It’s a “modern” world, one that has morphed into what’s referred to as a “global village,” spawning the concept of globalization…
It is the reality, the world has shrunk, so people are taking advantage, are constantly on the move, landing at airports, crossing lands and borders (legally and illegally), or by sea, landing on different shores, or being rescued at sea (some, the unfortunate, washing up on beaches…).
Meanwhile, in former “welcoming countries” the discussions have become discordant, contentious, heated… as certain domestic forces suffering from “migrant fatigue” begin to show their colours. The immigration/refugee/migrant issue (all one and the same in my view) has been politicized, is now front-and- center in the political discourse, as polarized forces bang heads over the merits of genuine immigrants/refugees versus illegal immigrants and refugees. Often dampening the spirits and hopes of many whose primary preoccupation is that they are afforded an opportunity for a proverbial ‘better life’ in countries ABC to XYZ. All this as humanitarianism and goodwill in once welcoming countries gradually wane.
We see them in some European countries, especially Italy (a gateway to western Europe, given its proximity by way of the Mediterranean, to Africa, the Middle East, etc.), Spain, Portugal, Germany (which welcomed a million or so immigrants from the fractious Middle East, as well as other unstable countries), Sweden (a formerly liberal and welcoming country that once opened its doors to people of various nationalities until its recent election and a rise in nationalist anti-immigrant sentiment that saw several anti-immigrant right-wingers elected to the country’s national political house. Immigrant/refugee fatigue has also afflicted Austria, which once opened its borders to people from various countries but has curtailed its intake.
[I know a Montrealer who relocated to Austria where she married an Austrian man, and now has two young early 20-something daughters. She works with refugees and says there, too, has been an immigrant/refugee backlash. Worse than that she said, is a reduction in financial resources to assist those people the organization she works for was established to do.]
The reality is that liberal-oriented European countries are bending to the growing pressure of domestic anti-immigrant forces…
Meanwhile, some East European countries like Poland, Hungary and Czech Republic, refuse to help in mitigating the migrant crisis. As one article states, “these countries have not cooperated with relocation agreement.” Perhaps they deem domestic homogeneity more important.
On a more humanitarian level, and in a Sisyphean [I prefer my coined word, ‘Sisy-phu-sian’] way of thinking, all the talk, discussions, conversations, debates in whatever arena, relating to immigration/refugees/migrants… is futile.
I see this global mass, land and sea as just a place populated by human animals of multiple ethnicities and backgrounds, where they should be able to migrate to places – by air, land, and sea – as they deem necessary in order to survive. Which is what we’re witnessing around the world.
People are being impacted by man-made conflicts and natural phenomena, and are doing just that. Depending where people are fortunate (or in many cases unfortunate) to live, and given their social conditions, those in the latter category will continue to do everything within their power to find a better life. For decades we’ve been seeing it all unfold.
Those with the means will travel to new places; those without will use unorthodox methods and means to achieve the same objective. All human animals want… desire the same. And as we see no ocean, sea, border… will be a deterrent.
Here at home we’re seeing this human migrant/refugee/immigrant story playing out as desperate people, especially those on foot who continue to crash borders, to find safe havens, for one thing, and invariably they all say the same thing: “[…] for a better life.”
immigrants/refugees/migrants will not be that Syrian family who settled in Nova Scotia and set up their thriving Peace Chocolate business, which employs ‘Canadian-borns’. Or be that immigrant benefactor who recently “gave something back” to Canada… more specifically, Montreal, Quebec, a $15 million endowment to my alma mater, Concordia University.
Then there are those who slip through the immigration cracks (to the chagrin of those who think Canada is only ‘their’ birthright, no one else’s) and become productive residents, in whatever province and whichever city they may/might end up.
Never mind those who think Canada, this half of a massive space, which Native Peoples call Turtle Island, is all theirs by virtue of, to put it mildly, historical shenanigans…
Right here, what if, when the new Quebec premier’s descendants arrived on native land, the residents, owners and caretakers of the territory would’ve demanded that the newcomers become proficient in any, or all, of the native languages becoming residents. Or be sent back to France.
The continued historical arrogance of some people!
Regular, irregular or whatever category of refugees, migrants or immigrants… all people are continuing to risk their lives for is “a better life” in this massive global village.