Sun Editorial on the Refugee Crisis

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The Sun (September 3, 2015)

Headline reads: “It’s life & death”

Several of the claims made in this editorial front-page article in the Sun is unsourced and untrue. The editorial begins with the statement “Britain has rightly held back the thousands massed at Calais – many of them merely economic migrants…”. This assumption that many of the migrants coming are economic migrants is factually incorrect. According to UN figures, 62% of those that have reached Europe this year by boats were from Syria (38%), Afghanistan (12%) and Eritrea (12%). All three of these countries are failing and have been torn apart by conflict and oppression. This 62% and a sizeable amount of the other 38% that are coming to Europe have a legal right to claim refuge in European Union countries. Even migrants from countries such as Sudan, Somalia and Nigeria have legitimate claims for refugee status under international law.

The Sun editorial goes on to make the point that those that are trying to illegally smuggle themselves into Britain are “not prosecuted [in their home countries], they are fleeing no one.” This statement is unsourced and false. As outlined earlier, a majority of Europe’s migrants this summer (50%) are from both Syria and Afghanistan. All of those migrants are refugees and are fleeing for their safety, not for economic gains.

Finally, the editorial claims that sorting “genuine asylum seekers from economic migrants is hard, especially when the latter pose as the former.” There is no credible evidence that there is a widespread deception being played by some economic migrants to pose as asylum seekers. A majority of the migrants that have reached Europe are genuine asylum seekers.

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