Afghans are the second largest migrant group — behind Syrians -– arriving in Europe, where authorities from the Mediterranean to the Baltic Sea are struggling to cope with the continent’s worst refugee crisis since World War II.

The prospect of a new tide of war refugees — from Afghanistan to Iraq and North Africa — poses a daunting challenge for EU policymakers already scrambling for a unified response to the overwhelming influx of people.

“The flood gates are open -– and this is our best chance to reach Europe,” said 28-year-old Mirwais, a former translator at an American base in the volatile eastern province of Kunar.

Mirwais, who has been waiting for a US Special Immigrant Visa (SIV)since he complained of Taliban threats in 2012, has been captivated by television footage of refugees pouring into Europe.