In 2015, the world witnessed a “refugee crisis” when millions of Syrians, but also Afghans, Iraqis, Somalis, and others, fled their countries for Europe. That exodus continues today. A similar “migrant crisis” is happening in North and Central America, where thousands of Central Americans are fleeing their countries for the United States. The response by Europe and the United States has been dominated by fear. Instead of looking at this crisis as a humanitarian one--as a global issue that needs collaboration and forward-thinking-- we are responding with knee-jerk, defensive measures like building higher walls and detention centers that resemble prisons. The paper begins with a description of why people must flee. I describe the multiple factors at play that cause people to flee from violence (that often is tied to the U.S. or other global powers and their interventions) to persecution to civil war. Sharing three stories of refugees, I highlight why it is critical to see these situations not as a “migrant or refugee crisis” but as a “humanitarian crisis.” Finally, I discuss smarter solutions than walls, sharing both micro and macro-level solutions for the world over.
Basford, L. (2021). Whose crisis is it? Reconsidering the “migrant crisis”. In W. B. James, C. Cobanoglu, & M. Cavusoglu (Eds.), Advances in global education and research (Vol. 4, pp. 1–7). USF M3 Publishing. https://www.doi.org/10.5038/9781955833042
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