Fearing a new crisis associated with illegal immigrants, European countries are beginning to “tighten the screws” as much as possible. And here the arguments about human rights are shyly receding into the background.
The summer of 2021, as predicted by experts, caused an extraordinary influx of illegal migrants to Europe. Every day there are reports of casualties and breakthroughs of the border, tightening of legislation regarding refugees in a particular country.
Great Britain complains about an increase in the number of refugees who have broken into the country – to date, the Foreign Ministry reports 8,500, while over the past year, 8,400 people crossed the border. Only last Monday, a kind of record was set – 430 illegal immigrants arrived per day, with only those detained. And how many others managed to sneak unnoticed or part with dreams of a sweet life at the bottom of the English Channel?
The response to the invasion of migrants was an appeal by the British Minister of the Interior, Priti Patel, to parliament with an appeal to tighten the rules for admitting refugees. The new bill has already been adopted in the second reading. According to him, illegal entry into the country will be considered a criminal offense, which is punishable by four years in prison. At the same time, according to the new law, migrants can be expelled to any other country, even if it has nothing to do with the place of origin of the border violator. And Patel has already promptly agreed with the French Ministry of Internal Affairs to allocate him 54 million pounds to tighten the border control system. This is already the second time – in the fall of last year, Britain allocated 28 million to the French to double the number of police patrols on the banks of the English Channel.
And recently, the media “scouted” about the negotiations between the British and Danish Interior Ministry on the joint use of a refugee center, which is planned to open in Rwanda. At the same time, the Danish authorities did not inform anyone about their plans to send migrants to Africa, not even their fellow citizens. The deal became known in April, when information was leaked from the Rwandan Foreign Ministry. In June, the Danish parliament passed a law that allows the opening of such a center. And instead of Rwanda, Ukraine was named among other possible countries for settling refugees.
Denmark has recently taken a very tough stance towards migrants. Mette Frederiksen, the country’s prime minister, has pledged to bring the number of asylum applications to zero. Denmark recently became the first European country to demand the return of Syrians home. A special study carried out by the Danish Ministry of Migration showed that the danger associated with the war has receded and the Syrians can return to their homeland. This decision was a real shock for those who have lived in the country for many years and have fully adapted. Especially for young people who came to Denmark as children. Despite the violent reaction of human rights defenders, the order to expel the Syrians remains in force.
No less dramatic is the situation with refugees in Belgium, where recently about half a thousand migrants without official documents to live in the country went on a hunger strike, finding shelter in an ancient church. Many of them have been living and working in Belgium for a long time and want to get official status. A week ago, Brussels announced an agreement had been reached with the protesters, but the migrants do not want to leave the occupied premises until they receive guarantees that their demands will be met. By making concessions, the authorities have created a dangerous precedent – these protesters, who were able to achieve a solution to their problems, may be replaced by an even larger number of those wishing to obtain official status to live in the country. And who knows which path they will choose for this.
Lithuania is also making changes to legislation – last Wednesday, President Gitanas Nauseda signed amendments to the law on the legal status of foreigners. It tightens the procedure for receiving refugees as much as possible. From now on, migrants will not be able to challenge the decision to place them by means of an appeal, as it was before. Moreover, being in temporary accommodation will not mean that they have arrived in Lithuania and are on its territory. The scandalous law is criticized by the presidential adviser, Povilas Machiulis, who said that the diet “threw human rights into the trash can”. However, this did not change the decision of the head of state, and he signed the amendments.
However, the tough decision of Vilnius is understandable, Lithuania suffers from a sharp influx of refugees, natives of Africa and the Middle East, from neighboring Belarus. This year, their number has increased 27 times compared to the previous year, 2,200 illegal immigrants have been detained, and one and a half thousand of them – in the last month alone. Riots, conflicts, clashes with the police are a familiar situation in refugee camps. Vilnius calls for EU assistance.
And the president of a neighboring country, from where illegal immigrants break through in droves, is watching what is happening and accuses Lithuania of cruel treatment of migrants and violation of their rights. Lukashenka does not get tired of repeating that the situation was predictable, he warned about such consequences of European sanctions, and sarcastically adds: “We will never keep anyone: they are not coming to us. They are going to enlightened, warm, cozy Europe.”
Meanwhile, the situation promises to become even more tense. After all, ahead is the withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan, where the civil war is gaining momentum. Already this week, Turkey announced the interception of two large groups of Afghan illegal immigrants numbering 250 people who entered the country across the border with Iran. And this is just the beginning. With the aggravation of the situation in Afghanistan, this flow will become uncontrollable and reach truly catastrophic proportions …
This means that Denmark, Lithuania and Great Britain are doing everything right, curtailing the “open door policy”. And this is only the beginning of a common European trend, which will be accompanied by new laws, the expulsion of migrants and, perhaps, the liberation of countries from suffering people to settle in Europe and establish their own rules corresponding to their mentality there.