Europe’s refugee crisis

The pictures of three-year-old Syrian refugee Aylan Kurdi’s lifeless body washed ashore on a Turkish beach in early September led to an outpouring of charity and solidarity with the thousands of refugees and migrants that continue to pour into Europe. Yet even as thousands of refugees and migrants were placing their lives in peril each day in an attempt to reach Europe, European leaders continued to erect increasingly punitive legal and physical barriers designed to push back those seeking asylum. 

Aylan Kurdi’s death—one of 3,138 migrants who died or went missing in the Mediterranean by mid-October 20151—brought home the sharp reality of the scale of the refugee crisis currently impacting Europe and beyond. According to a June report from the United Nations High Commission on Refugees (UNHCR), the number of people uprooted from their homes globally by war and persecution in 2014 was the largest on record. Some 59.5 million people were classified as “forcibly displaced” at the end of 2014, a rise of more than 8 million from 2013—the biggest ever jump seen in a single year. 2 As of early October 2015, the figure had grown even higher—to well over 60 million—and was expected to continue to rise rapidly.3 In all, the UNHCR expects a 40 percent increase this year in the number of people fleeing to Europe by boat. 

Estimates suggest that 80 percent of the refugees currently begging entrance to Europe are from Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan—countries decimated by decades of Western imperialism and civil war, as well as the violence of dictatorial regimes like Syria’s Bashar al-Assad and the reactionary forces of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS). But the Middle East is by no means the only area of the globe impacted. One out of every 122 people on the planet is now classified as either a refugee, internally displaced, or seeking asylum. In addition to the 15 million uprooted in Iraq and Syria, there are more than a dozen other conflicts displacing people around the world, including South Sudan, Libya, Yemen, Burundi, Nigeria, Congo, and Central America. Congo alone has 2.7 million displaced people.4 UN High Commissioner António Guterres warned in June, “We are witnessing a paradigm change, an unchecked slide into an era in which the scale of global forced displacement as well as the response required is now clearly dwarfing anything seen before.”5

The number of those seeking entrance into Europe pales in comparison to those displaced internally and throughout the Arab world. Of Syria’s population of some 20 million, for example, an estimated 7.6 million are now classified as “internally displaced,” and 4 million have been forced to flee to other countries in the region, including Lebanon (which has taken in more than 1.4 million Syrian refugees),6 Turkey (which has taken in some 2.2 million), 7 and Jordan. One out of five people now in Lebanon, a country one hundred times smaller than Europe, is a refugee.8

Wealthy Gulf states have done much to fuel the fighting in the region but little to help refugees whose plight has worsened from their actions. Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Kuwait have funded sectarian Sunni armies in Syria (including, until recently, ISIS). Private donors in these states continue to fund ISIS.9 Saudi Arabia’s bombing campaign and naval blockade in Yemen—which brings together a coalition that includes Egypt, Morocco, Sudan, and the Gulf states, and has the backing of Britain and the United States—has created a humanitarian disaster in that country. One million are internally displaced, and 80 percent of the population is in need of food, water, and medical aid, according to aid agencies.10

In fact, no Gulf state is a signatory to the UN Convention on Refugees. No Syrian refugees have been resettled in Kuwait, Bahrain, or the United Arab Emirates, despite those countries’ financial and political interest in Syria. Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, Oman, and the United Arab Emirates say that they have provided hundreds of millions of dollars in aid to the United Nations for refugee relief—yet they remain unwilling to take in significant numbers of refugees. Aid groups point out that Saudi Arabia and Qatar have a particular responsibility given that they have helped fuel the Syrian civil war by financially sponsoring various rebel groups against Assad.11 Saudi Arabia claims to have donated hundreds of millions of dollars of humanitarian aid to countries like Jordan and Lebanon and to have given 100,000 Syrians residency since the beginning of the civil war. One Saudi official explained that the country had not publicized its aid and asylum to refugees because it did not want “to show off or brag in the media.”12 

