Different War, Different Status

Nelson, Soraya Sarhaddi. (2015, December 25) Struggling To Absorb Asylum-Seekers, Germany Steps Up Deportations. NPR News. Retrieved from http://www.npr.org/sections/parallels/2015/12/25/461025450/struggling-to-absorb-asylum-seekers-germany-steps-up-deportations

This article brings to light the discrepancy  between the German government’s words and what they’re actually doing.  Germany’s Chancellor Merkel, previously stated that they would do everything within their power to help those running from war torn countries.  Earlier this month however, Merkel held a conference with her Afghan counterpart where she announced that although they are helping out refugees, they would not be accept all Afghan’s as refugees and that they would have to deport them. “Economic reasons don’t qualify for Asylum,” Merkel. The probable reasoning behind this is that they are unable to handle the current influx coming in from a multitude of conflicts.  Seeing as they are already providing manpower in Afghanistan it would seem counter productive to double their efforts by helping them to move out of Afghanistan.  Instead they seem to say that Afghanistan need these individuals given that they are usually the young and educated.  But some Afghans argue that they have lost everything in their country and their is nothing to go back to.

I chose this source because of its contradicting title.  Germany is a well known humanitarian and major economic power in the EU, so I was not surprised at all that they were absorbing asylum seekers.  But the second bit, the “stepping up to deportations” made it interesting.  Why would they send Syrian refugees back to a, in all intents and purposes, a failed state?  A place, that if returned to, would force them to choose a side.  A side in which they may have no believe in but have to abide by because that is where they are geographically positioned.  Once I read the article their policy made sense.  As I understood it, they cannot afford to take all these refugees so they have to be more selective on who they give the refugee status to.  So they decide to kick out the Afghans.  It’s the politically astute move here.  Syria is in the forefront of the media and their refugees, so they can keep catering to them and keep up their world image.  And in case the German people start complaining or grumbling, they can say look we are not taking Afghans in.  Then Germany can point out that the reason is that Afghanistan needs its people plus their ground troops are doing such a great job and the money spent in Afghanistan was not a waste.  In this article the Afghans are noted as asylum seekers.  It’s interesting how a government entity can refute your reality and deem you as an economic migrant.  As Ruz (2015) quoted in her article that the 1951 Refugee Convention says a refugee “is any person who, owing to a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion, is outside the country of his/her nationality and is unable, or owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail himself/herself of the protection of that country”.  It’s a bad situation, and its demoralizing that one of the biggest European powers is deporting them when in their own eyes they are leaving Afghanistan because they fear for their lives.  Anyways, Germany needs to stop this bleeding heart syndrome they have going.  In my short lived experience in Germany, non-western migrants did not seem welcomed or the migrants self excluded themselves.  But their is a definite divide Germany must address if they will effectively integrate refugees into their country.

My reaction to the whole ordeal was that it makes sense to kick out Afghans.  To perform triage on refugees is a common thing to do and now their just taking it a step forward and actually deporting them.  Towards the end of the article it mentions something along the lines that deportation falls to the responsibility of the states and not the federal government.  I would like to know how exactly it falls on them.  Are the states responsible for tracking refugees withing their borders and then report them to a deportation authority?  Or does each state have their own customs and border patrols?  I’d like to know how the states feel about Merkel’s plans and if they are even willing to follow it.  In some cases, although the central government pressures the states, the states are able to push off their responsibility by some bureaucratic voodoo.



Meaning Of The Names

“Migrants, Refugees and Asylum Seekers: What’s the Difference?” The Guardian. Ed. Alan Travis. 28 Aug. 2015. Web. 26 Dec. 2015. <http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/aug/28/migrants-refugees-and-asylum-seekers-whats-the-difference&gt;.
The article goes back to the true meaning behind the labels we place on these people. Maybe somehow, along the way, we have had lost the real context of the names and confused people with wrong meanings. For one,  a migrant is someone who moves from one place to another in order to live in another country for more than a year. It differs from a refugee who who has fled conflict and who is rin need of protection because it is too dangerous for them to return to their home countries. Asylum Seeker is a different story and one I had just heard of while researching this. Asylum Seekers are refugees just waiting to get their claims processed.
I chose this to educate myself a little more about the topic that was presented. What exactly were refugees and was the name a proper one given. All my life i feel as if i heard the name immigrant much more. My misunderstanding was not knowing their was a difference between the two. My research showed the process, the simple little facts to access the type of names we can give people. Its more informative than anything else but its a good basic base to understanding the names of people going through these moves. In the blog reading , Alexander Betts, director of the Refugee Studies Centre at Oxford University says
“Online searches for migrant are at their highest since Google started collating this information in 2004. And in the past month (to 25 August using the Nexis database), the most commonly used term in UK national newspapers (excluding the Times, the Sun and the Financial Times) was migrant – with 2,541 instances. This was twice as popular as the next most frequently used word, refugee.”
So, here I found I wasn’t the only one curious and with a not so busy google search engine.My research only jump started my curiosity and led me to even more articles of the name given to several types of people with several types of situations. I wasn’t alone and found comments section filled with just as curious readers who were broadening their minds just as I was. I learned that there is a giant difference between Migrant and Refugees and Asylum Seekers was another words added to my growing vocabulary. Asylum Seekers was a key interest of mine, because I had always heard the word refugee and migrant but Asylum Seekers was all new and just ready to be explored. Even if the name is quite different than Refugee, the two aren’t that much different and just a waiting response of approval can change that. Asylum Seekers, to me, seem to be the ones seeking for the title of refugee. Seeking a title that holds hope for them and their families.