POST TIME: 8 July, 2018 00:00 00 AM
Europe’s migration policies not different from Trump's

Europe’s migration policies not different from Trump's

A protester holds a placard reading "earth despite Europe" during a demonstration to denounce the closure of Mediterranean ports to migrant rescue boats yesterday in Berlin. AFP PHOTO

LONDON: The European response to the Trump administration's "zero tolerance" of illegal migration and especially the controversial separation of children from their parents has largely been one of outrage and disgust, reports CNN.

"We do not share the same model of civilization," said French government spokesman Benjamin Griveaux in June. "Has ever a US president displayed such a total lack of empathy, such a deficit of common human decency?" thundered Britain's Observer newspaper in an editorial.

But to the US President, it's Europe that's got it all wrong. "Crime in Germany is way up," he tweeted in June, although the statistics show otherwise. "Big mistake made all over Europe in allowing millions of people in who have so strongly and violently changed their culture!" Trump added -- a wild assertion.

Many Europeans take umbrage at Trump's attacks. But even if they don't subscribe to his "zero tolerance" approach to migration, European governments have also become much tougher in handling migrants, asylum seekers and even minorities already resident.

More than 1,000 would-be migrants and refugees are known to have died at sea this year trying to reach Europe. But there is no coordinated rescue response; the European Union has left it to merchant ships and nongovernmental organizations to pick up those adrift. And two of those NGO vessels have been detained in Malta. The Europeans' focus is on pushing the problem back to the Middle East and North Africa. Italy is bolstering the Libyan coast guard; more migrants are being sent back to already crowded detention centers in Libya.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, fighting for her job, has proposed setting up "reception centers" in several North African states, most of which have already said they'll have nothing to do with the plan. She has also offered to help Bulgaria, Croatia and Slovenia improve border security.