Migrants Stranded at Sea Arrive in Spain
Migrants began arriving Sunday after Italy turned them away, leaving them stranded at sea for a week.
Rescue ship, The Aquarius, finally docked in port of Valencia after a harrowing week that left many fearing for their lives. Originally the rescue vessel carried about 630 migrants which were rescued from six rubber dinghies. However, as the vessel attempted to drop the migrants off in Italy, they were denied entry. Italy’s Interior Secretary, and leader of the anti-immigrant movement, even went so far as to call them “fake refugees”. An attempt to dock in Malta was also denied.
While Italy’s decision to reject the migrants has left many outraged, the country did lend two of their navy ships to help transport the migrants to Spain and relieve the overburdened Aquarius. Spain is granting the group 45 days of sanctuary as their cases are reviewed.
An international humanitarian disaster was avoided this time but there is ample opportunity in the future. More migrants than ever are attempting to flee the deadly circumstances in their home countries. Concurrently, Europe is facing a migrant crisis as countries struggle to keep up with the inflow of refugees. Adding to this is the growing animosity towards immigrants which is allowing rises in power to those who would turn away the worlds most vulnerable citizens.
While it is the right and duty of every country to protect its citizens, one has to ask.
What if it were us?