The word "refugee" is a legal term, one defined by several international treaties. These documents brought the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) into existence, and sustain the relevance of the United Nations agency responsible for refugees to this day.
The contents of these treaties, however, sit oddly with how the UNHCR has comprehensively sought to hoodwink the European public about the predominant status of the demographic influx into their continent this year.
None of these documents -- the 1951 Refugee Convention; the 1967 Protocol Relating to the Status of Refugees, or the EU's own Dublin Regulations -- grants the right of refugee status to those traversing several safe countries, and illegally crossing multiple borders, to shop for the best welfare state.
Even a legitimate refugee from Syria now living, for example, in Turkey or Lebanon, loses his refugee status by paying a people-smuggler to travel to Europe. According to international law, that refugee then becomes an "asylum seeker." Only when his asylum claim has been investigated and judged to be valid by a requisite domestic agency, is he once again a "refugee."
So far, the world's media has dutifully followed the false narrative established by the UNHCR. Those concerned by an unchecked and unlimited flood of Muslims into Europe -- concerns grimly validated by Friday's jihadist atrocities in Paris -- have mostly been accused of heartlessness towards alleged refugees.
The press, however, has been far from alone in defining the welcome of the illegal Muslim influx as a moral obligation. Economic arguments have also been systematically deployed, to legitimate this year's humanitarian flood, given the ageing populations across European nations.
With the right set of policies, this era of demographic change can be an engine of economic growth ... If countries with aging populations can create a path for refugees and migrants to participate in the economy, everyone benefits.
The words "Development Goals" in the title of the World Bank's report are telling. They refer to the Millennium Development Goals, a comprehensive agenda devised under the leadership of former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, to transition the United Nations Organization from a body primarily concerned with limiting international warfare, into an engine of global "social justice."
While media organizations, NGOs, morally-driven activists and celebrities have all followed the UNHCR's lead, many major financial institutions have equally mimicked the World Bank's declaration: that the migrant influx into Europe should be welcomed.
One global banking giant, for example, HSBC, predicted firm fiscal benefits for the countries of the European Union, after a "period of adjustment." A research note issued by HSBC, on October 8, and authored by a team of forecasters led by Fabio Balboni, concluded:
From an economic perspective, Europe needs more workers. It is well known that most parts of Europe have rapidly ageing populations. This results in slower growth and thus tax receipts, while simultaneously increasing government spending through pensions and healthcare. The eurozone, in particular, is about to embark on this demographic challenge with a mountain of debt. The easiest way to support more pensioners is to have more taxpayers.
HSBC's European macroeconomic research group went further, drilling down into numbers:
Out of a working age population of 220 million, we estimate that one million more immigrants per year could boost eurozone potential growth by 0.2% per year, and cumulatively potential GDP by 2025 could be EUR300bn higher than it would have otherwise been. Whilst it takes time to integrate immigrants into the labor force, even in the short term, higher public spending needed to cope with the crisis could support growth.
That these predictions fly in the face of all the available evidence is problematic.
Even in a country with an established Islamic population such as Britain, Muslim unemployment languishes at 50% for men, and 75% for women.
Furthermore, Muslims in Britain represent the demographic with the highest birth rates. Coupled with their levels of unemployment, these imagined saviors of a moribund European social welfare model are, as a group, the recipients of the state's revenue, rather than contributors to it.
Successive generations of Muslims Europe-wide, as Christopher Caldwell noted in 2009, are not normalizing toward the birth rates of their host populations, as previous immigrant groups have done. That trend might admittedly be useful in boosting Europe's population numbers, but it also highlights an alarming pattern.
As recently announced by Baroness Caroline Cox, the "blind eye" turned towards polygamy in Britain -- and in France, Belgium and Germany – has ensured that some Muslim men are having upwards of 20 children by multiple wives, almost always at the state's expense. This is grim news indeed for integration: families with fundamentalist views are outbreeding their more moderate coreligionists.
Even if the demographic influx currently overwhelming Europe were composed entirely of genuine Syrian asylum seekers, who have somewhat lower birth rates than South Asian or African Muslims, the economic news would be worse.
A recent study in Denmark pinpointed that, of the full range of backgrounds of migrants who had settled there, Syrians had the lowest levels of employment of all (22.8%). A separate longitudinal study from Denmark also showed that, of those Muslim migrants who had come to Denmark claiming to be refugees: only one in four had actually succeeded in finding a job after a decade.
Despite there being four million persons displaced from Syria by conflict, and despite the ready availability of counterfeit Syrian identity documents, of those who entered Europe this year, Syrians are estimated to be only 20% of the current -- still-rising -- total.
The large numbers of non-Syrians, who have exploited illegal passage to access Europe's welfare states and live at the expense of the continent's taxpayers, led one MEP to condemn the EU's migrant relocation quotas. So far, the relocation quota plan is the only solution put forward to address the enormous numbers of migrants already in Europe. It is a measure, however, that effectively "contracts out" the continent's immigration policy to people-smugglers.
As a result of the jihadist attacks in Paris last week, the EU's quota scheme, which forces member states to accept the illegal migrants imposed on them by EU institutions, lies in tatters. As predicted at the Gatestone Institute, the newly-elected Polish government, citing security concerns, has unilaterally refused to participate.
Other countries appear destined to follow suit, especially after the announcement this week by Greece that one of the suicide-bombers in Paris had, on October 3, crossed as a "refugee" from Turkey to the Greek island of Leros.
