European Commission proposing using drones to catch illegal immigrants
31 July 2012
For concise and recent immigration information watch our news.The European Commission, the executive body of the European Union (EU), has proposed a plan to deploy drones across the Mediterranean Sea to catch illegal immigrants. The Mediterranean is a major transit point for undocumented immigration. Already 170 immigrants have died trying to reach southern European shores this year.
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"EUROSUR will help detect and fight criminal networks' activities and be a crucial tool for saving migrants who put their lives at risk trying to reach EU shores," said Cecilia Malmström, the EU's commissioner for home affairs.
The European Commission has not released full details of the plan yet so it is unclear what kind of satellites or drones will be used. Critics argue that the drones could lead to immigrants being criminalized before they even leave their border if sensors are attached to African beaches.
The European Commission denies that EUROSUR could be abused saying: "The situational pictures will as a general rule not involve personal data but rather the exchange of information on incidents and depersonalized objects, such as the detection and tracking of vessels."
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