One of the hottest world issues for Europe and the entire world recently has to be the recent immigration crisis. We all may have varying views on how to stop or handle it, but it’s definitely a world issue that will not go away immediately.
When I initially heard about Europe’s recent immigration crisis, I had the same thoughts that I’m sure many others had. Instead of reflecting back on how my own family and ethnic group made their way to America, I was focused more on how this process was portrayed in the media and how there should be a formalized process to handle things.
After actually reading stories and watching videos on the struggles and reasons behind people wanting to migrate to Europe, I realized I was completely wrong. Reading the stories hit home to me, as my family and countless other Hmong people know the struggles of the new migrants all to well. It wasn’t too long ago when Hmong people were in the same situation. Having agreed to help out the American military, similar to the Syrian rebels, the Hmong were tasked with assisting with the American war in Laos and Vietnam. When the fight for democracy hit a clear wall and the war was ending, the Hmong faced the prospect of being hunted down, and a grim prospect of a normal life in Laos. Like the Syrian people, the Hmong were forced to make a decision. Live in war torn country and suffer, or leave the country in search of a brighter future with democracy providing the way.
While I was not born in Laos, I’m a product of what the Hmong sought out to seek with leaving Laos. Instead of being born in a war torn country, I was given the chance to be born and raised in the United States of America. If my family didn’t decide to make the move and leave Laos, I can’t imagine where we would be or how life would be. Moving to the United States gave my family and I the chance to live a normal life, go to school, and have a roof over our heads without the worry of gunfire or bombs.
In comparison to today’s immigration crisis, it’s not any different than what the Hmong experienced years ago. The current migrants simply want to provide their family and their people with a chance at a normal life, future, and a simple sense of well being. While the migrants may not be arriving into Europe and countries around the world in a formal way, we as a society need to do our best to help those who are simply looking for a better life for themselves. This is not the first crisis that we’ll experience in our lifetime, and certainly not the last.