In the continuing drama of Europe's response to the hundreds of thousands of desperate refugees, mainly from Syria, Somalia and Eritrea, who are trying to find safety and a better life by making the perilous trip from North Africa to Italy, 3,690 people were rescued in the Mediterranean off the coast of Libya in one single day, Saturday, May 2, as reported in the Huffington Post. See:

Hundreds more were reported to have been rescued the following day, Sunday. with a least three deaths. While the immediate cause of the shipwrecks is reported to be smugglers' use of aging, leaky vessels crammed with more people than the ships can hold in order to maximize the traffickers' profits, the question still remains how Europe will react to the humanitarian crisis which led to the rescue of 170,000 migrants at sea in 2014, as well as incidents such as the drowning of 800 migrants last month, many of whom had been locked in the hold of the ship by smugglers.

Europe's far right is reacting to the crisis with calls for all the migrants who manage to make it to Europe to be returned to North Africa, or at the very least to be held in large ferries offshore while their asylum applications are processed, something which can take months.

While the debate rages over how to handle the immediate problems of how to prevent more deaths and what to do with the people who survive the trip across the Mediterranean, there does not seem to be much discussion about whether Europe could do more to respond to the root causes of the exodus, including violence, poverty and political instability in the countries concerned.

Nor is there much discussion of whether Europe needs to do more to control the influence of its own anti-immigrant far right wing, which in the not so distant path led it down the road to fascism.

Meanwhile, the battle in Europe between compassion for and rejection of desperate immigrants seeking to reach Italy from North Africa continues.
Roger Algase is a New York lawyer and a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School who has been practicing employment-based and family-based immigration law for more than 30 years. Roger strongly believes that the key to immigration success is through careful and detailed legal analysis of the law, as well as fully understanding the background, current situation and goals of each individual through direct one-to-one lawyer-client communication without depending on paralegals or other intermediaries. He also regards immigration as not just a set of technical rules, but also an area in which fairness, equal treatment and respect for human rights are fundamental.

Roger welcomes questions and comments at