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Global Overview Magazine

Revista de actualidad política, religiosa, económica, social, cultural, científica y educativa con alcance internacional
ISSN 2618-1916


Agradecemos a la Profesora Barbara G. Valentina Lattanzi
de la Universidad La Sapienza de Roma
sobre La problemática de la Inmigración en Europa.
Immigration to Europe: problems and challenges for the future
Barbara GV Lattanzi
The European Community is struggling to find an agreement on the mass immigration emergency. The increasing number of people moving to European counties, mainly from sub-saharian Africa, is now a challenge for all EU countries.
No doubt that the result of the last elections in Italy has been determined by this issue. Italians, like other European citizens, are suffering from the chaotic inflow of foreigners who are not likely to find a job and often struggle sometimes creating anomic situations. Non governative organizations have been investigated because of their unclear behavior in the Mediterranean sea and suspect relation with the smugglers. The political party Lega and its leader Salvini finally increased enormously and became first of the right wing coalition, most small pro-immigration parties almost disappearing from the parliament. The left wing, still ignoring the problems population is facing, lost dramatically consensus.
European immigration rates started to increase since year 2014, due to some geopolitical crises in other continents. After the agreement between EU and Turkey consistently decreased the inflow on the Easter border, Countries facing the Mediterranean border suffered the most from the unstoppable landings, that are carried out as rescues of shipwrecked or of drifting rafts. “As in the case of the Central Mediterranean, never before had detections on the Western Mediterranean route been as high as in 2016, with more than10 000 detections. This is 46% more than in 2015 on the same route, and 21% more than in 2011, the previous record-breaking year. As in the Central Mediterranean, most migrants were from Africa, which indicates the growing pressure of illegal immigration from this continent towards the EU […] most of the growth over 2015 was due to a higher number of detections of Nigerians (+71%), Guineans, Ivorians and Gambians. Altogether in 2016, West Africans accounted for more than 100 000 detections, a total roughly comparable with the number of migrants from the Middle East reported for illegally crossing the border from Turkey” reports the Frontex Risk Analysis document in 2017. Concerning the asylum seekers application it further states “Italy, the second main receiving country after Germany (and before France and Greece) was characterized by a gradual rise in applications for international protection, reflecting an increase in arrivals on the Central Mediterranean route”. Most applications (approximately 60%) get refused by the countries’ immigration authority after checkings, due to untrue statements by the asylum seekers.
Trhough the African route, migrants ofter suffer bad condition, physical and psychological abuse, especially on the path from Niger to Lybia and in the Libyan detention centers. According to the West African treaties migrants are allowed to free circulate and cross the borders to reach Niger. From then on the journey changes and becomes less comfortable: Niger authorities are supposed to select the true asylum seekers and stop other flows, for this reason some migrants and their facilitators started to seek other routes. “Aiming to stop migrants entering Libya from Niger, the EU has pushed the Nigerien government to adopt Law 2015/36, which criminalises people smuggling. However, this has had a counterproductive effect on the ground: although dozens of people have been arrested and dozens of vehicles confiscated since 2016, the law has destroyed the livelihoods of hundreds of people who involved in this informal economy without providing them with alternatives. As such, the law has exacerbated poverty and pushed migrants towards more dangerous routes and services. In fact, while the data collected by the International Organization for Migration shows a sharp decline in the number of people crossing the border between Niger and Libya since 2016, local sources confirm that the routes have simply adapted to the new context and that migrants continue to make the journey to Algeria and Libya.” (European Council for Foreign Relations Smugglers and gangs such as Asma Boys reach Niger and nearby countries and intercept the travelers, threaten them for money and abuse them, drive them to Lybia and injure them, sometimes forcing them on crumbling, insecure boats and rafts. Other people end in Lybian camps, where they should be checked and, in case, stopped. But since Gheddafi’s fall, the country is not in control of the situations, gangs and other illegal groups often manage to carry out their business and take people illegally to the sea border. Videos and other documents have shown how migrants are instructed to drive rafts and boats (sometimes supported on sea by some smugglers) to the aid shippings, owned by non governative organizations. These organizations rescue the migrants – sometimes right in Lybian waters – and ship them to Sicily. Here the port personnel and police try to identify them. Since many of them have been injured by the smugglers they get an “international protection permit” for some days, in the meanwhile the ONGs together with on site volunteers start the procedure for the asylum request, other migrants escape from hospitals and stay centers and disappear.
The Dublin Regulation states that the procedure of asylum should take place in the first country of arrival. For this reason Italy is undergoing congestion and saturation and the procedure of acceptance or refusal often takes almost two years. In the meanwhile the seekers should be protected and hosted in private centers (CARA and CAS) owned by companies which are remunerated with public money and European funds. Thus, asylum seekers and migrants are considered a good deal and cases of corruption and misuse already took place. No strategy of inclusion and education is carried out by those companies – except for some language classes – since they are not likely to hire skilled and specialized personnel. This is how the situation became hardly bearable for the population, that is suffering anomic conditions, microcriminality, shantytowns, increasing number of beggars and drug dealing.
The mass immigration increases unemployment and bad pays. It is welcomed by some employers – among them some inhumane slavers who sometimes get cought red handed – and concerns most workers and unemployed youth.
Many migrants, pushed by the poverty and lack of chances in Italy, try to cross the borders to other countries (mainly to France), but they get stopped and sent back. The “intra-European solidarity system” that should relocate the migrants according to established quotas in all countries often fails and most states tend to refuse to take their share.
As the past governments accomplished to this chaotic inflow and disorganized system, the Italian political elections showed that the population is asking for a change. But this should not be considered lack of sympathy towards those who are seeking better life conditions (which doesn’t seem possible in Southern Europe). On the contrary, we should look for ways to dissuade Africans from the dangerous and often useless journey, hoping that one day imperialism will loosen the grip from the developing countries.