There is nothing new about the Syrian refugee crisis being follow by the press at the doorsteps of Europe,. The Mexico/US border has seen the same if not one of the worst cross-border exodus of human smuggling on the planet. Sure, some of the circumstances might be slightly different but not by much,. Central America and Mexico where most of the migrants come from make the trek escaping poverty, but under the rug a lot of them are escaping gang related murders, drug kidnappings and their corrupt governments among other things. Once at the border, they are met with hate, unwelcoming attitude and guns, by private militia form by American citizens on the Arizona side of the border.
The Texas and California borders are not much welcoming either. The dessert most of them cross is punishing, with treacherous trails and an unforgiving sun. A lot of people making the trip across the border don’t make it to the promise land, America,. the ones that do, face tremendous challenges ahead. You might not think of them as refugees just like the Syrians, they might not being beheaded by fanatic militants but drug related murders by Sinaloan gangs can match the brutality of isis. But you and I have seen this on TV at the doorsteps of America just like what we are seeing with the Syrian crisis.
Europe is experiencing the same events, a serious and one of the very critical inflows of refugees and migrants in its history. Yanked by the promise of a better life and shoved by civil war and terror, hundreds of thousands of people have fled Syria and the Middle East.
In the north of Munich an old military camp is a microcosm of the problem and a migrant center Europe faces. Whilst a number of the residents are just-arrived in Syria, many aren’t from the battle – there are Afghans, Albanians, Senegalese, Pakistanis and Bangladeshis. Germany received the same span, according over 296,710 to Eurostat data.
A poll found that anxieties over immigration are at an all-time high as more than half of UK adults now view it as one of the best three issues facing the nation.
In comparison, a poll for German broadcaster ZDF revealed that 60% of Germans believed the state could cope with the large number of refugees, and 86% said that Germany was a country of migrants.
The German government declared last week that it expects to receive 800,000 asylum seekers this year and has urgently called on other EU member states to do more to “to climb to the great challenge presented by these people looking for help” as “the answer so far does not fulfill the standards that Europe must establish for itself”.
What routes are people using?
The most direct paths are fraught with danger. More than 2,600 people have drowned in the Mediterranean this year trying to reach Greece or Italy in fishing boats that are unsafe.
Most of those taking the relatively brief voyage from Turkey to the islands of Chios, Kos, Lesvos and Samos – commonly in flimsy rubber small wooden boats or dinghies.
Many people travel to Italy, a journey that is longer and more perilous by boat from Libya. Survivors frequently report maltreatment and violence by people traffickers, who charge a huge amount of dollars per person for their services. Traffickers have been given freedom to exploit refugees and migrants desperate to reach Europe by the mayhem in Libya.
Many attempts to reach Germany and other northern EU countries go via the perilous Western Balkans course, running the gauntlet of savage people traffickers and robbers Just like the migrants trying to reach North America through Mexico where smugglers or “coyotes” extort entire families of their savings often leading them into the Sonoran desert with no food or water, robbing them and often raping them.
Confronted with a huge influx of people, Hungary has built a controversial 175km (110-mile) razor wire fence along its boundary with Serbia. It has also urged EU partners not to send back migrants that have traveled on from Hungary.
I can’t help but notice all the similarities that exist between both issues,. they are both political, both emphasizes the smuggling underworld and they both show a strong human connection. Perhaps its time we look at this from an outside-the-box thinking and start recognizing the real problem.