“We should not confuse the accident of our birth on the richer or safer side of those walls with a moral right to exclusively enjoy that relative wealth or safety.” (h/t Daniel Solomon of Securing Rights for sharing this piece)
In the past two weeks, more than a thousand people have died trying to cross the Mediterranean Sea from Africa to Europe on often-overloaded boats. In 2014, more than three thousand perished on this crossing.
Each individual migrant’s motives are unique and unknowable, but this collective surge in deaths clearly stems, in part, from the disorder engulfing parts of North Africa and the Middle East. Civil war and state collapse have expanded the incentives and opportunities to flee, and the increased flow of migrants along dangerous routes has, predictably, led to a surge in accidental deaths.
Of course, those deaths also owe something to the policies of the countries toward which the overloaded boats sail. European governments—many of them presiding over anemic growth and unemployment crises of their own—do not have open borders, and they have responded ambivalently or coolly to this spate of arrivals. Italy, where many of these boats land, had run a widely praised search-and-rescue…
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