Blocher-Gulati proposal, then, is both welcome and provocative. As readers appraise it, I reiterate a point that I made about my own at the time: “[a]lthough the proposal entails many problems, virtually all of those problems already exist, sometimes to an even greater degree, in the current system. For this reason, I urge readers to keep the “compared to what” question firmly in mind as they ponder these problems.”
In my brief comments, I shall begin by making several small points and then turn to what I regard as the most serious flaw in their proposal.Download the PDF