Posted by: annmucc | October 10, 2008

Immigrant arrivals exceed local birth rate

Times of Malta – Friday, 10th October 2008 – 09:45CET

WOW! is all I can say…

The Emigrants Commission said today that immigrant arrivals this year, for the first time, exceeded the local birth rate, something which had not taken place anywhere else in the world.

It said in a statement that Malta currently has 40 migrants per square mile – which is more than the number of people in Finland per square mile.

If the burden of irregular migration was to be shared equally among European Union countries on the basis of land mass, Malta would barely get 100 immigrants, the Commission said.

The Commission said that until 2001, 3,153 refugees and other migrants had arrived in Malta, of whom 2,271 were resettled in other countries such as the United States, Australia and Canada.

Such resettlement programmes stopped in 2002 and when the boat cases started, new efforts were embarked upon.

According to information given in Parliament, 28 persons were resettled in Europe and 141 in the United States between 2006 and 2008. The US was planning to take more people from Malta.

A total of 1,686 immigrants came to Malta in 2002, when the boat arrivals started, and since then an average of 1,250 a year continued to arrive.

And although Malta’s size did not grow, the assistance the country used to get for the resettlement of refugees and others who deserved international protection stopped, the commission complained.

For one to understand better the need, if not the duty, of the European Union to help Malta carry the burden of irregular migrants, one only needed to see the population densities of EU countries with the most densely populated – Malta having 3,267 people per square mile followed by the Netherlands – 1,023; and Belgium – 879.

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