According to the New York Times, some 200,000 Syrian civilians have now been killed in the course of more than four years of the Syrian civil war.13 Some 19,000 have been killed in air attacks alone carried out by Assad’s government, which have deliberately targeted populated areas with so-called “barrel bombs,” large containers filled with explosives and projectiles designed to inflict maximum damage and drive survivors from their homes. Creating refugees seems to be a conscious part of Assad’s strategy.14

The US government has not taken any responsibility for its own oversized role in the creation of the refugee crisis in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, or elsewhere—a crisis resulting from its own military involvement or through its backing of regional players responsible for worsening the crisis. Years of sanctions, invasion, occupation, and air strikes since 9/11, as well as the deliberate fomenting of sectarian divisions to prop up various US-friendly powers, have been chief drivers of these refugee crises. Additionally, US opposition to the Arab Spring revolutions included stoking and supplying various counterrevolutionary forces in the Middle East with weapons, adding to the brutality. 

As of September 2015, however, the United States had taken in only 1,243 Syrian refugees since the start of the civil war in 2011.15 The Obama administration announced that by 2017 the United States would increase the total number of asylum-seekers it takes each year to 100,000, up from its current 70,000 limit—a drop in the bucket of what’s needed and what the world’s superpower could provide.16 (And it’s almost certain that congressional Republicans—who have already expressed opposition to increasing the number of refugees to the United States from the Middle East—will block any move to increase the number of refugees.17)

Russian air strikes in Syria—along with the current US bombing campaign—will almost certainly continue to exacerbate the refugee crisis, as will the potential of a Russian ground attack. The Turkish government has estimated that 3 million more may attempt to flee Aleppo and the surrounding area as a result.18 For these refugees, however, the repression and danger they face in their attempts to cross into Europe still pale in comparison to what they face back home—and will continue to prompt thousands to attempt to flee.

The situation in Europe
According to the International Organization for Migration (IOM), by mid-October the number of those crossing daily into Greece took a sharp upturn, reaching 7,000 a day, including more than 2,000 a day on the island of Lesbos.19 Boats and life jackets litter beaches and bodies of those drowned at sea sometimes wash ashore. As of October 20, 650,000 refugees had arrived by sea in Italy, Greece, Spain, and Malta in 2015.20 If they survive the perilous journey from their country of origin to a place where they can cross the Mediterranean and cobble enough money together to pay smugglers for passage on overcrowded boats, refugees arriving in Europe are again subjected to a new litany of hardships and humiliations.

Although they have been applied inconsistently depending on the country, European Union regulations stating that those seeking asylum must register in the country in which they first land has meant that refugees are often forced into squalid, overcrowded camps with few resources while they wait to complete a backlogged registration process before attempting to move onto other countries. Some 20,000 refugees were living “rough” on the island of Lesbos, which has a regular population of 85,000, as of mid-September, waiting for papers allowing them to travel, leading junior interior minister Yiannis Mouzalas to characterize the situation as being “on the verge of explosion.”21

Across Europe, refugees in and out of detention centers are living in the open air, lack adequate food, water, and medical care, and are facing serious repression from security forces—in some cases on both sides of various borders. For those who take their chances with smugglers to take them further into Europe, there are other dangers. In Austria in late August, seventy-one refugees suffocated in the back of a refrigerator truck abandoned on a highway between Budapest and Vienna.22 In France, hundreds of refugees have attempted to walk through the Channel Tunnel or even cling to trains in an attempt to cross.23 In Calais, thousands of migrants who once were housed in an old hangar were, in the face of British accusations that the French were “coddling” migrants, forced to live in makeshift cardboard slums its residents call “The Jungle.”24

Overwhelmingly, the first impulse of various governments—regardless of official rhetoric about respecting refugee rights—has been to clamp down on border security with barbed wire, border fences, police, and armed guards, and to make life as difficult as possible in an effort, they hope, to deter more people from coming. 

