The 22-year-old, Canadian, right-wing YouTuber Lauren Southern gave a speech Thursday night at University of California, Irvine titled “The Truth About the Migrant Crisis.” She explained how she became involved in the immigration debate and why she is so passionate about it.
When Southern first entered college, she was most interested in economics and social issues — not immigration. She recounted one of her trips overseas with Generation Identity, which opened her eyes to the human trafficking element that’s a part of the crisis.
Southern blames the mainstream media for the widespread misunderstanding of the migrant crisis, saying, “Despite the garbage indoctrination that has been thrown in your face by the mainstream media, the fact of the matter is that 90 percent of the people coming on these boats, 90 percent of the people even just walking by land are not in fact even Syrian or fleeing any sort of war. Nor are they fleeing oppression and nor are these women or children in poverty we hear of in the press.”
Southern cited a United Nations study showing that 68.6 percent of refugees coming into Europe are fighting-age men and only 18.3 percent are children. That number does not take into account the fraud and misrepresentation amongst those who self-identify and self-report. Similarly, a study from Norway found that nine out of 10 “child refugees” were actually over the age of 18. In Denmark, three out of four child asylum seekers were actually adults. According to the U.N., economics was the number one reason most refugees cited for crossing the Mediterranean into Europe. According to Southern, these statistics really debunk the media’s narrative that most refugees are fleeing terror and oppression.
Southern then recalled her experience in France’s Calais Jungle, where she interviewed hundreds of people and found only one Syrian and very few women and children. She traveled to Calais after reading a Breitbart article saying that most of the refugees were men. The camp was a predominantly Muslim enclave; the one percent of Christians there could not go to church safely without getting beat up or stabbed. This experience on the ground gave her insight that few have.
Southern also told students about the social and economic consequences of open border policies in Europe. She discussed the recent surge in violent crime in Europe and pointed out a poll showing that 13 percent of Syrians have at least a somewhat positive view of Islamic State.
“Unless there are drastic actions taken with mass deportations and immediate closing of the borders, it is here to stay”, she warned.
Southern closed her speech, which lasted for about forty minutes, with a quote from Gustav Mahler. “Tradition is not the worship of ashes but the preservation of flame,” she quoted.
According to Ariana Rowlands, a UC Irvine student and chairwoman of the California College Republicans, the event "went off without a hitch," which she attributes to "Conservative resilience against far-left establishments."
Ryan Foley is a recent graduate of Rhode Island College.