By Eddy Montilla.
In Morocco, illegal immigrants use an open boat called “Pateras” to cross the Strait of Gibraltar from Morocco trying to reach Spain. In Central America, each year, thousands of migrants from different countries ride the roofs of “the Train of Death” or ‘La Bestia” (the beast) on their way north, braving inhuman conditions for a chance at crossing into the United States. Similar situation can be seen in Lampedusa where boatloads of African migrants try to reach the Italian island and in some parts of Europe too. Many people are leaving their countries and becoming illegal immigrants in other places with better economic position.
In order to understand the problem of illegal immigration, you should ask yourself the following questions: Would you like to leave your family, friends and hometown? No. Would you like to live in a place where people call you a foreigner constantly and treat you with disdain and suspicion? No. Would you like to go to a place where people think different, talk a different language and eat different food? NO, no and no. Then, it is obvious that despite being some cases that denote ambition or envy, the main reason for migrants to leave their country is poverty.
Tourists are always welcome because they generate important profits, but I don’t know any developed country that gives a hearty welcome to migrants. From citizens to governments, people look at migrants distrustfully. And how all of them pretend to solve this problem? Building a border fence like in the United States? Using bus and van ads with the slogan “go home or face arrest” like in England? Illegal immigration has become some kind of stampede, a train with no brakes, and the only way to stop it is if we change the unfair world economic order that prevails today, an order that elevates some nations and groups of people over another. Poor countries are responsible for their poverty, but the economic order imposed by an elite group of countries only helps to perpetuate injustice and poverty in other places and increase the number of people who eventually become migrants.
The excessive wealth of few is undoubtedly the cause of the misery of many. In some places, three or four decades ago, immigrants numbered thousands; today we have to talk about millions of them. Either out of ignorance or prejudice, if you are one of those people who don’t like to see migrants in your country, you should work for a better world economic order and press your government to move in the same direction. If you don’t do that, then learn to coexist with your new neighbors who are migrants because if many of them have already entered your country, legal or illegally, I can assure you that many more are packing their clothes and are ready waiting for an opportunity to enter.
This article was originally published in the digital newspaper WORLD AND OPINION with Eddy Montilla.
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