I sat last night and watch ZDF's (public TV Channel Two in Gemany) Frontal 21 news documentary piece on immigration and asylum. It was a 11.5-minute piece which talks to several aspects of the migration situation going on in Germany, and throughout Europe.
The video is worth watching....although in German.
What the news folks point out is that the topic of immigration cannot be discussed today without talking about the smugglers. The smugglers themselves....are as much a part of the story, as the immigrants and asylum-seekers.
The smugglers are built into various networks. You can see evidence in Italy of them being part of the Italian mafia, and stretching down into Libya. You can see hints of the smugglers being connected to the humanitarian groups or rescue ships. In some minor ways, you can see the smugglers even being connected to social-change groups within Europe now.
How much are the smugglers making? No one will cite real numbers....it's only estimations. You figure one of these 100-person Chinese-made rubber rafts costing around 2,000 dollars. Toss in four hours of your time on some fishing vessel to launch the raft, and charge each person a minimum of $1,000 to be a passenger....maybe even $2,000. The profit for one single day could be in the $150,000 range.
It's an attractive scenario from a get-rich-quick type situation. You call such-and-such charity-rescue group and let them know that on Friday.....you will launch a raft and it'll be within a mile of such-and-such point. They 'rescue' the raft-people and dump them off at some Italian port. Some charity group will operate such-and-such camp where services and operations have a hefty price-tag attached and no one seems to audit anyone. Each migrant is viewed as human property. Some will move on with some legit future, and some will be errand-kids for some illicit mafia operation.
The news piece is worth watching, but by the end....you just sit there and wonder who runs the agenda and if you should feel sorry for anyone.