The crackdown has been particularly brutal in Hungary, which has attempted to prevent refugees from crossing into countries like Germany and France. Following the implementation on September 15, 2015, of a hastily passed law that criminalizes people who cross the border without authorization—with a penalty of up to three years in prison—Hungarian police escalated their attacks on refugees. Video from the border on September 15 and 16 showed Hungarian riot police using tear gas and water cannons indiscriminately against desperate refugees—including families with small children—clamoring to be allowed into the country from neighboring Serbia.25 Former Hungarian Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsány said he believed “without a doubt” that current Prime Minister Victor Orban ordered the September 16 attack. Gyurcsány said he had also seen video showing Hungarian police opening a gate at one border crossing, and then deliberately and cruelly attacking the refugees who walked through, using tear gas, pepper spray, and water cannons.26

On September 21, Orban’s right-wing Fidesz Party blocked with the far-right nationalist Jobbik Party to pass a law that allows the military to use even greater force against border-crossers, including “rubber bullets, pyrotechnical devices, tear gas grenades and net guns,” according to a statement on the Hungarian parliament’s website. Using the familiar rhetoric of the far Right, Orban declared, “The migrants are not just banging on our door: they’re breaking it down.”27

While the crackdown has been the most dramatic and severe in Hungary,28 governments across Europe, from wealthy nations like Germany to smaller and poorer countries in the Balkans, have responded by tightening their borders and attempting to discourage the influx of asylum seekers through physical and legal barriers. Yet the fact that such punitive measures will not stop desperate refugees from begging admittance to Fortress Europe will not deter governments from continuing to implement them. With the numbers of those seeking asylum fleeing to Europe set to spike before winter weather sets in, the situation is set to get worse, with an increasing likelihood of greater repression by European governments and even greater peril for refugees forced to take desperate risks to find ways into Europe.

They have no solution
Despite the escalation of the crisis, Europe’s leaders are offering little in the way of concrete solutions. Among the measures that could help stem the crisis are the dramatic escalation of aid for refugees both in European nations as well as in the Middle East; an opening of borders, allowing refugees to settle in countries of their choosing; and an end to imperialist aggression. 

Yet not only have Europe’s governments been slow to provide the money needed to prevent refugee suffering inside Europe, aid promised to the Middle East for refugees has been slow to materialize. One of the main drivers of the refugee crisis has been the deterioration of conditions for millions of Syrian refugees in Lebanon, Jordan, and Turkey. Yet there has been a sharp fall in refugee aid funding by UN member nations, leaving the UNHCR budget 10 percent below its 2014 levels. By the end of August, the United Nations Syria Regional Refugee and Resilience Plan had received only 37 percent of the $4.5 billion it had appealed for this year.29 Likewise, the UN’s World Food Program had received less than 40 percent of its needed 2015 funding by mid-October, forcing it to cut monthly stipends to Syrians in regional refugee camps by half, and to halt aid to 230,000 Syrian refugees living in Jordan. In all, international donors have promised $7.9 billion to help Syrian refugees, but have only provided $2.8 billion.30

Rather than pledging to take in significant numbers of refugees, EU leaders at a meeting in Brussels in mid-October agreed to offer the Turkish government an estimated 3 billion euros, visa-free travel to Europe for Turkish citizens beginning in 2016, and the resumption of negotiations over Turkey’s bid to join the EU in exchange for the Turkish government cracking down on allowing refugees to leave the country for Europe. The plan calls for Turkey to set up more camps for asylum seekers, effectively outsourcing the processing of refugees.31 “Protection of our external borders is the main priority today,” Donald Tusk, the president of the European Council, said at the meeting.32

That is the cynical political calculus that EU politicians like German Chancellor Angela Merkel, British Prime Minister David Cameron, and others are engaging in: Exactly how little can they do for the refugees while not inciting public anger over their callousness?

