This is a completely fucked up situation with a “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” dilemma.
I was a refugee once for a few months during the war in former Yugoslavia, as our house was destroyed by shelling and overrun by the Yugoslav Army. I have to admit, and I’m ashamed to admit it, that something irks me about the behavior of the refugees I see in the media.
When we were in Austria that winter, I distinctly remember the behavior of other refugees, almost exclusively women and children - they were dazed, sitting on gym mattresses mechanically eating the food provided, most of the elderly women quietly sobbing. For us kids and young teenagers it was fun in a weird sort of way, so many people crammed in one space and so much going on you’d constantly be running around.
There were no long term plans. People tried to contact relatives living in Western Europe and the US, stretch out the meager savings brought with them. No one among us cared that we were in a shitty suburb of a small nondescript Austrian town, just that we were alive, warm and had something to sleep on. The main concern was that it was December and that we’d miss out the rest of the school year and fall behind.
On the other hand, I see here radically different behavior from these refugees, many of them obviously not Syrian. They are organized with the clear goal of reaching Germany, Austria or Sweden. Nothing less will do for them and they tend to become belligerent VERY easily. I don’t know, perhaps the times have changed.
Most of them tend to burn their ID’s and passports before crossing from Serbia into Hungary and refuse to be processed there as it would mean they would be repatriated to Hungary should their asylum request be denied. What’s wrong with Hungary if you just escaped war? From what I could gleam from the media, the majority are young men and quite a lot have a past history detention and deportation from other EU countries.
Also, these people have paid considerable sums even by Western standards to smugglers, crossed five or six countries to reach Macedonia, Serbia and Hungary. Busing them to “desired” Austria means that you shafting thousands of Syrians in camps in Turkey and Lebanon waiting for their asylum applications to be processed and rewarding “initiative” via smuggler’s channels.
But then I see pictures of women trudging along the roads with children in their hands…
So I don’t know, I’m split on the issue along rational/emotional lines.