Trafficking immigrants is an illegal act – or so we’re led to believe.
Whenever a boatload of asylum seekers is discovered floating aimlessly off a nation’s coast their Coastguard promptly deploys vessels to execute a ‘rescue’, transferring the stricken souls to a more seaworthy craft, ensuring the migrants are warm and dry, then taking them to the safety of the country around which they were floating.
Nice one. Asylum sought. Job done.
After experiencing such wonderful success on that trip – for instance, 2000 Libyan immigrants each having paid monstrously for the chance at a new life then successfully making landfall on Italian soil – this particular gang of people smugglers will likely make their way back to their homeland to organise the next excursion.
My point, which seems to have become lost amid an equal mix of facts and sarcasm, is while I do understand that humanity dictates these migrants are not simply left to die on the ocean, by performing ‘rescues’ of these migrant boats Samaritan nations are offering no deterrent to the people behind this exploitative act; I imagine that once the boatload has been rescued the people behind the illegal migration simply blend into the horde, thereby becoming stricken refugees themselves.
Trafficking immigrants is an illegal act, yet the world’s hopelessly compassionate stance on trafficked immigrants is doing nothing but perpetuating its viability.
Certainly don’t punish people for feeling so unsafe in their own land that they must risk everything to leave but, definitely, a different approach needs to be taken.
Article by Tim Walker
Edited by Si Lim Sea-Carr
Photography by Dan Imme-Gince