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Old 09-17-2015, 01:24 PM   #1
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Refugee/migrant crisis in Europe

Thought I'd open a thread as my feeling is that this has gotten very little coverage in the US media, slightly more in Canadian media due to the death of the little boy whose family had expressed a desire to emigrate here and a lot more in European media (understandably).

Another nation is now basically buckling under the weight of the humanity pouring through, mostly due to the way the Hungarians have dealt with the crisis.

Croatia staggers under influx of migrants | Toronto Star
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Old 09-17-2015, 01:32 PM   #2
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Can I just say how much I hate that we insist on referring to these people as migrants. They're not. They're refugees fleeing unimaginable suffering from war.
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Old 09-17-2015, 01:38 PM   #3
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Actually I disagree completely.

Some are refugees and others are economic migrants. It is a VERY important distinction, to me particularly as an ex-refugee. If you look at the national breakdown of people (and the % of men/women/children) who are entering these countries it should become plainly obvious to you that this is the reality.

There is nothing wrong with recognizing that there are two distinct groups of people moving through.
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Old 09-17-2015, 01:39 PM   #4
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Can I just say how much I hate that we insist on referring to these people as migrants. They're not. They're refugees fleeing unimaginable suffering from war.
You are right. They are refuges (for the most part...there are group of the so-called 'economic migrants' hoping to sneak in) who are just looking for a way out. Seeing that I live in Germany, I have seen large numbers of them in my city. Government has had to put up temporary housing in order to deal with the number of refugees flooding into the country. As happy as I am to see that the country I live in has been very good in accepting and dealing with the issue, I am curious to see how this develops long term.
Needless to say, it is horrible what's been happening.
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Old 09-17-2015, 01:52 PM   #5
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Actually I disagree completely.

Some are refugees and others are economic migrants. It is a VERY important distinction, to me particularly as an ex-refugee. If you look at the national breakdown of people (and the % of men/women/children) who are entering these countries it should become plainly obvious to you that this is the reality.

There is nothing wrong with recognizing that there are two distinct groups of people moving through.
But most of them, based on reports on the ground, are Syrian and Iraqi. These are not economic migrants. They're refugees.
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Old 09-17-2015, 02:04 PM   #6
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But most of them, based on reports on the ground, are Syrian and Iraqi. These are not economic migrants. They're refugees.
Which reports?

http://www.bamf.de/SharedDocs/Anlage...ublicationFile

This is interesting, it's the official German reports on asylum seekers to date. Take a look at the top 10 and I think you'll be shocked at how many are from non-conflict regions.

The numbers cited by Croatian media today are indicating anywhere from 70-80% are (young) men. I'm not sure how much you have interacted with refugees but that alone should tell you that it is an unrealistic number. Compare it with the numbers you see in the UNHCR camps in Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey and the composition is wildly different.

I don't think anyone can really pinpoint the exact % but frankly I think it hugely hurts refugees to be lumped in with economic migrants because as soon as you do that, and you realize that not all can be accommodated, you have accepted that refugees do not have a priority status (which they should).
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Old 09-17-2015, 02:33 PM   #7
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Which reports?

http://www.bamf.de/SharedDocs/Anlage...ublicationFile

This is interesting, it's the official German reports on asylum seekers to date. Take a look at the top 10 and I think you'll be shocked at how many are from non-conflict regions.
That is interesting. By my count refugees from Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Nigeria, Eritrea (all conflict regions to varying degrees) account for 96, 535 of the total (if I am reading the right column. I don't read German). That's not a small sample of the overall number. They're refugees.

I'm not discounting that there are economic migrants from places like Macedonia, Albania, and Serbia. But they're not the ones risking their lives crossing the Mediterranean, they're not the ones dying in the back of trucks in Austria, they're not the ones getting tear gassed at Hungarian border crossings.
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Old 09-17-2015, 08:25 PM   #8
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There are true refugees escaping unimaginable horrors, there's no doubt. But the media is grossly biased in showing us suffering families while the reality is that the immigrants are not all refugees by a long stretch. A Syrian passport can be bought for $750. True refugees don't throw away the food they're given in Hungary and insist to march to Western Europe. There is a crisis going on and a large number of people are in dire need of help, but the situation is not so black and white.

In Switzerland for example, the majority of people crossing the border are young, male Eritreans. The number of Syrian families is tiny in comparison, but in the media we are shown the kids who suffer. While Eritrea isn't a stable country either, the controversy over the summer was that a good number of these immigrants went back to Eritrea to visit family. Now if you were fleeing your country, surely you cannot go back to visit?

The other thing to keep in mind is that while it is all over the news now, the war has been going on for years. How come all these refugees are on the road now? The fact is that European nations have been picking up migrants and refugees in the Mediterranean for many years. It's not a new phenomenon. Syrians also have been fleeing for years, why do we have a crisis now? That should make us think. And when the next awful thing happens, the media moves on and nobody talks about it anymore.

Like I said, there is a crisis, but it is not so simple.


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Old 09-17-2015, 10:01 PM   #9
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Really interesting thread so far.

I listened to an extensive piece on NPR today about the Croatian camps. It was very difficult to listen to.
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Old 09-17-2015, 10:15 PM   #10
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True refugees don't throw away the food they're given in Hungary and insist to march to Western Europe.
Maybe they're tired of living in filthy camps. Many refugees apply for asylum in richer nations like the US because of the opportunities. Just because they're refugees doesn't mean they don't have economic aspirations (for themselves and their children).
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Old 09-18-2015, 02:19 AM   #11
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Maybe they're tired of living in filthy camps. Many refugees apply for asylum in richer nations like the US because of the opportunities. Just because they're refugees doesn't mean they don't have economic aspirations (for themselves and their children).

Out of curiosity what is your definition of an economic migrant?


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Old 09-18-2015, 03:42 AM   #12
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I had been very baffled there was no thread for this. We begrudgingly made a pissy humanitarian intake that was below what we could accommodate.
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Old 09-18-2015, 09:53 AM   #13
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Angela Merkel and Germany are directly responsible for openly inviting hundreds of thousands of refugees without having any sort of a plan as to how to get them there. This has now created absolute chaos in very poor eastern European transit states who have been stuck with tens of thousands of people that they can't afford to house, feed, etc. Meanwhile all of a sudden Germany is a hell of a lot less happy to accept anyone and everyone pouring across. Absolutely appalling.

This is to say nothing of the other western nations that played significant roles in middle east destabilization and politics over the last 10-15 years and are now sitting on their hands, surrounded by oceans, hence this is not their problem.
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Old 09-18-2015, 09:57 AM   #14
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Not us, though, Martina. We just bombed Syria, so that should fix everything.
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Old 09-18-2015, 09:57 AM   #15
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I'll just throw it out there, but apparently, UN and other places are asking Japan to accept more refugees / migrants, and Japanese people hate to do so with great passion, which, to me, proves how evil, ignorant and conservative people can be.
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