The Great Escape

In much of Europe, people are a short ride from another country, and the Schengen Agreement, formed in 1985, allows free travel for citizens of 26 nations with “significant effect not just on daily life but on tourism, trade and commerce,” explains Robert Winder for New Statesman. “Those who designed it to liberate movement in Europe did not imagine international migration on today’s scale. Partly as a result of the speed of modern travel and communications, more than 240 million people now live outside the country of their birth.” Frontex reports almost 2 million illegal border crossings in 2015. Effects of climate change, conflict and poverty in the Middle East and Africa ensure no easy fix for mass migrations. Some argue that open borders threaten jobs and national security, as revealed by support for Brexit in the UK and populist leaders elsewhere. Winder points out that “politicians have only so much power.” Europe’s borders have long been fluid, migration will continue, and governments would do better to invest in development and peace rather than walls and security measures. – YaleGlobal

The Great Escape

Almost a 1,000 people drowned in the waters between Libya and Italy in May; migration is a response to conflict, climate change and poverty and won’t end soon
Robert Winder
Wednesday, June 22, 2016

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Robert Winder is the author of Bloody Foreigners: The Story of Immigration to Britain (Abacus).

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