Pro-Mass Migration Moroccan Minister Rejects Hosting Asylum Centres, Claims Migrant Crisis Exaggerated

CEUTA, SPAIN - AUGUST 22: African migrants enter the Centre for Temporary Stay of Immigrants (CETI) after successfully breaching the border from Morocco into the Spanish exclave of Ceuta on August 22, 2018 in Ceuta, Spain. This morning 100-150 mostly sub-saharan refugees crossed the barb wire fence from Morocco into …
Alexander Koerner/Getty

The mass-migration supporting foreign minister of Morocco has rejected proposals by the European Union to build refugee processing centres in North Africa and claimed the bloc is exaggerating the migrant crisis.

“Morocco is generally against all kinds of [migration] centres. This is part of our migration policy and a national sovereign position,” Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita told German daily Die Welt in an interview published Wednesday.

With European leaders pushing for migrant processing centres in North Africa, Bourita claimed that stopping migration at the African coast is counterproductive and accused the EU of exaggerating the migrant crisis.

“Migration covers three percent of the world’s population, of which 80 percent are legal,” he said. “So we only talk about 20 percent of these three percent.”

Between 2014 and 2017, nearly two million migrants from the global south, the vast majority of those coming from African being economic migrants, travelled to Europe; European Parliament President Antonio Tajani warned that unless mass migration is put under control, up to 30 million more may be prepared to make the same journey from Africa in the coming years.

Migration via the western Mediterranean route, from Morocco to Spain, has increased in recent months after Italy clamped down on NGOs transporting illegals across the sea, with the Spanish enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla particularly vulnerable to mass incursion attempts by migrants attempting to put a foot on European soil to secure asylum rights.

The Moroccan minister’s refusal to engage in migrant reduction, with his country remaining a transit nation for the world’s poorest, resonates with his comments in May where Bourita asserted that “Migration is here to stay.”

Speaking at the fifth Euro-African Ministerial Conference on Migration and Development in Marrakesh, Morocco, Bourita told the delegates representing 50 African and European nations that migration “will continue to increase irregularly, at worst, and, at best, in a safe, orderly and regular manner”.

Delegates supported the Rabat Process which although covered measures to tackle illegal immigration and repatriation, also called for a migration “approach based on human rights” as well as seeking to eliminate discrimination and racism — similar in wording to the United Nations’ proposed Global Compact for Migration which aims to protect the “human rights and fundamental freedoms of all migrants” and combat “xenophobia, racism and discrimination”.

European migration commissioner Dimitri Avramopoulos praised the Rabat declaration, tweeting that “Europe and Africa need each other more than ever.”

Avramopoulos affirmed the EU’s support for the management of mass migration from Africa to Europe at last week’s United Nations General Assembly, where he told the supranational body that the bloc was working to comply with the Global Compact for Migration which aims to institutionalise migration at an international level through strengthening its “global governance”.

Hungarian Prime Minister Orbán criticised Avramopoulos for provisionally signing up every sovereign nation in the EU to the global free movement compact, telling media that “He has received no authorisation from anyone to say any of this.” 

Morocco is set to host a December conference on the compact and the UN believes its members will accept the proposals.

President Donald Trump pulled the United States out of negotiations for the compact in December, telling a crowd during a speech in Florida: “I heard about this recently … no borders, everyone can come in! If you don’t mind, I rejected that plan, is that OK?” 

“I told them, not only do we not want ‘no borders,’ we want the strongest borders you’ve ever seen,” Trump added. “America is a sovereign country. We set our immigration rules. We don’t listen to foreign bureaucrats.”

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