WBEZ | migrants http://www.wbez.org/tags/migrants Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en The Refugee Crisis Was the Story of the Year in 2015--and That Story is Far From Over http://www.wbez.org/news/refugee-crisis-was-story-year-2015-and-story-far-over-114345 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/AP_627586635605.jpg" alt="" /><p><div><p>Ten years ago, when Antonio Guterres took over as the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the number of displaced people worldwide was about 38 million.</p></div><p>The problem is a humanitarian one, Guterres told the BBC on Thursday. But looking ahead to 2016, he said the solution is not humanitarian. It&rsquo;s political. &nbsp;</p><p>&ldquo;We are like a nurse that provides an aspirin to a patient,&rdquo; Guterres said of the humanitarian effort. &ldquo;We are able to alleviate the pain. But we don&rsquo;t solve the problem.&rdquo;&nbsp;</p><p>Guterres is at the&nbsp;end of his term as the top UN official for refugees.</p><p>In 2005, international humanitarian efforts were helping displaced people return to their homes at a rate of about 1&nbsp;million every year, Guterres said. &ldquo;Last year, we only helped 130,000 people go back home.&rdquo;&nbsp;</p><p>More and more people are fleeing violence, but fewer and fewer people are finding solutions for them, he said.&nbsp;</p><p>Guterres was particularly harsh in assessing the European response to the refugee crisis. He said the European Union was totally unprepared when refugees and migrants, many from Syria, started arriving in large numbers last summer.&nbsp;</p><p>&ldquo;Not only it was unprepared then, it is still unprepared today,&rdquo; Guterres said. &ldquo;The divisions in Europe do not allow for a European response to this situation.&rdquo;&nbsp;</p><p>The one positive development over the last year that Guterres sees is political recognition of the issue. When the problem landed on the doorstep of the EU, he said political leaders around the world finally began to take it seriously.&nbsp;</p><p>But still, &ldquo;we do not yet have an adequate response,&rdquo; he said. And there are some underlying reasons for this, he added.&nbsp;</p><p>&ldquo;It&#39;s the dramatic multiplication of conflicts in the world. It&#39;s the fact that the international community has lost much of its capacity to avoid conflicts, to prevent conflicts, and then to timely solve them. And this is what needs in my opinion to have a surge in diplomacy for peace.&rdquo;&nbsp;</p><p>The mantra from the Chancellor of Germany, Angela Merkel has been, &ldquo;We can manage.&rdquo;&nbsp;</p><p>Germany has taken in by far the most refugees, which has become a contentious political issue there.</p><p>But Merkel is resolute. In a New Year&#39;s address to the German public, she talked about the refugees as an opportunity.</p><p>&ldquo;I am convinced that if we tackle the formidable task posed by the influx and integration of so many people in the right way today, then this will represent an opportunity for us tomorrow,&rdquo; Merkel said.&nbsp;</p><p>The chancellor thanked her fellow Germans for showing such willingness to help the refugees. She acknowledged that this is a challenging moment in history. But she called on everyone in Germany to show unity.</p><p>&ldquo;What is important is that we don&rsquo;t allow ourselves to be divided, not between generations or social classes, nor between those who have been here a long time and those who are new. It is important that we don&rsquo;t follow those, who with coldness, even hatred, in their hearts, lay claim to a Germany that is for them alone, while trying to exclude others.&rdquo;</p><p>&mdash; <a href="http://www.pri.org/stories/2015-12-31/refugee-crisis-was-story-year-2015-and-story-far-over" target="_blank"><em>via PRI&#39;s The World</em></a></p></p> Thu, 31 Dec 2015 16:18:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/refugee-crisis-was-story-year-2015-and-story-far-over-114345 A Fake Syrian Passport Can Be Yours—for a Couple Hundred Dollars http://www.wbez.org/programs/world/2015-11-23/fake-syrian-passport-can-be-yours%E2%80%94-couple-hundred-dollars-113901 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/RTS16AC.jpg" alt="" /><p><header><div><figure><div id="file-94005"><div><img alt="" src="http://cdn1.pri.org/sites/default/files/styles/story_main/public/story/images/RTS16AC.jpg?itok=TKJkYmEp" style="height: 349px; width: 620px;" title="A migrant holds his passport and a train ticket in Freilassing, Germany, September 15, 2015. (Dominic Ebenbichler/Reuters)" typeof="foaf:Image" /><div><p>&nbsp;</p></div></div></div></figure></div></header><div><article about="/stories/2015-11-23/fake-syrian-passport-can-be-yours-couple-hundred-dollars-and-right-connections" typeof="sioc:Item foaf:Document"><header><p>One of the men&nbsp;who blew themselves&nbsp;up near the soccer stadium in Paris on Nov. 13&nbsp;had a passport near his body.</p><p>French and Greek officials later said that the bomber&#39;s&nbsp;fingerprints matched those of a man who had arrived on European&nbsp;shores on October&nbsp;3. He had gone to Turkey, Greece and later on to France.</p></header><p>But the passport turned out to be fake.</p><p>His was one of thousands of fake Syrian passports in circulation today. Syrian passports have become valuable with the rise in the number of refugees and the war in Syria.</p><p>&quot;The trade is huge,&quot; says Chris Doyle, director of the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.caabu.org/" target="_blank">Council for Arab-British Understanding</a>&nbsp;in London.</p><p>Doyle says there&#39;s a huge demand both from Syrian refugees, as well as criminals who are&nbsp;trying to take advantage of the situation in Syria.