Panicked Migrants Express Confusion Over New EU Policy

Refugees in Europe take to Facebook to express worries about a new agreement with Turkey

All those arriving by boat will be sent back under the new deal. — REUTERS
Mar 21, 2016 at 3:37 PM ET

A new agreement regarding the fate of migrants entering Europe had refugees taking to Facebook to see just what exactly the new policy would mean for them. While some migrants asked whether the new deal would apply to minors, others said they’ll now focus on getting to Canada. “Europe is over for us,” one said.

The deal, which came into being over the weekend, means that any migrants who arrive in Greece by boat will be sent back to Turkey. It is meant to allow proper processing of the millions of migrants already waiting in Turkish refugee camps for asylum in Europe. Every time a Syrian is returned to Turkey, the European Union will resettle one that was housed in one of the refugee camps. The agreement is also meant to accelerate Turkey’s bid to join the EU, increase aid to Ankara to six billion Euros, and allow Turks to travel visa-fee in Schengen countries by June.

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Facebook groups for asylum seekers began to fill with questions about the meaning of the new agreement and its planned implementation. Hundreds engaged in conversations expressed pessimism and depression over the planned deportation.

Translation: “Hello, does anyone understand what is going to happen to the refugees who are currently staying in Greece?”

Translation: “Hello guys, is Europe over for us after the recent decisions? As for Canada, how can we get asylum there?” 

Translation: “Hello, I have a question – does the agreement between the EU and Turkey apply to underage asylum seekers as well? It says that anyone who reached Europe after the agreement will be sent back to Trukey. Will he be sent back even if he is underage? After he arrived to Sweden or Germany for example… or only if he arived to Greece?”