Thursday, April 18, 2013

Blog 10: Illegal Migration to EU Fell in 2012/Migration

According to this article illegal migrations to the European Union have dropped significantly since 2012. This drop is due to the reinforcement of Europe's border agency. The one border that is well known for having undetected illegal migrants is between Greece and Turkey. As stated in this article, there is an unknown number of how many illegal migrants have crossed this border. IIkka  Latinen, director of the Frontex border agency is warning that although there has been a decrease in illegal migration, there is still a chance that the numbers could rise as they had back in 2012. Currently, Syria is the highest supplier of illegal migrants as conflict continues to escalate among the Syrian people and their governments. Due to new restrictions at the borders, smugglers are searching new ways to help bring in illegal migrants into Europe. Some of the new advancements at the borders include deploying 1800 additional guards to Greece's borders as well as funding has helped to handle illegal migrations. Even though Greece's new methods of "pushing back" migrants have proved to be effective, they are being criticized by human rights activists. The human rights groups have stated that last year in Amnesty International Greek guards were involved in "push-backs" which is an illegal practice of pushing migrants back across the border into Turkey without taking charge, arresting them, or keeping a record of those involved. Greek officials have denied these allegations, but Mr. Laitinen has advised that his agency has a system in dealing with "push-backs" and other human rights violations that will be taken seriously. Smugglers  in Istanbul have devised a new way of taking illegal migrants into Europe without being detected. This new route includes taking migrants on small boats down the Aegean Sea, across the Libyan Sea, and up the Ionian Sea to the Adriatic and Italy's coast. This new route is dangerous due to the high currents of the water and many boats are  not able to withstand these waters during rough weather. Mr. Laitinen fears that as tensions keep escalating in Syria, thousands of Syrians will be crossing into Europe to seek security as they flee from war in their homelands.

Syrian refugees are seeking security and asylum in Europe as they are fleeing their homeland in a time of war and brutality. Although many have been welcomed into Europe, Syrian refugees are not able to be granted protection due to the asylum policy and having a lack of proper documentation prevents many from traveling further. Those who were in the war are currently in Athens awaiting for a chance to travel to Northern Europe on falsified documents in order to get away and create a life else where. Many Greek officials are doing all they can to help support and sustain the Syrian refugees that are currently staying there, however there is only so much they can provide, until further problems arise. People who are willing to do anything including risking their lives to seek a new way of life have sought help from smugglers who are willing to help illegally migrate people across borders. With the stricter enforcement being implemented at the borders, many smugglers are searching for new routes to take that way they will remain undetected. These routes can be dangerous and even life threatening, however many see illegal migration as their only way out in search of a better life.


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