The migrants’ wave controversy
by 036 Yurika on November 16, 2015 - 2:55am
War, poverty or humanitarian abuse are driving forces for thousands of people to leave their country. 62% of them are from the conflict-stricken Syria and Afghanistan or people who fear the humanitarian abuse in Eritrea. The International Office for Migration detected that 350,000 migrants have crossed the EU’s border between January and August 2015, but it is estimated that the actual count is even higher considering the undetected number of people. The migration route puts especially pressure on the borders of Greece, Austria, Hungary, Turkey and Italy; most migrants are aiming to get to Germany. Hungary and Bulgaria are closing their borders and are said to have shown interest in building a fence such as the one between Israel and Egypt. In the following, I would like to discuss reasons for countries to welcome or oppose to the migration movement and give my own opinion to it.
First, I would like to state arguments for a country to open its doors to migrants. Migrants are forced to leave their country due to a conflict, repression or severe poverty. Their journey to freedom is very perilous as they are often crossing by boats unfit for the rough sea, facing abuse by people traffickers or passing through a country that has a conflict itself. According to the Guardian, at the end of August, 200 migrants died near Libya. The with 400 people overcrowded boat was on its way to Italy departing from Zuwara(Libya), which is a major departing point to get to Italy. Their psychological and physical stress is immense, so the only human thing would be to offer them a home to recover and live again. Moreover, a research has been conducted concerning the decrease of the population in Europe, which has shown a decreasing trend in Germany and Eastern European countries between 2001 and 2011. Therefore, their working force in the future is also decreasing and they are referred to as aging societies. Wouldn’t it be a chance to ensure the economy of the country and apart from it being enriched in their culture? European countries could learn from the migrants; comparisons might point out shortcomings of the country and how to improve them.
Secondly, there are opposing arguments and concerns regarding giving migrants asylum, which I would like to introduce. Most countries are worried about the costs to accommodate so many migrants, providing shelters, finance the integration (teaching the language, law and a working place) and financial support until they can stand on their own feet. Additionally, there is a fear that the crime level will increase since some of the integration program might not succeed in all cases or some asylum seekers are in fact criminals looking for places to expand their “business”. A third reason often heard, is that a conflict might arise in the country based on a different cultural and religious background, which is one of the main reasons for Hungary to close its borders.
In my opinion it is the duty of every country to take asylum seekers in since most of the migrants would not risk their life on such a dangerous travel if their life wasn’t already hell in their own country. Moreover they are going through the difficulties to adjust in a country of which they cannot speak the language nor know much about its customs and culture. I understand that Hungary has been invaded and suppressed several times throughout history, but this should actually be the reason why they should sympathize with the refugees.
Migrants are not invaders, they will be depending on the country and give their best to blend in. I think integration programs are essential to successfully integrate them into the country’s society, however, it is also important to educate the residents, as they will be the ones who will be in close contact with the asylum seekers and play a big part in whether they will feel welcome or resent to learn about the country they escaped to. It will also be crucial to whether they can find a job or decide whether they turn to crime or not. I would suggest that starting from the elementary school to any kind of business company, residents should be informed about the reasons why the migrants are fleeing their country in the institution itself. People are often misinformed and just walk with the crowd. I agree that the countries will face economic hardships to accommodate so many people, but I think as for example super-powers like Russia or USA are having their own share in the Syrian conflict, they and the rest of the countries should support these countries.
In my opinion, a world fund should be created to support the countries which are accommodating refugees and the countries should participate in it depending on their GDP. EU countries should each take in an equal share of migrants and support each other to be more efficient.
In conclusion, the migrant wave throws up supporting and opposing opinions, however, the fact is that as opinions and solutions are discussed, thousands of migrants are in need of a secure environment and I think we should all remember that we just happened to be lucky not to experience the horrors they have.