&nbsp;There are Syrians,&nbsp;Doyle explains,&nbsp;whose passports have expired as the war has dragged&nbsp;on.</p><p>&quot;Those who live in the opposition areas of Syria and are not able to renew their passports have a really big problem,&quot; Doyle explains. &quot;There are large numbers&nbsp;now [of] stateless Syrians &mdash; that is that their passports have gone out of date because this conflict&nbsp;has now gone on for 4.5 years plus and they don&rsquo;t have a valid passport anymore,&rdquo; he says.</p><p>In other words, there are Syrians who are carrying fake passports just because they were not able to get their passports renewed.</p><p>But then there are those who acquire fraudulent passports because of&nbsp;criminal activities. They sell these passports on the black market for very large sums of money. The Syrian passport is valuable for non-Syrian&nbsp;migrants because European countries have pledged to take in more Syrian refugees. They stand a better chance of getting into Europe if they carry a Syrian passport.</p><p>Doyle says it could even be the case that people within the Syrian government are involved in the fake passport trade.</p><p>&quot;[They] are happy to make some money out of this and to see opponents leaving the country, getting essentially off their books. That means one less person to deal with,&quot; he says.</p><p>The cost for a fake Syrian passport,&nbsp;Doyle says,&nbsp;ranges between $200 to $3000. The more expensive ones are harder to detect, he&nbsp;says. They&#39;re very similar to official&nbsp;Syrian passports.</p><p>The cheaper ones would be flagged more easily by border authorities. But Doyle believes with the large number of migrants trying to get to Europe, many fake passports simply go unnoticed.</p><p>According to Doyle, it&#39;s not just passports that are being forged. There is a business in fake birth certificates and even university degrees, which are used to get jobs in Europe.</p><p>&quot;There is a war economy going on in Syria that has inverted normal economic activity. Forgeries and criminality is a huge part of that,&quot; he says.</p></article></div><p>&mdash; <a href="http://www.pri.org/stories/2015-11-23/fake-syrian-passport-can-be-yours-couple-hundred-dollars-and-right-connections" target="_blank"><em>via PRI&#39;s The World</em></a></p></p> Mon, 23 Nov 2015 14:51:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/programs/world/2015-11-23/fake-syrian-passport-can-be-yours%E2%80%94-couple-hundred-dollars-113901 How Does the US Government Vet Syrian Refugees? Very Carefully. http://www.wbez.org/programs/world/2015-11-19/how-does-us-government-vet-syrian-refugees-very-carefully-113860 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/Syrian_Refugee_Sacramento_limit.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>The craven murders committed by ISIS militants in Paris last Friday have prompted some Americans (including&nbsp;surprise, a number of politicians)&nbsp;to think again about admitting any more Syrian refugees.&nbsp;</p><p>For presidential candidate Donald Trump, it&#39;s&nbsp;the Trojan Horse argument:&nbsp;An ISIS militant could sneak in and wreak the same kind of terror on Americans. But here&#39;s a pretty sobering reality check: Of the 4 million Syrians who have fled their country since 2011, only some 2,000 have been admitted to the United States as refugees.</p><p>&quot;It&#39;s really a drop in the bucket.&quot; says Max Rosenthal, who wrote about the US government refugee vetting process for&nbsp;<a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2015/11/heres-what-it-takes-to-enter-us-as-a-syrian-refugee" target="_blank">Mother Jones</a>. &quot;Lebanon is a country of 4 million people.&quot;</p><p><a href="http://data.unhcr.org/syrianrefugees/regional.php" target="_blank">The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees</a>&nbsp;estimates that there&#39;s 1&nbsp;million refugees in Lebanon. &quot;That&#39;a a conservative estimate,&quot; says Rosenthal.&nbsp;&quot;So you&#39;re talking about well over a quarter of the population of Lebanon is now made up of refugees, mostly from Syria.&quot;</p><p>There are millions more in Jordan, Turkey, and Iraq. In Europe, Germany alone expects to have close to a million Syrian refugees by the end of 2015. &quot;There are thousands of people coming into Europe everyday. So it&#39;s just a dramatically different situation.&quot;</p><p>What about the vetting process, critics ask. How does the US government determine whether a Syrian refugee will not be a security risk?</p><p>&quot;It&#39;s a long process. It takes a minimum of 18 months. Some cases go up&nbsp;to even three years.&quot;</p><p>Rosenthal says it starts with refugees applying for refugee status. &quot;They make contact and they send in an application to the United States. UNHCR helps identify which candidates might be good for resettlement in the United States.&quot;</p><p>Often that has to do with whether or not the refugee applicant has&nbsp;family members already in the US. Then the application goes to the Department&nbsp;of Homeland Security.</p><p>&quot;They have a group called The Refugee Corps that goes out and interviews these refugees wherever they are, whether it&#39;s Turkey, Jordan, Lebanon,&quot; says Rosenthal. &quot;They go through a really long screening process trying to verify the stories that these refugees are tellling them, trying to make sure that their identities are what they say they are, trying to make sure that there&#39;s not a security threat and that they have no known connections to any terrorist groups or anybody who&#39;s really going to affect the security of the United States.