In the UK, after Prime Minister David Cameron stated, “I don’t think there is an answer that can be achieved simply by taking more and more refugees,”33 a public outcry forced him to announce a plan for the UK to take in up to 20,000 Syrian refugees by 2020 (a still pitifully small number). Incredibly, Syrian refugee children who are allowed into to the UK under the new measures could be deported when they reach age eighteen and others could face deportation after five years.34

In Germany, Chancellor Angela Merkel has won accolades from some in the media (and talk of a possible Nobel Peace Prize35) for her comparatively welcoming stance toward refugees. Merkel, in fact, has been pointed about calling for other EU countries to take on more of the refugee burden, despite the fact that Germany is the EU’s richest country. While it’s true that Germany had quietly relaxed restrictions stating that refugees must be fingerprinted and registered in the first European Union country they come to before being allowed to move onto another country, Merkel has only reluctantly spoken out in defense of refugee rights—preferring to at first stay silent amidst days of far right violence, including arson attacks against refugee centers and racist protests by the far right in the city of Heidenau.36 In mid-September, the German government ordered temporary border restrictions to cut off rail travel from Austria and instituted spot checks on train cars—signs that it too was cracking down on the number of refugees and migrants allowed in. 

Drawing a parallel to the way in which Western governments, in particular the United States, refused at the 1938 Evian conference to take in Jews fleeing Hitler’s Germany, the United Nation’s High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, told Britain’s Guardian newspaper that Western governments are acting similarly today:

It’s just a political issue that is being ramped up by those who can use the excuse of even the smallest community as a threat to the sort of national purity of the state.… Indeed, at the time [of the Evian conference], the Australian delegate said that if Australia accepted large numbers of European Jews they’d be importing Europe’s racial problem into Australia. I’m sure that in later years, he regretted that he ever said this—knowing what happened subsequently—but this is precisely the point. If we cannot forecast the future, at least we have the past as a guide that should wisen us, alert us to the dangers of using that rhetoric.37

Capitalism and migration
Refugees and migrants do have certain rights under international law. In reality, however, these rights are constantly constrained by the role migrants play as a surplus labor force under capitalism. Neoliberalism, with its rapid, unconstrained model of economic growth, views migrants and refugees as both a potential drain on social services and state spending, as well as an important potential pool of low-wage labor. Increasingly, EU leaders have attempted to classify refugees as “economic migrants”—limiting their rights to asylum, permanent settlement, and social services, and providing a legal basis for eventual deportation. Political and business leaders are happy to have a pool of migrants and refugees as a solution to labor shortages and as a means for driving down wages for all workers. In essence, migrant labor, hemmed in by restrictive nationalist laws, become a cheap exploitable labor force that can be utilized when the economy is booming and deported when migrants are no longer “desirable.”

Merkel’s half-hearted welcoming stance toward refugees, for example, can be chalked up, at least in part, to the hungry way German capital is eyeing the influx of refugees and migrants as a potential solution to Germany’s labor shortage—estimated to be 600,000 workers and growing.38 In September, German employers including Deutsche Post and the automaker Daimler renewed calls for a relaxation of German labor laws to allow asylum-seekers to quickly enter the work force.39 German conservatives in Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union likewise have called for a relaxation of minimum wage laws for refugees—a move that will likely be used to pit native-born against immigrant labor in an attempt to drive down wages overall.40 Meanwhile, German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaüble has floated the idea of budget cuts as well as cuts to refugee benefits41 in order to keep Germany’s budget balanced. 42

Fears over refugees’ use of social services and entry into the workforce in various EU nations are being heavily exploited by the right wing, which has accused refugees of attempting to exploit comparatively generous European welfare systems. Center-Right politicians have been more than willing to play to these racist sentiments or at the very least stay silent about them until it becomes too politically costly not to say something. In the UK, as Deborah Orr wryly pointed out in The Guardian, at a time of record profits, today there are a record number of people with low-paying jobs. Trying to justify that is not always an easy feat for mainstream politicians:

For some reason, however, both Labour and the Conservatives have shied away from explaining to “ordinary people” that immigrants provide a steady supply of labor, stopping “ordinary” wages and expectations from getting out of hand. It’s a strategy that has placed Britain in the extraordinary position whereby it now has a record number of people in low-paid jobs amid historically low levels of wage inflation. That’s a hard “achievement” for any political party to sell. So they simply don’t try.43

