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African migration to Italy booms with the aid of NGOs as EU “Open borders” policy continues

gefira.org

Earlier this year, in January,1)Why the Italian government can’t resolve the problems of Mediterranean smuggling boats? Because it doesn’t want to, gefira.org 2 January 2017.we analysed how NGOs in collaboration with the Italian government had been shipping migrants from the Libyan shores to Italy and how it later evolved into the exploitation of migrants on the Italian farms and in the prostitution business in collusion with organized crime.

The first data available for the beginning of 2017 show that the business is booming even further: a 57% increase compared to the first months of 2016, which goes up to 81% for the whole winter period,2)Migrant rescues in Med hit three-year high, new data shows, telegraph.co.uk 5 March 2017.while the percentage of those transported by the NGOs ships has gone from 5% to 40% of the total in 2016, which becomes more than half in the last months of the year.3)Ong che salvano i migranti: due procure sospettano complicità con gli scafisti, tgcom24.mediaset.it 23 February 2017.NGOs are de facto replacing smugglers in the Mediterranean.

Italian newspaper Il Giornale managed to infiltrate the smuggling business, confirming the active role of NGOs: smugglers receive 2600-3200 Dollars to organize the human shipping from Libya, Tunisia, Egypt and Syria; they board about 45 people on a ship that navigates only a few miles until the migrants are taken over by the “humanitarian missions”.4)Il trafficante: Vai in Italia, ti vengono a prendere loro, ilgiornale.it 23 February 2017.For the smugglers little work and a lot of profit, while for the NGOs the personal gratification of having helped migrants have their dream of landing in Europe fulfilled. The Italian authorities are currently investigating the role of NGOs, as transporting people across borders without authorization, even without profit, may constitute an illegal act.5)Ong che salvano i migranti: due procure sospettano complicità con gli scafisti, tgcom24.mediaset.it 23 February 2017.The final numbers for 2016 reveal that 180’000 migrants set foot on Italian soil, with a rejection rate of 60,6)Applications and granting of protection status at first instance: 2016, asylumineurope.org.which, however, does not equate with repatriation. In February interim Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni signed an agreement with the Libyan authorities on managing the influx,7)Migranti, Gentiloni: “Accordo Italia-Libia è svolta”, quotidiano.net 3 February 2017.however the activities of the NGOs are not under scrutiny in this agreement. Frontex and European Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos insist that repatriation of illegals should be accelerated,8)Migranti. Monito Ue: paesi ricollochino o rischio sanzioni; servono più rimpatri, impedire la fuga, rainews.it 2 March 2017.which is not to say that the goal of the European Commission is to stop the influx: they only want to transform the chaotic migration into an organized mass population transfer: in a March conference in Geneva, Switzerland, Avramopoulos himself admitted that the goal was to establish hotspots on the African shores from where migrants can go to seek a job and a future in Europe, and that the objective was to welcome up to 6 million people in the next few years to make up for the shrinking European population.9)L’Europe va avoir besoin de 6 millions d’immigrés, tdg.ch 7 March 2017.

A recent report that appeared in the German newspaper Die Welt further disclosed the real position of the European leadership: the deal struck between Chancellor Merkel, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte and Turkish President Erdoğan over Syrian refugees included a previously secret clause about a yearly transfer of 150’000-300’000 of people who go by the name of refugees from Turkey to Europe.10)Report: Merkel and Rutte made concrete promises with Turkey over refugee quota, dw.com 13 March 2017.

The economic reasoning behind the “Open Borders” policy, as Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom defined it,11)EU may fill ‘void’ in global trade left by U.S. under Trump: Malmstrom, reuters.com 2 December 2017.is to provide cheap labor for European business and counteract the workforce scarcity resulting from the ageing population. Recent research, however, reveals that the logic is unfounded: with an ever increasing application of automation low skill jobs are disappearing.12)Secular Stagnation? The Effect of Aging on Economic Growth in the Age of Automation, economics.mit.edu 12 january 2017.For example, a typical job done by low skill immigrants, the taxi driver, is now on the verge of extinction, facing competition from the Uber private transportation and in the near future self-driving cars. The mass migration plans of the European Commission seem therefore misguided and likely to result in millions of people from the third world permanently depending on the already over-burdened European welfare states. OECD data confirm that in most countries, particularly those facing huge inflows of foreigners like France, Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands or Italy, unemployment among the foreigners is higher (almost twice or in a few cases even more) than the rate among the natives.13)Foreign-born unemployment, data.oecd.org.