&quot;&nbsp;</p><p>Rosenthal says there&#39;s even a &#39;gut feeling&#39; litmus test. &quot;Even if the refugee applicant makes it&nbsp;through all those security checks and&nbsp;their details line up, if there&#39;s something that strikes the security officer the wrong way, they have the discretion to say no to those refugees.&quot; &nbsp;</p><div><p>And all of this takes place outside the United States. Refugee applicants from Syria are vetted in the Middle East.&nbsp;</p><p>&quot;They&#39;re not taking people who have made their way to Europe. So much of the focus has been on refugees that go to Europe but don&#39;t forget that the overwhelming majority of refugees are still kind of trapped without resources in the Middle East and those are the people the United States are talking to, people in Turkey, people in Jordan.&quot;</p><p>Then there&#39;s one final test, says Rosenthal,&nbsp;the Syria Enhanced Review process, essentially a pre-screening screening.&nbsp;</p><p>&quot;Essentially when a person delivers their application to the US Refugee admissions program, the Department of Homeland Security and other intelligence and security agencies take that information and go through it before the applicant&#39;s in-person interview. &nbsp;So that way when the security officer goes to interview them, they have this file that says what the guy says, what their family says, and examined what their claims are.&quot;</p><p>They then deliver to the interviewer a&nbsp;set of specific, focused questions to make the vetting more in depth. &quot;That&#39;s something that only Syrians are going through because of security concerns since the start of Syria&#39;s civil war.&quot;</p></div><p>&mdash; <a href="http://admin.pri.org/stories/2015-11-18/how-does-us-government-vet-syrian-refugees-very-carefully" target="_blank"><em>via PRI&#39;s The World</em></a></p></p> Thu, 19 Nov 2015 14:48:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/programs/world/2015-11-19/how-does-us-government-vet-syrian-refugees-very-carefully-113860 House Votes To Increase Security Checks On Refugees From Iraq, Syria http://www.wbez.org/news/house-votes-increase-security-checks-refugees-iraq-syria-113858 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/65431421_h40946722_wide-1f7754b1ace5d1876ef9aa9a17916ca6a5954958-s1600-c85_1.jpg" alt="" /><p><div id="res456653632" previewtitle="Speaker of the House Paul Ryan holds up statements from the FBI director and the secretary of Homeland Security about the risk involved in admitting refugees from Syria, during a news conference Wednesday about the House bill calling for a stricter vetting process for refugees from Syria and Iraq."><div data-crop-type=""><img alt="Speaker of the House Paul Ryan holds up statements from the FBI director and the secretary of Homeland Security about the risk involved in admitting refugees from Syria, during a news conference Wednesday about the House bill calling for a stricter vetting process for refugees from Syria and Iraq." src="http://media.npr.org/assets/img/2015/11/19/65431421_h40946722_wide-1f7754b1ace5d1876ef9aa9a17916ca6a5954958-s1600-c85.jpg" style="height: 348px; width: 620px;" title="Speaker of the House Paul Ryan holds up statements from the FBI director and the secretary of Homeland Security about the risk involved in admitting refugees from Syria, during a news conference Wednesday about the House bill calling for a stricter vetting process for refugees from Syria and Iraq. (Gary Cameron/Reuters/Landov)" /></div><div><div><p>The House of Representatives has easily passed a GOP-authored bill to restrict the admission of Iraqi and Syrian refugees to America by requiring extra security procedures.</p></div></div></div><p>The bill &mdash; called the American Security Against Foreign Enemies Act of 2015, or the American SAFE Act of 2015 &mdash; would require the secretary of Homeland Security, the head of the FBI and the director of national intelligence to sign off on every individual refugee from Iraq and Syria, affirming he or she is not a threat.</p><p>The FBI director would also need to confirm that a background investigation, separate from the Homeland Security screening, had been conducted on each refugee.</p><p>Lawmakers say it is the first of many bills aimed at addressing security concerns in the wake of the Paris attacks, reports NPR&#39;s Muthoni Muturi.</p><div id="res456651635">&nbsp;</div><p>&nbsp;</p><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">We cannot and should not wait to act&mdash;not when our national security is at stake. <a href="https://t.co/5kLsFrubIc">https://t.co/5kLsFrubIc</a> <a href="https://t.co/ymqHQyWnup">https://t.co/ymqHQyWnup</a></p>&mdash; Paul Ryan (@SpeakerRyan) <a href="https://twitter.com/SpeakerRyan/status/667414998134579200">November 19, 2015</a></blockquote><script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><p>&nbsp;</p><p>Supporters of the bill say it would require a &quot;pause&quot; in admitting Syrian and Iraqi refugees, as current applications would be halted while a new vetting process was established. Some conservative critics object that it doesn&#39;t ban such refugees outright.</p><p>Meanwhile, liberal House members say requiring top officials to be involved in thousands of individual applications is unmanageable, and that the bill would result in an extended roadblock for Syrians and Iraqis fleeing a humanitarian crisis. That&#39;s a&nbsp;<a href="https://twitter.com/SenatorLeahy/status/667382334774099969">rejection of American values</a>, some Democrats argue.</p><p>The bill passed the House of Representatives 289-137.</p><p>It&#39;s unclear whether the Senate will take up the legislation, says NPR&#39;s Arnie Seipel. If the bill does pass through Congress, President Obama has pledged to veto it. But in the House of Representatives, at least, Republicans would only need one more vote to make the bill veto-proof.