Blogging Many news and opinion articles like the one below often invite further discussion in the form of internet blogs or email threads. Read the following article and the accompanying reader emails, then present your own comment/response. timesofmalta.com Friday, 10th October 2008 - 09:45CET Immigrant arrivals exceed local birth rate The Emigrants Commission said today that immigrant arrivals this year, for the first time, exceeded the local birth rate, something which had not taken place anywhere else in the world. It said in a statement that Malta currently has 40 migrants per square mile - which is more than the number of people in Finland per square mile. If the burden of irregular migration was to be shared equally among European Union countries on the basis of land mass, Malta would barely get 100 immigrants, the Commission said. The Commission said that until 2001, 3,153 refugees and other migrants had arrived in Malta, of whom 2,271 were resettled in other countries such as the United States, Australia and Canada. Such resettlement programmes stopped in 2002 and when the boat cases started, new efforts were embarked upon. According to information given in Parliament, 28 persons were resettled in Europe and 141 in the United States between 2006 and 2008. The US was planning to take more people from Malta. A total of 1,686 immigrants came to Malta in 2002, when the boat arrivals started, and since then an average of 1,250 a year continued to arrive. And although Malta’s size did not grow, the assistance the country used to get for the resettlement of refugees and others who deserved international protection stopped, the commission complained. For one to understand better the need, if not the duty, of the European Union to help Malta carry the burden of irregular migrants, one only needed to see the population densities of EU countries with the most densely populated - Malta having 3,267 people per square mile followed by the Netherlands - 1,023; and Belgium - 879. H dempster In a couple of years time the illegal immigrants would outnumber the locals and who knows maybe also form a party called THE ILLIGAL IMMIGRANT PARTY and may also get into power as well. HOW DO YOU LIKE THAT. Andre` Micallef Now that's a golly good piece of news (sic) ..... it was pretty obvious that this was about to happen, and it happened sooner than we though. The Emigrants Commission should be ashamed of itself in issuing such a barefaced statement, when it should carry most of the blame for making arrangements to join immigrants' families together in our already sardine-packed island. Cleaven Vella I think that support to these poor people must still be given, however, we could not let all immigrants be kept in Malta. I think a quota should be set up and the rest should be sent to other European Countries. If nothing is done and all immigrants are kept in Malta, we Maltese people will loose our Identity and all our land. Hope the burden sharing will work. joe pace May I point out to the Commission that the numbers in the square mile of Hal Far and Marsa are much much much,,,,,, more than 40 to the square mile whereas in other areas of the Island there are much much less than the 40 per square mile. Is this shareing the burden!! Charles Sammut Suddenly it is not "racist" any longer to even mention that we have a serious problem precipitating a grave and dangerous situation. Or have we now noticed that the people will not be hoodwinked any more? Will anybody from the Immigrants Commission be present at the demonstration planned for Thursday evening in Valletta to oppose the un-democratic signing of the EU Immigration Pact by Dr Gonzi without having consulted the people? A pact which will exacerbate the problem when thousand more Africans will be coming to Malta to "be reuinited with their families"? mean that we will now join the African Union? Sinclair Calleja Does the local birth rate figure include the number of births by the immigrants themselves? B Borg Hardly surprising. And what is the government doing about it? Why hasn´t a state of emergency been declared? Italy declared a state of emergency over a couple of hundred arrivals last summer. What are we waiting for to suspend international treaties about the matter and repatriate these illegals? Do these figures include the many hundreds coming here on tourist visas and overstaying, working illegally on the streets and elsewhere? Does our government think that this situation is sustainable? Or is the government going after the immigrant vote now that it´s official that we have more illegals than births in the country?
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