ROSZKE, Hungary (AP) — How far can you walk when you are a child? How scary do border police appear to those only three feet high?
Migrant children by the thousands are finding these things out every day, as they and their parents struggle mightily to cover a vast territory, from Syria to Turkey, across the sea to Greece, up north to Macedonia and Serbia, across the border fence to Hungary, by foot, bus or train to Austria and Germany.
The head of the European Commission issued an impassioned plea Wednesday for Europe to face up to its immigration crisis, urging EU countries to agree by next week to share 160,000 refugees and warning that Greece, Italy and Hungary can no longer handle the influx alone.
Speaking at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France, Jean-Claude Juncker unveiled a list of new proposals to help Europe confront its biggest refugee emergency since World War II.
"The refugee crisis will not simply go away," Juncker told EU lawmakers, noting that some 500,000 migrants have entered Europe this year, many from conflict-torn Syria and Libya. "It's high time to act."
Juncker's new plan involves sharing 120,000 refugees from Greece, Italy and Hungary among 22 member states, on top of a proposal the EU's executive made in May to share 40,000 refugees from just Greece and Italy. The Czech Republic and Slovakia immediately rejected the idea that compulsory quotas might be imposed, while other nations criticized the new proposal even before it was made public
In the meantime, migrant children walk and walk — until it's time to sleep like the dead.