On Oct. 3, 2013, a 66-foot refugee boat from the Libyan port of Misurata sank just outside the harbor of the island of Lampedusa; 366 people died. There were 155 survivors, 41 of them children. Only one was saved with his family.
Since then, the Italian Navy and Coast Guard have rescued 139,000 men, women and children at sea. The area they patrol extends over almost 17,000 square miles, about twice the size of New Jersey. They are there as part of Operation Mare Nostrum (“Our Sea” in Latin), conducted in coordination with Frontex, the European border management agency.
This story reminds us that the issue of migration is a global concern, with a global basis–economics and political strife. Maybe the U.S. Border Patrol should follow the example of the Italian army, organizing soccer games among the migrant children rather than incarcerating them in frigid warehouses?
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