Earlier this month, I wrote an article titled "Why African migrants will flood the world over the next half-century". As if to highlight the sheer desperation for something - anything! - better that most migrants exhibit, the BBC has published a remarkable in-depth article about a young Ghanaian man who decided to try to document the risk, abuses and crimes faced by literally millions of would-be migrants as they journey through Africa on their way to the Mediterranean Sea and, hopefully, Europe. It's chillingly blunt about the dangers they face.
Here's a brief excerpt from a very long article.
It was night when the trucks came to an abrupt stop, jolting Azeteng from a half-sleep. Voices called out from the dark, ordering the migrants to get out, and they were surrounded by men in military fatigues carrying AK-47s. They had hit the first Tuareg rebel checkpoint.
The rebels fired shots into the air and ordered the migrants to line up to pay. Those who didn’t have enough money were told to form a separate line and had their pockets searched and possessions taken. Then they were beaten. Azeteng was hit hard in the side of the head, knocking his glasses off his face. A migrant in front of him was hit with a metal pole and bled from the mouth. A Gambian man, whom Azeteng had befriended on the journey, held up his Koran and begged in vain for them to stop.
Azeteng put his glasses back on and, overcoming a swell of fear, pressed the tiny button under the arm. The grainy footage captured the migrants shuffling past a militant holding out a large plastic bowl, depositing cash. When the bowl was full, another militant tipped it into a larger bowl. Those who had paid were ordered to sit on the sand and wait. The wind whipped up and the cold started to bite.
It was then that Azeteng saw the two Nigerian women again, the women who had sat up front with the driver. Women from Nigeria, more than any other African nation, have fallen prey to the sex-trafficking trade to Europe. A well-established criminal network entraps them with promises of well-paid jobs as hairdressers or houseworkers or similar, then sells them into sex work. “As soon as they leave their family and community network they become extremely vulnerable,” Michele Bombassei, a UN expert on West African migration, told me. “And this is the moment the sexual exploitation begins.”
Azeteng had spoken to the Nigerian women briefly, back in Bamako. They were confident and outgoing. They had joked and laughed. Now their heads were bowed, and Azeteng watched as they walked silently into the desert escorted by seven armed men from the checkpoint. The seven men gang-raped the two women on the desert floor, close enough for the migrants to see.
When it was finished, the women were brought back and put in the front of the truck and the migrants were put in the back of the truck, and a heavy silence settled on them. The jubilation of earlier that day had given way to fear.
. . .
Azeteng helped Sekou to a hospital. Four days later, Sekou was dead. Some smugglers collected the body, and Azeteng followed them to a migrants’ graveyard near the edge of town. He watched as they took Sekou’s body from the bed of a pick-up. The dead man had been wrapped in a white sheet, one arm bound straight along his side and the other folded across his chest. They lowered the body into a shallow grave and covered it with sand and gravel and bricks. Adjacent to the migrants’ graveyard was a graveyard for Algerian citizens, with orderly plots and headstones. The migrants were buried haphazardly and close together, with nothing to mark their passing but the disturbance of the earth. Azeteng began to count, first one by one, then in rough batches, and by the time he gave up he’d counted 700 graves.
. . .
Ibrahim started out from Ghana with almost no money, and he was subjected to levels of hardship and brutality that Azeteng had paid to avoid. Locked into debt bondage, he worked for five months in Mali and Algeria with little or no pay. “It is so hard, so hard,” he said. “Work, work, work, work, work.” He pinched a fold of his skin. “My body was not good, it changed because of no food.” Ibrahim walked for five days in the desert after he and others were dumped by the smugglers, he said. He saw hands and feet sticking out of the sand, and helped bury a man who sat down on a dune one day, closed his eyes, and died.
There's much more at the link.
The illegal aliens who are flooding across our southern border are in many ways similar to those flooding out of Africa into Europe (and, increasingly, into the USA as well). They have nothing at all to live for at home. Their only hope of a better life is to get to a country with a better economy, offering them the chance to earn more and improve themselves (and, particularly, their descendants in due course). That's why they keep coming, even in the face of such dangers (which are as real in South America as they are in Africa). That's why we need a border wall, and vastly increased border security, and everything else necessary to prevent our economy - and our own future - being submerged, and swamped, and drowned in the sea of despair that wants to invade us.
There is no simple, easy answer. There's certainly, in my opinion, an ethical and/or moral obligation on us to help those less fortunate than ourselves; but that should not mean we have to sacrifice our own national future, and that of our children, to be swamped by those who would drag this country down to the depths from which they've managed to escape. That's no answer at all! Nevertheless, we need to understand the desperation that drives so many illegal aliens. They're not refugees from oppression, or seeking asylum due to persecution. They're economic migrants, pure and simple. We have to understand their motivation in order to deal with them, and with the countries from which they're fleeing; because unless we help those countries improve their own economies, more and more of their inhabitants are going to flee in our direction.
The irresistible force meets the immovable object. Who will win? Right now, in the absence of meaningful border security, it's the invaders.