European Journal of Migration and Law 2: 361–405, 2000. © 2001 Kluwer Law International. Printed in the Netherlands. 361 The EU Acquis on Irregular Migration: Reinforcing Security at the Expense of Rights RYSZARD CHOLEWINSKI 1. Introduction Illegal migrants are often portrayed as carriers of many ills and as the vanguard of a much larger migrant army waiting in the wings to invade and plunder the social welfare systems of affluent European nations. This negative picture, exaggerated frequently in the media and fuelled by political and electoral agendas, inexplicably turns a blind eye to the simple fact that illegal immigrants are human beings possessing fundamental and inalienable rights. Indeed, this could not have been more clearly underlined than by the recent tragedy in Dover, England when 58 Chinese nationals from Fujian province died of asphyxiation in a lorry while attempting to enter the United Kingdom unlawfully. 1 Although many illegal migrants might not qualify in most European countries as refugees under current restrictive applications of the refugee definition in the Geneva Convention, 2 they may often have good and strong reasons for leaving their countries of origin and seeking to stay in the destination country after entering without authorization
European Journal of Migration and Law – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 2000
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