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16 December also reminds us of the gruesome tragedy that unfolded at the Army Public School, Peshawar. The terrorist attack was ruthless, callous, and inhuman. We know that men can go to any length in perpetrating torture, but every now and then a new, unfortunate standard is set. The worst tragedies are where innocent children and women are targeted and APS incident did both. So many lives lost, and so many scars created forever in hearts and minds.
The development of human beings is just a myth. Every now and then we see that the humans go back to being animals in character and deeds, and we wonder where the development had been, if at all it was there.
The other human tragedy seen in full spectrum is illegal immigrants. Illegal immigration is not a new activity, but 2021 saw unprecedented rise in the numbers, casualties, restrictions, and lost lives.
Thousands of immigrants from Latin America get into the US illegally every year. Successive administrations had been trying to curb the tide, but without much success. The new trend which started in 2014 was that large number of ‘unaccompanied children’ started reporting at the US border. These migrants also came from Central America, not Mexico. As the situation in the Central American countries deteriorates, the attempt for immigration increases. During fiscal 2021, illegal immigrations into the US have reached record levels. Officials detained 1.66 million illegal immigrants, including 145,000 unaccompanied children, at the US southern border. It is the highest level ever recorded.
With the help of social media and smugglers, thousands of migrants are arriving at borders by boats, motor vehicles, trucks, containers, and even on foot. The preferred destinations are wealthy nations, with the United States being the top choice, followed by Canada, Germany, France, Australia, and the United Kingdom.
In addition to poverty, civil conflict and violence, the increasing high temperatures, widespread droughts, frequent flooding, and rising sea levels are making parts of the world unlivable. As the climate changes continue, the result will be climate-fueled immigration forcing millions of people to migrate for their survival.
Population size imbalances are also forcing immigrations. The population of Latin America is already double than North America (US & Canada) at around 650 million. US population is increasing slowly while Latin American population shall keep growing rapidly. As the resources will be dwindling further in Latin America, the immigration to North America would be inevitable. Similarly, population of Europe plateaued in 1990 and is on decline due to negative growth. Africa, whose favorite destination is Europe, has already three times the population which will grow to five times in 2050. We all know that African resources are already insufficient to support existing population, and the situation will become tougher.
Why do people risk their livelihood and lives to illegally cross into Europe and US? The answers could be very complex, but if we look at the root cause, we see that they do not have much of a life in their home countries. They believe they do not have much to lose anyway.
Despite several protective actions, illegal immigration to EU from January to August 2021 increased by 64% over last year. Along the western Balkan route, illegal immigration almost doubled, with most of the migrants coming from Syria, Afghanistan, and Morocco. More recently, channel crossing between France and UK has multiplied and everyday channel crossing is being done. Even the death of 27 people in one boat has not deterred the illegal migrants.[Quote] International surveys show that approximately 15% of the world’s adults, or more than 800 million, want to migrate to another country. If children are included, the number of people wanting to migrate increases to more than one billion, or one eighth of the world’s population of nearly 8 billion. [unquote]
Somehow, I find some parallels between terrorism and illegal immigration. Both are rooted in disparity, inequality, and injustice. Both seek to redress the wrongs done over prolonged periods. Both want to take back some of which was taken away. Both are revengeful and destructive. Both are daring and daunting. Both take a great toll. Both destroy happiness for self and others. The solution to both is not easy. Walls, fences, laws, restrictions, use of force is never capable of handling or stopping these.
Stopping illegal immigration and terrorism require long term measures which are aimed at reducing disparity, inequality, injustice, exploitation, wars, civil unrest, authoritarianism, totalitarianism, dictatorships, unequal distribution of resources, poverty, climate changes, natural disasters, man-made disasters, and abuse of power by few against many.
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