Tag Archives: asylum

COVID19: Belgium releases 297 migrants

Belgium Immigration Office has released almost three hundred migrants from the closed reception centers in order to comply with the hygiene measures regarding the corona virus pandemic. That is what Minister of Asylum and Migration Maggie De Block (Open Vld) said, informing the Parliament about the decision. She added that the releases were made on a case-by-case basis and there are “no people who have committed crimes“, she assured among 297 released. All of them have exhausted legal procedures and did not obtain asylum, or any other legal status, allowing them to stay in Belgium, in reality from juridical point of view being irregular migrants.

The experts criticising the measure say that it is impossible to estalbish the past of the migrants in absence of population record in the majority countries of origin. In Africa more that 500 million people have no birth ceritificate, neither ID card, according to the World Bank. There is no opportuity to establish the past of people coming from failed states and war zones, making the decision of the Beglium government highly contraversial. None of the released has proven their rights for asylum in the European Union.

However the Minister preferred to switch the debate from security issues to pandemic dimension also emphasized that the various asylum centers in Belgium are taking measures against the further spread of the corona virus, in line with the rules that apply to all of the society.

The risk of contamination among asylum seekers is no higher than that of the rest of the population. I am a little annoyed by the people who assume that they are all spreaders of the virus. Stigmatization does not help anyone, especially in these exceptional times” De Block concluded.

The health risks are too great, we have to prevent the spread of the coronavirus,” said MP Wouter De Vriendt. “Homeless people, asylum seekers, sans-papiers or others must be temporarily housed in vacant holiday parks, sports halls or Defence infrastructure as soon as possible, in the interests of everyone,” he added.

Migrant shot dead at Greek border

Significant numbers of migrants and refugees have gathered in large groups at the Greek-Turkish land border and have attempted to enter the country illegally. I want to be clear: no illegal entries into Greece will be tolerated. We are increasing our border security,” Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said, reacting upon the tense situation at external EU border from Turksih side.

Greek border police have shot dead a migrant attempting to reach Europe as clashes grow following Turkey’s announcement that the border was “open.”

The Greek border is being besieged by thousands of migrants being convinced they can reach EU welfare havens following Ankara’s decision to stand down.

Following clashes that saw migrants attacking police with rocks and other objects, one victim was shot through the mouth and died at the scene.

“This is the first reported death among immigrants trying to cross the border from Turkey to Greece,” tweeted journalist Jenan Moussa. “A Syrian man is shot dead by Greek border guards. Here is the video.”

Migrants continue to arrive to Italy

An Italian merchant vessel, the Asso 25 that transported 62 illegal migrants to Pozzallo in Sicily. (Pictured above).

Alarm Phone NGO  wrote on social media that they the Maltese authorities did not provide any assistance when they were informed on the goings on in the search and rescue area.

According to ANSA News agency, Minister for Internal Affairs Matteo Salvini and the Pozzallo Port Authority have been informed of the transportation of migrants to Italy.

As many as eleven young people claimed they are minors. However the information given by illegal migrants is provided in the form of affidavit, their own statement about their identities. At present, according to the World Bank, there are more than 500 million people on African continent, who have no birth certificate, no passport. The status of ‘minor‘ they claim allows to profit from it, however there are no juridical mechanisms to verify the reality. Medical check of a ‘minor’, who committed a homicide in Sweden, was undertaken on prosecutors order, and revealed the “Ethiopian boy” was at least 21 instead of 15 he claimed.

Nigerian drug gang arrested in Sicily asylum

Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini said in a radio interview on RTL that the government will close the Cara asylum seeker centre in Mineo, Sicily, by the end of this year. “The bigger the centres are, the easier it is for criminals to infiltrate,” Salvini said.

A gang of Nigerian drug dealers based at the Cara di Mineo (Catania) and practicing Mafia methods were dismantled thanks to law enforcement and the judiciary. “For my part, I repeat the commitment to empty it by the end of this year“, he added.

At Cara di Mineo asylum centre police arrested 19 false asylum seekers who belonged to the Nigerian drug mafia.

