Wednesday, July 06, 2005

European Governments Unite to Deport Illegals

Perhaps responding to mounting public pressure to stop the invasion of their countries by illegal immigrants from the Middle East, Asia and Africa, five European governments, including Britain and Spain, have agreed to coordinate efforts to speedily deport detained illegal immigrants.

Britain and four other large EU countries will organise joint charter flights to return illegal immigrants to their home countries.

The idea - suggested by Spain - was accepted by Charles Clarke, the Home Secretary, and France, Italy and Germany, at a meeting at Evian on the French shore of Lake Geneva yesterday.

"The five largest EU countries are going to organise planes to take illegal immigrants home," said the French Interior Minister, Nicolas Sarkozy, who chaired the meeting.

Giuseppe Pisanu, the Italian Interior Minister, said planes would tour the five countries picking up citizens from a single country of origin. Police from the five countries would join the flight. The first charter would leave "in a matter of days", Mr Pisanu said.

The idea is not completely new. Individual EU countries have chartered planes to remove illegal migrants in the past. Italy and Germany have co-operated in joint flights. But this is the first time that five have agreed to a single repatriation programme. The idea is partly to save money, but also to share the political responsibility for repatriation, and to show that the EU is capable of acting together against illegal immigration.

The plan sounds good, but given the politically correct sensibilities of the governments involved - especially Tony Blair's - this may be less an attempt to actuallly staunch illegal immigration than a ploy to make it seem that they are doing something about it. And it does not address the high number of legal immigrants from the Third World now flocking to Europe. Solid majorities in most European nations want that stopped as well, but much like the US, their governments ignore the wishes of their people about immigration.


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