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European Union admits "prevalent" Eritrean asylum fraud

African migrants in Calais

It's an open secret that many African migrants are taking advantage of Europe's politically motivated automatic asylum policy for Eritreans. In fact, human smugglers often encourage African migrants to claim they are Eritreans and coach them on what to say when they deal with immigration authorities in Europe.

Speaking on this issue with VOA, Bronwyn Bruton, Deputy Director of the Africa Center at the Atlantic Council, said:

I have to say not all people who claim they are Eritrean refugees are actually Eritrean refugees....If you're from Eritrea, or if you can convince a refugee officer that you're from Eritrea, you get an automatic green card in Europe, no questions asked. And that means that Sudanese, Ethiopians, Somalis - everybody has an incentive to walk through this open door from some of the poorest countries in the world to some of the richest countries in the world. 

Last month, during an interview with RT's Afshin Rattansi, Yemane Ghebreab, Presidential Adviser and Head of Political Affairs for the ruling PFDJ, revealed that most people who claim asylum in Europe as Eritreans are not Eritreans. Yemane said:

It's common knowledge here (in Europe) that most of the people - over 50% of the people - who apply for political asylum claiming to be Eritreans are in fact not Eritreans. 

After ignoring this phenomenon for many years, EU's recent report on migration acknowledged that there is a "prevalent nationality swapping" among African migrants in which they fraudulently claim they are Eritrean asylum seekers. The EU report said:

According to media reports, before arriving in Libya, Ethiopians are often advised by human smugglers to claim Eritrean nationality from there on to avoid possible return to Ethiopia. This would indicate that the numbers of Eritreans arriving to Italy is probably inflated due to this very prevalent nationality swapping.

The main issue that's causing African migrants to claim they are Eritreans is EU's disastrous policy of granting automatic asylum for Eritreans. By selectively favoring Eritreans over other African migrants with asylum, they are inducing Eritrean migrants to head to Europe and making African migrants feel the need to claim they are Eritreans to guarantee their stay in Europe. So any lasting solution on this phenomenon hinges on EU ending its automatic asylum for Eritrean migrants.

Related reading: Inflating Eritrean refugee numbers in Ethiopia

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European Union admits "prevalent" Eritrean asylum fraud Reviewed by Admin on 1:21 PM Rating: 5

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