Detention not to blame
What happened to the Malian illegal immigrant, while under escort, makes me ashamed to belong to the Maltese nation. What a reprehensible crime. Unfortunately this is not the first crime of its kind allegedly committed by members of government outfits set up and manned to ensure law, order and the defence of the state.
A shame on the authorities appointed, or elected, and paid, to administer the public tasks and duties needed by the country. A shame on these authorities who in face of these failings hardly bat an eyelid and immediately run for cover, as if what happened has nothing to do with them.
What has been and what is being done to screen, identify, re-educate or send away any rotten people from public service? Up to what level does responsibility reach?
No doubt the running and administration of the detention centre leave a lot to be desired. Massive improvements are required in the standard of the centre and the professionalism of staff members. Obviously such interventions require money, resources and expert assistance. This is where Malta is being left inadequately assisted by the European Union. The EU fraternity has been and is notoriously unfair and irresponsible in its response to cries of help from Malta, as it faces serious illegal immigration problems. We get lectures and are talked down to most of the time with no evidence of real solidarity or burden sharing.
Malta had no problem in coughing up millions of euros in support of spendthrift and defaulting EU members. Well, perhaps next time round Malta should deduct amounts from such outgoing funds and declare up front that it requires the funds to improve the detention centre, and to more effectively and humanely apply itself to the illegal immigration burdens. We need to dedicate more resources to this problem whether we like it or not. The government needs to condition the public, feet on the ground, to accept the bill attached to this task. The taxpayer has to be conscious of, and accept, that our country’s subscription to EU and international obligations comes at a price and we should be prepared to pay it. It is humane and honourable to pay it.
It is here important to point out that the horrible and condemnable crime against the Malian illegal immigrant did not occur because we have a detention policy. It occurred because a small minority of the people involved in this illegal immigration issue are ill-equipped to fill their positions.
It is no surprise that a shameful and despicable crime will be exploited by the politically correct to naively and irresponsibly call for the total removal of the detention policy. The politically correct are all the time on the alert to condition us with emotional blackmail as they work at making us feel collective guilt. We have been told that illegal immigrants are 12 times more liable than Maltese citizens to experience mental illness. Well you do not need to be an intelligent and sharp observer to reach such a conclusion. Of course it is a sad situation. But it is devious and manipulative to indirectly or directly imply that Malta is contributing to this sad state of affairs as it is denying these illegal immigrants an open arms, unconditional welcome with no detention and immediate integration, as they land on our shores in potentially unlimited numbers. I believe that such an expectation is unfair on us, unrealistic and unjustified. No, I do not have the political, social and economic shambles of Africa on my conscience, the blame lies elsewhere; I am a citizen of an ex-colony.
Several organisations have now started an onslaught on the government demanding to remove detention. The authorities must resist this pressure and we must not see an emotional, kneejerk reaction with the removal of a detention policy that is perfectly legal. This would make Malta a desired destination. We cannot unconditionally throw ourselves open and accept whoever, criminal, terrorist or otherwise, who illegally lands on or is pulled towards our shores. Detention, in decent conditions, and repatriation where it is due, must remain.
The government has a responsibility to shield us from the threat of uncontrolled illegal immigration. This duty has to be fulfilled in a humanitarian manner and in observance of the international obligations we have subscribed to.