Category Archives: Immigration

MEPs endorse stronger corps of border guards

Members of European Parliament have approved the proposal to assign to the EU Border and Coast Guard Agency a standing corps of 10,000 border guards by 2027 to strengthen the security in Mediterranean. 

Europe’s external borders have seen an unprecedented rise in the numbers of illegal migrants and refugees wishing to enter the EU in recent years. The plans,adopted by MEPs during April Plenary will see the EU agency equipped with a standing corps of 10,000 border guards by 2027. The standing corps will consist of staff members employed by the agency as well as staff seconded on a mandatory basis by EU countries. 

“You have to be fair with those who deserve protection, harsh with those prey on the vulnerable and firm with those who seek to break the rules” the rapporteur Roberta Metsola (pictured above), the rapporteur said.

The critics of the measure say the measure is superficial and does not address the problem of the illegal migration in a meaningful way. Often articulated promises to apply  different approach to people who have right for asylum, and those who don’t are largely exclusionary, because it is impossible to trace their identities in principle.

African population is largely following verbal traditions, and has no custom to issue documents at birth. According World Bank 500 million Africans have no birth certificate and have no information on date of their birth, including day, month, year. This phenomena became notorious in Europe, when young men were successfully claiming to be minors, but there were no legal mechanism to establish their age. Subsequently in absence of population register in SubSaharan Africa the promises to make difference between different categories of illegal migrants crossing Mediterranean, are totally illusory.

The opponents of Roberta Metsola insist that at present shape the Coast Guard Agency is designed to accommodate illegal migrants plans to enter Europe safely, however it does not serve the interest of the European nations, some of which, like Italy, were overwhelmed by the influx of migrants from Sub-Saharan Africa.

 

NGOs attack Castaner over collusion with smugglers

My comment on the role of NGOs is unambiguous. […] I have never questioned the sincerity of NGOs”, said French Minister of Interior Christophe Castaner in a video posted on his Twitter micro blog, while ensuring that his statements, concerning NGOs were based on “facts“.

It is documented that in some cases there have been de facto interactions between smugglers and some NGOs,” he said, citing “two Frontex reports in November and December 2016“.

On April 12, while ensuring that NGOs “play a vital role in providing assistance to migrants” in the Mediterranean, Christophe Castaner had considered that they “could be accomplices” smugglers and had called them to “have a responsible attitude“. The SOS Mediterranean Association sent him a letter denouncing “serious accusations“, assuring that none of these allegations “has ever been proven or substantiated by the slightest evidence” and that “none of the judicial proceedings initiated did not succeed“.

Our enemies, our real enemies, our only enemies, are the smugglers. The smugglers, and nobody else“, also underlined Christophe Castaner, who denounced the reactions of indignation coming from the NGOs.

Greece faces migrant unrest at borders

Greece urged crowds of illegal migrants who have gathered in the fields along the country’s northern border to return to their initial settlements, otherwise they could face sanctions. (Photo above: illustration).

Migrants equipped with smartphones started to arrive at a field next to a camp of Diavata near the border with Northern Macedonia on April 4.

By April 5  morning there were more than 100 tents pitched in the field, presumably provoked by spread via social media information of plans for an organized movement to cross Greece’s northwest land border with Albania in early April. There were children seen among migrants, who showed up next to the border.

In Athens, a group of some dozens of migrants squatted on the tracks of the capital’s main railway station shouting “Germany!” and “Open the borders.” Several more were at the station under heavy police presence.

Greek Migration Minister Dimitris Vitsas appealed to the migrants at the border to return to the accommodation centers.

It’s a lie that the borders will open,” he told Greek state television ERT. “In international treaties, there are obligations but there are also sanctions”.

Mr.Vitsas expressed hope that those who came to the border upon their own initiative would leave by night, without any risking further escalation.

Social media has already reported clashes between marching migrants and Greece police.

Russians dream to immigrate

Russian Federation is dangerously close to a large-scale demographic crisis, with its population declining for the first time in a decade in 2018, one in five Russians (20%) now say that they would like to leave Russia if they could, according to Gallup research.

Typically young people are more likely to migrate — as they are the most mobile group within a population — the 44% of the youngest Russians who want to move is unprecedented number in within the past decade.

Paradoxically  Moscovites, who have higher living standards that the rest of the country,  are in first ranks of those who are willing to leave. Since 2014, the percentage of working-age Russians who say they would like to move has at least tripled, jumping from 14% to 44% among 15- to 29-year-old, from 7% to 22% among those between the ages of 30 and 45 and from 3% to 9% among those aged 46 to 60.

Russians who wish to migrate prefer countries within the European Union (40%), followed by North America (16%). Russians are most likely to name Germany (15%) and the U.S. (12%) specifically.

Larger potential migration numbers could accelerate the population decline, and losses could potentially exceed the 8% of the population that the United Nations currently projects Russia to lose by 2050.

 

Italy keeps ‘jus soli’ for migrants children

Italian citizenship for immigrant children, known as ‘jus soli‘ (‘law of the soil’), “isn’t in the government’s contract” Premier Giuseppe Conte said, but added that he hoped for a “calm reflection” of the issue in “the appropriate fora“.

