Dangerous Pursuits

Yesterday’s L.A. Times had a piece about the plight of North African and sub-Saharan immigrants trying to get to Europe via the Spanish enclaves in Morocco. It’s interesting enough, but not terribly precise.

The location of Melilla, and Spain’s similar North African enclave, Ceuta, makes it the gateway between a continent gutted by war, famine and disease, and the promises of an affluent Europe. Jumping a fence on dry land seems easier than braving the Mediterranean Sea in rickety boats.

Spain’s traditional leniency toward immigrants has meant that those who make it this far have a very good chance of reaching continental Europe and a new life. But here and elsewhere, tensions have flared as Europe staggers under the weight of new arrivals who have changed the complexion of the continent.

Leniency toward immigrants? They shot at people trying to cross the fence, for crying out loud. How’s that lenient?

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