Europe’s Immigration Challenge

Anna Taylor is a student at Kansas State University and an ISA Featured Blogger. She studied abroad with ISA in Granada, Spain.

At borders all across the world, it is common to see immigrants trying to get across for a better life. Many risk their lives to make it across, knowing there is nothing for them in their home country. I have seen the Mexico – US border and now the border of Morocco and Spain.

Recently we had 3 speakers come to the Center of Modern Languages at the University of Granada. Silvia Bustamente Elvira and Ainhoa Rodriguez Garcia de Cortazar are with the Child Observatory in Granada and had done research on the increase in refugees to Europe. Most of the refugees are from Syria, but others come from Africa and several Middle Eastern countries. Some 300,000 Syrian refugees come from Syria each year, and with no end in sight to the violence there, the numbers are expected to rise. The two talked about what countries are doing about the refugees and what countries the refugees flee to. Many are letting them in, while others are hesitant. Turkey is currently struggling to make room for all of its new refugees. New agreements are slowly being made between countries to figure out how to handle this.

Our third speaker was Daniel Mesa Martin, who is a merchant ship captain with MSF (or doctors without borders). He takes his ship and rescues refugees from the Mediterranean Sea. Many cross the sea by boat, and up to hundreds are crammed on by smugglers. The voyage is highly dangerous and most of the boats only carry enough fuel to make it half way. The refugees then wait for a merchant ship to pick them up. If they don’t come, the people in the boats will die. A couple months ago a photo of baby Alan Kurdi on the beach went viral. Kurdi drowned and his body was found on the beach; the three year old was from Syria. This tragic photo helped send a message to the rest of the world of the importance of the immigration crisis.

Refugees leave wars and violence then risk their lives to cross the borders. They have nothing, and many send their children to see if they can find work. The presentation opened my eyes to the issues in the Middle East, and how other countries are handling it. There are many opinions and arguments being made about how to best solve the situation, although a complete solution has yet to come to fruition. It is an argument that is happening all across the world.

Immigrant talk

The world awaits…discover it.

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