Un articolo del Wall Street Journal che presenta una serie di casi emblematici delle difficoltà che incontrano i migranti nei vari Stati. Per es. per l’Italia si parla del "languire in un limbo burocratico". Non ci sono grandi novità, ma l’argomento è trattato in maniera approfondita.
Leggetelo qui sotto in versione originale oppure in traduzione automatica.
Jeannette Neumann in Madrid,
Liam Moloney in Rome and
Kjetil Malkenes Hovland in Oslo
Nov. 8, 2015 7:23 p.m. ET
Ghassan El Mehbane feels tormented by his past in Syria and little better about his future in Spain.
He has no idea where he, his pregnant wife and three young children will live after their required departure from a Madrid refugee shelter this month. A former wholesale food distributor with poor Spanish, he frets about finding work in an economy with an unemployment rate above 20% before his asylum benefits run out by next summer.
It is very much a long shot for Syrian refugees to get to the United States—only a small percentage of applicants are considered, and it can take up to three years to go through an intensive vetting process. Here are the stages migrants have to go through.
In Italy, Ismael Sidibe languishes in bureaucratic limbo. He fled Sierra Leone after surviving a rebel attack, only to face a 26-month wait in Rome for a final hearing on his bid for asylum and the right to work.
They and many others who migrated to Europe before this year’s mass influx say they are grateful for the Continent’s help but frustrated by sluggish asylum systems and worried about their ability to restart productive lives.
Europe is scrambling to respond. With hundreds of thousands of new migrants trying to get in, European governments are budgeting sharply increased sums for the long-term challenge of assimilating those already here.
The European Union added €1.7 billion to its own budget in October to cope with the influx, making the total €9.2 billion for 2015 and 2016.
Italy says it will spend about €1 billion ($1.15 billion) this year for food, lodging, job training, language lessons and other services—almost double last year’s outlay. Germany’s spending is expected to triple this year to an
estimated €15 billion. Norway is expected to nearly double the amount it had initially planned to spend next year for refugees to more than €2 billion. Spain has set aside more than €250 million next year to resettle refugees, up from
€10 million this year.
“It’s about giving them a future in Spain,” Deputy Prime Minister Soraya Sáenz de Santamaría said.
European officials say they are caught in a balancing act. They want the newcomers working and paying taxes. They don’t want a growing underclass of unemployed that would strain social-welfare systems, or offer a recruiting pool for criminal gangs or terrorists.
Mindful of anti-immigrant sentiment, however, governments are weighing refugee services against assistance for citizens hurt by Europe’s long economic slump. They need to ensure that native populations “don’t see that other people are given priority or threaten their access to resources,” said Mónica López, head of asylum reception services for the government-funded Spanish Commission for Refugees.
Even with stepped-up funding, aid levels vary widely across Europe, and that is another problem. Officials in countries with relatively generous benefits—Germany, Sweden and Norway—worry about attracting a disproportionate human tide.
Tamer Ahmad, a Syrian refugee living in Norway, gets a monthly stipend of €1,464 for rent and food for two years. By contrast, Spain will give Mr. El Mehbane around €1,200 a month for similar expenses for his entire family of five, for about six months after they leave the government shelter.
“On paper there’s a common European asylum system, but in practice it doesn’t exist,” Judith Sunderland, a Human Rights Watch associate director, said.
EU rules require migrants to apply for asylum in the member country they first enter. Many who land on Europe’s periphery skirt the system, by evading fingerprinting, and move on to countries with better benefits and stronger economies.
Mr. Ahmad paid a relative about €10,500 to buy the fake Danish passport he used to cross from Syria into Turkey and fly to Copenhagen via Milan. He arrived in Oslo by taxi in March 2013 and gained Norwegian asylum.
Thinking he could find steady work, he gave up asylum benefits for nearly two years. He failed, but in January Norway restored his benefits—the monthly stipend, along with free vocational and language training.
“Norway has helped me a lot,” said Mr. Ahmad, 28. “I’m going to pay it back, every bit” in taxes. He wants to work in a car-repair shop, as he did in Syria. The death of his older brother in Syria, he said, left his mother, older sister and younger brother dependent on his support.
Norwegian government officials who have supported such largess say it is unsustainable.
“A review of rules and routines must be conducted with a focus on reducing costs per asylum seeker and the flow of new asylum seekers,” Finance Minister Siv Jensen said at the end of October.
Norway’s asylum system is straining. Mr. Ahmad gained refugee status after three months. Syrians and Eritreans now wait as long as 11 months.
In Italy, the average wait is two years. The government tried to shorten it by increasing the number of offices that hear asylum requests. But appeals are still decided by notoriously slow civil courts.
Mr. Sidibe, 41, has been waiting in Rome since February 2014. The farmworker’s journey across Africa from Sierra Leone began 15 years ago, he said, after antigovernment rebels tried to force him to join their ranks, then killed his father and his wife and cut off his mother’s hands. In Libya in 2013, police tried to extort money and imprisoned him when he couldn’t pay, he said, and guards broke his arm for complaining.
“I have gone from one country to another, escaping wars and danger,” said Mr. Sidibe, who broke into tears recalling his ordeal. “I want to live in Italy to protect my life.”
In June, Italy rejected his claim that returning to Sierra Leone would endanger him. While he awaits an April court hearing on his appeal for asylum, the government feeds and shelters him, but he gets no pocket money and is prohibited from working. During an interview, he wore a T-shirt and old jeans—scavenged, he said, from a dumpster.
In Spain, Mr. El Mehbane has attained the prize so many migrants seek, a card certifying his refugee status and allowing him to work. To the 33-year-old Syrian, the card is a mockery.
“Where are the jobs?” he asks.
A United Nations airlift brought him and his family from a refugee camp in Jordan to Spain in April. His malnourished 1-month-old son had died during the escape from Homs, their hometown.
Fearing he wouldn’t find work in Spain, he went in August to buy bus tickets to Germany, with €400 saved from his family’s stipend. In the Madrid subway, robbers took it all.
Spain’s hazards are nothing compared with Syria’s, but Mr. El Mehbane said he is prone to despair. After learning of his sister’s death in a bombing in Homs, he told his brother on the phone: “It’s better to die in Syria with dignity than to suffer here with no dignity.”
He worries about securing an apartment after his seven-month limit at the refugee shelter expires; landlords are wary of anyone with no bank account and no work history in Spain. Ms. López, of the refugee commission, said housing is a challenge for Spaniards, too, and special help for asylum-seekers might stoke resentment. Acquaintances warn him: Be prepared to see as many as 100 prospective landlords before getting a lease.
To lighten the mood at the shelter, Mr. El Mehbane jokes about his linguistic struggles. When his daughter ran a high fever last summer, he said, he took her to a Spanish doctor and got what he thought was a prescription. After a confused exchange with a pharmacist, he realized the piece of paper simply said “water.”
In more hopeful moments, Mr. El Mehbane says he is studying to become fluent enough in Spanish to start an Arabic restaurant.
“I was someone in Syria,” he said. “I want to be someone here.”
—Giada Zampano in Rome
contributed to this article.