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It appears that the present repressive immigration policies in Europe and America are good for Africa.

There is no doubt to the fact that global migration is becoming a major priority for the international community. Of course, global mobility and the growing complexity of migratory patterns are heavily impacting countries, migrants, families and communities.

The upsurge of international migrants has been evident in recent years, both numerically and proportionally. According to the 2018 World Migration Report, there were around 244 million international migrants in 2015, which equates to 3.3 percent of the global population.

In Europe and America, immigration rates have been alarmingly high. Justice for Immigrants posits that the major push and pull drives of global migration today remain politics and Economics. Migrants, especially, from Africa and other less developed parts of the world have been on the move.

Receiving Nations and receptive immigration policies

Europe and North America have largely been the destinations of most of the migrants. In 2015 for instance, about one third of the world’s international migrants (75 million) lived in Europe. Thousands continue to move legally and illegally from Africa, the Caribbean, Latin America and Asia into Europe and North America.

In recent years, receiving nations, especially, within the European Union and North America have been welcoming, with favorable immigration policies.

For example, Germany under Angela Merkel has been exceptionally magnanimous. In the United States, the Obama administration relatively relaxed immigration policies, thereby giving some due advantages to immigrants. Canada, has also recently proven to be a sanctuary for global migrants, following its humanitarian and compassionate immigration policy.

However, things appear not to be the same again.

Tough immigration Policies in Europe and the United States

There is a current wave of resistance to immigration in Europe and USA. Europeans seem to have received enough of political and economic migrants from Africa and the Middle East. President Donald Trump is currently at loggerhead with Americans for his anti-immigration stand.

German Chancellor, Angela Merkel has been under immense pressure from majority of citizens and political rivals. As a political survival strategy, they want Merkel to reverse her pro-immigration policy, which has welcomed thousands of undocumented migrants.

A recent survey shows that 62 percent of Germans are in favor of turning back illegal migrants at the border. This supports the position of Markel’s Minister of Interior, Horst Seehofer, who is openly against admitting more illegal migrants.  From the Infratest dimap poll, 86 percent of respondents want faster deportations of asylum seekers who have not been given a stay.

In the US, Donald Trump’s repressive Immigration Policy has been raising tensions between the US government and neighboring countries. This also includes African and Middle East countries where the president recently imposed travel bans.

Trump’s idea of building a wall along the US-Mexico border to deter illegal crossings into the US is still in place. The president is, therefore, continuously developing different methods of restricting US-bound migrants.

One of such is his executive order that allows government to separate children of illegal immigrants from their parents in detention. Though the order is now history after a barrage of criticisms from US stakeholders, many families are already separated.

Illegal African migrants aggravating the situation

There is no doubt that Africa is leading in the sending nations in global migration. This is especially true when it comes to illegal migrants from the continent to Europe. The horrible stories of thousands of African migrants trying to reach Europe through the Sahara Desert and Mediterranean Sea are not new to anyone.

According to the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), more than 1.4 million African migrants arrived Europe between 2015 and 2017. More than 11 thousand deaths were registered during this period. Just between January and June 2018, there has been 42,653 arrivals, with 1063 deaths at sea.

Between 2017 and 2018, hundreds of migrants intercepted by Libyan Coast Guards have been returned to their countries of origin. This was after the uncovering of the slave trade by some Libyans using arrested migrants.

The Challenge to Sending African Countries

The present anti-immigration atmosphere especially in Europe is a challenge to African leaders, whose nations are largely the sending countries. It’s validating the fact that the receiving countries are no longer comfortable with the migratory trend.

The populations of these receiving countries are mounting pressure on their leaders to stop receiving immigrants. As people-driven democracies, these leaders have no choice than to dance to the dictates of the people.

African leaders, must, as a matter of urgency, take this as a challenge. It’s a challenge to restructure the socio-economic and political fabrics of their various nations. Pan African institutions like the African Union (AU), African Development Bank (AfDB) and regional blocks must be seen to be aggressively responding to this challenge. This will undoubtedly help in curtailing these illegal movements of Africans to Europe, where they’re no longer welcome.

The achievement of AU agenda 2063 is dependent on the inclusive contributions of all Africans, especially its vibrant youthful population. Consequently, it’s time to check this continuous and dangerous trend of migration of agile African youth to Europe and America.

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