Border Passage

My friend Bill alerted me to this Newshour segment on the plight of sub-Saharan migrants who are trying to get to Spain via Morocco. The migrants are now stuck in Morocco, where they suffer from serious mistreatment:

The men buy food with money they get by begging. Some have skin rashes and other health problems but don’t seek medical care, worried they’ll be arrested.

In another apartment, we met a group organizing to speak out about their plight. “We’re treated like animals,” said Abu Ben (ph) from Ivory Coast. “We fled from soldiers in our country who wanted to kill us. But in Morocco, which we thought was a brother African country, they don’t treat us like humans.”

Willie (ph) from the Democratic Republic of the Congo says he was captured by Moroccan authorities who dumped him and others in the Saharan Desert. Undaunted, they spent three weeks walking back to Morocco. Some, he says, never made it.

Khalid Zerouali, the Moroccan Director of Migration and Border Surveillance, is quoted as saying that, “Many of our critics think that we are the gendarme of Europe. We don’t see it this way.” Meanwhile, Moroccan human rights activist Boubker Khamlichi objects: “Since Morocco aspires to be a democratic country, it shouldn’t repress our sub-Saharan brothers.” You can watch the full Newshour segment on video.