A parliamentary petition calling for Malta to stop taking in illegal immigrants has reached 40,000 signatures, the highest number of signatures on any parliamentary petition created during this legislature. Now, the people who helped bring these numbers are aiming for more signatures – as well as a referendum on the topic.
Lovin Malta spoke to Anton Cutajar, one of the key mobilisers of the movement, to see what he has in mind for the future of this petition, as well as his arguments for supporting it.
Cutajar insists that Malta cannot let migrants drown at sea. “These migrants have a mind and heart, they feel as much as we do – but Malta cannot continue taking them in,” he tells Lovin Malta.
Cutajar went on to question why NGOs are so insistent on bringing migrants here to be “left homeless” and live in poverty, with open centres “completely unsuitable for anyone to live in.”
“They should be sent back to their country. If you were to travel to any other country, like Russia or China, you have to enter with a visa. The same should apply to these migrants.”
Cutajar also commented on immigrants coming to Malta to work illegally.
“My problem isn’t migrants who come to Malta and work legally – my issue is with those who work off-the-books,” he elaborates. When asked about Maltese people who work in this way, Cutajar claimed that very few, if any, Maltese people work off-the-books.
“Africa is one of the richest continents in the world, what business do they have coming to Malta?” he questioned.
Cutajar emphasised that his issue is not immigration but “invasion,” with immigrants seen everywhere around Ħamrun, Marsa and Birżebbugia.
Malta is currently at the forefront of a Libyan migrant crisis, taking in 1,135 asylum seekers since between January and April alone, a significant increase compared to recent years. The island closed its ports at the start of the local COVID-19 outbreak, with the Maltese government keeping migrants on offshore detention centres.
Featured Image Right Photo by Roger Azzopardi