‘Allow migrants to reunite with their families’
Immigrants who have lived in Malta for five years should be allowed to bring their families to join them, according to the head of the Emigrants’ Commission.
Mgr Philip Calleja yesterday said it would be “a purely humanitarian act” to help families separated by distance and circumstances unite.
In a personal note titled My Wish List, which was circulated to the media yesterday, Mgr Calleja listed a number of conditions that would have to be satisfied before the family would be allowed to reunite.
Apart from having lived in Malta for five years, the migrant would have had to be working with a permit for three years and be able to guarantee proper accommodation for his relatives.
Mgr Calleja said many migrants were separated from their wives and children for years and the situation was such that nobody knew how long it would persist.
He said migrants with a police permit should be able to have a work permit and enjoy the same benefits as Maltese employees.
Casting a wider net on the issues migrants faced, Mgr Calleja said it did not make sense for the state to refuse to register babies born at sea because they were not on Maltese territory.
He recalled that the UN human rights convention urged states to “identify and remove physical, administrative and any other barriers that impede access to birth registration.”
Birth registration, he added, did not give the child any rights.
Mgr Calleja said there were cases of children born at sea who could not be registered in their mother’s home country nor in the mother’s last country of residence.
“Birth registration, even belated, will be a humanitarian act,” he insisted.