EU Hails Huge Rise in Third World Migrants Flying Direct to Europe to Seek Asylum

migrants
LOUISA GOULIAMAKI/AFP/Getty Images

The EU has hailed a large rise in the number of migrants, many South American, who have been flying direct to Europe to file their asylum claims, with visa-free travel rules.

While the bloc saw an overall decrease in asylum applications of 10 per cent over the last year, claims lodged by third world migrants who traveled to EU nations through regular channels rose by almost a third in the period, to around 115,000.

The figure, which included 22,200 Venezuelans and 10,200 Colombians amongst applicants from South America, and 20,000 Georgians along with 21,900 Albanians amongst those from European countries outside the bloc, outstripped the total number of claims from Iraqi and Syrian nationals in the last year.

Just under one in five of the 634,700 applications lodged in EU nations were lodged by migrants who traveled from countries with visa-free travel to the Schengen area, marking a big increase from the proportion in previous years, according to European Asylum Support Office (EASO) figures reported in the German press over the weekend.

Brussels’ executive body, the European Commission, has been urged to table legislation which would allow countries to issue so-called humanitarian visas enabling migrants from anywhere in the world to travel to the bloc to seek asylum, after EU Parliament approved the proposal in December, with an absolute majority of 429 votes in favour.

With open borders-backing MEPs fearing EU elections this year could put continuing mass migration to the bloc at risk, the proposal’s rapporteur, Juan Fernando López Aguilar, warned the next couple of months mark what could be Brussels’ last change to establish the visas.

“After more than four years of very tough negotiations, we have before us a new and possibly last opportunity to approve European Humanitarian Visas. We need to do more to help people in need, as there are currently clearly not enough legal and safe pathways to the EU for those seeking international protection,” he said.

The EU Parliament’s Civil Liberties Committee claims the measure would tackle human trafficking and reduce migrant drowning deaths in the Mediterranean — the number of which has been dramatically cut over the past year thanks to efforts by Italy’s populist government to stem the illegal immigrant flow, which have met angry opposition from pro-migration forces in Brussels.

As the number of would-be migrants in the world is set to soar in the coming years, with the population of Africa alone projected to double by 2050 to 2. 5 billion, it is unclear how politicians believe illegal immigration could be significantly reduced by the legislation unless the number of humanitarian visas to be distributed was essentially without limit.

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