</p><div id="res456651632">&nbsp;</div><p>&nbsp;</p><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">Slamming the door in the face of refugees would betray our deepest values. That&#39;s not who we are. And it&#39;s not what we&#39;re going to do.</p>&mdash; President Obama (@POTUS) <a href="https://twitter.com/POTUS/status/667021784726769665">November 18, 2015</a></blockquote><p>&nbsp;</p><div>&nbsp;</div><div><a href="https://twitter.com/Jordanfabian/status/667102371965706241">The administration says</a>&nbsp;the bill would introduce &quot;unnecessary and impractical requirements that would unacceptably hamper our efforts to assist some of the most vulnerable people in the world.&quot;</div><p>It would also undermine allies and partners in the Middle East and Europe, the administration says.</p><p>Obama argues that the existing vetting process &mdash; which includes fingerprinting, examination of personal history and interviews &mdash; is sufficient, and the certification requirement the Republicans are calling for would &quot;provide no meaningful additional security.&quot;</p><p>The Obama administration has recently begun disclosing details about how Syrian refugees are currently screened. As we&nbsp;<a href="http://www.npr.org/2015/11/17/456395388/paris-attacks-ignite-debate-over-u-s-refugee-policy">reported Tuesday,</a>&nbsp;the process includes multiple agencies and lasts up to two years.</p><p>One challenge is that the Syrian government does not cooperate with the U.S., making it difficult to verify some Syrian documents, The Associated Press reports. But the administration says Syrian refugees provide extensive amounts of information for investigators to use.</p><p>A&nbsp;<a href="http://www.bloomberg.com/politics/articles/2015-11-18/bloomberg-poll-most-americans-oppose-syrian-refugee-resettlement">Bloomberg poll</a>&nbsp;released this week found more than half of respondents think the U.S. should stop accepting Syrian refugees.The U.S. has taken in about 2,500 Syrian refugees since 2011, according to the AP, and the Obama administration has announced a plan to accept 10,000 more in the coming year. The White House says half of the refugees admitted to the U.S. are children, and about a quarter are older than 60.</p></p> Thu, 19 Nov 2015 13:59:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/house-votes-increase-security-checks-refugees-iraq-syria-113858 Groups Call for Rauner to Reverse Refusal of Syrian Refugees http://www.wbez.org/news/groups-call-rauner-reverse-refusal-syrian-refugees-113846 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/AP_674516350357_0.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Illinois groups that help Syrian refugees resettle are calling on Gov. Bruce Rauner to reverse his threat to temporarily stop accepting new Syrian refugees after the attacks in Paris.</p><p>Members of groups including RefugeeOne and the Heartland Alliance said Wednesday they believe Rauner doesn&#39;t have the authority to halt the federal resettlement program, and they want a welcoming atmosphere in Illinois.</p><p>They say Rauner and other GOP governors&#39; similar decisions were made out of fear, and that refugee screening processes are vigorous.</p><div><p>&nbsp;</p><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">True progressive <a href="https://twitter.com/CarlosRosa">@CarlosRosa</a> rejects <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Rauner?src=hash">#Rauner</a>&#39;s refugee/immigrant scapegoating: &quot;My community chooses love&quot; | <a href="https://t.co/YrVPyJp7zL">https://t.co/YrVPyJp7zL</a></p>&mdash; Jay Travis (@Jayfor26) <a href="https://twitter.com/Jayfor26/status/667079771537453056">November 18, 2015</a></blockquote><script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><p>Since 2010 Illinois has received 169 Syrian refugees.</p><p>RefugeeOne executive director Melineh Kano says at least 21 more individuals are expected in December. She says Rauner&#39;s administration has requested information on them.</p><p>Also on Wednesday,&nbsp;Chicago&#39;s&nbsp;City Council approved a largely symbolic resolution to accept Syrian refugees.</p><div>&nbsp;</div></div><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Wed, 18 Nov 2015 16:27:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/groups-call-rauner-reverse-refusal-syrian-refugees-113846 After Paris Attacks, Mounting U.S. Opposition To Resettling Syrian Migrants http://www.wbez.org/news/after-paris-attacks-mounting-us-opposition-resettling-syrian-migrants-113829 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/charlie-baker-624x416.jpg" alt="" /><p><div id="attachment_96257"><p>&nbsp;</p><p><img alt="Speaking to reporters days after the Paris terror attacks, Gov. Charlie Baker said any conversation about accepting Syrian refugees &quot;has to start with whatever process the federal government is going to put in place, to vet people through that process.&quot; (Jesse Costa/WBUR File Photo)" src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/media.wbur.org/wordpress/11/files/2015/11/charlie-baker-624x416.jpg" style="height: 413px; width: 620px;" title="Speaking to reporters days after the Paris terror attacks, Gov. Charlie Baker said any conversation about accepting Syrian refugees “has to start with whatever process the federal government is going to put in place, to vet people through that process.” (Jesse Costa/WBUR File Photo)" /></p><p>More than half of U.S. governors, once open to resettling Syrian refugees, are now trying to shut their doors. Speaker of the House Paul Ryan said Tuesday that a congressional task force will come up with legislation to address the issue.