Sensing an opportunity, the far Right has stepped forward to scapegoat refugees and migrants. Across Europe, forces including France’s National Front, Britain’s UK Independence Party, Germany’s PEGIDA, and others have attempted to capitalize on racist and Islamophobic sentiments by whipping up hysteria about refugees being “jihadis,” and taking the jobs and resources of the native-born. As the UNHCR’s Guterres noted, the fact that more than two-thirds of refugees worldwide are Muslim puts a special emphasis on the need to counter “the backward narrowness of xenophobia.”44

As Fran Cetti notes in International Socialism Journal, the backdrop to today’s crisis was the establishment of the “Fortress Europe” model of the mid-nineties, in which the increased internal freedom of movement and economic cooperation within the EU went hand-in-hand with borders that were secured against external migrants. Refugee crises are seen by EU leaders not as requiring a humanitarian response, but instead a military and security solution—even as the economic policies of neoliberalism and imperialism continue to fuel refugee crises on a global scale. 

The imperial ambitions of Western nations, in particular the United States—but also its junior partners in the “war on terror” including Britain, France, and Germany—have created a number of destabilized “failed states,” particularly in the Middle East and Africa, that are directly responsible for fueling the crisis. 

Cetti details this dynamic; 

The people arriving at Europe’s outer borders are the frontline victims of neoliberalism. The majority, particularly those from North Africa, are escaping the devastation wrought in their countries by more than 30 years of neoliberal policies. These policies, however, cannot be separated from the wars and conflicts that are, in many cases, the most immediate cause of the current wave of displacement....

The fact that many countries are locked into intractable, long-term conflicts adds to the effects of the vast global disparities in income levels, health, education, and life expectancy between countries and regions. These disparities have soared over the last thirty years of neoliberal policies, reaching a point today when they have never been higher. Poverty, unemployment and lack of opportunity have been entrenched in these countries by decades of debt “restructuring” imposed by Western states and financial institutions. The collapse of local economies and of formal and informal systems of survival in many countries in the Global South, and the unrelenting rise in rural dispossessions and urban unemployment, generate and are compounded by conflict and insecurity. 

The idea therefore that “genuine” refugees can be differentiated from “economic migrants” is, and always has been, specious: in a sense, all migration from these areas of the world is forced migration.45 

While Western nations make pronouncements about having a responsibility to “protect” civilians when they want a pretext for invasion, they ignore that supposed responsibility when it comes to aiding people displaced by their wars. When he recently announced that he was halting the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan—leaving thousands of US troops in the country through the end of his term in 2017—Barack Obama justified it on the basis of Washington’s “commitment to Afghanistan and its people.”46 Yet he and other Western leaders have remained silent about any commitment to the millions of Afghan refugees created as a result of the unending war.

Solidarity vs. xenophobia
The hope for pushing back against the scapegoating of refugees lies in the kind of solidarity and mass action that has begun to take shape among those Europeans demanding that their governments do more to address the crisis. Across Europe, hundreds of thousands have signed petitions and tens of thousands have protested their governments, demanding that refugees be let in. Many have also offered to open their own homes to refugee families—in defiance of government claims that there is no place for refugees to go.47

From Greece to Hungary to Austria and beyond, ordinary people have organized to gather and distribute blankets, food, toys, and other donations for arriving refugees.48 In many instances, ordinary people have attempted to shelter refugees from abuses by smugglers, the state, and right-wing forces by volunteering to drive or accompany refugees on their journeys—even at the risk of their own arrest.49 Thousands have turned out for protests big and small—from acts of solidarity like welcoming trains and buses of refugees as they arrive in countries of entry, to the tens of thousands who took part in large protests across Europe on September 12 with more than 50,000 marching in London, 30,000 in Copenhagen, and thousands more in other cities including Berlin, Stockholm, Helsinki, and Lisbon demanding that refugees be admitted.50 

The refugees themselves are also showing the way, asserting their right to asylum even in the face of sometimes brutal repression, as when more than 1,000 refugees stranded in Hungary after trains were closed to them in September marched more than fifteen miles to the Austrian border, forcing the Hungarian government to temporarily back down on regulations preventing refugees from leaving the country. The refugees were met in Austria by volunteers holding handwritten signs saying “welcome” and handing out supplies. As Gareth Dale noted in Jacobin magazine, “The refugees’ movement found a welcome and welcoming echo in a collective response in Europe. For a public sphere accustomed to a drip-feed of xenophobia (and even refugee-phobia), the outpouring of solidarity and charity came as an epiphany.”51

