The European Union is increasingly swept up in the anti-immigrant hysteria which impacts many parts of the world. It just passed new legislation which allows EU member nations to hold undocumented migrants in detention centers for up to 18 months and then to ban them from entering EU territory for up to five years. The vote was 369 to 197 and 106 abstained from the vote. Lost in this frenzy about migrants who seek work and wish to become contributing members of the EU, is any concern for personal issues such as those fleeing oppressive regimes and require asylum. Imagine the situation of a person escaping the brutality of the Robert Mugabe regime in Zimbabwe, imagine their need for a safe place from beatings or death.
Manfred Lleber of Germany put it succinctly: “The member states must decide whether they need them, if so, then please legalize them. If you don’t need them for your labor markets, then send them home.” It is horrifying that people must be kept in a detention center for up to 18 months. Why?
In modern times we enjoy creating new crimes. A human being who seeks work has now become defined as a “criminal.” The human condition is one of repression and those who want to be productive members of a society are now condemned for harboring criminal behaviors. Is this the best way we can deal with those who wish to harvest our crops and work in our factories– jail time in a detention center?