 

 

 

 

EU Council adopts measures for migration control

European Council addressed the implementation of its approach to migration, which combines more effective control of the EU’s external borders, increased external action and the internal aspects.

European Council notes that the number of detected illegal border crossings has been brought down to pre-crisis levels, and that the overall downward trend is continuing. This is the result of the external migration policy of the Union and its Member States, based, in particular, on control of the external borders, the fight against smugglers and cooperation with countries of origin and transit, which has been intensified in recent months. This policy should therefore be continued, further developed and fully implemented.

Vigilance on all existing and emerging routes should be maintained, in particular in view of recent increases on the Western and Eastern Mediterranean Routes.

As regards the internal policies, the European Council invites the co-legislators to rapidly conclude negotiations on the European Border and Coast Guard (EBCG).

It welcomes the agreement reached at the level of the Council on 6 December 2018 with regard to enhancing the EBCG’s mandate in the area of return and cooperation with third countries. It also calls for further efforts to conclude negotiations on the Return Directive, on the Asylum Agency and on all parts of the Common European Asylum System, respecting previous European Council conclusions and taking into account the varying degree of progress on each of these files.

 

Trump suggests illegal migrants return without trial

President Donald Trump said  that migrants who enter the United States illegally should be sent back immediately to where they came from without any judicial process, qualified as invaders who are trying to “break into” the country.

President also insisted that the migration system should be fair, based on merit and respect of law, and aiming to welcome people who will ‘Make America Great Again!”

The proposal got strong criticism of the Democrats favoring open door policy for migrants crossing Mexican border, insisting the right to asylum. However the defenders of President Trump view point out at abuse of asylum legislation, used as a cover for economic migrants to enter the country, claiming they are asylum-seekers.

Mexico is the leading  country of origin for most unauthorized immigrants to the USA, among 11  million illegal migrants.

In 2016, the Border Patrol apprehended 117,200 immigrants from Central America, almost one-third of all apprehensions border-wide–and 5,000 more than during the so-called surge of 2014. The agency also apprehended 5,000 Haitians.

“God didn’t create borders. We shouldn’t have a border,” – former Mexican President Vicente Fox said, during an interview on Fox News, discussing details of the White House’s latest  immigration proposal, which includes amnesty for 1.8 million illegal immigrants in exchange for Mexican border wall funding, an end to the visa lottery, and major revisions to chain migration.

Meanwhile Mexico’s economy, society and political system are built around the assumption that migration to the USA and amnesties for undocumented migrants will continue to ensure  $20 billion they send home every year.

Experts defending  President Trump position underline that asylum-seekers should not come to border crossing, but come to one of 10 U.S. Consulates in Mexico to introduce their request.

Map US Consulate Mexico

 

 

MEPs for reform of ‘Dublin’

The report on the reform of the Dublin system will be voted duing upcoming European Parliament plenary in Strasboug,

Since 2015 the EU has taken several measures to manage the migration crisis as well as to improve the asylum system. According to the latest Eurobarometer poll, 73% of Europeans still want the EU to do more to manage the situation. However, 58% of respondents think the EU’s actions regarding migration are inadequate, eight percentage points less than last year. Read on to discover what measures the European Parliament is working on.

Last December the civil liberties committee backed a proposal to strengthen the current European Asylum Support Office (EASO), which will become the EU Agency for Asylum, responsible for ensuring a sustainable and fair distribution of asylum applicants. The agency would help EU countries during crisis situations and monitor how national authorities apply EU legislation. Currently Parliament representatives are negotiating on the plans with the Council and the European Commission.

In March a draft report on the reform of the Dublin system was presented to the civil liberties committee. The aim is to address the weaknesses of the current asylum system and to determine which EU country is responsible for processing an asylum application. After all the amendments have been submitted, the committee will vote on the report and it will then be up to all MEPs to vote on it during a plenary session.

The committee also supported in April a report aiming to set EU-wide standards for the reception conditions of asylum seekers and to improve their integration prospects and self-sufficiency. MEPs will now vote on it during a plenary session before starting negotiations with the Council and the Commission.

 

The Eurobarometer survey was conducted among 27,901 people from all EU countrieson 18-27 March and was set up to be representative of the population as a whole.

 

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