sábado, 5 de septiembre de 2015

Migration is not a crime

I’ve been reading loads lately about the so called ‘migration crisis’. Questions about whether to call these people migrants or refugees have arisen and although I understand the difference, and the importance to make this difference clear to the general public, I would go a little bit further and say that in the end, the difference should not matter. Why? Because migrants or refugees, they –we- are all people. People whose lives matter, who are hungry and scared or simply tired and who are just looking for a better life. And that is not a crime. It’s a right … right?

I understand that dealing with migration is not easy. It’s hard for everybody to adjust. It’s scary living
together with “the others”. But there are so many misconceptions about the phenomenon of migration, not to mention a great deal of convenient historic memory loss. Has not Europe gone out before in search of better worlds? Has it not been a perpetrator and accomplice in the invasion of foreign lands and destruction of other peoples’ way of life? Don’t their citizens still feel welcome in the very countries they have plundered before? Are they not still entitled to this crazy post-colonialist white privilege thing wherever they go?

But ok. Let’s forget about that since it’s not you, young Europe, who colonized half the world 500 years ago. Let’s hear what people have to say today.  The other day I read a comment on Facebook saying that most of these ‘migrants’ looked very well dressed to be actually ‘escaping war’. The author of this brilliant comment then questioned whether they were actually endangered in their own country or just wanted to come and have a taste of what he called “supposedly rich countries”.  To that man, and to all of those that think like him I say: So what?

So what if they didn’t leave at gunpoint. Some immigrants did... those who we call refugees. Some others just wanted to try something new. So what? I am an immigrant. I left my country because I don’t like how things are there. Was I starving? No. Was I in constant death threat? No. But I wasn’t as happy there as I am here. Is that a crime? Have I ruined anybody’s life in any way? I work six days a week. I pay taxes. I try to make people happy at my job and every chance I get, I try to share with them my views on migration, drugs, prejudice, poverty, war; because, in one way or another, I’ve been a victim or a witness of it all. I just happened to be blessed with an EU passport, but a day doesn’t go by without me thinking of all those who are as desperate to leave as I was or even more, and are not able to do so.

What kind of world are we living in, that people have to be prisoners in their own countries?

So it doesn’t matter really, if they’re migrants, or refugees. If they want water and food, or just a better paid job. If they are running for their lives or maybe just looking for a good university to go to. Migration is not a crime. The search of a better life is not a crime. And if we fail to support the search for happiness of every human being, then we will not be worthy of our own.  

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