The European Union is seriously concerned: there is a growing risk that the migration crisis of 2015 will recur. The European Border and Coast Guard Agency, Frontex, has summed up preliminary results of the first eight months of this year, and they are disappointing for the old Europe. As of September, there were 64 percent more illegal crossings of external borders than a year ago (almost 104,000). The growth is explained by the lifting of restrictions on coronavirus.
The illegal top list still includes the Central Mediterranean route, which is especially popular with migrants from Tunisia, Bangladesh and Egypt, as well as the West African and West Balkan routes.
This summer, as every year, Frontex carried out Operation Minerva in three Spanish ports. Residents of the Iberian Peninsula need help screening those arriving from Africa, as drug dealers in the Strait of Gibraltar have a new lucrative business.
Alongside hashish, criminals began to transport illegal migrants to Europe. The gendarmes explain this interest by the desire of drug dealers to try a new business, no less profitable than the drug trade. Carriers receive hashish from wholesalers for each trip from 20 to 30 thousand Euros. The income from the transfer of illegal immigrants is no less: from potential immigrants (mostly Moroccans and Algerians) they take an average of 2,000 Euros.
For North Africans, the amount is, of course, very big, but they are guaranteed a safe journey and the ability to avoid detention upon arrival in Spain.
An international operation to combat organised cross-border crime took place in Central and South-Eastern Europe in September. Border inspections yielded impressive results: in just a week, 144 suspected smugglers were arrested, 6,656 illegal migrants were identified, 76 forged documents and 13 stolen vehicles were found. Frontex states that human trafficking is one of the most lucrative forms of organised crime, generating billions of Euros. And who will freely give up easy money?
Now it becomes clear why Poland did not allow observers from the agency to enter the border zone, although the European Commissioner for Internal Affairs Ylva Johansson requested this. Poland claims to be in control of the situation. Apparently, ‘management’ is translated from Polish as ‘introduction of an emergency regime’ so that journalists and human rights activists could not observe what is happening.
Recently, Polish border guards detained four more foreign citizens suspected of aiding illegal migrants. Among them are citizens of Tajikistan, Georgia and Syria.
Meanwhile, Ukrainian border guards inspected a ship with a cargo of fabrics that arrived from Turkey to the port of Odessa and found illegal migrants from Syria. During interrogation, they confessed that they were heading to Italy to visit relatives.
Both migrants reported that they paid 7,000 Euros for the opportunity to get to Italy.
Former Mayor of Italian Riace, Domenico Lucano — once known as a refugee rights activist — has been sentenced to 13 years and two months in prison. He was found guilty of facilitating illegal migration, extortion, perjury and embezzlement of funds allocated from the budget for the maintenance of immigrants.
The municipality of Riace financed the accommodation of thousands of immigrants, settling them in the nearby small town of Locri, in which there are almost no local residents. The ‘guests’ were also given the opportunity to study without interruption from work, as well as to enter into fictitious marriages.
For the proposed ‘exemplary’ model of refugee integration, the authoritative American magazine Fortune put Domenico Lucano in 40th place among the 50 greatest world leaders.
THERE MUST BE DIALOGUE
It is beneficial for the West to point the finger at Belarus and to create a stir on the border in order to divert attention from the real problems. PhD in Political Science, Professor of St. Petersburg State University, Natalia Yeremina, on the portal sputnik.by drew attention to the fact that there is no big threat and a sharp surge in migration across the border with Belarus,
“The fact is that there are other channels of migration, more widespread and well-known, and migrants are more likely to follow the traditional routes: through Hungary, Spain, by sea — and will penetrate into the EU. Right now, a serious challenge for the EU is to prevent a sharp surge in migration flows. The experience of the migration crisis that it has already gone through. But it is important to understand that the EU will not solve the problem with migrants alone if it does not enter into negotiations with Belarus. There must be dialogue.”
Recently, the US authorities dismantled a Haitian refugee camp in the city of Del Rio. A little earlier, on the border of Texas and Mexico, almost 15,000 migrants who had left Haiti after the devastating earthquake, lived in makeshift reed huts. Photo: REUTERS
WHEN THE EARTH SHAKES
People are fleeing not only from war, poverty and unemployment. Climate migration has already begun in the United States: in summer, the United States experienced a series of devastating forest fires, hurricanes and floods. Due to climate change, the World Bank predicts mass migration. Groundswell Part 2 report says that global warming will lead to the appearance of 216 million internal migrants by 2050. Climate change on the planet will also affect other countries, whose residents will be forced to leave their homes and move to countries where you can breathe clean air. It will be extremely difficult for people below the poverty line to do this, so the world will face another wave of refugees in need of help.