Refugees are a truly global and heavily politicized phenomenon; Europe's handling of the Syrian refugee crisis being but the most obvious case. Even in countries where refugee populations are, relatively speaking, tiny -- as in most of Europe and the United States -- refugees almost automatically enter the minefield of political debates. Fact and fiction, often happily coexisting, produce ill-informed rhetoric aimed at maximum immediate political benefit. Scare-mongering and the linking of refugees with terrorism -- as well as careless equations of migrants and refugees -- are but some examples of this kind of instrumentalization of vulnerable populations. In other words: just throw in a mention of 'radical islam' and you have managed to politicize (or securitize) a large group of people fleeing for their lives. There is nothing new about people fleeing for their lives. Wars and persecution -- based on religious, political or ethnic grounds -- were hardly inventions of the 20th century. For millennia people have been forced to leave their homes in search of safety. Prejudice and fear still tend to be the most widely shared reactions among native populations when faced with the arrival of large -- or even relatively small but heavily mediatised (such as the Roma) groups of 'aliens' and they become what is euphemistically called the 'refugee problem'.
Refugees from South Sudan are simply out of sight and out of mind for the rest of the world.