Frontex warns Malta, ‘Don’t advertise resettlements’

Karl Stagno-Navarro

Officials from the EU’s border control agency Frontex have warned the
Maltese authorities that publicity given to the recent agreements
reached with the USA and other countries are being exploited by
organised crime in Libya to market Malta as the destination to send
asylum seekers and irregular immigrants.

[] The shocking revelation
was reportedly made during a Frontex debriefing meeting held in
Caltanisetta in Sicily, where military and governmental officials from
EU Member States were given details about the recent Nautilus IV
mission held in the Mediterranean during this summer, in a bid to
contrast the flow of illegal immigrants.
Senior military sources told MaltaToday that Frontex officials spoke of
intelligence that showed how criminals behind the lucrative illegal
migration trade were “actually marketing Malta as the right destination
to direct migrants,” given that it has now become public that the US is
accepting migrants from Malta.
Frontex have reportedly warned the Maltese government that the
publicity given to re-settlement agreements for migrants, is being
immediately exploited by criminal gangs as the right “marketing tool”
just like any travel agent would promote a destination to make more
Since the US embassy began its permanent refugee resettlement program
in May 2008, over 320 refugees have been resettled to the US. The
latest group of refugees were resettled in cities across the United
States, including Denver, Atlanta, and Portland. Once they arrive in
the USA, each refugee is assigned a sponsor agency that provides
initial services such as housing, food, and clothing, as well as
referral to medical care, employment services, and other support during
a transition period lasting up to two years in order to ensure
integration and assimilation.
The UK will be taking 10 immigrants from Malta under the EU pilot
project for the resettlement of refugees. Britain will be joining
France, Luxembourg, Portugal, Slovakia and Slovenia in assisting Malta
with the problem. France was the first country to participate in the
scheme with a pledge to take 100 refugees.