Peter Sutherland, UN Special Representative for International Migration, who authored a piece on immigration14)Europe’s immigration challenge, theguardian.com 24 June 2012.with the already mentioned Commissioner Malmstrom (then responsible for Home Affairs, including immigration), adds another economic reason for open borders: the European Union should do its best to undermine the national homogeneity of Europe,15)EU should ‘undermine national homogeneity’ says UN migration chief, bbc.com 22 June 2012.to promote economic growth. The whole argument is anti-historical as European countries reached their technological, political and economic peak, first leaving behind the rest of the world and then conquering it, in the era of nation states, whilst it’s in a steady decline ever since open borders policies have been implemented. A final argument often brought to the table, even by prospective French President Emmanuel Macron is that mass migration can’t be stopped.16)Emmanuel Macron: Europe faces ‘unstoppable mass migration’ says French PM hopeful, express.co.uk 26 February 2017.However, the simple law enforcement by the Donald Trump administration in the United States, including the deportation of illegal immigrants, has resulted in a 40% drop in illegal crossings in the first few months of 2017.17)Illegal Border Crossings Appear to Drop Under Trump, nytimes.com 8 March 2017.It seems, therefore, that immigration flows are dependent on the will of the Western governments. Where governments, like the Italian one, opt for open borders and mass migration, shipment channels proliferate and people enter legally or illegally. Where governments opt for law enforcement like in the US, the influx is drastically reduced.

In the meanwhile, a war among the poor is brewing in Italy: after hearing that the Italian government had assigned 10 houses to the cooperatives managing the migrant business in Taranto, Southern Italy, citizens revolted, occupied the building and brought in Italian families in need of housing.18)Taranto: «No case agli immigrati» E 10 famiglie italiane le occupano, msn.com.Elsewhere, in Caserta, a television reporter trying to film a documentary about a huge illegal market of counterfeited goods run by immigrants was chased down and beaten up by them.19)Caserta, aggredito l’inviato di Striscia La Notizia, ilmessaggero.it 12 March 2017.

References   [ + ]

1. Why the Italian government can’t resolve the problems of Mediterranean smuggling boats? Because it doesn’t want to, gefira.org 2 January 2017.
2. Migrant rescues in Med hit three-year high, new data shows, telegraph.co.uk 5 March 2017.
3. Ong che salvano i migranti: due procure sospettano complicità con gli scafisti, tgcom24.mediaset.it 23 February 2017.
4. Il trafficante: Vai in Italia, ti vengono a prendere loro, ilgiornale.it 23 February 2017.
5. Ong che salvano i migranti: due procure sospettano complicità con gli scafisti, tgcom24.mediaset.it 23 February 2017.
6. Applications and granting of protection status at first instance: 2016, asylumineurope.org.
7. Migranti, Gentiloni: “Accordo Italia-Libia è svolta”, quotidiano.net 3 February 2017.
8. Migranti. Monito Ue: paesi ricollochino o rischio sanzioni; servono più rimpatri, impedire la fuga, rainews.it 2 March 2017.
9. L’Europe va avoir besoin de 6 millions d’immigrés, tdg.ch 7 March 2017.
10. Report: Merkel and Rutte made concrete promises with Turkey over refugee quota, dw.com 13 March 2017.
11. EU may fill ‘void’ in global trade left by U.S. under Trump: Malmstrom, reuters.com 2 December 2017.
12. Secular Stagnation? The Effect of Aging on Economic Growth in the Age of Automation, economics.mit.edu 12 january 2017.
13. Foreign-born unemployment, data.oecd.org.
14. Europe’s immigration challenge, theguardian.com 24 June 2012.
15. EU should ‘undermine national homogeneity’ says UN migration chief, bbc.com 22 June 2012.
16. Emmanuel Macron: Europe faces ‘unstoppable mass migration’ says French PM hopeful, express.co.uk 26 February 2017.
17. Illegal Border Crossings Appear to Drop Under Trump, nytimes.com 8 March 2017.
18. Taranto: «No case agli immigrati» E 10 famiglie italiane le occupano, msn.com.
19. Caserta, aggredito l’inviato di Striscia La Notizia, ilmessaggero.it 12 March 2017.