One, Big Migration Nation

This Matters | Isabelle Stafford | March 17, 2016

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The EU migrant crisis is apparently never-ending, so it’s time we talk about it.


This past Monday the EU proposed a new deal regarding migration. So what? We’re all aware—or should be—of the Syrian refugee crisis occurring in Europe, i.e. Europe does not know what to do with them. The countries in the EU, Greece especially, lack money, space, and other resources necessary to house the many Syrian refugees, while countries in the Baltic region closed their borders to migrants. Syrian refugees are currently stranded in Greece and many are camping out in tents on the shores of Greece; 11 thousand to be exact. This has sparked the need for a reformation on how Europe is going to deal with the refugees.

Back to the deal:

The new deal is between the EU and Turkey, proposing a “one in, one out” rule. Yes, that’s exactly what it sounds like. For every Syrian refugee returned to Turkey from Greece, one Syrian refugee will be resettled safely in the EU. Let’s break it down. All refugees who are intercepted in Turkish waters, and those who successfully arrive in Greece will be returned to Turkey. How? Who knows. Seriously, no one really knows how this rule will be carried out or who will enforce it.

So what’s in it for Turkey? A fat 3.3 billion dollar check from the EU for aid with the refugees, and a lift of visa requirements for Turkish civilians, among a few other unsettled requests.Turkish civilians are currently required to have visas when traveling in some places of the EU, a law that Turkey has been trying to repeal for years. Not too shabby for the Turkish government. However, as always, haters do exist.

The deal is considered inhumane by many human rights groups because within the deal, a refugee will be resettled in the EU only if another attempts to return to Greece. P.S. the journey to Greece is pretty unsafe and over 400 refugees have already died trying. Why are refugees wanting to leave Turkey for the EU? Turkey is not known for its progressive or democratic leadership and there have been allegations of corruption within that country. According to Amnesty International, sending refugees back to a country like Turkey would not be allowing refugees to find asylum “fully and fairly.” Not the mention that, “given the current situation and treatment of migrants and refugees,” it would be dangerous for refugees to return there.

Why in the world should you care:

Let’s be real, many of you were hesitant to click on this article, or maybe just skimmed through. I would probably have done the same before I researched the topic. Even still, I cannot stress enough how important the Syrian refugee crisis is. It affects foreign policy an incredible amount, along with immigration being a crucial current issue within the U.S. With a U.S. presidential candidate—hint: It’s Trump—wanting to screen all Muslims entering the country or build a wall between the U.S. and Mexico, immigration issues are present not only across the world but near by as well.