You’re sitting at home, your family is asleep upstairs and you smell smoke. What’s your first instinct? Is it to save your family and yourself from the burning house? Or is it to stay put and die in a house fire? After all you bought that house. You BELONG there. You don’t have a right to be somewhere else even though it’s safe and where you are isn’t… right? No, of course not. That’s ridiculous.
Yet that’s how we seem to be treating our fellow humans fleeing extreme danger and almost certain death. People that risk their lives in pursuit of safety rather than stay where they are and wait to die. People don’t pile into trucks risking suffocation because of the promise of Job Seeker’s Allowance in the UK. They pile into trucks because whatever they are fleeing from is worse than the danger of suffocating to death.
We have a duty of care to these people as we’re all from the same place. Your nationality means nothing in times of crisis. You are who you are because of an accident of birth. These refugees did not ask to be born into this situation. What they are asking for is help because they’ve got no other option.
You have to be pretty xenophobic to not recognise human suffering in its clearest form.
To return to the analogy of a house fire, would you allow your neighbour to remain in that dangerous situation? After all you need to make sure you have a pair of shoes for work on Monday, you can’t risk spending that money on someone else… or do you possibly see beyond the end of your nose for once and help someone in dire need?