Saturday, 1 November 2014

Mare Nostrum: Italy's Migrant Rescue Mission

 Journeyman Pictures on the long journey of African and Mideast migrants

Migrants made up of refugees and asylum seekers have not let the winter season or choppy waves of the Mediterranean stop their long journey to a safe haven in Europe. Syrians, Libyans, Eritreans, Nigerians, Tunisians, Somalis and a diversity of other countries risk their lives to trek across land and sea facing harsh climates, weather, police brutality from their temporary hideouts in transit countries and brutal human traffickers to find safety and survive as human beings. Migrants continue to face alienation, demonization by society and media, scapegoating and unfriendliness welcomes from local people in many of the European countries where they land. EU law requires that migrants and illegal immigrants who travel to a third country be sent back to the first EU country that they originally landed in. Most people don't wake up wanting migrate or leave their countries for foreign soil or territory. Many wouldn't face death to travel thousands of miles through hell and back for greater economic opportunities or necessary safety nets. But people continue to move continual the exodus and migrations from Africa and Middle East to neighboring and Western countries. Economic instability, high unemployment especially among youth, persecution against culture to ethnicity/nationality to religion, feeling of hopelessness, impatience with the high wall of redtape bureaucracy, a lack of justice and judicial merry go around, corruption and hypocritical support for corrupt and oppressive governments and systems by the West, drive the mass movement of migrants toward the developed countries or the Global North.

Mare Nostrum is Latin for Our Sea and was used by the Roman Empire to refer to their dominance over the Mediterranean Sea.

Tiempo de Solea por Ojo de Brujo sobre la historia universal de la migra

El Mediterreneo para todos?

Italy and its large islands Sicily and tiny island Lampedusa not far from Tunisia have seen an influx of some 10,000 migrants throughout the world. The Italian Navy and police have been handling and aiding migrants in seeking medical help. With more frequency, Italian police have been manhandling frighten and disorientated migrants both men, youth and women from capsized and seized boats. Among the migrants are occasionally illegal migrants unable to obtain legal documents to enter the European Union. Europe alongside Japan, has one of the strictest immigration policies in the world making it near impossible for migrants in need to have easier access to long term residency, employment, citizenship, applying for asylum and protection, etc. The right wing in Europe and United States are riding on a tidal wave of anti-immigrant/migrant fear mongering, economic depression and media stereotypes on how large influx of migrants and asylum seekers drain the country or state. Economic depression and high unemployment frustration across the developed countries keeps local people enraged over the prospects of sharing vital critical infrastructure and resources with immigrants. Anger over immigration policy is tied to wages, overcrowd schools, overwhelmed the healthcare system, over flood the welfare system, don't pay taxes, take jobs from native residents, should assimilate and speak the local languages. There are hundreds of other points made about migrants and asylum seekers being a burden on the host country. The litany becomes right wing grievance of being ignored and demonized by the government both national and local.

The irony is when 15th-16th century Europeans went to the Americas and Australia acting holier than thou, they were not met with the fortress attitude of today's Europe towards immigration. Some of the early conquistadors and colonialists claiming someone else's homeland in the name of King, Queen and God would be considered illegal immigrants by today's standards. Europeans never thought that one day that the world's people would migrate to Europe or demand that rights to simply enter Fortress Europe as Europeans had entered and lived freely after massacring or putting down indigenous rebellions "discovered" the so called New World in 15th century.

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