Already the desire for immigration sovereignty is behind Britain’s possible referendum on a “Brexit” from the European Union. It’s behind Denmark’s experiment with reimposing border controls. It’s behind the rise of the National Front in France, and Euroskeptical parties the continent over. It’s adding to Europe’s already-significant north-south divisions, since (poorer) southern European countries are receiving the bulk of recent migrants and (richer) northern European countries would prefer the new arrivals remain in Italy or Spain.
And these pressures are only likely to increase, because of the second difference between immigration in Europe and America: Namely, the scale of the migration that may be coming to Europe over the next fifty years.
Today there are 738 million Europeans (500 million of them in the E.U.) and just under 1.2 billion Africans. In 2050, according to the latest U.N. projections, Europe’s population will have dipped to (an aging) 707 million, while Africa’s population will be 2.4 billion. By 2100, there will be 4.4 billion Africans – two of every five human beings overall — and Europe’s population will be just 646 million.Douthat notes--correctly in my view--that migration will be driven not just by refugees, but by people looking for a better life in Europe. That has been happening for a long time, and it is likely only to increase over time, given the "Irresistible Forces" at work (as my son, Greg, and I have written about with respect to migration to the US from Latin America).