Officials in Germany have come up with a radical new idea: Send migrants rescued in the Mediterranean Sea back to Africa.
New idea? Not to those of us who care about preserving Europe as a place for Europeans to live. We and many others have made this suggestion (and even more radical suggestions) for years now.
Excerpt from the Daily Mail
Migrant boats caught in the Mediterranean by EU naval vessels should be sent straight back to North Africa, German officials have demanded.
The German interior ministry has told the EU that the only way migrants should be able to apply for asylum is at processing centres in countries such as Egypt and Tunisia.
The scheme, which is modelled on Australia’s hard-line methods, marks a radical departure from Angela Merkel’s open-door policy that saw more than a million people arrive in her country last year.
It comes as record numbers attempt the dangerous journey from Libya to Italy despite the worsening winter weather.
Critics have claimed an EU naval operation in the Mediterranean has descended into a ferry service that has turned the route into a ‘magnet for migrants’.
Smugglers are setting off from the North African coast in boats with only enough fuel to get them into international waters. After reaching the high seas they phone rescuers asking for help knowing they will be picked up by EU ships that will take them to Italy.
The vast majority of those using the route are not entitled to asylum, but once in Europe they are able to travel freely because of the border-free Schengen Zone and can easily reach Calais.
Under the plan drawn up by Germany, migrants picked up in the Mediterranean would be sent to Tunisia, Egypt or other North African countries to apply for asylum.
Only if their applications are accepted will they be transported safely to Europe for distribution among EU countries.
A ministry spokesman told the Welt am Sonntag newspaper: ‘The elimination of the prospect of reaching the European coast could convince migrants to avoid embarking on the life-threatening and costly journey. The goal must be to deprive people-smuggling groups of their business model and to protect migrants from the life-threatening journey.’
Under Australia’s controversial asylum system, boats carrying migrants from Indonesia are either towed back to where they came from or their passengers are sent to offshore processing centres on Pacific islands.
A record 27,272 arrived from North Africa into Italy last month taking the total so far this year to more than 161,000 – easily surpassing the 153,000 in 2015. More than 4,000 migrants have died in the Mediterranean in 2016.
Send them back? Show me. Then I’ll believe it.