I don’t think we can know what is the right or wrong answer at the time we make a choice as concerns refugees. Time will bear out what was right and what was wrong, but here and now we can’t know for sure. There are some rather large clues however and regretfully the current waves of Middle Eastern and African refugees do not represent the typical refugee populations of yesteryear.
For those of us in the US, some of our ancestors may have been refugees rather than run of the mill immigrants, the Famine Irish for example. There was a period in which Germans came here fleeing civil war in Germany. Cuban’s fled Castro. GS mentioned Vietnamese and Hungarians. And so forth. In most cases those refugees, like regular immigrants, assimilated and became Americans. Each wave added a little of their culture to the US as they themselves became American. There is always a bit of culture shock at first but within a generation or two there is a blending of the immigrant culture and the then American cultural norm and a new normal arises. That process is currently underway with Hispanic immigrant populations. They’re in process of becoming Americans and America is adding a Hispanic flavor to the culture. 20 years ago if you asked me if I liked Mexican food, I wouldn’t have had a clue as to what it even was. Now it’s practically mainstream, even for people like me that has never even met a Mexican.
The current problem Europe is facing, and the US too to a lesser extent, is that the Muslim and African refugees are not assimilating, and in the case of the Muslims, they don’t even want to assimilate. Even worse, after the Muslim refugees are settled in, they are demanding that the native populations change their culture so as to come in line with Muslim culture. This makes the current situation in Europe all the more precarious. To do the humanitarian thing and take in unlimited numbers of refugees may come at the expense of losing their own culture and potentially their form of govt in another couple generations due to the demographics of the situation. Europe is in a tough situation. Here in the US one needs only to look at what has happened to the communities that took in large numbers of Somalians. At the time it was the humane thing to do but it has been nothing short of a disaster for those communities.