In 2015, according to Frontex, the EU Agency for protection of EU borders, a record of 1,820,000 illegal immigrants entered the EU (these were the ones officially detected and recorded, at least another 400,000 are thought to have escaped detection). Of these illegal migrants, most of the flow from Africa is focussed on using Libya as a launching pad into Europe. Italy and to a lesser extent Malta, are the reluctant hosts.
In Malta where I live, we see a lot more Eritreans, Somalis and to a lesser extent Nigerians and Ghanaians on the streets. On a little island of white Christians, the increasing number of black Muslims has created something of a schism. Middle-class liberals, talk about human rights and asylum from persecution. The majority of the population, including most politicians irrespective of their credo, talk about mass deportations. Once in a while, we wake up to bloated bodies on the beaches when a smuggling boat has given to Davy Jones Locker.
This and the previous year, have seen a severe backlash in the EU against illegal migration. The agony of Syrian refugees has been blunted by a huge number of economic migrants, from Pakistan, Afghanistan and The Sahel who have jumped on the Syrian bandwagon.
However, Europe’s refugee crisis is not only an urgent humanitarian disaster, but has also spawned an incredibly lucrative industry. Refugees and migrants are spending immense sums of money in attempts to reach Europe, syphoning more than billion dollars a year into an underground economy of traffickers…