European Union Debates Immigration Policy

The world wide immigration which has witnessed over 200,000,000 people move from their homelands elsewhere in the world remains a topic which has caused differing views to emerge among European Union members. French President Sarkozy has proposed stricter and more uniform approaches to dealing with the issue of illegal immigration although not all member nations agree with that approach. In 2005, Spain’s “regularization” of 700,000 illegal immigrants did not meet with the approval of other member states. Many immigrants to Spain come from Latin America whose leaders are furious at the immigration change which allows detention for up to 18 months and then expulsion for a period of up to five years. The president of Argentine said the law recalled times of “xenophobia,” and Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez charged it “legalized barbarity” and promised economic retaliation against the European Union.

Some EU nations such as Sweden have a more flexible approach to immigrants which are needed in its nation while France is concerned about the growth of its Muslim population. It is estimated there are up to 8 million illegal immigrants in the EU and already this year about 200,000 were arrested although only 90,000 were actually expelled. Europe’s aging population requires immigrants and that reality will have to be confronted.