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It
is true that immigration is not an easy issue to deal with, but after all a
large majority of the earths population is descended from immigrants. I have
chosen the topic of African Asylum Seekers in Malta not only because it is a
current topic in Maltese news, but because it is an issue which is not only
affecting Malta and surrounding countries, but is also affecting the asylum
seekers seeking refuge, something which not many people notice.

Without
humanity, the world would not be what it is today. It is important for us to
realise that race, colour and social class do not make us different from one
another. At the end of the day, we are all human, whether we are black or
white, rich or poor. As Martin Luther King, Jr said, “I have a dream that one
day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: We
hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal”
(Washington, 1963) (Montefiore, Sebag Simon. (2014) Speeches that changed the world). Immigration has always been
present throughout the years. Unfortunately, the issue of immigration has
become a major debatable topic for everyone, and many critics argue about the negative
impacts of immigrants such as overcrowding and threatening of local cultures,
amongst others. Although, immigrants still have a great impact in our society
politically, economically and even culturally. It is important for us, people
who are not oppressed, people who are able to live in their country in peace,
to speak out and defend those people who cannot speak for themselves. Thousands
of people live in countries ruled by terror, and cannot escape. That is why, it
is our job to try and help them in whatever way possible. As Malala said, “I
raise up my voice – not so that I can shout, but so that those without a voice
can be heard” (Youth assembly of the United Nations in New York, 12th
July 2013) (Montefiore, Sebag Simon. (2014) Speeches
that changed the world).

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Personal View & Conclusion

 

The
issue of immigration is many times seen as personal and political, but this
issue is, first and foremost, moral. “Founded on natural law and enlightened by
faith, the Church’s position on immigration recognizes certain rights and
obligations…The Church teaches that a society has the right and obligation to
manage itself – and borders are an outgrowth of that. Law means little if there
are no borders within which laws can be enforced.” (What Does the Church Teach about Immigration?’ Retrieved from https://www.osv.com ). Together with this, the
Church also teaches how it is a moral obligation for immigrants to respect the
“material and spiritual heritage” of the nation that is welcoming them, and to
obey its laws. Although, the Church also makes clear how this does not mean
that immigrants cannot bring their own distinctive cultural life with them, as
has occurred over the years; but rather, it means that “immigrants may not
impose their own culture or religious laws on a nation in such a way as to
undermine the nation’s principles.” (What
Does the Church Teach about Immigration?’ Retrieved from https://www.osv.com )

The Catholic Church’s view on the matter

 

Fallacies
are mistaken beliefs which are based on inaccurate arguments. At first glance, it
is clear that articles one, two and four and linked to the fallacy of Appeal of
Authority, due to the fact that a majority of the information is taken from a
source with higher authority. The Straw Man Fallacy can also be found in
article six, where the writer brings to surface the issue of unemployment and
social cohesion amongst asylum seekers. A fallacy which is found in all the
articles is that of Appeal to Pity, as throughout it is clear that the topic of
these articles is an unfortunate one which sheds light on ther seriousness of
the current issue.

An
ideology can be described as “a set of beliefs characteristic of a social group
or individual” (Oxford Dictionaries).
There are various ideologies, but not all apply to the chosen articles. Social
liberalism can be found in almost all the articles, which focuses on social and
economic issues but still ensures an individuals freedom. This can be linked to
another ideology, that of Individualism, which deals with the self-sufficiency,
freedom, and worth of each individual. These two ideologies can be closely
linked to articles two, three, five and six, which shed light on the fact that
even though immigrants, they still have rights. Another ideology which can also
be linked to this is that of Equality of Opportunity, which’s aim is to
eliminate discrimination based of colour, race, religion, and so on. This can
clearly be seen in article three, illuminating the fact that not all asylum
seekers cause trouble.

Ideologies & Fallacies

 

When
looking through the articles chosen, it is clear that there are various common
points. Although, at first glance, it is obvious that the subject matter of the
articles is different, which has been discussed previously in the summaries.
Going back to the common points, it is evident that all articles are written
using simple, yet profound, language; are informative, and are taken from
independent newspapers, together with the fact that they are not biased towards
a political party. Practically all articles mention how Malta has been, and is
still, facing the issue of immigration, mentioning also what the Maltese
government is trying to do to help the situation; such as extending temporary
protection for asylum seekers and aiming to better the Common European Asylum
System, amongst others. It is clear that the main topic of these articles is
the issues asylum seekers are facing, such as poverty, unemployment and social
cohesion. Apart from this, it is evident that the main message of these
articles is to show that immigration is a current issue that not only Malta is
facing, with the aim of these articles being written to bring awareness to this
fact.

Comparing & Contrasting Articles

Analysing the Articles

 

In
relation to my topic, African Asylum Seekers in Malta, I have chosen seven
articles from three different local newspapers (online sources), them being
‘The Times of Malta’, ‘Malta Today’, and ‘The Independent’, and I will go on to
write a critical analysis on these articles.

