Teachers, scroll down for a quick list of key resources in our Teachers’ Toolkit, including a link to today’s MapMaker Interactive map.
- Why are so many immigrants seeking asylum in Europe? Take a look through this activity to learn more about push and pull factors in migration.
- Push: Like many migrants around the world, migrants to Europe are fleeing violence, financial hardship, and political unrest.
- Pull: Members of the European Union have some of the strongest, most stable governments and economies in the world. They also have extensive networks of social services for recent immigrants.
- How many people are attempting to migrate to Europe?
- According to the UN, this year, about 35,000 migrants have arrived by sea from North Africa. In 2014, about 220,000 crossed the Mediterranean.
- Where are immigrants to Europe coming from? Take a look at the second bookmark on today’s MapMaker Interactive map for some help, or take a look at these tables from Frontex, the European border agency.
- Overall, emigrants from Syria, Eritrea, Afghanistan, Kosovo, Mali, Albania, Gambia, Nigeria, Somalia, and unspecified sub-Saharan countries are seeking asylum or residency in the European Union.
- By sea, people are immigrating from Syria, Eritrea, Afghanistan, Mali, Gambia, Nigeria, Somalia, the Palestinian Territories, Senegal, and unspecified sub-Saharan countries.
- If most people are emigrating from Syria, why don’t they just go to Greece? It’s close to Syria.
- Greece and Bulgaria have invested in sophisticated fences to deter undocumented immigration. In 2014, more than twice the number of illegal border crossings were attempted by sea (220,194) than by land 63,338).
- How are immigrants migrating to Europe?
- A $644 million human trafficking operation that some observers have compared to a “multinational corporation” provides routes, transportation, forged documents, and even local connections once migrants have safely made it to Europe.
- Most smugglers depart for Italy from Libya or Tunisia, although many also try to cross (even swim) the narrow passage between Morocco and Spain.
- Smugglers demand high prices for their services, and migrants are often required to hand over their money and passports before beginning the journey across the Mediterranean. “The Syrian migration flow changed the game as far as human smuggling was concerned in Sub-Saharan Africa, because the Syrians had more money to pay,” says one expert. “They were ready to put down several thousand dollars at a time, whereas the African migrants could never pay more than $200 or $300. Those groups that could respond to that need began to profit very quickly and they were making millions of dollars.”
- In the final leg of the journey, smugglers have been blamed for crowding too many people on unsafe boats and rafts.
- Why are immigrants migrating to Italy?
- The islands of southern Italy, including Lampedusa and Sicily, are close to Libya and Tunisia.
- Italy has been accused of having a lax detention policy for new migrants—the country has been sanctioned by the European Union for not fingerprinting new arrivals.
- Why have the number of shipwrecks been increasing lately?
- Summer brings calmer waters and clearer skies, encouraging more people to attempt the journey.
- What happens to migrants after they have been rescued?
- According to CNN, “Once migrants arrive in Italy, they are supposed to be processed for political asylum and monitored until it is granted or denied.” Here’s a short policy brief on who qualifies for asylum or refugee status.
- Asylum seekers are supposed to be granted the right to a job within nine months of arrival.
- What happens if an immigrant is granted asylum?
- A person granted asylum or status as a refugee is allowed to legally live and work in the host nation. Terms and conditions vary throughout the countries of the European Union.
- What happens if an immigrant is not granted asylum?
- Immigrants can be deported back to their country of origin, or another state recognized by the European Union.
- How has the European Union responded to the recent deadly shipwrecks?
- According to the BBC, “The latest deaths come as naval chiefs from 26 European countries are due to discuss the migrant crisis at talks in Naples, southern Italy.”
- “EU nations agreed last month to triple funding for rescue operations run by European border agency Frontex, contribute more boats and patrol aircraft for rescue efforts, and look at ways to target smugglers’ boats with military strikes.”
- How do the fatalities in the Mediterranean compare to fatalities suffered by undocumented immigrants on the U.S.-Mexican border?
- This year, about 79% of all migrant deaths have occurred in the Mediterranean. The next-largest percentage of migrant deaths (7%) occurred in the Horn of Africa. Only 4% occurred on the U.S.-Mexico border.
BBC: The Mediterranean’s deadly migrant routes (great maps and graphics)
Nat Geo: Global Patterns of Human Migration
BBC: Why is EU struggling with migrants and asylum? (great Q&A)
(extra credit) BBC: Europe Migrant Crisis (great blanket coverage)