Fact 1: There are an increasing number of people seeking asylum in Europe.
Fact 2: This is not being well received.
In 2001, John Morrison and Beth Crosland wrote a Working Paper called "The trafficking and smuggling of refugees: the end game in European asylum policy".
In it, they state:
"This report analyses the response of European governments to the increasing problems of human trafficking and smuggling, and concludes that much of existing policy-making is part of the problem and not the solution. Refugees are now forced to use illegal means if they want to access Europe at all. The direction of current policy risks not so much solving the problem of trafficking but rather ending the right of asylum in Europe, one of the most fundamental of all human rights. Any comprehensive approach that tackles trafficking and smuggling successfully requires legal and safe migration opportunities for all refugees, as well as necessary enforcement measures. Europe is in urgent need for political and moral leadership on this issue and it is hoped that the final recommendations contained in this report might stimulate some reflection. "
This was in 2001.
In December 2017, ECRE ( The European Centre for Refugees and Exiles) writes in its Policy Note 09:
"The 2017 Commission Recommendation on making returns more effective when implementing the Return Directive (the 2017 Recommendation on returns) encourages Member States to increase returns and tackle obstacles to the implementation of return decisions that could act as pull factors. It promotes punitive measures to reduce perceived abuse by individuals to avoid return, including urging Member States to increase detention, lower safeguards, and limit the examination of risks of refoulement. It also suggests limiting access to voluntary departure and reintegration support where they hinder return. Detention is not ruled out for children or families. Health problems are seen as a potential abuse of the system. Recommendations are still consistent with the Return Directive, but they will lower standards in some EU Member States, justified by the need to increase numbers."
16 years, millions of migrating people, catastrophic warfare, drought, degration, social , political and economic unrest: and we the developed nations have moved precisely this far in acknowledging, understanding, engaging with or creating anything approaching a constructive response to the issue.