OPINION

The EU and illegal migration

It took a long time as well as illegal migration growing to epic proportions, but the European Union finally drew up an immigration policy a few days ago. Even though it is too small in scope to meet the demands of the problem, it is certainly a step in the right direction. The flow in people from the developing world to the affluent West is provoked by the vast gap in standards of living, and, like interconnected vessels, this influx ends up leveling the playing field. The widening chasm between rich and poor, a demographic explosion in the developing world, coupled with low birthrates in the West, lead, with mathematical precision, to the growth of the immigration wave. Every day, thousands of beleaguered people, packed like sardines into rotting boats or onto trucks, risk everything for a better life. In response, the countries of Europe have been adopting hypocritical policies made up of half measures. They block illegal entry, but, once illegal migrants succeed in entering, they allow them to stay. This contradictory practice fuels the phenomenon and gives rise to more human-trafficking rings. The first step Europe needs to take is clarifying the distinction between asylum seekers and economic migrants. As far as the latter are concerned, if a European country needs an influx of labor and a boost in its population, it can adopt organized migration that will also help curb trafficking and illegal labor networks. It is also hypocritical to condemn measures against illegal migration all together, because an open-border policy would certainly lead to the collapse of Western societies. The only responsible solution is immediate deportation, combined with pressure on the countries of origin, such as Turkey, for example, to accept them back and deport them in turn. But, even a policy such as this would prove a Sisyphean task if it were not combined with a drive to narrow the gap between rich and poor countries. This is not just the only humanitarian way to go, it is also in the interest of the West.