Seeking “asylum” in Europe carries a whiff of fraud

It is hardly surprising that “asylum seekers” in Europe are perceived as including many fraudsters. This article is from the Basler Zeitung in Switzerland:

Eritreans enjoy their “home leave”

Many Eritreans regularly return to their home country where they are supposedly “threatened with life and limb”. The refugees, who mostly live on social welfare, are a good source of foreign currency for the home country.

The scene took place in July 2016 at Zurich-Kloten Airport. It’s a holiday season. Thousands of people fly for their summer vacation. Among them are numerous people from Eritrea, men, women, whole families. They have travel documents as refugees or as temporary residents, who can stay in Switzerland despite a rejected asylum application. The cantons have issued the documents after the Eritreans have submitted a request and this has been examined by the Confederation.

Many of them do not fly to Italy, Germany or Sweden, where there are a large diaspora of Eritrean communities.  They fly to their homeland. Thus, to the very country in which, according to the refugee policy, they are “threatened with life and limb” , and therefore can not at any time be returned after a rejected asylum application, says Councilor Simonetta Sommaruga.

However, the trip does not go directly to Eritrea. Such flights are not available from Zurich at all, but, according to BaZ research, via an intermediate station, for example via Istanbul. From there to the Sudanese capital Khartoum or to Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa. This is shown by the boarding cards of the Eritreers, which have been seen by BaZ in Zurich. Up to fifty people leave daily from Switzerland and fly to a neighboring country of Eritrea. A return flight via Istanbul costs around 650 francs during the high season in summer. At present they are available for 599 francs.

In Sudan or Ethiopia, the Eritreans finally get buses, which bring them home in a few days. From Khartoum there are also flights, which after an hour’s flight lands in the Eritrean capital, Asmara . Four out of five Eritreans in Switzerland receive social welfare. This is evidently generous enough that it is possible for many to travel to their homeland.

So far, the State Secretariat for Migration (SEM), said it was difficult to determine who was going to Eritrea through a neighboring country because there are no direct flights. It was merely a few persons who were abusing the status of asylum. At the end of May 2016 the SEM , as reported by BaZ , claimed that every year about 20 suspicious cases were tested, less than half as many as flew daily just from Zurich-Kloten to Sudan, ……

…. This means, in the plain text, that many Eritreans, who are mostly unable to present their Eritrean passports when seeking asylum, suddenly have travel documents, when they go on home leave, either from the Swiss authorities or from the Eritrean consulate in Geneva or elsewhere. New papers. … (It was) revealed  already three years ago that the Eritrean representation in Switzerland not only participated in tax drives from the Eritrean diaspora but also organized travels to Eritrea. Refugees are a source of revenue for the home country. ……. 

No doubt there are genuine asylum seekers, but the many cases of fraud mean that the seeking of “asylum” has lost both credibility and value.



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