</p></div><p>Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker, a moderate Republican, has joined at least 24 other Republicans and New Hampshire&rsquo;s Democratic governor in opposing further resettlement.</p><p>Fred Thys&nbsp;from<a href="http://hereandnow.wbur.org/2015/11/17/governors-oppose-syrian-refugees" target="_blank"><em>&nbsp;Here &amp; Now&nbsp;</em></a>contributor WBUR in Boston reports.</p></p> Tue, 17 Nov 2015 15:22:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/after-paris-attacks-mounting-us-opposition-resettling-syrian-migrants-113829 The cemeteries on Lesbos are full. But refugee families still need to bury their dead. http://www.wbez.org/news/cemeteries-lesbos-are-full-refugee-families-still-need-bury-their-dead-113661 <p><blockquote><p><em>For us, the ocean gives us strength.&nbsp; We fish in it, swim.&nbsp; The sea is our home.&nbsp; It should bring life, not death. --&nbsp;Ilias Maravas</em></p></blockquote><p>The situation symbolizes&nbsp;the&nbsp;despair this island feels at being at the epicenter of Europe&#39;s migration crisis &mdash; and&nbsp;having dead bodies washing up on its shores. Fifty-five more bodies sit in the morgue.&nbsp;</p><div><img alt="Survivors of a boat crash on October 28 gathered at Port of Molyvos; some had lost relatives." src="http://cdn1.pri.org/sites/default/files/styles/original_image/public/lesbos2.jpg?itok=53u9nVSs" style="height: 413px; width: 620px;" title="Survivors of a boat crash on October 28 gathered at Port of Molyvos; some had lost relatives. At least 11 people died and dozens are still missing. (Jodi Hilton/PRI)" typeof="foaf:Image" /><div><p>Ilias Maravas, a reporter for Greek ERT TV here, was the first to find two dead children on the beach two days after a trawler heaped with migrants sunk in high seas between Lesbos and Turkey last week.&nbsp;Two hundred and forty two people were rescued; 43 are confirmed dead with an unknown number still missing. &nbsp;Pointing to his computer, Maravas said:&nbsp;&ldquo;This is full of 10&nbsp;months of pictures of dead people. I don&rsquo;t ever want to see this again.&rdquo;&nbsp;</p></div></div><p>Maravas told me that locals are deeply disturbed by corpses in the sea.&nbsp;&ldquo;For us, the ocean gives us strength.&nbsp; We fish in it, swim.&nbsp; The sea is our home.&nbsp; It should bring life, not death.&rdquo;</p><p>The people of Lesbos will express their sorrow and rage on Wednesday at an interfaith service with Greek Orthodox, Catholic and Muslim clergy to honor the refugees who have died at sea.&nbsp;It will be held in the old port of Mytilene under the statue of the Asia Minor Refugee Mother, a reminder of&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pri.org/stories/2015-04-24/american-who-saved-250000-death-during-armenian-genocide">another time of suffering, in 1922</a>, when desperate Greek and Armenian refugees fled Turkey&nbsp;and sought refuge on this island, much like the refugees today. The mayor will call for three days of mourning and also action to stop the traffickers.&nbsp;</p><div><img alt="The Saint Panteleimon cemetery, where dozens of refugees have been buried." src="http://cdn1.pri.org/sites/default/files/styles/original_image/public/story/images/lesbos1.jpg?itok=q5EDUiEX" style="height: 349px; width: 620px;" title="The Saint Panteleimon cemetery on Lesbos, where dozens of people who died trying to cross the sea to Greece have been buried over the past years. (Jodi Hilton/PRI)" typeof="foaf:Image" /><div><p>Efi Latoudi, a founder of the grassroots refugee support group Village All Together, has been organizing funeral and burial services for refugees since 2012.&nbsp;Today&rsquo;s flow of refugees to the island is massive but Lesbos has been a destination for refugees and migrants for over a decade and local authorities have had to contend with many dead bodies.&nbsp; &ldquo;But this summer it became a nightmare.&nbsp; There was something every day, and very tragic situations &mdash;&nbsp;mothers who were breastfeeding who had lost their children.&nbsp;It was a nightmare.&ldquo;</p></div></div><p>I met Latoudi at PIKPA, the small refugee camp in Mytilene designated for vulnerable people who are ill or injured or who have lost loved ones.&nbsp;She pointed out some Afghan families sitting nearby; they had lost a mother and several children on October 20, a few days before the big shipwreck.&nbsp; &ldquo;The mayor found five places so they could bury their relatives last Sunday.&rdquo;</p><p>&ldquo;But before when we thought there was no space in the cemetery they were fainting, they were crying.&nbsp; Now that their loved ones are buried they are calmer.&nbsp;They at least have the possibility to slowly move on.&rdquo;</p><div><img alt="Volunteers and medical professionals attending to the survivors of a boat that sank while trying to cross from Turkey to Greece." src="http://cdn1.pri.org/sites/default/files/styles/original_image/public/lesbos3.jpg?itok=01pjVDkP" style="height: 413px; width: 620px;" title="Volunteers and medical professionals attending to the survivors of a boat that sank while trying to cross from Turkey to Greece. (Jodi Hilton/PRI)" typeof="foaf:Image" /><div><p>&ldquo;But the ones where they don&rsquo;t find the body or they&rsquo;re not able to give a proper funeral, this is a wound that never heals.&rdquo;</p></div></div><p>We moved to another part of the camp.&nbsp;An Afghan man, noticing that we only had one chair, brought one over for us.&nbsp;&ldquo;He lost his child,&rdquo; Efi explains.&nbsp;&ldquo;Ten days ago.&nbsp;He drowned.&rdquo;</p><p>I asked Efi what she felt about the photos of dead children in the media.&nbsp;She understands the need to make people aware of what&rsquo;s going on but as a mother finds it hard to stomach.