Here’s a father sat beside an open grave holding his child one more time before burial. Let’s say he got married in 2001, when he and his wife started to grow their little family.
In 2003, on the other side of the world, two other men agreed to start operation Shock and Awe. Our mourning father saw the family he reared shrink as bomb after bomb fell on his hometown. But he’s enduring, he plods along. This is his hometown and he loves it here. He has more children and brings them up in the town he has lived in all his life.
It’s 2017 now, and one of the surviving children of the mourning father plays in this street. The rubble strewn streets and ruined buildings are all this boy knows. Does he know about operation Shock and Awe? Does he know that the power vacuum, economic instability and appropriation of natural resources following Shock and Awe created an environment that allows a paramilitary, fascist, inhumane group to claim his father’s hometown as their own? Two years later, in 2019, this boy wants something better for himself. His experience has weathered his face, he is older than his years and people in a land he has heard of as safer, will use his experienced, weathered face against him.
So, our kid makes a journey north. Does he consider that he’s following the path of the natural resources appropriated from his country? It’s the same path the bombs travelled south from.
People cannot be illegal. The 1951 Refugee Convention and the Dublin Regulation safeguard that despite what we read in the papers. And, really, people cannot be illegal.