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GAMBIA: MIGRANTS IN EUROPE UNDER PRESSURE OVER DEPORTATION

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Several Gambians throughout Europe are presently immersed in an unparalleled atmosphere of apprehension, uncertainty, and mistrust due to the immanent threat of deportation, while senior ministers from the EU and beyond demand that illegal migrants be deported immediately.
Ministers, including those from prominent European nations, are additionally advocating for “immediate repatriation and stricter monitoring of irregular migrants.

As a result, impacted Gambians who contacted The Point voluntarily expressed that they are “not only abandoned but also terrified of deportation.”
In response to the point, European officials involved in the matter refuted allegations that specific Gambian politicians endorsed deportation orders for their countrymen.

Conversely, a senior official replied, “This ought not to be a rigid political debate… There is no official document between us that demonstrates a formal agreement regarding deportation… Conversely, it is a customary expression of comprehension that necessitates observance on both parties.

Despite this, Tafa Loum, a Gambian artist residing in Valencia, Spain, stated, “Our government ought to assist us in remaining here by intervening.” We, as artists residing in a city renowned for its cultural and artistic heritage, petition our government to intervene and assist us in averting any deportation proceedings.

Despite the formal intervention of the United Nations, which defines a migrant as “anyone who is moving or has moved away from his or her habitual place of residence across an international border or within a state,” asylum seekers are legally obligated to file claims in the first safe country they enter.

On the contrary, legal scholars have vehemently argued that “asylum seekers have no legal obligation to remain” in the country they initially arrived in. However, should the rule remain in effect, it could potentially disqualify Gambians who entered Europe through “back doors” leading to multiple other countries.

Moreover, legal professionals deduced that “Gambian applicants can no longer successfully rely on human rights violations such as unjustified killing and disappearance, false imprisonment, and torture” since the fall of Yahya Jammeh’s dictatorial regime.

It is noteworthy to mention that petitioners for international protection must “substantiate that they are unable to reside securely in any regions of their country of origin on account of a justified fear of persecution.” Additionally, the applicant’s “race, religion, nationality, and political belief” are considered.

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