&nbsp;&ldquo;A photographer, a friend of mine actually, took photos of three dead children, the children of the woman over there.&nbsp;It was shocking to see their bodies like that.&rdquo;</p><p>On Tuesday, the mayor&rsquo;s office said that a hospital has stepped forward to donate land adjacent to the cemetery to accommodate the need for more burial plots. That news means&nbsp;the refugees that Efi cares for can at least have&nbsp;some peace: If they choose to bury their loved ones on the island, they can do so.&nbsp;</p><div><img alt="A boat full of approximately 50 refugees arriving in Lesbos." src="http://cdn1.pri.org/sites/default/files/styles/original_image/public/lesbos04.jpg?itok=IYyO2yrv" style="height: 413px; width: 620px;" title="A boat full of approximately 50 refugees arriving in Lesbos. (Jodi Hilton/PRI)" typeof="foaf:Image" /><div><p>But thousands of refugees&nbsp;pour into the island every day.&nbsp;October saw the highest number of arrivals in a single month &mdash; over 120,000 &mdash; and the most deaths.&nbsp;Weather and sea conditions will only get worse.</p></div></div><p>&ldquo;We need a solution to stop this,&rdquo; Effie said. &ldquo;We don&rsquo;t get used to it.&nbsp;We get angrier.&rdquo;</p><p>&mdash;<a href="http://www.pri.org/stories/2015-11-03/cemeteries-lesbos-are-full-refugee-families-still-need-bury-their-dead" target="_blank"><em> via PRI&#39;s The World</em></a></p></p> Thu, 05 Nov 2015 15:53:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/cemeteries-lesbos-are-full-refugee-families-still-need-bury-their-dead-113661 Refugees, migrants face long border waits, cold winters in the Balkans http://www.wbez.org/programs/here-and-now/2015-11-03/refugees-migrants-face-long-border-waits-cold-winters-balkans <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/1102_migrants-winter-624x415.jpg" alt="" /><p><div id="attachment_95364"><img alt="Migrants and refugees prepare to board a train heading to Serbia from the Greece-Macedonia border near Gevgelija on October 31, 2015. (Nikolay Doychinov/ AFP/Getty Images)" src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/media.wbur.org/wordpress/11/files/2015/11/1102_migrants-winter-624x415.jpg" style="height: 412px; width: 620px;" title="Migrants and refugees prepare to board a train heading to Serbia from the Greece-Macedonia border near Gevgelija on October 31, 2015. (Nikolay Doychinov/ AFP/Getty Images)" /><p>Thousands of refugees are flooding across borders in southeastern Europe by foot, bus and train, nearly all of them trying to make their way to Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden and other northern European countries.</p></div><p>Despite the impending winter, the number of people making the journey does not appear to be slowing down.</p><p>Sian Jones, a Balkans researcher with Amnesty International, joins&nbsp;<a href="http://hereandnow.wbur.org/">Here &amp; Now&rsquo;</a>s Peter O&rsquo;Dowd to describe the conditions that refugees and migrants are facing at the borders of Serbia and Macedonia, and Serbia and Croatia.</p><hr /><p><strong><span style="font-size:20px;">Interview Highlights: Sian Jones</span></strong></p><p><strong>On what the border crossings look like</strong></p><p>&ldquo;There are hundreds of thousands of people walking, taking vehicles, on trains and on buses, moving from Greece, trying to get refugee status in EU member states. And they are traveling through Macedonia, Serbia, Croatia and Slovenia on their way to the EU. And what struck me as well was their determination and their fortitude to keep going in the most difficult conditions.&rdquo;</p><p>&ldquo;The problem is that so many people are coming at any one time that in order to queue up and get papers which will legally entitle them to travel through Serbia, people are having to wait for up to five hours at a time in the middle of the main street of a town called Preševo. And people have no protection from the rain, from the wind, from the weather. And they sit on the ground, on those streets waiting their turn to go get the documentation that they need.&rdquo;</p><p><strong>On whether refugees&nbsp;and border countries are prepared for the winter</strong></p><p>&ldquo;Many people aren&rsquo;t prepared at all, mainly because they&rsquo;ve come from Turkey on very tiny, little boats to the Greek islands and made their journey from there. And very many people lose many of their possessions whilst they are coming. And physically, they are not able to carry things. If you think of a family with two or three children, most of their effort has to go into looking after the children, keeping them, and we saw more women and children than we&rsquo;ve seen in our previous visits.&rdquo;</p><p>&ldquo;But essentially what is needed is for the governments in those countries to provide shelter because winter is coming. And it&rsquo;s all very well to have additional socks and hats, but when the temperature goes down below zero, you really are not going to be able to sit out in the street waiting for five hours to get to register your family, to be able to continue on your journey.&rdquo;</p><p><strong>On protections for unaccompanied children</strong></p><p>&ldquo;So many children &mdash; at least 60 children &mdash; are found to have lost their parents&nbsp;in any one day. And UNHCR are doing their best, along with other organizations, to make sure that the families are traced. But the conditions are such that there are so many people &mdash; it&rsquo;s so crowded &mdash; there are so many people pushing to get across the border, that there is a real concern for children who have lost their families, and also for children who are travelling alone, who&rsquo;ve become separated from their parents, or for some reason, are traveling by themselves. And there are real concerns that there&rsquo;s not adequate protection or identification of those children.