Sunday, October 16, 2005

Immigrants: Knocking on Heaven's Door

Newsweek Int'l: Immigration: At The Gates, 16 Oct 2005
As the European Union expands, it's come face to face with a new world.

By Christopher Dickey, with Eric Pape and Tracy McNicoll in Paris, Jenny Barchfield in Madrid, Jacopo Barigazzi in Milan, and Stefan Theil in Berlin

Oct. 24, 2005 issue - The Africans had walked for days from the vast Sahara to reach those high fences topped with razor wire that are all that separates their world from two tiny outposts of Europe on the southern shore of the Mediterranean. They came from Senegal, from Mali, from Mauritania—from countries they wouldn't name, whose papers they had destroyed—and hid deep in Morocco's coastal forest, waiting.
When the moment came, they used cell phones to coordinate their assaults on the fences, rushing forward like human avalanches, hundreds of men at a time, some carrying ladders, some with gloves and loose clothes, cascading against the barriers erected around the Spanish enclaves called Ceuta and Melilla. Starting in late September, as Spanish authorities set about methodically raising the fence from three meters to six, wave upon wave of would-be immigrants made desperate attempts to clamber over. Spanish security forces, greatly outnumbered, haven't been able to hold all of them back. Moroccan security forces, first diffident, then excessive, have twice opened fire. At least 14 of the climbers have been killed. But if these tragedies have inspired pity and fear all over the European Union, it's not just because of the drama of the moment; it's because they are omens of greater troubles to come...

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