It
is known that the media plays an important role in society. According to the Oxford Dictionary, the media can be
described as “the main means of mass communication”. It is a service which communicates
entertainment, messages, and even opinions to a large audience, and with this
it also covers a wide range of uses, such as propaganda, influential
advertisements and information, amongst others. The media is such a vast and
complex topic that one cannot simply sum it up into a few words. It plays an
intricate role in influencing and controlling the publics opinion, which is why
it acts as a link between the people and the government. As Jim Morrison said,
“Whoever controls the media, controls the mind”.

Analysing the Media

 

The
article discusses the issue of immigration not only in Malta but also in other
EU-member states. It discusses how over 2017 refugees have continued to enter
Europe, and even mentions deportation, together with Malta’s EU Presidency and
how the Maltese government wishes to better the Common European Asylum System.
Since it is an opinion-based article, biased to one’s own opinion, it is
seeking to influence the majority of the Maltese population.

“In
2017?Immigration
will reveal the crisis of human rights inside our societies”

Article 7:

 

Summarising
the article, the writer gives his opinion on the topic of immigration. He talks
about how the flow of immigration and refugees is an important, yet difficult
issue Malta is facing, together with the refugees’ problems of unemployment and
social cohesion.

“Word
of 2017: immigration”

Article 6:

 

In
brief, the article talks about how a large percentage of asylum seekers in
Malta are at risk of poverty. It also discusses other issues found amongst the
migrant communities such as unemployment and mental illness. Thus, it is
targeting, once again, the government, which is not dealing with the issue of
poverty amongst this concentration group.

“80%
of asylum seekers living in poverty”

Article 5:

 

In
the article, the writer discusses how several Italian politicians are
questioning why Italy has been taking in the majority of the migrants coming
towards the Mediterranean on boats, rather than Malta which is the nearest safe
port. Moreover, the Malta based NGO ‘MOAS’, whos aim is to save migrants, did
not bring any individuals that sought refuge to Malta. Furthermore, through
this article the writer focusses on the fact that Malta is not the only country
being affected by immigration, not to mention that the article is targeting the
Maltese government, and how they deal with such situations.

“Malta
again under fire for not taking any boat migrants”

Article 4:

 

The
main purpose of this article is to indicate that although certain violent acts
are being done by migrants, does not mean that all are prone to commit violent
acts and abuse of the law. As the saying goes, one should not judge a book by
it’s cover. Since it is targeting the majority of the Maltese population, it
seeks to educate people further on subject of immigration and migration.

According
to the article, the Eritrean, Somali and Sudanese communities made it clear
that they do not support the violent acts done by certain refugees and
migrants. The writer also mentions how these communities thanked the Maltese
government for welcoming them into the community and for giving them refuge,
also making it clear that they respect Maltese law and that these migrants
abusing of the law do not represent all of their community.

“Refugee
communities distance themselves from people breaking law in Marsa”

Article 3:

 

With
this article, the writer wishes to make it clear that although the Maltese
government is helping the refugees by prolonging their protection, an extra
step must be taken in explaining to the refugees what will happen to their
status in Malta. Due to the newspaper being free from political bias, the
target audience would include the majority of the Maltese population, as well
as foreign readers.

In
brief, the article talks about the Temporary Humanitarian Protection – New
(THPN) status, which is now being prolonged for asylum seekers. Together with
this, the writer also sheds light on the fact that the migrants were kept in
the dark about what was going to happen to their status.

“Temporary
protection is extended for asylum seekers”

Article 2:

 

The
article discusses a European Commission survey, entitled Life in the European Union, which asked people questions regarding
economic, political, and social conditions within their countries and the
European Union. With this, the survey identified that the most important issue
which Malta was facing was that of immigration. Since this is an extract from
an independent newspaper, it is more appealing for readers of a middle class or
high-class background.

“Immigration
remains the most important issue to Maltese citizens”

Article 1:

Summaries of articles

 

When the so called “refugee crisis”
arose, Malta was one of the EU member-states who took in a large number of
refugees, even though there were issues with accommodating them such as a lack
of resources and space. As time went by Malta continued to take in asylum
seekers when necessary, with the help of the European Union. Although in the
past year not many refugees have entered Malta, the Maltese Islands are still
struggling to accommodate those refugees who have remained on the island, with
issues related to protection, poverty, and social cohesion, amongst others.

Nowadays, it is vital for one to
understand the difference between the terms ‘asylum seeker’ and ‘refugee’, as
there tend to be many misunderstandings and misconceptions between the two. According
to The Refugee Council, an Asylum
Seeker is someone who “has left their country of origin and formally applied
for asylum in another country but whose application has not yet been concluded”.
On the other hand, the term “refugee” refers to those people who due to
persecution or armed conflicts, had to flee their country and seek refuge in
another. Over the past few years Europe has witnessed large movements of
refugees seeking asylum, with numbers so vast that The Guardian described it as “the continent’s biggest refugee
crisis since the second world war”. (Jon Henley, Wednesday 20th September
2017).

What does the term ‘asylum-seeker’ mean?

 

 – Franklin D. Roosevelt (April 21st,
1938)

“Remember, remember always, that all
of us, and you and I especially, are descended from immigrants and
revolutionists”

Introduction

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