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Shame on us all.

Our Grandparents must be weeping in their graves. 

If the shoe was on the other foot we be howling blue murder.

I always thought any one fleeing a war was called a Refugee not an Immigrant. Many important issues depend greatly on definitions of who is a migrant.

The vicious civil war in Syria has triggered a huge exodus. Afghans, Eritreans and other nationalities are also fleeing poverty and human rights abuses. All created by us in the first place. 

There is no such thing as an EU or European immigration policy.

Immigration has become a toxic political issue; especially as high levels of unemployment and the economic crisis have fueled a growing anti-immigration sentiment across Europe.

Throughout history, people have migrated from one place to another.

People try to reach European shores for different reasons and through different channels. They look for legal pathways, but they risk also their lives, to escape from political oppression, war and poverty, as well as to find family reunification, entrepreneurship, knowledge and education.

Europe's Migration Crisis

Every person’s migration tells its own story.

Since the beginning of the year some 153,000 migrants have been detected at Europe’s external borders.

Faced with that influx, Europe is currently the most dangerous destination for irregular migration in the world, and the Mediterranean Sea the world’s most dangerous border crossing.

With nationalist parties ascendant in many member states and concerns about Islamic terrorism looming large across the continent, it remains unclear if political headwinds will facilitate a new climate of immigration reform.

Hungary has urged its EU partners not to send back migrants who have traveled on from Hungary. And it plans to fence off the whole border with Serbia.

The UK has high levels of opposition to immigration. Opposition to the arrival of immigrants in the UK is far from new. People in Britain are more likely than the people of other nations to view immigration negatively – to see immigration as a problem rather than an opportunity, and to view the immigrant population as already too large.

This is not surprising, given that members of the public are often not well-versed in the details of policy in any area.

After months of argument EU leaders agreed to triple funding for Triton, to some €120m (£86m) – taking it back to the spending levels of Italy’s Mare Nostrum.

A drop in the Ocean.

A portfolio of policies is required to reduce irregular migration, certainly including border control, but combined with addressing the root causes of conflict and poverty, combating smuggling and trafficking, effective migration management and return, and the regulation of labor markets.

More restrictive policies will only narrow options for desperate people and drive more of them into the arms of migrant smugglers and traffickers.

Experience around the world demonstrates that border control is not a silver bullet. In the absence of a coordinated EU approach, migrants — and their smugglers — will continue to target countries like Greece, Italy, and Spain as entry points;

They will remain clandestine even if they may have a strong asylum claim;

They will continue to work in the informal labor market or turn to crime to survive; and their rights will not be recognized or respected.

The downside of making policy on immigration in this environment strongly outweighs the upside.

There is no political space to promote liberal policies on migration; while politicians at least behind closed doors know that restrictive policies are unlikely to work.

In the absence of a reasoned debate, a comprehensive policy response, a coordinated EU approach, and the political courage to confront irregular migration, Europe’s immigration nightmare has only just begun.

This is an opportunity for the EU to face up to the need to strike the right balance in its migration policy and send a clear message to citizens that migration can be better managed collectively by all EU actors.

A clear and well implemented framework for legal pathways to entrance in the EU (both through an efficient asylum and visa system) will reduce push factors towards irregular stay and entry, contributing to enhance security of European borders as well as safety of migratory flows.

The EU is  facing a series of long-term economic and demographic challenges. Its population is ageing, while its economy is increasingly dependent on highly-skilled jobs. It is going to need thousands of immigrants if it going to survive Climate Change.

We need a new model of legal migration:

A summer of “Europe’s shame” headlines looms. The politicians may well lose control as events dictate political outcomes.

Give a door to Humanity a try rather than the I’am all right Jack Economy.

May all of those that have lost their lives in vane rest in peace. 

There go I but for the grace of The European Union should be our Mantra.

 

 

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