There is growing concern that Europe may unwittingly divide migrants into two distinct classes.With E.U. leaders finally working on a Europe-wide refugee policy, there is growing concern among some migrants and aid officials that the new policies might unwittingly divide the migrants into two distinct classes—with two different kinds of welcomes.
First, the hundreds of thousands of Syrians fleeing the war back home, whose stunning flight into Europe has seized world attention; and second, the hundreds of thousands of much poorer, less educated newcomers who have also fled dire circumstances in Africa.As EU officials prepare to meet in Brussels on Monday to hash out an emergency plan, the details are sketchy as to how the continent will integrate the massive influx of migrants who have crossed into Europe from Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. On Wednesday the European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker made it clear to the EU Parliament that the union’s 28 countries were duty-bound to help host the 160,000 asylum-seekers currently stuck in Greece, Italy, and Hungary, and emphasized that all would be treated equally. “Europe has made the mistake in the past of distinguishing between Jews, Christians, Muslims,” he said. “There is no religion, no belief, no philosophy when it comes to refugees.”