Europe is caught in a crisis it cannot contain. After years of discouraging and strict asylum laws, refugees are now traveling there by the thousands.
They want to get away from war, but at the same time they are
misinformed. When I spoke to Syrians wanting to leave the relative
safety of Iraqi Kurdistan, I found out they had misconceptions about the
rules and regulations awaiting refugees in the EU. They had been told
by those who had reached Europe that it will be easy, and that they will
be provided with a house and a job.
I spoke to a Syrian mother who had taken her 6-year-old
daughter with her on a boat from Bodrum in Turkey to the Greek Island of
Kos, before stepping for fear of drowning. I asked her how she could
risk splitting the family by leaving her husband and son behind. She was
convinced that they would be allowed to join her in a couple of months
and that the authorities would even pay for their ticket.
Migrants have for decades been lured by stories of an easy ride
to permanent residence. But these stories omit the hardship, the camps,
the long wait, the bureaucracy, the animosity, the prohibition to work
whilst still in process, the negative decisions on their case to be
appealed and often lost.
Yet again refugees take the same bait. Facebook is playing a
major role in making this trip attractive and telling people of the
possibilities, the routes and costs.
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