A UN expert says building fences, using tear gas and other forms of violence against migrants and asylum seekers, detention, withholding access to basics such as shelter, food or water and using threatening language or hateful speech will not deter migrants trying to come to Europe. Instead, a comprehensive policy had to be worked out for their resettlement. The migrants are in need of international protection and it is our duty to provide it.
On Monday, 2,093 migrants, the highest ever daily total, crossed the border near the town of Roszke, Hungary from Serbia in spite of an 110km (68 miles) long fence now in place. Syrians and Afghans cross from Turkey to Greece and then make their way northwards to Hungary. More than 33,000 people have landed on Lesvos this month, Amnesty International has said. A total of 1.5m to 2m refugees, like Syrians and Eritreans, will enter Europe over the next five years, it is estimated. Hence, there is an urgent need to create a resettlement programme.
Only when official migration is allowed the European borders will be secure from smugglers. It was suggested that smart visas allowing people to come to look for work and return if they don’t find the job in question would better regulate and control official labour market.
It would also prevent employers who exploit migrants in “underground labour markets”. But, Dimitris Avramopoulos, the EU’s commissioner for migrants, prefers a war against smugglers and is firm that migrants to EU countries for economic reasons will have to return.