Sunday 11 December 2016

The internet is grooming migrants for a brave new world

Published 22/04/2015 | 02:30

Migrants swim to reach the shore as others remain on a listing vessel, which later sunk off the Greek island of Rhodes on Monday with the loss of three lives
Migrants swim to reach the shore as others remain on a listing vessel, which later sunk off the Greek island of Rhodes on Monday with the loss of three lives

On February 5, 1889, the City of Dresden, a hulking old ship, disgorged 2,000 immigrants onto the sweltering docks of Puerto Madero in Buenos Aries. They were all Irish. This was the largest number of immigrants to dock from a single vessel ever in Argentinian history.

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They arrived into a city where they couldn't speak the language, where the summer heat was unbearable and where they were prey to the typical charlatans who feed on vulnerable migrants. They were alone, afraid and penniless.

Writing in the 'Southern Cross', the Irish newspaper in Argentina at the time, Father Matthew Gaughran wrote: "Anything more scandalous could not be imagined. Men, women and children whose blanched faces told of sickness, hunger and exhaustion after the fatigues of the journey had to sleep as best they could on the flags (stones) of the courtyard.

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