Political Editors / April 5, 2016

Greece Returns Migrants, but Problems Persist

Too little, too late?

The process of returning migrants who are coalesced in Greece got underway this week. On Monday, 202 people, the majority of whom are Pakistani and Afghani nationalists, were shipped to Turkey under the terms laid out in a March deal. “At the same time,” USA Today reports, “16 Syrian refugees from Turkey arrived by plane in Hanover, Germany, according to the German press agency, DPA. That is in keeping with the EU-Turkey agreement, which stipulates that the EU will take in one legitimate asylum seeker from war-torn Syria currently in Turkey for each Syrian returned to Turkey.”

“The agreement will see the EU pay an additional $3 billion to Turkey for hosting refugees,” USA Today adds. “An estimated 2.7 million Syrians fleeing their country’s civil war are currently in neighboring Turkey, which has said it lacks resources to manage that many without EU aid.” Meanwhile, in Greece, “About 2,900 migrants are currently detained on Lesbos, a short ferry ride from Turkey, and more than 2,700 have said they would apply for asylum. That means they cannot be deported until they have a hearing, a process that could take weeks.”

There are other problems too, like what to do with the thousands of people who arrived before the deadline outlined in the deal. The Washington Post reports, “Around 51,000 migrants remained scattered in shelters and other accommodations across the country Monday. The vast majority arrived before March 20, meaning they can stay in Greece for now. But they have been barred from going any farther.”

It’s good that the EU has finally taking proactive steps to help resolve the situation, but these measures came too late. And because of that, the aftereffects will probably last for years to come. There’s nothing wrong with compassion. But many of the problems plaguing the region today — terrorism foremost among them — could have been avoided with a little foresight. In fact, some of the Paris attackers were refugees, and Muslim enclaves shielded the Brussels attacker too. It’s one of the many reasons to worry about importing Islamists to America, which unbeknownst to many is already happening.

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