European governments should regard immigration as an "enrichment", not a threat, EU Justice Commissioner Franco Frattini told a conference in Lisbon, calling for a ‘New Vision'. Thus the BBC reports on 13/9/07. Mr Frattini announced he will soon outline proposals for a "blue card" system for skilled immigrants, modeled on the US green card.

And now for the reason behind this ‘New Vision'. Pay careful attention! The reason is, Mr. Frattini said, that the US is getting 55% of all skilled migrants, and Europe only 5%. It's the old greed and envy paradigm again!!! The US gets more skilled immigrants than the EU, so Europe has to reverse this trend! Otherwise the US might get ahead! And then they will make more money than the EU! That must be prevented!

Legal vs. illegal

Mr Frattini has long argued that Europe needs policies to encourage legal migration, and to prevent illegal migration. ‘Illegal' migrants generally are the unskilled laborers, the ‘throw-away people'. The EU will keep them ‘illegal'. That way they cause less trouble and can be better exploited. These are bitter remarks, because the EU (and the US) is straying here. They are forsaking their moral roots: ‘I was a stranger and ye took me in" (Matthew 25:35).      

The European Commission's plans could be resisted by a number of European governments, which want to maintain national control over migration flows. It is clear that nationalism - although on the decline in Europe more than elsewhere - has not yet been overcome. Some European countries - like Spain, the UK and Sweden - are quite open to immigrants still, but others - like Denmark and the Netherlands - are exhibiting cramp-reactions, closing up like mollusks.

'New vision'

Opinion polls suggest that as few as four out of 10 EU citizens believe immigrants make a big contribution to society. Mr Frattini said Europe needed a "new vision". The EU's working age population would be in decline by 2011, he said, and by 2050 a third of the bloc's population would be over 65. In other words, Europe needs immigration to keep the system going.

But they want to cherry-pick: "All skill levels are required. The challenge is to attract the workers needed to fill specific gaps," Frattini said. About 4% of the EU resident population was made up of non-EU citizens in 2006. The blue card would entitle skilled workers to live and work in a given EU member state for an initial period of two years. Later, they would be able to move to another EU state.

Tough penalties

Portugal, which currently holds the EU presidency, is planning an EU-Africa summit in December, at which immigration will be a central theme. Last year, the EU began maritime patrols to turn back migrants trying to reach Europe from Africa by sea. Another policy is to negotiate re-admission agreements with African governments, so that illegal migrants can be returned to the country they left before entering the EU.

In May, Mr Frattini proposed tough penalties for employers who hired migrants without a residence permit. But this policy, too, could be resisted by member states, some of which do not want the European Commission to become involved in questions of criminal law.

Conclusion

The EU, or at least Frattini, is trying to build an immigration policy not based on human rights, but on self-interest. Everybody knows that such policies yield short-term results. Everybody is happy for a while. But man can only break the laws that man can make. Respect for human rights is respect for human life. That's a rule of natural law. The migration question cannot be solved without observance of natural law, such as respect for human life and human rights. As long as any (attempted) solution is based on wrong principles, positive results will only be partial at best.

The migration question can only be solved internationally. The number of poor people fleeing their own countries in pursuit of happiness will keep on growing until we understand that development is a human right and act accordingly. This is a monumental challenge. It entails among other things a recognition that nearly the whole of the African continent, large parts of Asia, the Caribbean and South-America will have to be drastically reorganized. But we cannot and should not do it by force. It should be done democratically (by referendum, for instance). But it will require active involvement of all developed nations, acting in unison. 

Today's video is about migration in the US. However, the self-interest and cruelty is the same. See how a young girl, 15 years of age, dares take a stand! There is hope.

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