The following article first appeared on the Washington Post. We reprint in part here.
VIENNA — Moving among the tens of thousands of Syrian war refugees passing through the train stations of Europe are many who are neither Syrian nor refugees, but hoping to blend into the mass migration and find a back door to the West.
There are well-dressed Iranians speaking Farsi who insist they are members of the persecuted Yazidis of Iraq. There are Indians who don’t speak Arabic but say they are from Damascus. There are Pakistanis, Albanians, Egyptians, Kosovars, Somalis and Tunisians from countries with plenty of poverty and violence, but no war.
It should come as no surprise that many migrants seem to be pretending they are someone else. The prize, after all, is the possibility of benefits, residency and work in Europe.
Leaders in Germany and other European states say they are prepared to award asylum to legitimate refugees from countries such as Syria, Iraq and Eritrea, but they are issuing more strident warnings they will reject many of the economic migrants streaming over their borders.
Read more at the Washington Post.