The concept of a fortress Europe has moved a step closer with European interior and immigration ministers agreeing in principle on a common way to treat illegal immigrants. A new pact, to be signed in October, has been put forward by the French. It is no longer as drastic as Paris would have liked, but France’s Interior Minister welcomed a workable compromise and rejected the ‘fortress’ tag.
“Ministers have unanimously agreed to these objectives and these principles,” said France’s Interior Minister, Brice Hortefeux.
The proposals on how to treat the ever-increasing flood of asylum seekers have been widely criticised as xenophobic. They threaten up to 18 months in detention, banishment for five years, and no mass amnesties.
EU members have agreed common rules are essential to send a clear message to prospective immigrants that Europe is no soft touch, and that they must apply for residency through the proper channels to be awarded a blue card, like America’s green card.
France did have to agree to drop demands for a immigrant contract, regarding language and integration. But the united front does call for more deportations, and agreements with home countries forcing them to take their people back.