&rdquo;</p><p>&mdash;<a href="http://hereandnow.wbur.org/2015/11/02/refugees-balkans-jones" target="_blank"><em> via Here &amp; Now</em></a></p></p> Mon, 02 Nov 2015 11:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/programs/here-and-now/2015-11-03/refugees-migrants-face-long-border-waits-cold-winters-balkans Why do we even have borders anymore? http://www.wbez.org/programs/takeaway/2015-10-21/why-do-we-even-have-borders-anymore-113449 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/A member of Egypt&#039;s security forces stands on a watchtower in North Sinai as seen from across the border in southern Israel July 1, 2015.jpg" alt="" /><p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="http://cdn1.pri.org/sites/default/files/styles/story_main/public/story/images/border.jpg?itok=hWiYv2Cy" style="height: 349px; width: 620px;" title="A member of Egypt's security forces stands on a watchtower in North Sinai as seen from across the border in southern Israel July 1, 2015. (Amir Cohen/Reuters)" /></p><div><p>As Philippe Legrain, former economic adviser to the president of the European Commission,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.thetakeaway.org/story/how-migrants-could-boost-europes-economy/">told The Takeaway</a>&nbsp;last month, &quot;These asylum seekers and refugees can also play a very valuable role as workers, as taxpayers, very often also as innovators and entrepreneurs who can boost growth and help cope with an aging society.&quot;</p></div><p dir="ltr">Alex Tabarrok, a professor of economics at George Mason University, takes Legrain&#39;s argument one step further. Tabarrok, author of the forthcoming book &quot;How to Save Humanity,&quot; says the world should do away with borders altogether.</p><aside><div id="dfp-ad-pri_ros_atf_300x600-wrapper"><div id="dfp-ad-pri_ros_atf_300x600"><div id="google_ads_iframe_/1009951/PRI_STORY_ATF_0__container__"><div dir="ltr" id="ebDiv34065191028639674">&ldquo;Borders are fine for controlling governments; I&rsquo;m not against different places having different rules,&rdquo; he says. &ldquo;But they&rsquo;re bad for controlling people. I&rsquo;d like to see a much more open world&nbsp;&mdash; a world in which people are free to move about.&rdquo;</div></div></div></div></aside><p>Tabarrok says that the world should do away with borders for both economic and moral reasons.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;Some people in the world, through no fault of their own, are born in an economic desert, or they&rsquo;re born in a place where there&rsquo;s a civil war going on,&rdquo; he says. &ldquo;We have imprisoned them there by building walls, barriers&nbsp;and sending people with machine guns and saying, &lsquo;You can&rsquo;t move.&rsquo;&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">Though no serious leader of a nation-state would earnestly suggest the dissolution of national borders, Tabarrok says there is historical precedent for such an idea.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;If you go back to the 19th century in the United States, for example, we had virtually completely open borders,&rdquo; he says. &ldquo;Anyone from anywhere in the world could come to the United States and make a home here with almost no paperwork whatsoever.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">At the time, the US&nbsp;government was trying to encourage settlers to move to its vast and newly-acquired Western territories, something that helped to push out existing residents, like the Native Americans. But Tabarrok says the American West still has plenty of land to offer newcomers.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;There is still plenty of room to grow in the United States, and in the developed world more generally,&rdquo; he says. &ldquo;We have lots and lots of room, and we could have a lot more people.&rdquo;</p><p>As technology breaks down barriers between communication and commerce, Tabarrok argues that it&rsquo;s time to fundamentally rethink the nation-state.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;It&rsquo;s quite amazing when you look around,&rdquo; he says. &ldquo;Ideas flow freely all throughout the world, and capital &mdash; money &mdash; flows freely throughout the entire world. The only thing which doesn&rsquo;t flow freely is labor. And yet, the right to vote with one&rsquo;s feet, the right to migrate, and the right to move &mdash; this is one of the most fundamental human rights. And yet, in our world today, we&rsquo;ve divided it, we&rsquo;ve separated it, and we&rsquo;ve created a system, really, of global apartheid.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">According to Tabarrok, economists have calculated that a world with completely open borders could double global GDP. And not just for one year, but for every year going forward.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;Even if we allowed, just in the developed world, our labor force to increase by say, one percent, that alone would be worth more than all of the world&rsquo;s foreign aid combined,&rdquo; he says.</p><p dir="ltr">It seems like a nice idea in theory, but the political will for such a plan doesn&#39;t exist. But Tabarrok says the tide may one day shift.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;We feel now today that it&rsquo;s wrong to discriminate against someone on the basis of race, gender, or sexual preference. And yet, we discriminate against people based upon where they&rsquo;re born,&rdquo; he says. &ldquo;I think when people realize this is a moral issue, they&rsquo;ll change their feelings about borders.