EU: Gearing To Deport Africans

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[The View From Europe]

During a meeting convened by French Home minister Brice Hortefeux in Cannes, France, on last July 7, European Home ministers agreed upon  a harmonized Immigration and Asylum Pact that is supposed to be signed and adopted by all E.U. members come next  October. 

Within the framework of the six-month French presidency of the E.U, French officials were intent on patterning that EU-wide pact on the current practices in France in terms of the forcible deportation of non-traditional and/or undocumented migrants.

As a matter of fact, president Nicholas Sarkozy and his Interior minister Hortefeux instructed French immigration officers to make sure that they expel 25,000 undocumented migrants from France every year. This zeal dramatically spilled over into immigrants-hunting in France where some immigration officers are frantically anxious about reaching the Sarkozy target.

This also means that if this target isn’t hit towards the end of every year, the officers would go over France’s divisions and counties with a fine-tooth comb in search of possible repatriation candidates----they would want to reach the required 25,000 target by any means necessary.

Africans are particularly targeted because, according to Mr. Hortefeux, two-thirds of undocumented and non-traditional migrants in France are from Africa. This fact is logical inasmuch as many African countries were colonized by France. 

Mr. Hortefeux intends to complement the harsh measures by what he terms “solidarity assistance” to countries where those migrants come from. France’s already announced to increase her development assistance by one billion Euros. Will this dough flow in form of grants or loans? Will this mazuma add to Public Development Assistance? Is that financial assistance based on generosity similar to what the U.S. mustered up and exercised through the Marshall Plan after World War II? Grants made up 90% of the Marshall Plan while loans constituted only 10%.

Jacques Barrot, Vice-President of the E.U. Commission, Commissioner in charge of Justice, Freedom and Security announced that the E.U. doesn’t intend to become a stronghold. According to him, the E.U. is only striving to check non-traditional immigration. He opined that the E.U. will continue to welcome migrants.

Daniel Cohn-Bendit, a leading figure of the European Greens, thinks that a chance should be given to students from Non-European countries already living in Europe to settle down in Europe if they can find a job here, instead of sending them back home so that they may apply for jobs and immigration from their home countries. Such a procedure is certainly quite a preposterous hassle - and Cohn-Bendit is right.

Furthermore, hadn’t Spain pushed for the alteration of the initial text, the final text would not have included the possibility of immigration on economic grounds. Actually, it’s noteworthy that Europeans and many European firms and corporations also move to other countries and continents because they want to improve their economic situation. Spanish officials are insightful and fair enough to have recognized that fact and truth.

The only way to sort out the problem of non-traditional immigration in Europe and of some Africans fleeing their countries only to die in the Mediterranean sea is to launch a “Special Plan and Fund for the African Renaissance” similar to the “Marshall Plan” after World War II in Europe.

It would target the hard-working populations and the needy in Africa; moreover, it would foster and invest in those Africans who are ready to make a difference in Africa and in their host countries world-wide.

After all, such a “Special Plan and Fund” would alleviate the pains, the anger and the bitterness of many Africans who keep crying for compensation for the havoc wreaked on African countries by the Atlantic Slave Trade and colonization.


Black Star News writer Mathias Victorien Ntep is a PhD candidate at the University of Frankfurt/Main, Germany.

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