European immigration crisis continues

Thousands are stuck in overcrowded refugee camps with nowhere to go. Conditions are unsanitary, unheated, and inhumane.

The refugee crisis in Europe has become a significant international problem that may shatter the fragile bonds of the European Union.

Since 2011, the refugee crisis has been getting more significant and deadly. Four million Syrians, in attempts to flee their ruthless government, ISIS terrorism and vicious torture by other groups, have migrated to wealthier European countries for hope of a new life.

The same goes for many other countries, such as Iraq, Somalia and Afghanistan. Their citizens are fleeing violence, ethnic cleansings, upheavals and economic insecurity. Now, over 40,000 migrants are fleeing their home countries to find refuge every month.

“The politics of inclusion, exclusion and belonging are becoming apparent through the various responses to the refugee crisis throughout Europe,” said Assistant Professor of Justice and Policy Studies Krista Craven to The Guilfordian in an email interview.

“Discourses around the treatment and, or inclusion of non-citizens are often imbued with racially exclusive notions of who ‘belongs’ in a nation and who does not.”

Turkey and Lebanon host the most Syrian refugees by far, holding almost 3 million refugees alone.

In contrast, Hungary’s camps have been dirty and their policies have detained refugees from reaching countries like Germany.

Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann compared their actions to the Nazis’.

“Sticking refugees in trains and sending them somewhere completely different to where they think they’re going reminds us of the darkest chapter of our continent’s history,” said Faymann in an interview with The Times of India.

Although their actions have not upheld the EU’s open border policy, not all the blame can be placed on Hungary. The Dublin Regulation, a statute of the EU, states that all refugees must stay in the first European country they arrive in until their asylum claims are accepted.

Many of the refugees escaped by boat and the easiest countries to reach are Italy and Greece. Because of this, the two countries have been overwhelmed.

“Germany has been the best (opening its borders) in response to Hungary’s very problematic gatekeeping,” said Associate Professor of English Diya Abdo.

Although Germany has opened itself to refugees, it cannot continue to shoulder the burden alone. The United Kingdom has recently released a statement saying they will take 20,000 over the next five years. France has followed suit, announcing it will take 24,000 refugees over the next two years.

Coming to a resolution on accepting more refugees could not have been a simple task.

“The Syrian refugee crises is not only a matter of countries worrying about too many people crossing their borders, but also often represents a concern with protecting national identity, homogeneity,” said Craven.

In the United States, billions of dollars have gone into humanitarian assistance, yet fewer than 2,000 refugees have been admitted into the country over the last four years.

The difficulty of being able to immigrate into the U.S., combined with the unwillingness of EU nations to help refugees, has contributed to the incredibly minuscule number of migrants the country have received.

“I think the U.S. should increase its quota significantly,” said Abdo.

President Obama recently announced that the U.S. would take at least 10,000 Syrian refugees next year, but many others believe this is not nearly enough.

Led by Abdo, the College will hold a panel in  Joseph M. Bryan Jr. Auditorium on Sept. 29 called “Human Flotsam: Perspectives on the Current Refugee Crises” about bringing a refugee family to Guilford.