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Migrants in Despair as Promises Not Kept

August 15, 2016
Plain English Version
A view of migrant's makeshift camp, near the village of Idomeni. Photo: Reuters

A view of migrant’s makeshift camp, near the village of Idomeni. Photo: Reuters

The world has a short attention span. Immigrants came from Syria and Iraq. They moved across Turkey and Greece to get political asylum. The migrants want to move on to Europe or the United States.

Seven months ago, European nations reached a deal that would help them and stop the flow of migrants.

The Plan was to process the current migrants and make decisions about whether to send them back to their home countries or to send them forward to European nations.

The plan was not easy to implement. The migrants are seeking political asylum in Europe. It would take a large number of translators and immigration officials to make it work. They did not arrive.

Today, thousands of migrants are sitting in camps. Most of the camps are in Greece. They have almost no food, water, healthcare or schools. The authorities ignore their requests for asylum. They are in utter despair.

The deal has fallen apart. Everybody is stuck where they are. So what happened?

Greece does not have the money or people to make the system work. There is almost no one to process the necessary paperwork to make decisions about people’s lives. European authorities have shut the borders leading from Greece to the rest of Europe.

Turkey is also a big part of the problem. Its task was to house thousands of refugees. It was to send them to Greece or return them to their home countries after review. After a governmental coup attempt in Turkey, the president removed many of its monitors from the borders.

Turkey has now threatened to quit the deal entirely. It wants the European Union to make good on its promise to let Turks travel without visas through Europe.

This is one migrant’s story.

Her life has spiraled into a daily routine of searching for food. She needs it for her dust-covered children. She is begging for any news about their asylum application.

She said, “No one tells us anything — we have no idea what our future is going to be. If we knew it would be like this, we would not have left Syria. We die a thousand deaths here every day.”

Source: The New York Times

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