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The migrant crisis: tearing Europe apart

Hundreds of thousands of immigrants are fleeing from war or persecution to Europe every day from the Middle East, Africa, Western Balkans, and South Asia.

Seventy-one percent of immigrants are coming from Syria to escape the bloody civil war, Afghanistan or Eritrea. Of the immigrants, 72 percent are men.

Most immigrants come looking for asylum. European Union members have stated they received 626,715 asylum applications (when a person who was prosecuted in their own country can be protected by a foreign country) in 2014 alone; Syria made up 20 percent of these applications.

The other immigrants come as refugees to escape the horrors of their own countries.

Germany is at the height of the migration crisis, being the attractive destination for Syrian refugees.

The immigrants make their way from Turkey through Balkans and Hungary to reach Austria, Sweden or Germany.

Hungary declared a state of emergency, giving police extra powers and allowing troop deployment if parliament approves.

Recently, Hungary has closed its borders to immigrants and declared emergency at the Serbian border. Police have arrested 60 people accused of trying to breach a razor-wire fence on the border with Serbia.

BEGGING FOR ENTRY: Syrian refugees stand pressed against the fence, begging for entry into Hungary. The fence is the one thing spreading them from their sanctuary. BEGGING FOR ENTRY: Syrian refugees stand pressed against the fence, begging for entry into Hungary. The fence is the one thing spreading them from their sanctuary.

On Wednesday, September 16, Hungary detained 29 people, including a terrorist. Migrants demanding to be let through the the newly shut borders clashed. In response, riot police fired water cannons and tear gas while refugees searched for ways to enter.

Helmeted riot police backed by armored vehicles took up positions at the barricaded border crossing with Serbia where male migrant youths pelted them with stones, demanding entry.

At least 20 policeman and two children were injured in these events.

Hungary’s attempt to reduce the flood of refugees has been the most forceful yet by a European nation.

The whole EU is facing a huge influx of migrants fleeing from conflict and or poverty.

Germany and Australia are calling for a special meeting of EU leaders next week to discuss the crisis and potential chaos from the events.

“I think that Germany’s open door is easier and more [sic] effected for the Syrians to escape, but at the same time it’s easier for terrorists and ISIS to get in. I’m kind of siding with Hungary, but I don’t think they should use as much violence I think they should be more organized,” says sophomore Katie Gallagher when asked which country’s method she thought was most effective.

Starting Tuesday, September 22, the EU has agreed to relocate 40,000 migrants from Greece and Italy to other European states. However, they have yet to agree on mandatory quotas for the over 120,000 asylum seekers.

The crisis is putting our world in a state of danger as Europe becomes weakened due to lack of unification on the topic of immigration.

The flood of immigrants has a negative impact on the European economy as more and more people enter the country in need of help.

Likewise, with the increasing amount of people and the EU unable to come to a unified decision on how to handle them, the European states are lacking a sense of central government and control in their states.

This is not a new problem that Europe is facing. Immigration from middle eastern countries has been somewhat constant since the early 2000s.

The small country of Malta was the number one place for immigrants until the Prime Minister threatened to push back a group of migrants to Libya in July 2013. His goal was to put pressure on the other EU nations to act on the crisis. The small country was overpopulated and could not take any more people.

In the end, no one wants refugees as their neighbors.

Even Germany, who originally had an “open door” policy, has now realized the unrealistic nature of their policy.

Reports suggest that many are seeking to take advantage of better economic conditions and social welfare in Europe, are using fake Syrian passports to avoid being sent back to their own countries

Along with economic downfall, the immigration poses a threat to security as most migrants are coming from ISIS-dominated countries.

“I think countries should use quotas and it should only be if they [refugees] are truly in danger. Plus they [European countries] should be checking everyone that comes in because you never know if there are any ties to ISIS and you don’t want to bring the problems to you,” says sophomore Morgan Gelberg.

The US has been relatively unaffected by the middle eastern refugees as of now. However, there is speculation that we will be taking in refugees with an “open door” policy as proposed by President Obama.

Whatever his reasoning may be, the general feeling toward the policy is negative. Americans are questioning why we have any obligation to these refugees or why we would take in more immigrants when we cannot even control our border with Mexico.

Even as the cost of the policy with security risks and dollars is still being calculated, Congress still has to take into account how ill-prepared we are as a country to take in more undocumented immigrants. We are still paying for the plane loads of undocumented Mexican families that were placed in communities across the country last year that were taken in for no other reason than as a humanitarian gesture.

As more refugees seek safety, the EU will become overpopulated or overrun if they do not come to a sense of unification and take control of their borders. The weakened EU affects the whole world and leaves us susceptible to attack.

How do you feel about nations taking in refugees?

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