The fact that deaths in the Mediterranean and the suffering of people migrating have been regular news items for years should not lead to a normalisation of this situation.
A poem by Hassan Yassin.
The experience of migration is turned into a problem for those forced to or wishing to migrate—if they are seen and treated as ‘problematic’ migrants; for those who are welcomed as privileged expats, the story is different.
The report from Transnational Institute reveals that member states of the European Union and Schengen Area have constructed almost 1000 km of walls, the equivalent of more than six times the total length of the Berlin Wall.
The asylum applicants are met with two contradictory demands: to be traumatised and persecuted enough to be recognised as refugees, and to be physically and emotionally fit in order to contribute to the host country’s economy.
Suffering seems to be an obligatory justification to enter Europe. In a fairer and more balanced system, economic migrants would have not had to take a perilous journey just to find work. But if trauma is the expectation, they get traumatised, too.
When we focus our arguments on the bad weather and on the Christmas season, we downplay the significance and severity of the actual issue, which then fades from the fore of public debates.