Libya has said that there are 1.5 million sub-Saharan Africans on its territory and many have their sights set on Europe.Specifically, they're trying for the Italian islands of Lampedusa and Sicily, thence to mainland Italy. However, they frequently run out of fuel and wind up in... Malta. And:
Under European Union law, asylum seekers must stay in the European country they first arrive in. Although Malta is no bigger than the Isle of Wight, it is a sovereign member of the EU, so anyone who lands is stuck there.But, wait, their screwing gets worse:
Five years ago Malta received only 24 illegal migrants. This year's total stands at more than 1,100 so far, with about 30 arrivals a night - the equivalent of 165,000 asylum seekers reaching Britain.They go on to provide a few quotes and a poll that doesn't exactly put the Maltese in a good light. (The picture above is of the ever-attractive actress Justine Bateman who is of Maltese descent. Because of my good memories of Family Ties I'm going to give the Maltese the benefit of the doubt. I'm sorry, I know this is a news story, but I just couldn't resist.) And, other Europeans countries are trying to pass the buck, and the EU rules aren't working in Malta's favor.
Some 4,000 asylum seekers have arrived since the crisis began in 2002. More than half are eventually granted refugee status or humanitarian leave to remain. Most of those refused asylum also stay on the island, in a limbo that is miserable for all involved. It is hard to prove where they are from; harder still to deport them to home countries that are sunk in anarchy.
Malta's tradition of hospitality is being slowly poisoned by the crisis. New hard-line nationalist groups are springing up, while politicians from the two mainstream parties talk of "putting national interests before human rights".
Immigration_euro · Tue, 09/20/2005 - 20:12 · Importance: 1