To be sure, Mr. Trump’s choice of words drew condemnation from around the world. Botswana and Haiti asked for meetings with American diplomats to clarify what Mr. Trump said and what he believes. The president of Senegal, Macky Sall, was one of many who saw racism in the remarks. “Africa and black people deserve the respect and consideration of all,” he wrote on Twitter.
Even the Vatican newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano, weighed in, declaring Mr. Trump’s comments “particularly harsh and offensive.”
But the political reality is that migration has become a salient issue — and not only for right-wing, populist and nativist politicians. Across many affluent societies, people are anxious about technological change, rising inequality and stagnant wages, and they have focused their ire at the global flows of capital and, especially, labor. There are also concerns about demographic change, as the world becomes less white and as western societies age.
Moreover, the chaos and violence that have driven people from the Middle East, Southwest Asia and sub-Saharan Africa to seek to live elsewhere, even as far away as Australia and Canada, have also raised fears about refugees who do not appreciate the values of the countries hosting them — or even worse, fears of terrorists taking advantage of humanitarian policies to infiltrate societies and then carry out attacks.
Hours before the news of Mr. Trump’s comments broke on Thursday, the United Nations secretary general, António Guterres, spoke about the need for more “safe, orderly and regular” migration.
He implored nations to “use facts, not prejudice”ess the challenges of migration.
“Globally, migration remains poorly managed,” he acknowledged. “The impact can be seen in the humanitarian crises affecting people on the move, and in the human rights violations suffered by those living in slavery or enduring degrading working conditions. It can be seen, too, in the political impact of public…