For the Left, the ongoing refugee crisis places a renewed importance on political clarity—not only in relation to the causes of the crisis and the responsibility of Western governments, but in how we can develop solidarity with the refugees fighting for their own rights. Our answer to the crisis lies in organizing united fronts to challenge the racist demagogy of the far right, demanding that Western governments provide substantial aid to the refugees, open their borders and let the refugees in, and, most importantly, stop the imperial machinations that have created the crises driving the refugee exodus in the first place. 

  1. International Organization for Migration, “Mediterranean Update: Missing Migrants,” Missing Migrants Project, October 20, 2015,
  2. “Worldwide Displacement Hits All-Time High as War and Persecution Increase,” United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), June 18, 2015,
  3. “World’s Displaced Population now 60 Million, UN Official Says,” CBS News, October 5, 2015,
  4. 2015 UNHCR country operations profile—Democratic Republic of the Congo,
  5. “Worldwide Displacement Hits All-Time High.”
  6. Naomi Grimley, “Syria War: The Plight of Internally Displaced People,” BBC News, September 10, 2015,
  7. Justin Salhani, “Russian Intervention Could Increase Syrian Refugee Count by 75 Percent, Turkish officials warn,” ThinkProgress, October 6, 2015,
  8. Nick Squires, “Migrant Crisis: Lesbos ‘on Verge of Explosion’ after Fresh Clashes,” Telegraph (UK),
  9. Janine Di Giovanni, Leah McGrath Goodman, and Damien Sharkov, “How Does ISIS Fund its Reign of Terror?” Newsweek, November 6, 2014,
  10. Julian Bolger, “Saudi-led Naval Blockade Leaves 20m Yemenis Facing Humanitarian Disaster,” Guardian, June 5, 2015,
  11. Ashley Fantz, Becky Anderson, and Schams Elwazer, “Refugee Crisis: Why Aren’t Gulf States Taking Them in?,” CNN, September 8, 2015,
  12. “Saudi Arabia Says Criticism of Syria Refugee Response ‘False and Misleading,’” Guardian (UK), September 11, 2015,
  13. Karen Yourish, K.K. Rebecca Lai, and Derek Watkins, “Death in Syria,” New York Times, September 14, 2015,
  14. Mike Giglio and Munzer Al-Awad, “Assad’s Strategy is to Create Refugees,” Buzzfeed, September 20, 2015 (page no longer accessible).
  15. Patty Culhane, “Will US Step up to Syrian Refugee Crisis Challenge?” Al Jazeera, September 9, 2015,
  16. Michael R. Gordon, Alison Smale, and Rick Lyman, “U.S. Will Accept More Refugees as Crisis Grows,” New York Times, September 20, 2015,
  17. Marlin Mattishack, “Republican Fears US has Created ‘Federally Funded Jihadi Pipeline’,” The Hill, February 11, 2015,
  18. “Migrant Crisis: EU Plan Offers More Money for Turkey Camps,” BBC News, October 6, 20215,
  19. “IOM Monitors Mediterranean Migrant Flows: 7,000 Crossing Daily to Greece,” IOM, September 10, 2015,
  20. “Mediterranean Update: Missing migrants project,
  21. Squires, “Migrant Crisis: Lesbos ‘on Verge of Explosion’ after Fresh Clashes.”
  22. Luke Harding and Daniel Nolan, “Hungarian Police Make Arrests over Lorry Containing 71 Bodies,” Guardian, September 29, 2015,
  23. Christopher Dickey, “No End in Sight for Migrants’ Desperate Chunnel Blitz,” Daily Beast, July 29, 2015,
  24. Ibid.
  25. Holly Yan, Ben Wedeman, Milena Veselinovic and Tim Hume, “Refugee Crisis: Hungary Uses Tear Gas, Water Cannons on Migrants at Border,” September 16, 2015,
  26. “Slovenian Police Pepper-Spray Migrants at Border,”, September 18, 2015,
