Now that you have a little background on where I came from and the kind of work I was involved with in my home country, I can start talking about the opposing sides when it comes to the very large and very important debate that is happening around us today.
When we look at the reasons and circumstances surrounding Syrian refugees and the Roma people fleeing their countries of origin and seeking life somewhere else, there are similarities and there are differences in regards to the reasons they are fleeing. Both of them were under very extreme conditions and were/are facing oppression from the people around them and their government.
When we look at what is going on in Syria today, I think the circumstances are a little more extreme than they have been in the past for the Romas and are in greater need of assistance than when I worked for ECRE. There are hundreds of people being slaughtered and these people are fleeing as an absolute desperation to attempt to save their lives.
I really don’t think those who oppose accepting Syrian refugees are aware of the severity of the situation over in Syria and can’t comprehend what these people are having to go through just to survive. These people aren’t coming here to take your jobs, they are coming here to survive.