The illegal and legal debate on refugees

illegal migration is a focal point of debate among policy makers, academics and defence circles all across the globe.It is currently a great point of debate among migration scholars whether people’s movement has any direct impact on climate change. Some scholars have noted a strong affinity between climate change and migration whereas there are other sets of scholars who argue that climate change has very different impacts on different sets of people.

There has been certain debates of how to consider a cross - country movement legal or illegal. How would you justify someone fleeing massacre or genocide or civil war being called an ‘alien’ or ‘illegal’ ? Would there be same treatments and policies for someone crossing border as an economic migrant and someone rescuing for their life?

There has been advocacies regarding using judicious mix of a liberal, humane approach and pragmatic measures to curb migration.

Although social and family networks, and cultural, linguistic and religious affinities between the populations across the border, make it a very complex issue to manage.

Even in United States nearly (69%) of the population are very or somewhat sympathetic toward immigrants who are in the United States illegally. That view has changed little since 2014, when a surge of unaccompanied children from Central America attempted to enter the U.S. at the border. Similarly,the full horror of the human tragedy unfolding on the shores of Europe was brought as images of the lifeless body of a young toddler– one of at least 12 Syrians who drowned attempting to reach the Greek island of Kos –encapsulated the extraordinary risks refugees are taking to reach safer places.Within hours it had gone viral on Twitter under the hashtag #KiyiyaVuranInsanlik (humanity washed ashore)

The viewpoints on the mixed movements illustrate the socio-political framework within which these movements are situated and the different ways in which borders, citizenship and security are viewed and politicised in the contemporary world.

While there had been mixed views about people around migration and citizenship policies , majority of people view migration as a humanitarian problem and support a proper framework to be established to tackle situations in this context.

There are questions regarding the validity of the term ‘illegal’ in reference to Bangladeshi immigrants and outlines the historical processes surrounding population flows between Bangladesh and North Eastern India(in reference to 1971 “genocide”)Riots between locals and migrants are becoming a daily affair in the north eastern states of India.It has been reiterated by several scholars and in the media that there is no official estimate of the total number of undocumented Bangladeshi migrants in India.There has been widespread criticism regarding existing Indian government initiatives to extend citizenship to immigrants on grounds that this would instigate further instability in the North Eastern states while there has been support of attempts to solve the NRC problems with government making migration policies in future.At the same time, the Bangladesh government has consistently denied these accusations and adopted a ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ approach when dealing with questions of Bangladeshi immigration to India refusing to acknowledge that these are Bangladeshi migrants and further propagates that India is pushing back Bengali speaking Indian Muslims into Bangladesh Tensions between India and Bangladesh have mounted over attempts by India's Border Security Force (BSF) to deport a number of Bangladeshis who have been staying illegally in India. The Bangladesh government maintains that the alleged illegal migrants are Indian citizens, and has consistently maintained that 'there are no Bangladeshis in India'. Some Bangladeshi policymakers allege “India is just trying to throw out Bengali-speaking Muslims from their country by branding them Bangladeshi migrants”.People allege that unjust and suppressive policies from the part of Bangladesh government force the minorities mainly Hindus and indigenous people to cross the porous border and come to India.

There is a need to establish different approaches for individuals who qualify for protection as asylum-seekers or refugees and individuals who do not;  to apply appropriate processes and procedures. Seeing this as a humanitarian global crisi to be dealt with utmost sensitivity and concern is the need of the hour without tagging people ‘legal’ or ‘illegal’ , seeking a solution to those who are being denied citizenship,basic human rights or fleeing for better living.

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