Soon in whole Europe a massive police operation will start. Its aims: stopping, control and identification of all migrants who are intercepted on the european continent. many associations and networks protecting the rights of migrants are launching the alarm.
From 16 to 23 october Italy will guide the operation of European police Mos Maiorum, a coordinated intervention by the Central Directorate for Immigration and Border Police of the Italian Ministry of the Interior in cooperation with Frontex against the “illegal crossing of borders”. From the note of the European Council we learn that the purpose of the transaction is “weakening the organizational capacity of organized crime in illegal immigration”. This will happen through a series of coordinated actions that will aim at identifying and arresting undocumented migrants. The scope: collection of information for the purposes of investigation and intelligence, consolidation of common practices of intervention in order to increase the effectiveness of control measures and repression of illegal immigration.
Translated, what does this mean?
A week of persecution and war declared to all migrants, with 18 thousand police officers unleashed in stations, trains, ports, airports to identify and possibly arrest the largest number of foreign-looking people. It is a practice already used during the previous missions called Aerodromos, Aphrodite, Perkunas, respectively conducted during Greece/Cyprus/Lithuania’s EU presidency. Apparently planned for 2 weeks the year, at the change of european presidencies.
Operations guided by the presumption of guilt, addressed mostly to demonstrate the dangers of migrants’ circulation. Their behaviors are a priori defined as illegal. They aim at legitimazing the resource investment and regulatory procedures for control measures, detention and repression. It is enough reading a few lines of the final report of the mission Perkunas conducted in September 2013: “Given that the majority of irregular migrants (72.94%) has applied for international protection after being intercepted, it can be taken as a quantitative indication of “abuse in asylum procedures”.
This is how the strengthening of Frontex materializes itself, certainly not in the direction of a better reception but of gigantic police operations that have the sole purpose of enhancing the image of the migrant as a public enemy and convincing of the need for steps towards expulsions and mass detentions.
Triton is announced for November as a strengthening of Mare Nostrum (we’re not here to repeat all of the criticality of this mission). If someone had naively believed in the fable of Frontex Plus saving lives, it’s now possible to realize that the leadership in the field of EU migration policies – now under the Italian Presidency of the European Union – is one of proclaimed zero tolerance towards migratory movements.
Migratory flows are once again discussed as a matter of security and fight against organized crime, rather than being approached as effects of wars and conflicts that surround Europe.
After the humanitarian interlude of Mare Nostrum and the National Plan of immigration policies, the public debate goes back to the discourse of terrorist threat: people fleeing from ISIS and conflict areas (Syria, Iraq, Paelstine, Horn of africa etc) transformed in unwanted dangerous subjects. And here comes the need for strong anti-immigration measures. In other words, FROM REFUGEES TO TERRORISTS.
Upcoming Mos Maiorum + new Triton part of Frontex mission + forced identifications of all asylum seekers as issued by the Ministry of the Interior (under pressure from the EU) + cruel rigidity of the Dublin Regulation: they all open a new narrative of migratory movements and their management.
What is the scenario that will follow the anniversary of october 3 and the rethoric that accompaines the celebration? All is set so that refugees and migrants will return to become the target of control measures and repression. As stated by the Minister Alfano, “everything is played at the border”.
Neva Cocchi, Danilo Burattini
Thanks for the translation to Moira Bernardoni