A new European Union mandate to expel illegal Filipino immigrants does not mean a crackdown is imminent, an EU delegate told the Philippine Daily Inquirer.
Ambassador Alistair MacDonald said the policy merely sets standards for those who overstay their visa, regardless of circumstances.
He also noted that each of the EU’s 27 member nations would still have autonomy to enforce its own immigration laws.
The Commission on Filipinos Overseas estimates that 954,000 Filipinos live on the continent — of those 285,000 are permanent residents, 556,00 are temporary and the rest are undocumented.
MacDonald said that Filipinos account for 5 percent of the population in Europe, and only 655 were deported in the last three years.
He claimed that undocumented immigrants risk exploitation by employers and would be afforded legal protection by the new mandate.
“That’s why we want to protect them by having them in Europe legally,” MacDonald told the newspaper.
“No crackdown on illegal migrants in Europe — envoy”
The Philippine Inquirer, July 4, 2008