How money, race and religion determine the fate of Europe-bound migrants

The Wall Street Journal reports: As Europe grapples with the biggest wave of migration since World War II, the fates of those crossing the Mediterranean are increasingly being determined by class systems based on money, ethnicity and religion.

On these transnational trails, migrants tell of a fast-developing market for human cargo, where cash or creed can ensure a safer trip, more resources and better treatment.

The discrimination starts at the beginning of migrants’ journeys at the hands of smugglers looking to maximize profits, and it ends with European authorities scrambling to handle the overwhelming numbers of people arriving and prioritizing them by nationality.

In Greece this weekend, authorities deployed a 3,000-capacity passenger ferry to the island of Kos to host Syrian refugees arriving in record numbers. Thousands of other asylum seekers on the island from Iraq and Afghanistan have been left without shelter, and with only sporadic access to food and a much longer wait to get their documents processed.

Syrians are prioritized because the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees has advised governments that they are so-called prima facie refugees, meaning they should be granted instant humanitarian protection because they are fleeing a war zone. [Continue reading…]

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