Moves to Stem Illegal Workers
In contrast to the immigration bills being contemplated in the u.s., European Union officials want to introduce tough new measures to fight illegal immigration.
On May 16, the European Commission proposed targeting employers of illegal workers that would involve criminal penalties ranging from fines to jail terms. eu Justice Commissioner Franco Frattini is calling for a fivefold increase in the percentage of companies inspected annually for employing illegal immigrants. Those found to have not done adequate background checks on their employees could be forced to pay, among other fines, the cost of sending an illegal immigrant home and could lose public subsidies for up to five years.
With an estimated 4 to 8 million illegal immigrants in the 27-nation bloc and another half million entering each year, European nations could be compelled to work together under the aegis of the eu or hand more authority to the eu bureaucracy—to stem the tide.
One of the factors making illegal immigration such an urgent matter in Europe is the fact that a sizeable segment of this unknown number is Muslim. Not only are illegal immigrants hurting Europeans economically, in part by depressing wages, but Muslim immigrants especially also present severe cultural issues due to their lack of assimilation. Terrorism, segregation and ghettos are among the problems arising from the huge influx of immigrants in recent years.
Europe is starting to awaken to the impact its increasing population of illegal immigrants is having on the Continent. Initiatives such as this one seeking to tighten up on the employment of illegal immigrants are an indication of a hardening stance against illegal immigrants. Europeans are growing fed up with the economic and cultural woes—not to mention the degradation of their own “European” values—they see such immigrants as causing.
Another implication of the eu becoming active in enforcing immigration law is the resultant further loss of control of laws at the national level. Currently, only 19 of the eu members have criminal penalties for black-market labor. While European states may welcome measures to limit illegal immigration in Europe, some, including Britain, are expected to resist a law that cedes sovereignty in the sensitive area of immigration.
Read our January 2006 article “The Ostrich, the Warriors and the Whirlwind” to see where Europe’s hardening attitude to Muslim immigration will lead.