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Why do they pay more than $1,000 to risk their lives to a smuggler in order to reach a country that finally promises asylum? A flight from Istanbul to Berlin or from Amman to Munich costs about $300.

The effort clearly is about denying refugees their legal right to seek asylum.
“They can reach the airports, they can afford to buy a ticket, but they cannot leave.” This is because the airlines will be fined if they allow anyone to travel to Europe or the U.S. without a visa.

“But,” you might say, “asylum seekers don’t need visas!” Indeed they do not. The same EU directive that orders airlines to pay fines if they allow anyone to board a plane without a visa, also states that the rule does not apply to refugees! But a refugee cannot get past the ticket agent. Airlines are afraid of fines, and countries who promise refuge are shamelessly using the airline-ticket agents to deny refugees a chance to safely seek asylum. This is the reason so many people drown in the Mediterranean Sea.

There are no regular ways for refugees to reach Europe.

Only when they touch land can they apply for asylum.

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