The Plight Of Illegal Immigrants Attempting To Cross Into The United Kingdom
As you likely already know, thousands and thousands of illegal immigrants have attempted to enter into the United Kingdom over the past couple of months. For some individuals, their plight may seem like something out of a fairy tale. Unfortunately, this couldn’t be further from the truth. While those comfortably sitting at home will scoff at these individuals and their tireless, life-threatening endeavor, they truly fail to grasp the nature of the journey. What is it truly like for someone of Middle Eastern descent to make their way through various countries and eventually to the UK? You’ll be able to relive some of their hardships below.
A Difficult Dilemma
According to statistics, nearly 50% of migrants, who made their way to the European Union, were of Syrian decent. 21% were Afghans, while 8% were Iraqis. For these individuals, the thought of staying at home was truly a life of death matter. Syria has been in a hotly contested and incredibly destructive civil war for many years. Staying at home would put them directly in the crosshairs of various countries, including the United States and Russia. On the other side of the spectrum, ISIS and other extremist groups wouldn’t hesitate for a moment to end their lives. This put these individuals into a desperate situation.
In 2015, member countries of the European Union received over 1,250,000 asylum applications. This number doubled over the previous year’s statistics. Migrants see hope in Europe for a number of reasons, with the most notable being safety. Some refugees, including those from Eritrea, have begun to flee to avoid forced labor and military conscription. The choice of where to go is one that will give migrants pause. However when to go is one that will not.
Many have never been forced to travel in the footsteps of migrants, so their dilemma may not seem so bad from the outside. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case. Regardless of the path traveled, migrants face many potential dangers, hardships and conflict, once they finally arrive at their destination. Since August of 2015, Frontex has begun recognizing a handful of sea and land routes, including the Western African route, the Eastern Borders route, the Western Balkan route, and many others.
Another way that migrants have begun to enter the country is by hitching rides on the back of vans and trucks. This is very common for illegal immigrants, who wish to cross between Calais and Dover. In fact, a spokesperson for one prominent man with a van company in United Kingdon has admitted that the company, during their many trips back and forth between France and the UK, has been forced to deal with immigrants hitching a ride. Although the company sympathizes with the struggle of the immigrants, they are also concerned about the safety of local citizens, who are required to travel through this route.
Migrants truly face an abundance of dangers on their way across the journey. Not only are migrants at risk of Mother Nature and the waves of the Mediterranean Sea, but also, they must confront migrant smugglers. Despite having limited survival skills, migrants have no choice. Some are elderly, while many are below the age of 15. These individuals are certainly at a greater risk of succumbing to dangers, during their travels, not to mention elevated risks of being taken advantage of by others along the way.
Arrival And Potential Future
Sadly, migrants face a tough road ahead, even after they arrive at their destination. Not only are they forced into migrant camps, but also the locals of many migrant destinations have become hostile to their presence. In Brussels, immigrants have been the target of protests and anti-immigrant chants. To make matters even worse, many of these protests coincided with memorial services for victims of the recent terror attack. Since the migrants continue pouring in and no solution has been provided, it is likely the situation will continue to deteriorate.
Will there ever been an end to the conflict? Both sides of the argument need to remember the struggles faced by migrants, as they make the dangerous journey and the fact that not all migrants are extremists. Until a viable solution is provided and the Middle East conflict is put to a halt, UK residents might as well get comfortable with stories regarding immigrants and their struggles.