Merkel simply wasn't telling that crying teenager the truth.Germany can cope with taking in more refugees, and would probably even benefit from doing so. The televised encounter between Merkel and the sobbing girl was especially upsetting because it was so personal, and so unexpected.For refugees, it's hard because it leaves them vulnerable to persecution or death.I can see how she would expect a desperate, sobbing child to understand that."I want to go to university, that’s a goal I want to achieve." But instead, she explained, she faces deportation along with the rest of her family.
This is a global problem and Germany is doing remarkably little to shoulder its share of burden, though it is far more capable of doing so than is, say, Lebanon.What Merkel really means is that there are currently millions of people in the world who could have valid asylum claims, and she's worried they'll all come to Germany if it seems even slightly welcoming. They are already desperate, already fleeing their homes, and they have to go somewhere.So Germany deports people like this young Palestinian and her family to set an example that's just cruel enough to serve as a deterrent. Germany may think it's facing a refugee crisis, but the truth is that it's hosting only a tiny fraction of the people who are fleeing war or other persecution.On Tuesday, German Chancellor Angela Merkel stood in front of a live TV camera and told a sobbing teenage girl that she couldn't stay in Germany.The 13-year-old girl had, years earlier, fled a Palestinian refugee camp in Lebanon with her family.More importantly, the question of "coping" assumes that taking in more refugees would be a burden on the German economy — but there's no compelling reason to believe that they would.