Germany imposes border controls with Austria in response to mass migrations

By Steven Viera || Senior Editor

In response to unprecedented waves of refugees seeking shelter in Europe, Germany will introduce temporary controls on its border with Austria to stem the inflow of these migrants. According to an article published online by the BBC, train services between Germany and its southern neighbor will be suspended until Monday, Sep. 14, at 3:00 p.m.

This announcement contradicts a previous statement by the German government that it would open its borders to all refugees, who have been displaced from their homes in Syria and the Middle East due to the ongoing Syrian Civil War and the rise of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS). Germany– which admitted more than 13,000 refugees last Saturday alone– is nearing its limits in terms of the level of services and accommodations it can provide to migrants according to Thomas de Maiziere, the nation’s interior minister.

Germany expects up to 800,000 migrants to arrive by the end of the year and has called upon other European nations and the United States to take a larger role in addressing the crisis, while last week, the European Commission announced a quota system to distribute 120,000 migrants over 25 member states.

As they head north from Syria and other points of origin, such as Afghanistan and Eritrea, migrants face myriad difficulties before arriving safely in Europe. After leaving the violence and poverty of their home countries, migrants must travel in unsafe conditions: Last Sunday, for example, more than 30 refugees died when their boat capsized in the southern Aegean Sea. Migrants have also faced challenges from security forces in European nations, like Hungary, which have attempted to turn them back or otherwise impede their entrance to Europe. Hungary is also attempting to build a wall as a physical deterrent to further immigration.

Senior Steven Viera is a Senior Editor. His email is sviera@fandm.edu.

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