Austria to Automatically Reject Smuggled Migrants Under Tough New Plans

Austria
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VIRGINIA HALE

Austria has announced plans to automatically block asylum for migrants who arrive with the help of smugglers, with Chancellor Sebastian Kurz stressing the importance of “smashing the business model of human traffickers”.

Asylum policy in Austria “must head in this direction” in order to make the system fairer, stated interior minister Herbert Kickl this week, telling Kronen Zeitung that the “existing system” in which migrants who pay criminal smuggling gangs have a significant advantage in reaching Europe “is the most unjust and inhumane one possible”.

Appearing on Austrian public broadcaster ORF to speak on the issue of third world migrants taking boats to Europe, Chancellor Kurz struck a similar tone, telling the channel’s Report programme: “It is not the poorest who flee, but the ones who can afford to pay [people-smugglers].”

According to the Chancellor, it was a major problem that Africans and others have been given the impression “people can get through to Europe”, asserting it is this belief that has led to drownings in the Mediterranean and the suffering in Libyan camps, where he said migrants were “enslaved and tortured”.

In the year since the Austrian People’s Party (ÖVP) leader and his populist Freedom Party (FPÖ) coalition partners came to power, much tougher immigration policies have been put in place, including the creation of a new border protection unit to ensure there could be no repeat of the mass influx of migrants who stormed the border in 2015.

Austria surprised and disappointed bureaucrats in Brussels in recent months with the government’s decision to follow the populist-led nations of Hungary and the U.S. in pulling out of the UN’s Global Compact for Migration, citing concerns over the globalist document’s effect on national sovereignty.

In a speech declaring Europe “must do everything possible” to kill populism on the continent last month, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker attacked the leaders withdrawing from the agreement, which declares mass migration to be “inevitable, necessary and desirable”, as ignorant.

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