In a candid interview with the German newspaper Welt am Sonntag, Bill Gates laid out a very unpleasant idea. In his words, Europe would be “decimated” if it continued to accept African refugees.

This bold statement comes at a time when the number of illegal immigrants to Europe is growing all the time, and the settlement of the immigrants is straining the already fragile bonds that hold the EU together.

Mr. Gates went on to outline some ideas that he thought might help Europe cope with the plague of illegal immigration in more constructive ways, but he, like many, had no immediately actionable plan.

Unfortunately for Europe, the tide of refugees is falling steadily on southern European shores, with a growing concern for what will become of these almost invisible people.

A cry for help

Italian interior minister Marco Minniti decried the evolving situation in an interview last Sunday, saying that the present state of illegal immigration in Europe is putting the nation of Italy under “enormous pressure.” With more than 80,000 illegal immigrants landing on Italian shores so far in 2017, it isn't difficult why Mr. Minniti would be concerned. He went on to say, “If the only ports where refugees are taken to are Italian, something is not working.”

This is not hyperbole, of the more than 90,000 immigrants that have landed in Europe so far this year, the vast majority are still in Italy.

Austria recently deployed its military to the Italian border, in expectation of an influx of illegal migration. While this sort of border closing is a stopgap measure, the underlying dynamics of the situation are far more dangerous.

An unwelcome burden

Germany was the first European nation to welcome migrants from Africa and the Middle East to their country en masse, the results of this policy have been a social disaster, and the rise of right-wing opposition can be traced to the 2015 “open door” policy of Chancellor Merkel.

Poland and Hungry have rejected migrants outright, and despite pressure from the EU, they refuse to back down. The Prime Minister of Poland said simply, “Poland cannot accept refugees.” Austria has bowed to substantial political pressure to house limited numbers of refugees, though on far stricter terms than other countries have adopted.

The vast majority of the people that are able to make the crossing to Europe are young men with little education or skills. The cultural background of these illegal immigrants is wildly different from Europe's and integrating them into European culture has been next to impossible.

The cost of housing migrants that can't work, nor integrate socially is expected to grow as more come looking for help from European nations, and there is no firm plan in place to deal with them.