"One can’t fail to see the connection between the wave of migration and the events in Europe. Granted, not every immigrant is a terrorist, but in Europe we don’t pursue the right policy on immigration.”
The children of Syria's civil war take the war with them. Some escape, barely, into hostile neighboring lands. Others remain trapped in the warzone. None are safe. The White House, meanwhile, has sought to ban refugees from Syria and several other Muslim-majority countries, "until our country's representatives can figure out what the hell is going on,” in the words of President Trump.
The original refugee story of the holiday season was the nativity, with the migration of a young family in search of a place of sanctuary. Today's holiday refugee story begins with a similar quest to a destination unknown, but it started the day after Christmas, not in a ramshackle manger by the roadside in Bethlehem but at a retired airport in Berlin. A group of activists gathered at Templehof Airport to start a similarly perilous journey--a pilgrimage to the ancient city of Aleppo, marching back into a biblical land overtaken by humanitarian crisis.
The migrant encampment known as "The Jungle" in the port city of Calais, France, is set to shut down starting the week of October 24. The British and French authorities who administer the area have, after months of political squabbles, moved to demolish the vast shanty town that migrants have built here as they seek passage to the United Kingdom by road. For those stuck in limbo at the border, authorities have promised to move remaining residents to supposedly safer shelters.
There are some things that kids should never see. But for the children who cross borders by land or sea, they are exposed to everything, and they are spared no cruelty on the long, violent journey to what they’ve been told is a safe space.