The persistence of the mandatory quota policy in every EU summit convened this year gave particular pause to the President of Lithuania. At a European Council meeting in Brussels, on September 23, Dalia Grybauskaitė told journalists of her confusion. Europe's leaders, she said, had, since February, been discussing "strategic" measures to tackle the migrant issue, with a view to stemming the rising numbers pouring across the EU's frontiers, and trying to secure its borders.
Instead, she reflected, ever-climbing relocation quota numbers, aimed at the "distribution" of Muslim migrants across member states, always seemed -- for some reason -- to top their agendas. Consequently, on September 22, the European Commission had been legally empowered to spread the rising number of migrants from Islamic countries throughout the continent. Members of European countries who objected were overruled.
Unfortunately, the financial costs -- based on flawed macroeconomic forecasts that are divorced from geopolitical realities -- have kept piling up against the one nation upon which the stability of Europe's common currency is anchored: Germany.
Initially, Chancellor Angela Merkel's government claimed that this year's migrant wave would cost Germany only an extra €5 billion. Then a Japanese bank, Mizuho, cited a prediction of €25 billion over two years. Even that calculation, however, had failed to account for the near-guaranteed doubling of migrant numbers in 2016. The latest forecast -- issued by the Association of German Cities on October 29 -- of €16 billion for every year going forward, is already fragmenting unity within the German's beleaguered leadership.
Given Germany's shrinking pool of working-age citizens, industrial powerhouses such as Mercedes-Benz have added their own voices to the chorus welcoming the human influx into Europe. But if 80% of the migrants are unskilled, and 20% are illiterate, they can be employed in industry only if they receive an education. Standards in German schools are already declining; officials recognize that, as a pragmatic response to the sheer scale of migrant pressure, standards will have to be lowered.
Often, the question of Europe's failure to integrate Muslims has been put down to accusations of inherent indigenous racism. This charge, however, seems largely unfounded on a continent whose institutions have mainlined multiculturalism for decades.
Germany's experience is a case in point. Middle-class parents from its pre-existing, and primarily Turkish, Muslim population would much rather send their children to the dwindling number of schools in which German children predominate. These Muslim parents are apparently concerned that wherever there are mostly pupils of Turkish origin who barely acquire basic literacy -- in any language -- at home, the academic attainment of their offspring will plummet.
Nevertheless, Europe's government agencies have largely responded to this year's Muslim invasion by chartering ferries and hiring buses to help speed it along. Those in charge of the EU's border security describe such incursions as inward "migration flows" that should be "managed" in the continent's best interests.
One insight into this radical change in border policy, now being applied by EU institutions, might lie in a detailed proposal published in 2000 by the United Nations. It advocated the "replacement" of Europe's population by Muslim migrants from the Third World.
Since then, those who have speculated on the inevitable social, cultural and security consequences of Europe's demographic transformation as outlined by the UN -- such as Egyptian-born author Gisèle Littman, French writer Renaud Camus, and Norwegian essayist Peder Jensen -- have largely been condemned as deluded and bigoted fantasists.
Setting aside such controversy, and how mass involuntary repopulation policies seem worryingly close to breaching Article 2, clause (c), of the UN's own 1948 Convention against genocide, there is an unaddressed economic premise underlying the view: that importing the Muslim world en masse into Europe is mutually beneficial.
The reasoning appears to be that once a country has a welfare state, the social spending of that nation can only be maintained by perpetually increasing the size of its population -- an economic assumption with far-ranging consequences amply demonstrated across Europe this year.
The larger problem seems to be that both the UN and the EU, these twin transnational bureaucracies of extremely limited democratic legitimacy, have much more in common with each other -- in the visions and "solutions" they promote -- than they do with the wishes of the populations who have to live with the results.
The results of 2015 point to how extensively the critical faculties of the EU's leaders have been blindsided by multiculturalism. It is doubtless an unwelcome and caustic truth, given how frequently they accuse both their own, and Islam's, sternest critics -- such as the Dutch PVV party leader, Geert Wilders -- of a two-dimensional understanding of the Muslim faith, lacking in nuance.
Those using an economic rationale to implement Europe's demographic transformation, fail to recognize the complexities of Islam: they ignore the fundamentalist revival that has been ongoing for over a century. One feature of this growing embrace of literalism is a belief -- validated by scripture -- that Muslims are entitled to idly profit from the productivity of infidels. This view puts the entitled conduct of a great many migrants into an unexpected, but much needed, context.
For decades now, the mass immigration of Muslims into Europe has been labelled "enrichment." Shouting "Islamophobia" does not negate how it is virtually impossible to think of a single country actually made richer by it.
The idea that with time, Islam's religious tenets will somehow moderate and dissolve, merely by being lodged in Europe, is wishful thinking, especially in communities where Muslim migrants are already outnumbering indigenous Europeans.
Finally, is it not a grim irony that population growth in Europe -- with its responsibility for female emancipation -- is now to depend entirely on importing a culture in which women have far less freedom over their fertility, and much else?
It also seems ironic that, despite Europe's need to increase the number of women having children, the vast majority of new arrivals, for "repopulation purposes," are young, often openly aggressive males.
Given such a gender disparity, with whom will these Muslim men expect -- and be expected -- to procreate?
Europe's females, as demonstrated by a number of recent unattractive incidents mostly ignored by the mainstream media, have good reason to be alarmed by the realities of the current crisis and the vision of their future that the continent's political masters have chosen for them.
George Igler, a political analyst based in the City of London, is the Director of the Discourse Institute.