Burning, refugees returning: women and children on the freight train

They crossed the border between Italy and Austria hidden in the trailer of a truck loaded on a freight train. Six of them, though some insiders said they saw nine people walk off the tracks, all Turkish nationals, were yesterday picked up by German police at Munich East Station. It is a 36-year-old woman with her three children of 5, 6 and 11 years and another 38 with her 17-year-old son. They are doing well despite the trip under conditions defined as “very precarious” by the agents. An episode that again focuses on the phenomenon of migrants crossing the Brenner route to reach the countries of Northern Europe and often risking their lives. “People have never stopped following it – explains Federica Franchi, president of Bozen Solidale – even if the numbers are included. On this side of the border, reception numbers are falling in silence, while the number of arrivals is rising ‘.


“Rolling highway”

The one of the two Turkish women and the four minors who traveled the Brenner route through the so-called Rola, «rolling highway(With trailers from trucks running on freight trains), it’s a story that all in all ended well. This was not the case with the two Moroccan migrants who were hit by a train at Brenner Pass at dawn on 18 December last year.. Two lives of 26 and 46 were shortened. Crossing the border hidden in trailers on a truck or a freight train is a well-established practice. It has not stopped, even now that the flows of targeted people are arriving from Ukraine. Only the spotlight was directed elsewhere. «From Brennero there is a constant passage – confirms Franchi -. Not very clear because the numbers are contained, but it never stopped. Checks and refusals are daily. People are taken off the trains and sent back. In Italy, those who come from the south, in Germany those who try the opposite way. We made some inspections to monitor the situation, but we would need a constant presence at the Brenner Pass ».

The big bumps

One of the big knots is the Dublin Convention, which stipulates that a migrant must seek asylum in the country of entry into Europe. Mechanism behind push-backs. “It often happens with Afghans seeking asylum in Austria or Germany – Franchi continues -. It is practice that lasts for years where a person has time to fit in, learn the language and find a job. So it happens that in order to avoid repatriation, they return to Italy and stop in South Tyrol, where they know the language and find a job fairly quickly. Difficulties arise later. “No one is welcome here – condemns the President of Bozen in solidarity -. According to the Critelli circular, the so-called “dublinati” do not have access to the receptionas persons who arrived autonomously and were not sent to the territory by the Ministry, as happens to those who then have the right to enter the Extraordinary Reception Centers (Cas) ». And then they end up sleeping on the street. “No one wants to rent an apartment or a room to these migrants – Franchi continues – even though these people have a regular employment contract and pay taxes, they do not have the right to stay or to get a general practitioner. And they find no alternative to sleeping under a bridge now that the Emergency Center cold is closed, as well as accommodation in via Renon ».

Many things

When asked what to do, Franchi smiles bitterly. “There would be too many things – he says -. Public institutions spend a lot of money with poor and temporary results. The most urgent and right thing, as well as the most easily achievable, would be to find houses for the workers. Those who work could at least have the option of paying for a room or a bed. Not in black, as so many are forced to do today. And that would take people out of the dormitories. ‘ A service that Caritas’ Migrantes service is currently dealing with, with 60 places for workers in a “hotel house”, where they can stay for a maximum period of three years.

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10 May 2022 (change 10 May 2022 | 19:38)

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