Mr Cameron has said Britain will only take in vulnerable refugees from camps around Syria, and not those who have crossed the Mediterranean into Europe over recent months.
So which side is right? But from the perspective of the people doing the leaving, that division isn’t almost as clear.
Migrants are everyone else.
Nearly ten million people in Syria have food insecurity meaning they do not know where their next meal is coming from. They can’t move on to more uncertain futures. From a legal perspective, the difference between the two terms is indeed enormous.
“The important sources of the mass popular movement are states which became shaky due to global political conclusions”.
But the UNHCR chief, Antonio Guterres, said that the practicalities of setting up such areas and then protecting them from the proliferation of warring parties were daunting. But if someone leaves one of those camps to go to Europe before being individually processed – or if someone leaves Syria directly for Europe – she’s not technically a refugee.
Only taking refugees who are still in the Middle East, after all, does nothing to ease the burden posed by the hundreds of thousands who are already in Europe.
Plans to share out 160,000 migrants throughout the 28-nation European Union using mandatory quotas are opposed by several member states, and mooted “hot spots” on Europe’s borders are controversial.
During the post-Vietnam War era, the US resettled far greater numbers, including a high of 207,000 refugees in 1980, individuals and citizens who today are a thriving part of our economy and communities. But it simply isn’t that straightforward. Kerry has cited post-9/11 screening requirements for refugees as well as the lack of congressional funding as reasons for the nation’s inability to embrace more asylum-seeking Syrians.
“Burden-sharing is urgently needed for all neighbouring countries”.
Moreover, unless the distribution of refugees across nations is viewed as fair, there is bound to be political opposition to acceptance of more refugees in countries such as Germany, France, Austria and Sweden.
Europe is now going through its biggest humanitarian crisis since World War II.
Legally speaking, someone who’s trying to get refugee status is called an asylum seeker.
Meanwhile, a bunch of restaurants in Budapest have found a mouth-watering way to challenge Hungarian attitudes to Europe’s migrant crisis – by serving up tasty dishes from Syria and other countries that are providing numerous refugees.
Yet the media portray them as desperate asylum seekers, running away from the barbarity of Islamic State.
The deeper problem: How do you draw the line between “coerced” and “forced?”
Both countries, however, offer generous welfare and housing provision to immigrants. But ultimately, asylum seekers make the choice to leave, too. The unfortunate truth is that, though they were dictators, they maintained a few stability in the region by their ruthlessness. According to the United Nations regulations, only those fleeing persecution or war qualify as refugees. And of course we need to attend to the immediate needs of people who are stranded. Certainly, the news and images of drowned migrants were terrible; but the tragedy occurring south of Italy, Greece, and Malta, seemed a long way off.
The USA said in September that it would boost the number of refugees it accepts from around the world to 100,000 annually, up from 70,000 now, as part of an effort to help Europe cope with a migration crisis.
“Experience shows these kind of situations are very risky and we had the tragic event in Srebrenica [when more than 8,000 people were massacred after a UN-protected town in Bosnia was overrun in 1995]”.
Lebanon has taken in 1.1 million refugees this year, making it the country with the highest per-capita concentration of refugees, and marking a “25 percent increase in the country’s 4.4 million population”, reported CNN.