NGO ship Aquarius, a German vessel operated by SOS Méditerranée and Doctors Without Borders (Médecins Sans Frontières / MSF), has been giving the world a reality check over the past 10 days, although that hardly shines through in the response from the political and media establishment. Here are the facts:
On June 10, Italy (under its the newly elected right-wing government) refused to allow Aquarius to dock in any of its ports.
After Malta also turned the ship away, Spain invited them to dock in Valencia.
This sees the ship bypassing safe ports in Tunisia, instead travelling thousands of miles to another European port.
Serious question: Why are “already exhausted” migrants being forced to spend 4-5 more days at sea on a rough journey to Valencia? Zoom in on the route map to see how close Tunisia is. It’s a safe port about an hour away. #TheCube #Aquarius pic.twitter.com/Rzc5Vrbw8V
— Keith Walker (@KeithWalkerNews) June 13, 2018
In Spain, the migrants will be given 495 euros per month, which – according to Voice Of Europe – is twice the highest minimum wage in Africa (Morocco, 210 euros). They can also receive free healthcare if needed. At the moment, 70% of Spain’s welfare spending already goes to immigrants.
Spanish students were forced to vacate their residences so that the migrants could be put up in student housing facilities. After arriving in Spain 467 migrants were housed, but within 24 hours, dozens of them had already disappeared.
In response to a tweet that claimed that women were raped during the crossing (supposedly admitted by Spain’s vice president Mónica Oltra, who later said this was not true), the Dutch Twitter account of Doctors Without Borders (Artsen Zonder Grenzen) clarified:
While with us on the Aquarius, women sleep in a sequestered area on deck and we keep watch 24 hours per day.
This means that Doctors Without Borders knows the high risk of (sex) attacks, but they not only have no problem setting potential sexual predators loose in our communities, they go out of their way to bring them here.
Lastly, while the MSM made sure to mention the presence of 134 children and 7 pregnant women, photo and video footage shows hundreds of adult men. This is possible, given the total number of 629 passengers, but it is remarkable that the MSM is painting a different picture by emphasizing the presence of (pregnant) women and children.
De illegale migranten op de Aquarius van AzG en SOS Med. worden geïnformeerd over de situatie rond Italië/Malta. Blijkbaar dachten AzG/SOS Med. er dit keer niet aan om kinderen prominent voor de camera te duwen. pic.twitter.com/U6Skyl4ULW
— Mirjam152 (@Mirjam152) June 11, 2018
Who comes here and where do they go?
Both The Netherlands and Belgium have presented some data in recent weeks. Since the current migrant crisis started in 2015 around 60% of all requests for asylum in The Netherlands were granted. These were mostly ‘refugees’ from Syria and Eritrea. There were requests coming from migrants from safe countries like Morocco and Algeria, but 98% of those were denied. There is no mention of how it was established that migrants arrived from the countries they said they were from.
What is mentioned however, is that 46.5% of the rejected asylum seekers are proven to have left The Netherlands – meaning that it is unknown where the other 53.5% are now (numbers supplied by one of the Dutch government’s statistical agencies). Morocco and Algeria (which already have big communities of immigrants living in The Netherlands and neighboring European countries) are found to be very uncooperative in the deportation of their nationals from Europe. When it comes to asylum seekers from Northern Africa, only 18% actually left, meaning 82% are unaccounted for and possibly still living in The Netherlands (or Europe) illegally).
Belgium offers similar numbers. While the Dublin Regulation says EU member states are allowed to send asylum seekers back to the country where they first arrived, that only works in 20% of all cases for Belgium. Of 5,346 requests to take back asylum seekers only 1,054 were granted (mind you – these are asylum seekers who would still be within the borders of the EU). Countries like Italy and Greece are experiencing shortages in space to house all the applicants. Belgium itself grants about 1 of 5 of similar requests the other way around as well, by the way. It seems that EU member states are reluctant to allow in asylum seekers once they have landed in Europe, although (aside from Italy since its new government was sworn in in June 2018) they are very welcoming to those just coming in from Africa or the Middle East.
Like The Netherlands, Belgium only effectively deports around one in five (18.72%) rejected asylum seekers (8,536 out of 45,601 – 19,551 of which concernt migrants who have been ordered to leave more than once). Belgium is estimated to have around 200,000 illegals at the moment, on a population of 11.3 million.
More welfare for immigrants, no retirement in sight for natives
The number of immigrants on welfare in The Netherlands has been steadily rising for years, even while the number of natives (and western immigrants) on welfare started going down in 2017. At the end of 2015, more than 60% of people on welfare in The Netherlands were immigrants; now that is up to 63%. (In these reports, Statline only keeps track of 1st and 2nd generation immigrants – 3rd generation immigrants are not counted as immigrants.)
At the same time the retirement age keeps rising. For a long time, the standard retirement age in The Netherlands was 65 (although many retired earlier). Now, the retirement age is 67 plus 3 months but the expectation for people who are in their thirties now is that their retirement age will be 71 plus 9 months.
The mainstream pro-immigration creed is that we need immigration to keep being able to afford the welfare state, but in actuality immigrants are increasing the burden on the welfare state and we are now keeping senior citizens at work longer to pay for that.
Mathematician and demography expert Jan van de Beek calculated that every non-western asylum seeker costs Dutch tax payers a few hundred thousand euros. He estimates the average for a non-western asylum seeker at 250,000 euros during their lifetime, but that number increases (possibly four-fold) due to family reunification and having kids. The Netherlands has accepted over 111,000 non-western asylum seekers since 2014. If Van de Beek’s estimate is correct, these people will cost the Dutch state more than 27 billion euros in their lifetimes (not including any spouses and children).