After a week-long lull, another batch of refugee boats arrived in Lampedusa overnight last night. Over the space of a few hours, 1,450 migrants added their enrichment to Italian culture. This was enough to push the overall total over 40,000 (now at roughly 40,600, but that’s a conservative estimate), which prompted me to update the Cultural Enrichment Thermometer at the top of this post.
Here’s the story from AGI:
1,450 Migrants Arrive in Lampedusa Within a Few Hours
(AGI) Rome – One thousand four hundred and fifty immigrants arrived in Lampedusa within a few hours. There have been seven landings so far. The first was at 2:00 am and they have continued at regular intervals of about one every two hours.
Mayor of Lampedusa Bernardino De Rubeis explained that were around 640 people in the reception centre, 350 of whom are to travel by ship to one of the reception centres around the country. However around 1,200 of the new arrivals will be transferred elsewhere on the Tirrenia. Meanwhile, the island’s port is expecting another two vessels to arrive any minute. The Coast Guard said that today’s migrants were all from Libya.
The rest of the “Camp of the Saints” news concerns Malta. According to Refugee Resettlement Watch, the arrivals in Malta are being transshipped to the USA at the behest of American aid agencies:
Malta Illegal Alien Pipeline Still Flowing to America
Longtime readers know we have followed this story from our early days of writing this blog in 2007. Illegal aliens (ECONOMIC MIGRANTS!) arriving on the tiny island nation of Malta are transformed into “refugees” and shipped off to your town in the US.
Our US Ambassador to Malta during the Bush years started this precedent-setting scheme in motion. (Here is just one post on Tea Party Molly.) Legitimate refugees are to seek asylum in the first nation in which they arrive. By creating this new model, we have opened the door to other countries asking that they too transit illegal aliens through their countries to the US. Also, note in this story the role the UN is playing. It was only a week or so ago that someone commented here that the US does not do the bidding of the UN. Hmmm!
This is funny, go read this post from January where we learned that the migrant Africans really prefer the more generous welfare states of Europe to the US! Little do the migrants know that there is fierce competition going on in the US to get their bodies to America so that federal contractors will survive financially (and Democrats will get more voters!).
Read the rest for more information and source links.
Presseurope.eu has an in-depth report on the Maltese holding camps:
Malta: In the Forgotten Camps
Along with the Italian island of Lampedusa, the Maltese Archipelago has become a favoured destination for hundreds of Africans fleeing the fighting in Libya. But on arrival, what they see of Europe is an unsanitary hangar where they vainly wait for political asylum. French news website Mediapart reports.
Having been confined in secure facilities on arrival, migrants who are identified as “vulnerable” are then sent to open refugee centres, one of which is reserved for families. Located close to the runways of an abandoned airport, Hal Far, as it is called, is at the end of a bus line and far from shops and ordinary homes.
It currently houses approximately thirty families who are awaiting international protection. Often damp, the air in the hangar is stifling in summer and freezing in winter.
Having left Tripoli with his wife and 16-month-old son, Dawit, a 35-year-old Ethiopian, is one its unfortunate residents. “I want to thank the Maltese authorities for stopping my boat from sinking and for looking after us,” he says before moving on to his main subject. “But I have to say this place is terrible, really terrible. There are Somalis, Ethiopians, Eritreans and some Ghanans and Algerians here, all of them families with children. The youngest is 18-months old. There is also a woman who gave birth when she arrived. They took her out of the detention centre, and when the baby was born they brought her back.”
The children fall sick, one after another
“Everyone is exhausted,” he continues. “So where do they put us? In this hangar, where everything is dirty and dangerous, and where we don’t have enough light. There are only two neon fixtures for the entire place, and no lights for inside the tents. The surfaces are oily, the drains aren’t working, and there are rats running around everywhere. Everything is toxic. The babies touch their mouths and their eyes and they get infections… they get sick. We have to take them to the hospital all the time. We saw an Italian doctor weep at the sight of them. The last time I went to the pharmacy for medicine for my son, I had to pay 39 euros. It can’t go on any longer. Worse still, the summer is coming. With the heat, it is going to be unbearable. We are grateful, but this place was not made for humans.”
Dawit repeats his story, he had no plans to come to Europe. An English teacher, he was forced to put to sea to escape the fighting, and also the violence targeted against Subsaharan Africans. Among the fathers sharing the same fate, there are a medical student, an IT engineer and a translator. Some of them, who had left their native countries to escape persecution, had even obtained refugee status. All of them had planned to continue living in Libya. And all of the came closed to dying on the voyage across the Mediterranean.
From the UN High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) to the aid organisations working at the site, everyone involved in Hal Far tells the same story. In the hangar, the tents provided by the Swiss Red Cross are set out in three rows of ten tents each to provide cramped accommodation for approximately 150 people, babies included, who are divided into family groups. A number of accommodation containers, each with 16 berths, have been set up outside the building to provide segregated dormitories for men and women.
Céline Warnier de Wailly, is a member of the Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS), a group that offers legal and social assistance to the refugees in Malta: “The children fall sick, one after another. The situation is becoming extremely serious,” she insists. “When the first families were moved there, their reaction was to say they wanted to go back to the detention centre! I have seen colleagues crying when they are distributing water, milk, pushchairs and nappies. It is not as if they came down with the last shower!”
Maltese authorities are organising a shortage of accomodation
Similar conditions prevail at another camp that local authorities and refugees call Tent Village, which is a few hundred metes form the hangar. Some of the big tents, which are set up in the open air, were damaged by storms last February. And even when they are in good condition, as the UNHCR has reports, these shelters do not offer proper protection against the wind and the rain.” In the hangar and in Tent Village, conditions do not comply with acceptable standards, especially for families with children,” explains Fabrizio Ellul of UNHCR Malta in the administrative jargon particular to international organisations. “The toilet facilities and living conditions are not appropriate for such long stays, and these centres were never supposed to accommodate vulnerable people,” he adds.
There’s much more in the original article.
Heart-rending stories like these are undoubtedly very useful to the refugee mill that pipes the migrants from Malta to the United States in order to snag those federal relocation dollars.
Make no mistake: this is an industry. Follow the money.
For previous posts about the Mediterranean refugee crisis, see The Camp of the Saints Archive.
Hat tips: AC and C. Cantoni.