The word conjures up a variety of images, fleeing for one’s life, enduring harsh weather, dying at sea. The United Nations put a figure on the human toll yesterday, stating that 60 million people have been driven from their homes and remain displaced as of the end of 2014. The statistic is staggering. And the world’s richest nations are not stepping up to alleviate the situation. Direct immigration points across the Mediterranean to Europe are being treated with disfavor by sanctuary countries who seem more interested in preserving their wealth than showing basic human compassion.
Before we start to criticize them, however, we should remember how we felt when there was a sudden surge across our southern border. The numbers of people strain government resources and stretch the ability of humanitarian organizations. In the end, they show the uneven distribution of resources around the world, when so many people want a better life for their children, they are willing to risk their lives in the process.
Perhaps, the most important first step involves recognizing the tragedy of the situation. Faith-based communities can step up to help, but when the problem becomes too big, only the government can provide real relief. The Senate and Congress need to hold hearings about this situation rather than worrying about what Hillary Clinton said or did not say during the unfortunate developments at Benghazi.