I recently spoke with a refugee friend from Northern Iraq about what it has cost him to be here. This particular friend lived in the UK for several years (6 or 7, I believe). However, because he was fingerprinted here in Greece when he first passed through, he was eventually sent back to Athens (as according to European Union law). Since his forced return to last winter, he has attempted to leave Greece at least 8 times in the last nine months. Despite these multiple attempts, he has been unable to return to the UK. He recently disclosed to me that he has spent roughly $14,000 attempting to get back to the UK since his return to Greece last winter. Wow! A family in Iraq could easily live off of this money for a year, he admitted to me. Where does the money come from? It comes from his friends in the UK, his family in Iraq, selling his car and other earthly possessions, and finding odd jobs while here in Greece. At this point, my friend feels trapped. He has lost hope. He plans on trying to return to England once more sometime in August. If he fails, he will return to Iraq. He says that he has no other choice.

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