In recent years, Estonia has lived a charmed life when it comes to immigration. Sweden has accepted most of the load for decades including, recently, Iraqi refugees, even though it did not have a hand in displacing them. Now this is changing -- Sweden is reaching their limit. What isn't changing, of course, is the flow of people yearning to breathe free (or at least have a car and better things), and it will only get worse. I don't think I need to provide evidence for that claim, given the issues that are going on in the world.
180,000 sought asylum in the EU in 2006. Euroasylum Ltd., a research group on the subject, notes: "With less than 0.003% of the total asylum applications lodged in the European Union, the Republic of Estonia is not a traditional country of asylum. However, in view of the obligation for the first country of arrival in the EU to examine all asylum requests, in addition to issues of burden sharing, Estonia will be likely to see a gradual increase in its asylum figures."
Why isn't Estonia a traditional country for asylum? I'm guessing a) the immigrants haven't heard of it, and b) the only conceivable first point of entry would be from Russia, land of pogroms and virulent racism, and no one would sign up for a ride through there, even if it were the relative safety of an airtight container.
So burden-sharing with first-line countries like Spain it will have to be, and not the kind of burden-sharing (an ugly term in the best of cases) that took place between Estonia and Latvia in 1995, when a trainload of Kurds was sent rolling back and forth for days. Hot potato episodes like that are probably one reason Estonia gets only 5 applications a year. As odious as drowning in the Mediterranean is, people will still undertake desperate maritime journeys -- but limbo and "extralegal status" at a reception centre in the Baltics is certainly not what they are looking for.
The detais of burden-sharing has to be worked out, but the elements in the original German model are valid -- criteria like GDP and population. As Estonia gets more affluent (with one of the highest per capita GDPs in formerly communist Europe) and its low population density continues to drop to near-Swedish and Finnish levels, it is becoming capable on the strength of sheer economics of helping. Just today there was an article about how Estonians are adopting more children, including problem ones. Something similar on the state level, maybe?
As far as our own formerly illegal immigrants are concerned (illegal immigration was a huge problem in Estonia from 1940 to the 1980s) we have generously integrated them as much as we ever will, and there isn't even a hint of the hatred and personal invective that you see in intraracial conflict in, say, Belfast. Look how good things are between Estonians and Russians, for God's sake. We can manage a few thousand or so Iraqis or Fur or Zaghawa. They will blend in and give us a run for our money, and make us question whether our Lutheran work ethic hasn't gone a bit slack.
Estonia offers no real racism compared to its neighbours. It's actually refreshingly a blank slate in that regard, rather like the Netherlands, another tolerant "port country", was after the war. Sure, Estonia has your contingent of "tonal aesthetic" idiots, who act like they have never lived within 100 miles of a person of colour /and probably they haven't) and think that a slight shift in the colour of the social fabric will unsettle things and eclipse all other issues. But they will quickly realize when the guy their neighbour is sponsoring moves in, that he will not be a muezzin walking them up at 3 am with a keening wail. He'll probably be too busy working to even pray.
Finally, the few bona fide unpleasant racists who have made Estonia their virtual or real-life haven (just shy of a trend, I would say) will realize that maybe this isn't some kind of free-floating moral vacuum, just as inexorably as they will have to take responsibility for their actions in their past lives.