The EU may need to rethink its controversial travel restrictions after a series of protests at its airports, and a number of people have said they plan to travel from Europe to the US to protest.
The demonstrations began last weekend when thousands of people from across the world gathered at airports around Europe in an attempt to travel to the United States.
Many of them said they planned to fly to the border between the US and Canada, a long and expensive journey.
Some of those who were planning to travel said the border had become a breeding ground for people smuggling and other criminal activities.
On Monday, a protest at Dublin’s Oriel Airport was disrupted by the police after several hundred people tried to cross the border to Canada, prompting a temporary closure of the border.
The protesters then began to set up camp outside the main gate of the Oriel airport.
They told the authorities they wanted to “send a message” that the government was “not going to take our rights lightly”.
A number of European governments have since stepped in, issuing travel restrictions and even imposing border checks.
“We have to keep an eye on these issues, because the international community is not on our side,” said one protester, speaking to the Irish Independent from Brussels.
“We are in a globalised world, and it’s very dangerous for us to go from one world to another.”
The US is a major source of people coming to Europe, but the EU has also come under fire for the restrictions.
Many have said the restrictions are unnecessarily restricting the freedoms of EU citizens and citizens of other member states, with many questioning the reason behind the restrictions and why they have been imposed.
Several people told the Irish News they had travelled from Europe last year and had not been able to come to the UK, despite the UK being a key point of entry for people from the EU.
“I’ve heard so many stories about people who were told they couldn’t come to America because they’re EU citizens,” said a young Irish woman who asked to be identified as Claire.
“It’s not the UK anymore, so why should they be allowed to come here?”
“The idea that you’re going to let them into the UK for free and then send them back when they’re not allowed in, it’s not right,” she said.
“They should be banned and they should be kept away from the UK.”
“I don’t know what the UK government is thinking, but I know they’re doing it to try to get their way.”
Claire said she had been planning to go to the USA, but that she did not have enough money to make the trip, and the protest was not going to be easy.
“They should have had to pay to have their passports scanned and checked,” she added.
The Irish News contacted the Irish Border Agency for comment, but received no response by publication time.
“The UK government has always maintained its position that it will not impose border controls at Dublin airport, the Irish border or any other EU country, but is prepared to allow border checks to be conducted at its ports of entry,” a spokesperson for the UK Border Agency said.
“It is also in the UK’s interests that those travelling to Ireland have the opportunity to do so in a secure environment, which is why we continue to work closely with the Irish government on this matter.”