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Asylum and refugees

Their eyes were furtive as they watched. Lorries rumbled by. The tension was tangible. The right moment had to be sensed. To run across open ground. Not to be seen. To scramble up under the chassis. To hold tight and hope for freedom. The risk was immense. But after what he’d been through it seemed worth it. For years his country had been a place of danger. Parents, sister and brother had been killed. He had grown tired of the shadows, the subterfuge, the pointless resistance. At least now he was doing something. At least now he might escape.

He didn’t expect to be called illegal after all he had been through. The English and French had fought two world wars for freedom hadn’t they?

She had looked after her mother since she was a child. She had come and gone from home, earned what she could. But the cost of meeting her mother’s needs was beyond her. Now 22, her younger sister 16, a plan ripened in her mind. She now knew her mother could be cared for and in Europe she could move freely. It might just be possible to go where the pay was better. She could then work as many hours as she could, live as thriftily as possible, and save to get what her mother needed.

She didn’t think that the term ‘economic migrant’ would be a label of abuse. She read that an English politician had once told the unemployed to ‘get on their bikes’ to find work.


Andrew Pratt (born 1948)
Words © Stainer & Bell Ltd, London, England,
Please include any reproduction for local church and school use on your CCL Licence returns. All wider and any commercial use requires prior application to Stainer & Bell Ltd.

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