Despite the gravity of what they are doing, the dire impact on the countries involved, and the weight of the laws they are breaking, many young refugees trying to cross the borders to Germany or Sweden look at their goal as merely a “game”. A game to be played continued repeatedly defeat after defeat, regardless of how many times they break the rules so long as they win. And all through this, they get the sympathies of the bleeding hearts of the liberals, even as they create a lot of law enforcement, logistics, and economic problems for the countries they see as ultimate “prizes” for their games.
The game can take many forms, too, from “train game” where refugees hide in shipping containers to “forest game” where people sneak through the trees; to “truck game” where refugees wait for truck drivers near the borders to fall asleep or pass out drunk in their cabs, then refugees would open the container at the back of the truck and sneak in. And then there’s also the “airplane game” where refugees use fake passports but it proves to be the most expensive of the games.
It is a dangerous game that should not be played by men, much fewer children, and minors, but in this game youth below the majority age and children are very much involved and perilously playing.
The game can be described as operating like a deranged version of snakes and ladders. Refugees and migrants are, of course, the players with an eye on the “prize” which is to cross the borders. Then there are the smugglers whom refugees and migrants pay at various points to aid them. Smugglers are facilitators but also dangerous and sometimes exploitative operators. Police and border agents – who are only fulfilling their duties to enforce laws- are considered the villains. The game is over when the players are caught and sent back to the last country on their journey.
The “game” is widespread in Europe, with asylum seekers trying illegal entry into the continent. Humanitarian organizations are even warning that warmer spring will likely bring a significant increase in the number of refugees and migrants trying to enter Europe illegally. Already, countries like Italy and Serbia are reporting the higher number of arrivals over the first quarter of 2017. UNICEF is especially alarmed about unaccompanied minors traveling to and through Europe in record numbers.
There are asylum services but many of the ‘players’ refuse to register for fear that they might be moved out of the city from which it is easiest for them to sneak into the EU countries of Croatia and Hungary. They don’t mind even if they stay in Barracks, an abandoned series of warehouses in central Belgrade where around 1,200 men and even boys are sleeping rough. The conditions at the Barracks are grim and horrible. Men and boys use the Barracks as a staging ground to advance to the next level of the game- that is to sneak into Hungary or Croatia. Many will fail several times but they will keep on trying to “win” the game.
In Greece, most of the nearly 50,000 refugees and migrants stranded there have played the game at one point or another.
The problems are real and massive. But for liberals, only the states are to be blamed, and illegal refugees and migrants who choose to enter countries’ borders by breaking laws are the only ones deserving of sympathies, even those who drag and involve children and minors with their dangerous journeys. They even say that crossing the borders will only perpetuate the game and ups its deadly stakes. They also blame the states for not protecting enough the children caught in the game.
One liberal working for an international NGO even said that without safe and legal pathways to migration, desperate people will take desperate measures to get to where they need to go. But is it not the thing- that there are, in fact, safe and legal pathways to migration that can be availed through systems and processes in place, but many refugees and migrants who even drag and involve innocent and helpless children, opt to play the dangerous game, and liberals with their bleeding hearts, chose to cheer for them?