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">&mdash; <a href="http://www.pri.org/stories/2015-10-21/argument-taking-down-all-worlds-international-borders"><em>via The Takeaway</em></a></p></p> Wed, 21 Oct 2015 13:20:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/takeaway/2015-10-21/why-do-we-even-have-borders-anymore-113449 Camerawoman who was fired for kicking migrants to sue Facebook http://www.wbez.org/news/camerawoman-who-was-fired-kicking-migrants-sue-facebook-113443 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/triping-gettyimages-487372448-82d0f8817ce530efd71629eb2c3857ef634ee0c4-s700-c85.jpg" alt="" /><p><div id="res450562945" previewtitle="This video grab made on early September shows a Hungarian TV camerawoman kicking a child as she runs with other migrants from a police line during disturbances at Röszke, southern Hungary."><div data-crop-type="" style="text-align: center;"><img alt="This video grab made on early September shows a Hungarian TV camerawoman kicking a child as she runs with other migrants from a police line during disturbances at Röszke, southern Hungary." src="http://media.npr.org/assets/img/2015/10/21/triping-gettyimages-487372448-82d0f8817ce530efd71629eb2c3857ef634ee0c4-s700-c85.jpg" style="height: 405px; width: 540px;" title="This video grab made on early September shows a Hungarian TV camerawoman kicking a child as she runs with other migrants from a police line during disturbances at Röszke, southern Hungary. (AFP/Getty Images)" /></div><div><div><p>The camerawoman who drew international ire after viral videos of her kicking and tripping migrants crossing into Hungary from Serbia last month, says she plans to sue Facebook and one of the refugees she kicked.</p></div></div></div><p>Petra Laszlo, formerly of Hungarian Internet-based channel N1TV, told a Russian newspaper of her plans to sue Facebook for allegedly failing to take down threatening and negative pages on the social media site, according to an online translation of the&nbsp;<a href="http://izvestia.ru/news/593528#ixzz3p8X42aZv">Izvestia</a>&nbsp;report.</p><p>One group, called the &quot;<a href="https://www.facebook.com/PetraLaszloShame">Petra Laszlo Shame Wall</a>,&quot; has more than 10,000 likes on Facebook.</p><p>The former camerawoman also said she plans to file a separate suit against Osama Abdul Mohsen, one of the Syrian refugees Laszlo tripped and caused to fall on his son.&nbsp;<a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2015/09/17/441169238/man-who-was-tripped-by-camerawoman-in-hungary-gets-new-start-in-spain">He has since settled in Madrid</a>&nbsp;and found a job teaching at Spain&#39;s national football coaching academy, according to the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/syrian-refugee-tripped-job_55fb304ce4b08820d9180289?ncid=txtlnkusaolp00000618">Huffington Post</a>.</p><p>Laszlo is facing a criminal case from Hungarian prosecutors and two opposition parties are seeking for her to serve prison time.&nbsp;<a href="http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/sep/10/hungarian-camera-operator-kicked-refugees-criminal-investigation"><em>The Guardian</em>&nbsp;reports</a>:</p><blockquote><div><p><em>&quot;The opposition parties Együtt-PM and the Democratic Coalition said that they would initiate charges of &#39;violence against a member of the community&#39;, which is punishable by up to five years in prison, against László.&quot;</em></p></div></blockquote><div id="res450542626"><blockquote class="twitter-video" lang="en"><p dir="ltr" lang="de">Lage in <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Roeszke?src=hash">#Roeszke</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Hungary?src=hash">#Hungary</a> weiter schlimm - Polizei überfordert - Flüchtlinge durchbrechen Polizeikette - Verletzte! <a href="http://t.co/GlMGqGwABb">pic.twitter.com/GlMGqGwABb</a></p>&mdash; Stephan Richter (@RichterSteph) <a href="https://twitter.com/RichterSteph/status/641222535586168832">September 8, 2015</a></blockquote><script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script></div><div>The ordeal unfolded in early September when hundreds of migrants pushed through a police line in Serbia and dashed across an open field in attempt to find safe haven elsewhere in Europe. Journalists were there to document the event.</div><p>As the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2015/09/09/438826530/camerawoman-fired-for-tripping-migrant-who-fled-police">Two Way reported last month</a>, a German television journalist was there documenting the scene in Röszke when the tripping incident occurred.</p><blockquote><div><p><em>&quot;In a video that was filmed by German television journalist &mdash; Stephan Richter &mdash; the camerawoman is seen sticking her leg out to trip a man who was evading a policeman&#39;s outstretched arm. With a boy clinging to him, the man falls to the ground. He&#39;s then seen getting up, yelling.</em></p><p><em>&quot;Announcing the firing, N1TV Editor in Chief Szabolcs Kisberk said his colleague &#39;behaved unacceptably in Röszke collection point.&#39; &quot;</em></p></div></blockquote><p>She eventually did&nbsp;<a href="http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/sep/11/something-snapped-hungarian-camera-operator-apologises-kicking-refugees?ncid=txtlnkusaolp00000618">apologize for her role&nbsp;</a>in the incident and said she only reacted in that way because she was scared.</p><p>&mdash; <a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2015/10/21/450542545/camerawoman-who-was-fired-for-kicking-migrants-to-sue-facebook?ft=nprml&amp;f=450542545" target="_blank"><em>via NPR</em></a></p></p> Wed, 21 Oct 2015 12:46:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/camerawoman-who-was-fired-kicking-migrants-sue-facebook-113443