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Rutgers University Professor Talks Refugee Crisis To Ole Miss Students

croft instituteMost people can agree that the statistics involving the refugee crisis are uncomfortable, however, Rutgers University professor Ariane Chebel d’Appollonia has dedicated her life to researching and educating people on the issue.

D’Appollonia spoke about the crisis, its origins and possible solutions, Monday, Feb. 8, at the Croft Institute for International Studies. Her focus includes immigration politics, anti-discrimination, security issues and European policies.

“If we want to curve illegal immigration, we need to reform legal immigration,” d’Appollonia said.

European states are currently facing an enormous crisis, with over one million refugees arriving by land and sea in 2015.

This issue has become increasingly problematic over the past four decades.

In 1985, the Schengen Agreements created Europe’s borderless Schengen area. Unfortunately, border patrol issues led to more illegal immigrants and more asylum seekers.

croft“These agreements were designed to secure movements for nice people, not refugees,” d’Appollonia said.

Following in the 1990s, d’Appollonia said EU’s main focus was “to stop illegal immigration, and to curve legal immigration, without any consideration for the rest of the world.”

Unfortunately, this led to more refugee issues and the realization that strengthening border patrol was not so effective.

Today, d’Appollonia suggests that Europe take initiative. Currently, EU has no immigration policies and everything is based off of European standards.

“My argument is to say that the current crisis is the result of security rhetoric, the framing of immigration as a security issue,” d’Appollonia said. “Policy makers pretend that border controls will solve all the problems…it’s physically and governmentally impossible.”

When border patrol fails, and the refugees enter the EU at such large rates, the risk of terrorists entering the states also increases.

However, terrorists’ attacks cannot be prevented with border patrol.

“We need better intelligence, and if they [EU states] want to fix the problem then it should be at the top of the agenda and funding,” d’ Appollonia said.

In order the fix the current situation, EU member states may need to establish an immigration policy and define what the term “refugee” means.

“One million people are not actually refugees,” d’Appollonia said.

The majority of refugees arriving to the EU come from the East and Central Mediterranean countries, as well as the Western Balkan countries including Albania, Bosnia, Kosovo and Serbia.

Most migrants enter the EU trying to claim asylum. Asylum-seekers are people who fear persecution in their own countries, so they migrate to other countries in hope of qualifying for international protection.

“Forty percent of asylum-seekers from Bosnia and Slovakia were deported as soon as they arrived from Germany,” d’Appollonia said.

In 2015, there were 942,400 asylum claims. The majority of these asylum-seekers are simply illegal economic immigrants, or, in other words, people who flee one country for another with hopes of improving their living standards and job opportunities.

Only about five percent of asylum claims are actually approved. Any refugee from the Western Balkan countries have zero chance of being accepted into the EU if they claim asylum.

While it may seem harsh that the EU turns so many people away, the reality is that their policies are not designed to deal with such a large influx of refugees.

The death toll in 2015 of migrants who drowned in the Mediterranean was 3,695.

The EU tries very hard to save people, but they are just too under-equipped.

“They [people] say that we let kids die, we let people die,” d’Appollonia said. “We can’t let all the refugees in because that would go against EU’s values.”


Cambria Abdeen is a intern for hottytoddy.com and attends the Meek School of Journalism and New Media. She can be reached at cambria.abdeen@yahoo.com.

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