Migrants enter a Maltese police bus after disembarking the Maltese Armed Forces of Malta patrol boat P52 at the the Armed Forces of Malta base at Hay Wharf, in Floriana, Malta, 30 September 2018 | Photo: EPA/DOMENIC AQUILINA
Migrants enter a Maltese police bus after disembarking the Maltese Armed Forces of Malta patrol boat P52 at the the Armed Forces of Malta base at Hay Wharf, in Floriana, Malta, 30 September 2018 | Photo: EPA/DOMENIC AQUILINA

The Maltese authorities say that they deport about 40 foreigners per month considered irregular migrants. Many of them are foreigners who were granted asylum in Italy and traveled to the island to seek work.

About 40 foreigners are deported every month by Malta due to a lack of necessary authorizations. Many of them are non-EU migrants granted asylum in Italy but who went to Malta to seek employment. The island has the third lowest unemployment rate at 3.7 percent in the EU after the Czech Republic, 2.2 percent, and Germany, 3.4 percent. 


Maltese media say that the deportations are the result of ceaseless work by the immigration section of the police, involved in inspections across the entire country and in checking arrivals at the airport. About 20 foreigners are stopped immediately after landing and sent back to their countries of origin. 

Skin color not a factor 

In an interview with state tv TVM, inspector Frankie Sammut, from the Maltese immigration section, said that the police do not make a distinction based on the color of the foreigners' skin or where they are from. However, airport checks often seem targeted and the inspections are also aimed at immigrants granted asylum in Italy and who arrive in Malta via sea or by plane (there are two direct flights daily from Sicily). The latter have, however, the right to remain in the archipelago for 90 days as tourists. Those deported are escorted to planes on which they are taken back to their countries of origin. 

157 deportations this year so far 

Last year, Malta deported 529 people to 30 different countries. In the first four months of 2019, 157 were deported, a slight reduction compared with the previous year. Inspector Sammut said that in some cases Maltese police covered the expenses of the flight because the deportee did not have money while in many other cases, a period of time was granted to leave the island at the foreigner's own expense. Those appealing the decision are detained in the Hal Safi detention center until the final ruling.
 

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