Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Opinion: Celine Arvisu-Quinio On the European Refugee Crisis #refugeecrisis

Celine Arvisu-Quinio

Continuing the conversation on the current European Refugee Crisis, I'm posting comments by Celine Arvisu-Quinio, another graduate of Maryknoll College, Philippines. Celine is currently in Italy to do communications work for the Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation (JPIC) Commission of the Union of Superior Generals (heads of congregations of men and women religious) with headquarters in Rome.


Cecilia Brainard:  Is the current refugee crisis affecting you?  How?

Celine Arvisu-Quinio: Yes. No matter where I might be in the world, I cannot ignore the anguish and suffering of the millions of people fleeing their country in fear for their lives. Survival is what drives them to leave despite the uncertainty of what lies ahead. “There is no wall you would not climb, no sea you would not cross if you are fleeing violence and terror.” (Dimitris Avromopoulos, EU Commissioner for Migration)

In this exodus into the unknown, they continue to live in fear and hardship along the way only to arrive at their destination where more suffering awaits them as they encounter border blockades and violence.

I feel for the refugees. The sight of thousands of refugees flooding the streets leading out of Syria and then finding themselves living in camps or being beaten to keep them from coming through the border is heart-breaking, when all they ask for is sanctuary. Pope Francis urges all Catholics to welcome refugees, ‘’May every parish, every religious community, every monastery, every sanctuary in Europe host a family—starting with my diocese of Rome,” he said.

Refugees wait to cross Greek-Macedonia border, courtesy of Wikipedia

CB:  What do you think of the response by the various countries to this crisis?  (I’m thinking about Germany, Hungary, France UK, US, Arab countries, etc.) Can the response to the refugee crisis be better? Any ideas how?

CAQ: I admire the generosity and goodness of countries that have opened their border to the refugees. To those who have turned their back to this human crisis, I say they are arrogant and selfish.
Indeed the response to the crisis could be better if we trusted one another as brothers and sisters. François Crépeau, UN special rapporteur on the human rights of migrants, offers a sensible solution to the refugee crisis—“instead of resisting migration, let’s organize it.”

CB:  The troubles in the Middle East and Africa have been going on for some time now. Do you think the refugee crisis has gotten worse recently? If so, why?

CAQ: The refugee crisis has gotten worst because of greed and capitalism. The developed countries keep wanting more, while people in underdeveloped countries are getting less. All of these countries in turmoil have been pushed to the brink as a result of colonialism. Foreign companies and governments have deprived the people of their natural resources, their land, and their livelihood. Civil war, the lack of jobs, poor economic conditions drive people to seek safety for themselves and their family and better opportunities in other countries.

CB:  Many worry that extremists will sneak into European countries along with the refugees—do you think this is possible? Any other thoughts about this?

CAQ: Yes, it is possible that terrorists can infiltrate these groups of refugees. With the huge number of refugees coming wanting to enter a country, there is no guarantee that the enemy is not among them. But not allowing the refugees through our borders because of fear and callousness will cause them to suffer more than they have already. Countries that have opened their doors to refugees do the best they can to strengthen their security and make sure each and every refugee is documented. Prayer would also be a big help at this time.   
CB: Can you share any other ideas and thoughts you may have about the politics and issues related to the current Refugee Crisis?

CAQ: The refugee crisis is a matter of concern for every human being on this earth. Let us respond positively to this global problem by extending help in any way we can to the people who have been affected. The violence and suffering of people in the Middle East and Africa can happen to any other country—it could happen to yours or mine.

Let us pray for world peace and especially for the refugees who are seeking asylum and the migrants who are risking their lives in the hands of human traffickers.

CB: Thank you, Celine.

Read also
Aurorita Mendoza on the European Refugee Crisis
Michaela Keck on the European Refugee Crisis
Syrian War and Doomsday Seed Bank
Syrian Revolutionary Poem 
Tags: #refugeecrisis, #refugees, refugees, refugee crisis, Syrians, Iraqis, war, Syria Hungary, Germany, asylum

This is all for now,

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