It is not up to the leaders of The Gambia to decide Europe’s immigration policy.

It is not up to the leaders of The Gambia to decide Europe’s immigration policy.

* The Gambia is now free and democratic so the EU is pushing its migrants to go home. Good luck.

Why were migrants from The Gambia and elsewhere granted entry to begin with? Like most in Africa, they are not refugees. Why is the EU only “pushing” instead of “demanding” the return of The Gambia’s own citizens?

Gambians were among the top nationalities leaving West Africa for Italy in 2016. In total 11,929 Gambians arrived last year, an increase of 36% over 2015. Gambians are one of the top nationalities among the 93,000 mainly African migrants who have arrived in Italy as of June of 2017.

** However, it was this statement by Quartz that revealed the distorted attitude of many in the media and academia in regards to Europe and migration: “A key element of return to the Gambia is the role that returnees can play once they are back and how well accepted they will be. Without a thriving labour market such reintegration will be challenging and at worst could lead to conflict among a group of frustrated young men. General unemployment is at 29.8%, and for youth it is estimated to be 38.5%. Large numbers of young men returning without prospects of employment could have security implications for the young democracy.”

Where are the concerns for the implications on Europeans? The article fails to realize that Italy’s youth unemployment rate is 35%, while Greece is 43% and Spain 38%. What are the prospects for Gambians in Italy or Spain? What about the “security implications” for Italians and Europeans in regards to the “integration” of a large group of “frustrated young men”?

To suggest that The Gambia would be risking stability by accepting back their own citizens is ludicrous, especially when some think Europe should assume these risks. In fact, we believe the risks are much higher for Europe, especially in regards to integration, since the migrants come from an entirely different culture and background.

How does “relocating” young men to Europe help build Africa? The migrants – whether from Africa or the Middle East – can be helped more effectively closer to their homes. It is dangerous and counterproductive to invite “frustrated young migrants” from alien cultures to Europe for “relocation”.

The EU needs to overhaul and scrap their policy of relocation. It has been a colossal failure for all involved. The best way to protect Europeans while helping the refugees is to support them in their own countries. Europe can only do so much. At some point, the people of Africa must help themselves.

Europe must step up the pressure on the leaders of Africa who refuse to take back their citizens. Refusing visas for these countries, slashing aid and sharply reducing or eliminating the benefits paid to illegal migrants is the place to start. The latter may even encourage self-deportation.

After all, it is not up to the leaders of The Gambia to decide Europe’s immigration policy. Europe has the tools to send the migrants back. The question? Do they have the will and fortitude to take back control of their own borders?

Unfortunately, we remain doubtful.

The Gambia is now free and democratic so Europe is pushing its migrants to go home