Since all those awful photos of drowned Syrian children went viral last week, it seems that the journalist world has shifted its bias. But the terminology is still annoying – because newspapers continue to talk about “migrants”.
As though people are just wandering around because they’re a bit bored of where they came from.
I may be wrong, but I hardly think that “fleeing for one’s life, and for one’s children” makes one a “migrant”.
In June, I was on the island of Lesbos. In case that name sounds familiar, Lesbos is one of the three Greek islands that is bearing the (EU) brunt of the refugee influx. And when driving up the east coast of the island (along the Turkish-side of the coastline), it was astonishing the sheer number of people that were walking toward the main port town of Mytilini. Every evening, the area around the immigration control building would be inundated with well-dressed middle-class Syrians, sitting in doorways and often – the women especially – hiding their faces in shame. Then, each morning, there would be long queues to formally register and move to the camps.
It’s a full-blown and very-evident humanitarian crisis.
And the big complaint: the West came into Iraq, thoroughly destabilised the Middle East, and is now abandoning the innocent fall-out victims.
And because these things are often best illustrated by cartoonists, this:
For more on this, here’s an old post: Iraq, Syria and ISIS
And I quite like the cartoonist:
The Economic Side Of Things
I realise that “illegal immigration” and “refugee crisis” may sound like a political issue.
The thing is: this is mainly an economic problem. The act of immigration control is protectionism in its purest form.
For longer pieces on this, some older posts:
- Immigration Apartheid
- The Cost of Anti-Immigration
- More on Immigration
- Why Bus Drivers In Sweden Earn More Than Bus Drivers In India
- Xenophobia: Confessions Of An Immigrant
Anyway – I’m glad that the tone of the political conversation has changed. Because it was long overdue.
Also, we need to stop using the word “migrant”.
Rolling Alpha posts opinions on finance, economics, and the corporate life in general. Follow me on Twitter @RollingAlpha, and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/rollingalpha.