It’s not a great feeling to be stuck in a state of limbo. You could go somewhere or chose not to but you won’t ever wish to be stuck in limbo. No one wishes to be in the inexplicable ‘in-between’ scenario.
Above the things that one fears, after all, is this feeling of uncertainty.
But then, there are some whose lives are riddled with despair, fraught by the challenges arising from fear of uncertainty. And if one were to truly understand the meaning behind this then perhaps touching upon the lives of migrants in Europe may not be a bad idea at all.
If there’s something that, it could be said, constantly makes some form of news then it’s that which pertains to the migrants in Europe. It could be said that after Europe opened its doorways with much glee and applause to hundreds and thousands of refugees and migrants that came calling back in 2015, there seems to have been quite a dramatic shift in the turn of events concerning countless of these lives.
With the rise of the far-right in European politics, particularly over the course of the past half a decade (a seismic shift in socio-political events witnessed and experienced in countries like Germany and Austria), it can’t be said that one can see too many refugees being welcomed in Europe.
And where it stands at present, then the fate of the refugees notwithstanding, there’s dilemma surrounding thousands of migrants in Europe. Experts note that Europe has begun to face a new kind of migration challenge: it’s not about those who have ‘arrived’, but rather concerns itself with those who have been ‘told they can’t stay.’
So what does this mean or boil down to? In countries like Germany, Italy, France, there are several individuals who have been living and working illegally for several years. On some occasions, people have been found doing several odd jobs for 3-4 years. But theirs is no valid or legal documentation.
What happens to them now? Well, for once, it seems, Europe has woken up to this new challenge. In taking fierce corrective actions, hundreds and thousands of migrants are being denied in their bids for protection.
So what happens when a migrant has been denied protection? Well, due to several cumulative problems such as logistical costs, geopolitical undercurrents, a vast majority of migrants in Europe cannot leave the continent.
This is precisely why their situation is akin to an individual stuck in a ‘no man’s land.’ This further concerns itself with myriad existential problems. Because there is no legal validation or authority of their living in any part of Europe, they are denied right to housing. But the problems only multiply from hereon.
With no right to housing, there are no work permits either. The opportunities to go anywhere else are also scant and rare. While some manage to scrape away furtively, there’s no question of survival in the long term.
The Washington Post, in elaborating about the issue brought out a telling stat. It shared that while as of the last year, Italian Interior Minister sent a warning to 100,000 migrants, promising them that they’d be sent home, the country deported fewer than 7,000.
An immigration lawyer, speaking on the plight of such people perhaps aptly conveyed the point, “these people live here without rights, you could call them ghost people.”
Meanwhile, in Germany, a law has been passed that aims at what its interior minister Horst Seehofer calls, “faster, more effective deportation laws.”
European leaders estimate that they will ultimately reject more than 1 million people who arrived during the migration surge and sought asylum. Migrants can also receive orders to leave if they never apply for asylum or if they abandon their claims in the middle of the process.
That said, an epidemic that has engulfed several European countries is that mostly all nations have failed to execute swift, prompt deportations. The future, therefore, of these ailing lives is mired in uncertainty.