Writer: Priyan Selvakumar is an avid debater who hopes to see issues like refugees bought into new perspective.
We are human. And as humans, we tend to react with the uniquely human qualities of compassion and empathy when faced with another in need of our assistance. So it is no surprise that the world, with some reluctance, has opened its arms to accept its suffering fellow man. It is no surprise that millions of refugees each year are given the opportunity to build a newer, safer future, one unabashed by consuming fear of death, or hopeless starvation and thirst that no toil can feed or quench.
But let us not forget that it is not only the fleeing families whose homes have been reduced to rubble that seek with desperation refuge in a safer land, lands like Europe and America. There are also a millions of economic migrants, seeking the very same better future. While many nations, such as Germany, have been openly accepting of refugees, they are skirmish and continually narrowing laws for immigration. As a child of couple who moved to America from India due to the utter lack of possibility for economic growth, I can sympathize with economic migrants. Their burning desire to find work is one that nearly all of us can understand.
What we can not sympathize with is their methods. Many are beginning to forge identities as refugees to enter new nations. Syrian passports can be purchased for as little as $200 along the migratory route that leads people to Syria. It is common practice for many to enter the country as illegals, posing as refugees, or mixing in with refugees after entering the nation. The issue was initially noticed by reporters who spoke multiple dialects and languages that realized many came with a story which did not match their accents.
While their motives can be understood, their actions are far from harmless. As one true Syrian refugee, Mustafa, who escaped violent bombings in his homeland of Syria, now living in Germany, puts it “Look at these people, what are they doing here? We are the ones who are fleeing from war and slaughter, and now these men are taking away our space.” This kind of sentiment is commonly echoed by many of those who have actually left unimaginable massacre in search of peace. These imposters are stealing limited space and treasured resources. They are encroaching upon the sustainability of the entire refugee system, all for selfish needs. Their condition may be terrible, what the economic migrants fail to understand is that some have far worse conditions.
This leads to an even more dangerous issue, some of the refugees are criminals escaping the law. A man named Hamza from Algeria, talked with the Washington Post, and told them his story. He had gone to jail for drugs and attempted murder, was released, went to jail again, and released once more. After the police shut down a specific smuggling route, Hamza escaped to turkey to continue the business. Caught once again he fled to Greece. Here he receives more food, warm shelter, and kindness than he has ever seen before, and thus he thinks he has made the right decision. He explained how drugs was the only way to eat in his home town, while truly a tragedy, there were other channels to pursue relocation or economic advancement. Instead, he continued his crime, and then entered another country. Why did he come to greece, to change his future? No, it was to escape justice.
So the solution? The only viable option is to amp security. An act which simply delays the process of admission of those who really need it. The system exists, and there were always be those who abuse that system for themselves at the cost of those who truly need it. The two lessons to be learned, is that security in the refugee process is not an uneccesarry and bureaucratic hassle, it is an essential, albeit unfortunate, proccess. Also, we are the teenagers of today, the decision makers of tomorrow. And in crafting those decisions regarding our lives and possibly the world that there are those suffering far more than us, that we should look beyond our selfish motives and let systems function as they should