IMMIGRATION PROBLEMS IN THE EUROPEAN UNION

The European Union member states have been faced by the problem of immigration with the influx of citizens from former soviet states and their former colonies and have long tried to curb this influx. The member states of the European union have tried to halt this problem by agreeing on joint policies that they are trying to implement. They have tried to put pressure on other member and non-member states of Europe that have been a source of the problem..

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The pressure exerted by the EU on Turkey to prevent refugee ships from reaching EU countries like Greece or Italy recently led to the Turkish coast guard firing on a refugee boat 20 miles off the coast of northern Cyprus, killing one man and wounding five others.

There has also been cases of people illegally migrating into other European countries like Spain from the north African country of Morocco.

The issue of deporting people residing in the EU illegally is also a major problem for Otto Schily. He claims that 500,000 people—“under obligation to leave the country” but unable to be deported—want to stay in Germany. He welcomes the intention of the Italian government to fingerprint all non-EU foreigners. He says this is a measure he has already strongly recommended.

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 There is also the trade in immigrants that is carried out organised gangs who profit from this. Young women and children are sometimes forced to work as prostitutes for these gangs. They are ferried across Europe in the back of lorries, ships or anything that they can be put in and stay undetected until they reach their destination. The funds derived from this criminal activities have been said to be a source of terrorist funding. Illegal immigration also has a negative effect on the economy, the state treasury receives less money because there are so many people out there working and not paying taxes. Illegal immigration is also a strain on the government as some immigrants claim benefits that cost the tax payers hundreds of millions of pounds a year. Illegal immigrants who come into the country in search of better living standards are also more willing to work for less. This tends to cause tension and resentment from the indigenous residents. A few right wing groups have seized on this discontent and campaigned on it at election times.

 

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