Surge in illegal immigration as borders are opened
Malta Media News
January 23, 2008
Western Europe has been inundated by thousands of illegal immigrants and victims of people-trafficking gangs since the Schengen Zone was extended to East Europe in December, said German police.
The surge in illegal immigration following the alleviation of borders had, in fact, been predicted by the German police. They had also demanded a delay in the Schengen expansion as they feared the expansion together with the influx of illegal immigrants could bring about a crime wave.
The Schengen Zone now allows for borderless travel between 24 countries in Europe. Malta was among the nine new countries to enter the Schengen Zone in December 2007 together with Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovakia and Slovenia. The new group was pre-dominantly from the ex-communist bloc.
With over six hundred illegal immigrants apprehended by patrols in the area of Germany’s border with Poland and the Czech Republic, since December 21st, the numbers speak for themselves.
The police insist that this is just a fraction of the actual number of immigrants who have crossed over. This becomes clearer when these figures are compared with last year when, in the whole of the first six months, only 480 illegal migrants were caught.
German police said that the abolition of borders has opened the doors to migrants from countries beyond the ex-communist bloc and are coming as far afield as Vietnam and India.