Off the coast of Lampedusa, 2014

Donald Trump's Mexican border wall has been a rallying cry and all-purpose metaphor since his improbable campaign began in 2015. But if and when it gets built, the wall would also be, well, a wall. The U.S. president's decision Tuesday to let the so-called DACA program expire is aimed at pushing Congress to find a permanent legislative solution to the question of children of undocumented immigrants already on American soil. It would be the beginning of the nuts and bolts (and bricks) of the Administration's on-the-ground plans for overhauling immigration policy. The Washington Post reports that Trump may aim to link a deal to allow current undocumented residents to stay to the funding of the wall along the border with Mexico meant to keep others from arriving.

Across the Atlantic, the issue of immigration has its own dynamic and geography — and imagery. For more than a decade, we have gotten used to desperate scenes of would-be migrants trying to make it across the Mediterranean from North Africa in rafts and small fishing boats, too often dying along the way. Then in 2015, rather than rafts or walls, Hungary had its fences instead: makeshift barriers erected to keep out a new wave of refugees from the war in Syria trying to cross onto European Union territory.

Not a one-way street

On Wednesday, the metaphor of those fences got its day in court. The European Union's top tribunal rejected a challenge by Hungary and several other Eastern European countries to fixed quotas for each EU country to take in a certain number of refugees. Still, it remains unclear what will happen on the ground. In Hungary, where ardent anti-immigration Prime Minister Viktor Orban continues to take a hard line, not a single refugee has received asylum since the crisis peaked two years ago.

European Parliament President Antonio Tajani was quoted by Italian daily La Stampa as saying that relocation procedures must begin now, with penalties imposed on the countries that don't comply. "Solidarity," he quipped, "is not a one-way street."

There has been another recurring plotline in the global migration saga in recent years: the so-called "Jungle" in Calais, France, where thousands of migrants from continental Europe have gathered to try to pass into Britain from across the English Channel. A year ago, French authorities decided it was finally time to dismantle the makeshift village once and for all, forcing migrants to locations elsewhere in France.

Le Figaro reports that, little-by-little, migrants have begun to return to Calais. A few dozen have grown to a few hundred in the past weeks, still hoping to make it into the UK where job prospects are better. It is a reminder that the metaphors of migration are ultimately a very human question of mathematics.

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La Sagrada Familia Delayed Again — Blame COVID-19 This Time

Hopes were dashed by local officials to see the completion of the iconic Barcelona church in 2026, in time for the 100th anniversary of the death of its renowned architect Antoni Guadí.

Work on La Sagrada Familia has been delayed because of the pandemic

By most accounts, it's currently the longest-running construction project in the world. And now, the completion of work on the iconic Barcelona church La Sagrada Familia, which began all the way back in 1882, is going to take even longer.

Barcelona-based daily El Periodico daily reports that work on the church, which began as the vision of master architect Antoni Gaudí, was slated to be completed in 2026. But a press conference Tuesday, Sep. 21 confirmed that the deadline won't be met, in part because of delays related to COVID-19. Officials also provided new details about the impending completion of the Mare de Déu tower (tower of the Virgin).

El Periódico - 09/22/2021

El Periodico daily reports on the latest delay from what may be the longest-running construction project in the world.

One tower after the other… Slowly but surely, La Sagrada Familia has been growing bigger and higher before Barcelonians and visitors' eager eyes for nearly 140 years. However, all will have to be a bit more patient before they see the famous architectural project finally completed. During Tuesday's press conference, general director of the Construction Board of the Sagrada Familia, Xavier Martínez, and the architect director, Jordi Faulí, had some good and bad news to share.

As feared, La Sagrada Familia's completion date has been delayed. Because of the pandemic, the halt put on the works in early March when Spain went into a national lockdown. So the hopes are dashed of the 2026 inauguration in what would have been the 100th anniversary of Gaudi's death.

Although he excluded new predictions of completion until post-COVID normalcy is restored - no earlier than 2024 -, Martínez says: "Finishing in 2030, rather than being a realistic forecast, would be an illusion, starting the construction process will not be easy," reports La Vanguardia.

But what's a few more years when you already have waited 139, after all? However delayed, the construction will reach another milestone very soon with the completion of the Mare de Déu tower (tower of the Virgin), the first tower of the temple to be completed in 44 years and the second tallest spire of the complex. It will be crowned by a 12-pointed star which will be illuminated on December 8, Immaculate Conception Day.

Next would be the completion of the Evangelist Lucas tower and eventually, the tower of Jesus Christ, the most prominent of the Sagrada Familia, reaching 172.5 meters thanks to an illuminated 13.5 meters wide "great cross." It will be made of glass and porcelain stoneware to reflect daylight and will be illuminated at night and project rays of light.

La Sagrada Familia through the years

La Sagrada Familia, 1889 - wikipedia

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