Foreign Policy Blogs

Illegal Migration by Sea: Fortuneless Journeys

The fate of boat people who seek a better life by taking to a voyage at sea to reach the shores of more prosperous countries are random at best. Three stories illustrate the conditions and result of such attempts to escape poverty around the world.

In Senegal, with the results of poverty and recent civil conflicts, many Senegalese seek to enter Spain via small boats which land in secluded areas of Southern Spain and disappear into society and larger cities of the Iberian region or beyond into France and the rest of Europe. Due to recent civil wars, the islands of Ellenkine and Carabang in the Casamance Region of Senegal has become a departure point for many illegal immigrants into Southern Europe. The move has also attracted many authorities, who took hundreds of illegal immigrants of various backgrounds into custody on April 8th.

The fate of many migrants are not always just prison. Smugglers near Yemen today dumped nearly 120 Ethiopian and Somali migrants into the sea. The migrants were coming from Somalia to Yemen in a series of three ships, and a number of them were forced, some through physical violence, to dive into the sea for unconfirmed reasons. This comes two weeks after 35 dead African migrants and 113 missing migrants were also lost in the Gulf of Aden on their way to Yemen.

In a odd twist of fortune, The Miami Herald has a story about two refugees with a different fate. Jean-Ferdinand Monestime, a Hatian who came by boat to Florida is awaiting his asylum hearing in the US, while a refugee from Cuba, Francisely Bueno who came to the US in a similar manner has been recruited by the Atlanta Braves AA farm team to pitch for their club. With some assumption of scandals recruiting boat people is noted in the article, the issue of the detention of boat people in the US, and the rights of Cubans to claim political asylum is discussed in the light of rights and sporting abilities.



Richard Basas
Richard Basas

Richard Basas, a Canadian Masters Level Law student educated in Spain, England, and Canada (U of London MA 2003 LL.M., 2007), has worked researching for CSIS and as a Reporter for the Latin America Advisor. He went on to study his MA in Latin American Political Economy in London with the University of London and LSE. Subsequently, Rich followed his career into Law focusing mostly on International Commerce and EU-Americas issues. He has worked for many commercial and legal organisations as well as within the Refugee Protection Community in Toronto, Canada, representing detained non-status indivduals residing in Canada. Rich will go on to study his PhD in International Law.

Areas of Focus:
Law; Economics and Commerce; Americas; Europe; Refugees; Immigration