Tim on the LW Slack gave an impressive illustration of the different levels the refugee crisis can be seen. He was referring to Constructive Development Theory which you might want to look up for further context.
I quote verbatim with his permission:
As an example of different thinking at different levels consider the "boat people" issue here in Australia. Australia is an Island so the only way to get here is by boat or by air. We fine airlines and commercial ships who bring people without valid visas. People get a tourist visa and overstay (thus we may it hard for people from poor countries to get tourist visas as my sister in law can attest) or they come here by boat without a visa. Many of the people who arrive by boat are refugees according to the UN definition, and others are economic migrants.
Initially the government did not know what to do. Then they implemented a solution to turn back the boats. Then this policy was rescinded to great fanfare and the boats resumed. Many people drowned in these leaky un-seaworthy boats. Then the policy was resumed again. Currently the boats are diverted to various remote islands and the people are resettled in various places that are not first world countries and are usually not considered desirable places to live eg Papua New Guinea. Before resettlement, which can take years, people are placed in detention. This includes children. Conditions are unpleasant.
This policy is very controversial. Many people regard it as morally indefensible. The detention of children is a particularly hot issue. The Uniting Church around the corner has a sign saying "children do not belong in detention".
I will try to describe how level 2 3 4 and 5 people might approach the issue. Please bear in mind I am not trying to argue a position on the issue but just to illustrate how people might approach it. You will see they often use the same word to mean very different things. Also, you will see that people tend to misinterpret the thinking of people at a higher level, in terms they understand. This usually means they map the higher level thinking into a lower level.
Level 2 (primary school / gangster):
This migrants might take my job, or compete for government money or scarce housing. So I don't want them.
I might have to pay higher taxes to support them. So I don't want them.
I don't like people who look or act different from me. They smell funny and talk funny so I don't want them.
The migrants will boost demand for housing and infrastructure which will be good for my company and I will make more money. So I want them.
Level 3 (teenage idealist or person with 'tribal' loyalties): (eg IMHO http://greens.org.au/policies/immigration-refugees)
Jesus himself was a refugee. We should be compassionate and let them stay.
If people came all this way they must have a good reason so we should let them stay.
This policy is cruel and must end.
You simply cannot have children in detention.
This is not an issue of defense or border security.
This problem is our fault because we participated in .
Level 2 people tend to think of Level 3 people as bleeding hearts, out of touch with the real world. They can also get very angry because the migrants tend to end up in the suburbs where level 2 people live rather than level 3 people. See this trenchant satire of singer and social activist Joan Baez (from the 1960s -may offend!) "pull the triggers we're with you all the way - all the way across the bay".
WARNING MAY OFFEND https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NafrFdBXfrk WARNING MAY OFFEND(edited)
Level 4 (full modern adult / systematic thinker):
Indeed we should be kind to vulnerable people. Let's see how we can best do that. Perhaps we should increase our refugee quota which is quite low.
People often drown when they come by boat so we should discourage that. Unfortunately this may involve some people being detained - I feel sad about that. If we can get the message out, people will stop coming by boat and the drownings and the need for detention will end though. We hope this will be a temporary situation.
Rather let's select the best way we know how from the 40,000,000 refugees around the world and bring them in safely by air.
We need measures to discourage economic migration as we cannot take 40m refugees let alone 2b people from poorer countries.
Foreign aid is far more cost effective at improving people's lives than economic migration. We should substantially increase foreign aid.
Also we need to ensure that the people who come in are not extremists or criminals. So we need to assess people before we bring them in.
In my experience people at level 3 tend to interpret level 4 arguments as being at level 2. There is a sub-second delay before accusations of racism etc are leveled.
Level 2 people tend to think level 4 people are stupid.
Level 5 (post-modern):
What does this debate and how rancorous it is tell us about ourselves?
How do we deal with a situation where millions of people live in abject poverty while we live in relative luxury? Given that evidently people are not prepared to share the wealth evenly?
Can there be a way to bring people with level 2 / 3 thinking and with very different belief systems into our community in a way that will work?
What can we learn from people with very different world views?
Can we look at migrant groups who have done well and those who have not and see what we can learn from this - about them and about us?
Can we look at root causes for why countries are poor and why there are wars? Can we attack the problems at a higher level? Maybe our thinking about these problems is part of the problem?
People at lower levels tend to think level 5 people are off with the fairies.