A 21-year-old Syrian people smuggler has claimed he is doing "God's work" by illegally transporting immigrants from the Middle East to Europe.
The anonymous smuggler recently told The Telegraph that he is giving immigrants "a lifeline" by offering to move them across treacherous ocean waters from Turkey to Greece.
"I have understood this humanitarian crisis and want to help in a merciful way," the 21-year-old told the media outlet in a recent interview. "We give these people a lifeline."
"I want to build myself up as a smuggler, but not in immoral ways that God does not accept," the young man added.
As The Telegraph reports, human smugglers are available in coastal cities such as Turkey and Libya, where they usually charge $445 per head to stuff migrants in unstable inflatable boats and transport them over often-choppy waters to Europe.
The mass migration from the Middle East saw over 1 million new people arrive in Europe in 2015. Of these newcomers, over 350,000 traveled by sea, and 2,600 died during their journey.
Media outlets have reported on the dangers and fatalities associated with this ocean voyage, as the inflatable rafts are often overfilled with people, causing them to capsize..
The international community became especially enraged in May after a particularly haunting image emerged showing the body of a 3-year-old boy who had washed up on the shores of Turkey.
The boy had been traveling on a 15-foot boat with his family from Turkey to Greece when the small vessel capsized. His mother and brother also drowned in the incident.
Countries like Greece are under pressure from the European Union to strengthen their borders as thousands of immigrants continue to flow into Europe daily.
According to BBC, the European Union recently set a deadline of three months for Greece to get its crisis under control.
Other countries, including the Czech Republic, have warned that they will do all they can to protect their country from the deluge of illegal immigrants.
Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka told Reuters that Greece has failed to control the influx, saying: "The current situation when up to 3,000 people come to Greece every day certainly is not what we had in mind."
"The Visegrad Four (V4) realizes how important it is to focus on the west Balkan route and show solidarity with the west Balkan countries and help them with protection of their borders," the prime minister continued, referencing the alliance of central Europe countries.
"Already now policemen from V4 countries are helping on the Macedonian border, we are prepared to strengthen our aid if needed," he added.
Germany has also become a major hub for Middle Easterners, and some have criticized Chancellor Angela Merkel for having too lax of a policy on immigration.
In December, Merkel pledged to cut immigration numbers after 1.5 million people entered the country in 2015.
"Even a strong country like Germany would in the long run be unable to cope with such a large number of refugees," Merkel said in December. "We want to tangibly reduce the number of refugees arriving. With an approach focused on the German, European and global level, we will succeed in regulating and limiting migration."
Merkel added that Germany has a "moral and political" obligation to help those seeking a better life.
"We will live up to our humanitarian responsibility," she continued. "The refugee crisis is a historic test for Europe, which I am convinced it will pass. Even if everything we do in Europe is interminably arduous."