Fall 2008

Global highlights and local sidelights culled from the media (June – August 2008)

BRUSSELS: New EU Law Against Illegal Immigrants is Passed Despite Some Criticism

The European Parliament approved new EU-wide regulations with tougher measures against illegal immigrants – a population thought to number eight million (compared to an estimated 12 million in the U.S.). The EU law, a “return directive,” is intended to harmonize laws and policies on the politically explosive issue in all 27 member states by providing a common framework for each country’s national laws. A central point in the directive is a provision under which illegal immigrants that refuse to go home may be detained for up to 18 months and then deported – and not allowed reentry into the EU for five years. Parliamentary assent marked the final step in instituting the new set of regulations. The rules in the return directive exempt asylum-seekers. But they apply to foreigners who have overstayed their visas.