Tag Archives: migrants

France Closes Migrant Camp in Calais

It is estimated that right now over two hundred million people are refugees in some country other than the one in which they were born. All over the world, refugees huddle in camps seeking ways to enter a nation or just sit in bewilderment hoping that someone will come to their aid. The French government announced it was closing a large migrant camp located in the Calais region which is the hop off point for refugees fleeing to England. The “jungle” as the camp is known sprang up after France closed a large Red Cross center in nearby Sangatte. Immigration Minister Eric Besson told local businessmen in Calais, “the jungle will no longer exist. To maintain develop the junble would be an obstacle to economic interests and employment.” Human rights activists simply noted that refugees would simply find another empty area and create a new jungle, which undoubtedly in turn will be demolished.

Migrant camps are a symbol of frustration and lack of employment in many parts of the world. Until economically advanced nations can develop the basis for economic growth there will be an endless construction and destruction of camps. Local residents complain about criminal behavior but poor people invariably when times get difficult have to find some way to gain money for the necessities of life.

African Migrants Head North To Italy

The exodus from Africa to Europe continues to accelerate as thousands of Africans are crossing the Mediterranean in order to reach Italy and the prospect of work. The number of migrants hitting Italy’s southern shores has soared by more than 50% this years and at 33,000 is already 13,000 more than arrived in 2007. At least 500 people never reached Italy because they drowned at sea. Since December 24, at least 2,400 additional people reached the Pelagic islands between Libya and Sicily. Experts on migration believe the large number coming during the midst of winter suggests they are being driven by economic factors which allows smugglers to pile them into aged vessels for the perilous voyage. Italy’s Interior Minister, Roberto Maroni, threatened to fly the migrants back to their homelands, but this seems doubtful in terms of the sheer number arriving and seeking asylum.

Ironically, the Berlusconi government rode to power on the promise of being tough toward migrants and now faces the prospect of dealing with thousands of additional migrants. Many are coming from Libya despite promises by its dictator Gaddafi’s promises to crack down on the smugglers. In the meantime while Berlusconi’s followers denounce newly arrived immigrants, thousands sit in camps or wherever space can be found awaiting news of their futures.

India Torn By Riots Over Indian Migrants

In most nations of the world, anger toward migrants is directed toward those who come from another nation and cross borders illegally in search of work, but in India, anger is directed at fellow Indians. Protestors in the eastern Indian state of Bihar torched trains and ransacked stations for attacks on migrants that took place in western India. Trains were halted and the police battled angry mobs. The migration of thousands of workers from impoverished northern and eastern states like Uttar Pradesh and Bihar into India’s booming areas has sparked a violent backlash as ambitious politicians spur crowds into action against the strangers.

On Wednesday, in Mumbai, a local politician whose arrest sparked riots was released and then went on urging his followers to take action against migrants from other areas of India. It is somewhat ironic that India is currently witnessing riots among Hindus where fifty years ago the riots were between Hindus and Muslims. It is always the “stranger” who causes the most hate among the ignorant.

European Union Cracks Down On Migrants

The European Union is increasingly swept up in the anti-immigrant hysteria which impacts many parts of the world. It just passed new legislation which allows EU member nations to hold undocumented migrants in detention centers for up to 18 months and then to ban them from entering EU territory for up to five years. The vote was 369 to 197 and 106 abstained from the vote. Lost in this frenzy about migrants who seek work and wish to become contributing members of the EU, is any concern for personal issues such as those fleeing oppressive regimes and require asylum. Imagine the situation of a person escaping the brutality of the Robert Mugabe regime in Zimbabwe, imagine their need for a safe place from beatings or death.

Manfred Lleber of Germany put it succinctly: “The member states must decide whether they need them, if so, then please legalize them. If you don’t need them for your labor markets, then send them home.” It is horrifying that people must be kept in a detention center for up to 18 months. Why?

In modern times we enjoy creating new crimes. A human being who seeks work has now become defined as a “criminal.” The human condition is one of repression and those who want to be productive members of a society are now condemned for harboring criminal behaviors. Is this the best way we can deal with those who wish to harvest our crops and work in our factories– jail time in a detention center?

China’s Migrant Population At 150,000,000!

The city of Beijing is experiencing a dramatic rise in the number of migrants entering the environs of the nation’s capital. It is estimated there are now 5.4 million migrants among the 17 million people in the city. Experts calculate that Beijing’s water and food facilities can best accommodate about 14 million. The vast majority of migrants work at labor-intensive occupations and they apparently are not adhering strictly to China’s policy of one child per family. There is some evidence they exceed the figure and, given they live in horrible housing it is believed children are experiencing severe social problems during their childhood.

China now has about 150,000,000 migrants wandering the nation at any one point in time. The issues facing China in dealing with migrants make other nations like the United States feel as though their migrant situation is not that bad. In the coming years, China’s migrant population will grow even larger causing incredible issues for education, health, and social interactions.