  27. Gianluca Mezzofiore, “Migrant Crisis: Hungary Approves Use of Army, Rubber Bullets and Tear Gas against Refugees,” International Business Times, September 21, 2015,
  28. NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt, September 17, 2015,
  29. Stephen Erlanger and Kimiko de Freytas-Tamura, “U.N. Funding Shortfalls and Cuts in Refugee Aid Fuel Exodus to Europe,” New York Times, September 19, 2015,
  30. “The Latest: US to Give $419 Million in Aid to Syria Refugees,” AP, September 21, 2015,
  31. Kate Connolly, Ian Traynor, and Constanze Letch, “Angela Merkel Backs Deal Offering Turkey up to €3bn to Tighten its Borders,” Guardian, October 15, 2015,
  32. Ibid.
  33. Patrick Wintour, “Britain Should Not Take More Middle East Refugees, says David Cameron,” Guardian, September 3, 015,
  34. Kashmira Gander, “Syrian Child Refugees ‘to be Deported at Age 18,’” Independent, September 7, 2015,
  35. Justin Huggler, “Angela Merkel ‘Firm Favorite’ for Nobel Prize over Refugee Crisis—But Losing Favor in Germany,” Telegraph, October 8, 2015,
  36. Merkel’s lengthy silence led to the Twitter hashtag campaign “#Merkelschweigt”—or “Merkel is Silent.” “’Merkel’ has Become a Verb in German Youth Vernacular,” NPR, August 26, 2015,
  37. Sam Jones, “Refugee Rhetoric Echoes 1938 Summit before Holocaust, UN Official Warns,” Guardian, October 14, 2015,
  38. Markus Dettmer, Carolin Katschak and Georg Ruppert, Rx for Prosperity: German Companies See Refugees as Opportunity,” Speigel Online International, August 27, 2015,
  39. Liz Alderman, “Germany Works to Get Migrants Jobs,” New York Times, September 17, 2015,
  40. Aditya Tejas, “German Conservatives Want to Relax Minimum Wage for Refugees: Poll Shows that Support for CDU Slips to One-Year Low,” International Business Times, September 29, 2015,
  41. John Blau and Daniel Delhaes, “Schäuble Mulls Refugee Benefit Cuts,” Handelsblatt, October 15, 2015,
  42. Matthias Sobolewski, “Ballooning Refugee Costs Threaten Germany’s Cherished Budget Goals,” Reuters, September 17, 2015,
  43. Deborah Orr, “Immigration is Vital to Neoliberalism—But No Politician Will Admit It,” Guardian, October 27, 2014,
  44. “World’s Displaced Population Now 60 Million, UN official says.” 
  45. Fran Cetti, “Fortress Europe: The War against Migrants,” ISJ, Issue 148,
  46. Matthew Rosenberg and Michael D. Shear, “In Reversal, Obama Says US Soldiers will Remain in Afghanistan to 2017,” New York Times, October 15, 2015,
  47. Nina Strochlic, “10,000 Heroes Open Their Homes to Syrian Refugees,” Daily Beast, September 3, 2015,
  48. Dan McLaughlin, “Volunteers Cross Borders to Fill Gaps in Refugee Crisis Response,” Aljazeera America, September 29, 2015,; Lizzie Deardon, “German Police Forced to Ask Public to Stop Bringing Donations for Refugees Arriving by Train,” Independent, September 1, 2015,
  49. “On the Road with Volunteers Offering Refugees Rides from Hungary,” DW, September 7, 2015,; Lauren Frayer, “Risking Arrest, Thousands of Hungarians Offer Help to Refugees,” NPR, September 29, 2015,
  50. “Thousands Take Part in Pro-Refugee Rallies in Europe,” Aljazeera, September 13, 2015,
  51. Gareth Dale, “A World Without Borders,” Jacobin, September 21, 2015,

Issue #103

Winter 2016-17

"A sense of hope and the possibility for solidarity"

Interview with Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz
Issue contents

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