As I was pondering this question, I recalled listening to a UN refugee official talking about the Africans trying to get to Europe in flimsy overloaded boats. He said "These people think of themselves as already dead. If they return home they will be killed. If they stay put they will be killed. Death is inevitable. They truly have nothing to lose so if they see even the slightest glimmer of hope for them and their family they will risk it." Thousands have died in the attempt but some made it.