Alexandria W.

Immigration and Poverty

A look at the connection between immigration and poverty.

Dear Future President,

French officials recently cleared out the migrant camp nicknamed “The Jungle” in Calais, France and sent the migrants who were living in the makeshift shelters to 451 reception centers across the country. Many of these migrants dream of eventually reaching nearby United Kingdom across the English Channel. Many people located in the reception towns have been protesting this move, similar to demonstrations in other countries who receive migrants. According to the Help Refugees agency, up to 8,143 migrants were living in the camp when the French government began to dismantle it. The French government reported that 5,600 of these migrants have been transported to the reception centers. The other half went out into Calais and other nearby towns on their own. Of these 5,600 people, 1,500 are unaccompanied minors. Migrant children are also at great risk in this camp. As reported by a spokesperson for the British charity, Calais Action, about a hundred “Jungle” kids were left in the migrant camp after many migrants were transported away. They were exposed to fires as it was being destroyed overnight.

Many of these migrants left their homes in war-torn places and came into the reception countries looking for a safe haven. A great number of these immigrants end up having nowhere to live in the countries they thought would keep them safe. Eventually, they find communities like “The Jungle” or endure living on the streets of cities until the government intervenes. Migrants rely on the help of these governments, however they do not always receive this help in a timely manner.

From personal experiences, I have seen these refugees and migrants on the sidewalks of Paris and London begging for money to support their family. Many also had young children beside them. Many of these migrants and refugees left their homes because of the war and have gone through many heart-wrenching experiences only to arrive in an unwelcoming country of asylum.

Americans are also uneasy to offer support to the migrants coming into the United States for refuge. This is due to widespread fear of terrorism and the thought that terrorists can use the refugee system to gain access for carrying out attacks in America. According to the United Nations Population Fund, 244,000,000 people around the world were considered migrants in 2015. Could all 244,000,000 people actually have ties to terrorism? No, that is a completely unrealistic idea. Government officials in the United States do want to offer support to a portion of these migrants. Under the Obama administration, 10,000 of the Syrian refugees are said to have settled in America in 2016. This is a good start to combating the poverty and homelessness these refugees may face elsewhere; however, more could be done.

America should offer our support and help to maintain safe living conditions for the migrants and refugees in Europe and other parts of the world. Too many are living in uncertainty and without a definite home. They deserve to be treated like every other human being, not ignored or forgotten about. This migration crisis is one of the largest and most significant humanitarian crises of the modern age.

St. Joseph's Academy


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