George Vella has come under fire by a New York Times journalist for referring to asylum seekers as a ‘burden’ in a tweet posted Tuesday afternoon.
The tweet was posted after George Vella visited the European Asylum Support Office (EASO). He praised the organisation for working in a comprehensive manner to address the issues of irregular migration.
However, his tweet was quickly criticised by New York Times correspondent Matina Stevis-Gridneff, who found fault with Vella’s use of the word “burden” in reference to asylum seekers.
Migration has been in the local news for a while. In the height of the COVID-19 pandemic Malta declared its ports unsafe for disembarkment and left 284 migrants stranded in Maltese waters.
Evarist Bartolo had previously described irregular migration as a “complex challenge” for Malta, and the Prime Minister had met with the Libyan government to discuss a migration plan to prevent an influx into Malta.