Thursday, February 22, 2007

New European border controls

I don't know whether the idea comes from the Identity, Tradition and Sovereignty group in the European Parliament, but countries of the European Union seem to be quite tired of receiving thousands of illegal immigrants from South America each year. They're committed to keeping incoming illegal immigrants out of their land.
I'm sure that, if they had the option of building a fence all around the territory that comprises the European Community, they would build it. This because, although the European Union has publicly showed its discontent with other countries like Israel for building protective fences, they do build them to avoid illegal immigrants. Check for instance the case of the Spanish cities of Ceuta and Melilla, bordering Morocco, where the Spanish authorities built barbed fences to avoid Africans entering their territory (and mysteriously, nobody complains about it).
Unfortunately for their cause, that's not a feasible solution for their problem with South Americans, mainly because illegal South Americans commonly travel by air. Their operation is easy: They use tourist visas and remain in Europe. As simple as that.
It looks like a great challenge to keep these people off Europe. That's why Europeans have decided to form a committee that will be focusing on strategies to implement in selected airports of Europe.
European authorities are very optimistic about the expected results. For example, Peter Almeier, a German civil servant, boasts about the good results that they obtained of applying similar procedures during the Soccer World Cup in Germany last year. This time, the measures will take effect in airports in the following cities: Lisbon, Madrid, Barcelona, London, Paris, Amsterdam, Milan, Rome, and Frankfurt.
Looks like a good first move for the European Union to fight their problem; however I find two principal drawbacks:
  • Surprise is generally a desirable factor when coping with certain issues. Why did Europeans announce their future plans regarding illegal immigration, and moreover, why did they let the media know which airports will be involved in the project?
  • How do they plan to maintain control over the immigration flows entering through the rest of the countries in Europe? Have they considered to do the same in airports like Warsaw, Budapest or Bucharest? Let's not forget that mobility is unlimited through the European Union's territory once an individual manages to enter it.
I wish I could know the results of their plan in a few months' time, it'd be worth seeing how effective are Europeans to control people crossing countries without any restrictions.


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