Raising Barriers: A New Age of Walls · Episode 1


Samuel Granados, Zoeann Murphy, Kevin Schaul and Anthony Faiola over at the Washington Post:

But it is in Europe, not the American Southwest, where the cauldron of migration has truly begun to boil over.

In a region where borders were being erased, more new barriers suddenly went up than anywhere else on Earth. It happened as 2015 saw a rush of more than a million migrants — the vast majority fleeing the wars in Syria and Iraq — taking to rough seas and scaling mountainous terrain to find sanctuary in Europe.

At first, the newcomers arrived largely unhindered. But then fear took hold, driven in part by terrorist attacks involving militants posing as migrants as well as crimes involving asylum seekers. Hungary began building a fence in June 2015, and it was not long before others followed suit. By early this year, Austria and other nations had banded together to halt migrant transit through the Balkans, and the E.U. signed a deal with Turkey to stop asylum seekers from crossing the Aegean Sea.

The combined moves left nearly 60,000 migrants trapped in Greece, with the single largest bottleneck forming in Idomeni, a border town that formerly served as a waystation for those heading deeper into Europe. Before the camp was cleared in May and the migrants relocated to other corners of Greece, as many as 14,000 desperate asylum seekers were living in squalid conditions there, some in tents strung along the very barbed wire fence that barred their way.

More here.