23 October 2014
The ILPS-Philippines joins migrant Filipinos in condemning before the European Union Office in the Philippines the on-going police operations launched by 26 European countries to detect, detain and deport what they brand as “irregular migrants”.
This herding cracked by the whip of the incumbent Italian presidency of the Council of the EU is particularly vile. It coined the operations as “Mos Maiorum” (ancestral custom, way of the elders or social mores of ancient Rome). It harks back to Imperial Rome whose “legal citizens” are only those ruling inside the city walls and living by the sweat of slaves. All others are “barbarians” and deserve to be expelled or conquered by the sword, this time by the Carabinieri and 20,000 troops.
The current immigration problem in Europe comes not from discrimination alone but from the crisis itself of modern imperialism. The most recent influx of European immigrants came from the implosion of the Soviet Union and the Balkanization of Eastern Europe. The current surge of immigrants into Europe, and more particularly Italy, comes mainly from the conflict areas such as Syria and Eritrea – countries whose peoples have fallen prey to imperialist wars of intervention and aggression.
Migrants are not questions of security and criminality. They are a consequence of wars and conflicts, especially in the Middle East and Africa. They grow with the inequalities and underdevelopment under imperialist rule from Latin America to Asia.
According to the United Nations, there are 51 million refugees. In 2013 alone, there were 17 million people fleeing. “Fortress Europe” has not stemmed this stream of human beings even with costly walls.
About two billion Euros were invested in the buffer zone around EU. Frontex received in 2013 as much as 85 million Euros. Europe launched Eurosur, in charge of the European border control, which will receive during the next six years approximately 250 million Euros.
According to research, the amount of cameras and kilometers of fences on the European borders is an over-kill. Tens of thousands of border patrols were hired to be based at the borders, from Bulgaria to Spain. In countries as the UK, Hungary and Austria, refugees are locked up in jails. In Greece, Malta, Poland and Bulgaria, even non-accompanied minor asylum-seekers are locked up.
To solve the “illegal” migrant problem with detect-detain-deport solutions will only repeat and compound the problem. The migrant problem, from outside Europe, and from within Europe itself, must be approached with full respect for refugee and migrants rights.
When Jean-Claude Juncker won the backing of the European Parliament to become the new head of the EU Commission, he promised a complete restructuring of the financial supervision by the “Troika” – the EU, the International Monetary Fund, and the European Central Bank. This is a step in the right direction. However, this should not be for their own “democracy” but for more democracy by the direct actions of migrants and the peoples of host nations in Europe.