Deputy Premier Luigi Di Maio rejected the idea that the government would discuss jus soli. “It won’t be a measure that this government discusses, also because there’s already a law in Italy that regulates citizenship,” Di Maio said commenting on the suggestion of Conte.
The reflection hoped for by the premier is a personal feeling of his,Di Maio underlined.

At present a child born of an Italian parents receives Italian citizens by jus sanguinis, so does a child born in Italy of unknown or stateless parents under ‘jus soli‘, meaning Italy practices mixed system as many other EU states.

The jus sanguinis principle has positive influence on the prevention of statelessness: children born to European nationals anywhere in the world don’t run risks of being stateless.

The right to a nationality is not directly addressed in the European Convention on Human Rights, however the European Court (ECHR) uses the other tools to deal with the issue, as the right to respect for private and family life.

Citizenship is a serious thing and comes at the end of an integration path, it is not a ticket to the Luna Park”, Matteo Salvini said, facing a weighty problem of 600,000 foreigners who illegally remain in Italy. Pointing at this challenge, he rejected the attempts of center-left to reform the laws that regulate the Italian citizenship of the children of immigrants .

The European Convention on Nationality (ECN) indicates minimum standards for the protection of individual rights in the context of acquisition and loss of nationality.

While the ECN allows states to require that the children of immigrants in this case are residing lawfully on the territory of a state, but this condition is not regarded under the 1961 Convention, postulating the states need to grant nationality also to undocumented children born on their territory.

Iceland and Republic of Macedonia (Northern Macedonia) are European countries that have ratified the ECN without having ratified the 1961 Convention, and therefore on legal grounds require a residence permit of stateless children born on their territory before granting them access to nationality.

 

Sea-Watch blames EU for migrant piracy

Malta informed its navy has seized control of a tanker ship hijacked by migrants in the Mediterranean, according to a government statement. (Image above: illustration).

The Captain repeatedly stated that he was not in control of the vessel and that he and his crew were being forced and threatened by a number of migrants to proceed to Malta. AFM Patrol Vessel P21 stopped the tanker from entering the Maltese territorial waters,”  the  government statement said.

Maltese maritime  authorities established contact with the vessel’s captain when the tanker was about 30 nautical miles (55 km) off the coast.

Italy‘s Interior Minister Matteo Salvini, , said that relevant authorities would not have allowed “criminals” who had committed an act of piracy to enter its ports.

Regardless an act of piracy the Sea Watch, NGO which carries out search and rescue operations in the Mediterranean, criticized Salvini‘s comments, blaming Europe for despair, pushing Africans to criminal path.

We must look to these 108 people with an eye of humanity and understand that any actions taken yesterday were in self-defense against the deadly consequences forced upon them by Europe’s inhumane border policy,” says Johannes Bayer, Chairman of Sea-Watch.

Several police vans were lined up in the port to take custody of the migrants for investigation, and five migrants were removed from the ship in handcuffs.

Malta officials report 100 illegal migrants arrived on board of a hijacked vessel  — 38 men, 15 women and 47 claiming to be minors. In absence of documents the real age of the “minors” is impossible to establish in ordinary legal procedures, the status of a minor automatically foresees a set of advantages, and makes it much easier for migrants to obtain asylum status.

Senegalese sets school bus ablaze in protest

Senegalese immigrant Ousseynou Sy (47) was held by Carabinieri police after hijacking a bus with schoolchildren for subsequently setting ablaze in an apparent murder attempt, sources close to investigation said.
According to an initial reconstruction, the assailant hijacked the bus with 51 pupils from school in the northern Italian province of Cremona.

The suspect has been named as Ousseynou Sy, with a criminal record who is originally from Senegal, in 2004 granted Italian citizenship.
The perpetrator also explained he wished to commit suicide afterwards to “stop the deaths in the Mediterranean,” the sources said.
No one will survive,Ousseynou Sy threatened after hijacking the vehicle, according to Carabinieri Provincial Commander Luca De Marchis. After being stopped by police, he jumped off the bus and set it ablaize, presumably premeditating the act by pouring inflammable liquid inside.
But the Carabinieri managed to get the children out by smashing windows at the back, the sources said. Before being stopped, the suspect had also tried to ram through a road block. Twelve children and two adults were taken to hospital after suffering smoke inhalation. The bus has burnt out.
A teacher who was with the children said that it was not the first time Sy worked as a driver with pupils on board.
We knew him” the teacher said, adding that the hijacker was angry about the government’s migrant policy. According to the teacher the hostage situation occurred when Sy intended to get to Milan’s Airport Linate.

A Senegalese with Italian citizenship behind a wheel of a school bus, with precedents for driving in the state of intoxication and sexual assault, hijacked the vehicle and finally set fire to him. It happened in the province of Milan. The man was arrested.” Matteo Salvini, Italian Interior Minister wrote in his Twitter micro blog.

Right now the Police are searching his house. I want to see clear: why did a person with similar precedents drove a vehicle to transport children?” Salvini added.

 

« Older Entries