According to Fabrizio Ellul of UNHCR (the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees), even if integration is still something of a pipe dream (in fact according to a survey, more than 50% of Maltese people believe that there are too many migrants and more than 40% said that they have never spoken to any of them), the phenomenon is not yet an emergency: "Since 2002, almost 20,000 have arrived in Malta, but only about 3000 of these have remained on the island. 78% received international protection and then a passport that allows them to travel with a three-month visa to any other country in the European Union; few of them, however, will return. It is said that on arrival in Malta, their fingerprints are taken badly on purpose… so when their visas expire, that is assuming they are ever found, it is impossible to go back to their country of entry."
However, the Maltese Prime Minister, Joseph Muscat, does not seem to be in agreement. In fact, he has just informed the European Union that if other member countries do not help Malta, his government will ignore conventions and adopt a policy of refused entry. He has kept to his word on this matter, threatening to return 102 Somali migrants to Libya.
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