Bosnia's Security Ministry began preparations to start deporting illegal economic migrants to their countries of origin, Minister Fahrudin Radoncic said Thursday, adding that Bosnia will not serve as selection depot for EU's quality labour force.
According to him, he already asked the Foreigners' Affairs Service to come with an exact number of migrants from Pakistan, Bangladesh, Algeria, Afghanistan, Morocco, Tunisia, Syria and Iraq, noting that they would treat migrants from Syria quite differently ar this is still a war zone and these people need help.
“We want the Foreigners' Service to determine the identity of these people because an extremely large number of them don't want to show their passports, IDs or reveal their identities. With this kind of identity hiding, it's possible that these are terrorists or criminal groups that will wait here for a year or two, go to Europe, change their identities and hide their past, and play the role of a sleeper if they receive an arrest warrant for their terrorist acts. We also asked the Service to conduct a survey among migrants as to whether there are those who would agree to voluntary deportation. We will take their written statements so we can enter the stage of diplomatic negotiations with their representatives in Bosnia, with the aim of securing funds for deportation flights," Radoncic said.
He said the Ministry aims to achieve several effects with this, and the first is to remove the “ballast” from the country of some 8,000-9,000 people that it cannot economically support in a situation where 50,000-60,000 citizens will lose their jobs. They also want to discourage the arrival of new migrants once borders reopen.
"This is also a message to some EU countries – that we refuse to be a migrant depot where they will select their workforce leaving our citizens to live in fear and discomfort," said Radoncic. "People who do not want to reveal their identities will not be allowed to go to accommodation centres and they will be kept in custody until we learn their identity. We will propose such legal solutions.”
In the end, he noted that he knows some countries would not want to cooperate on the deportations of migrants and that Pakistan was one of them. If this turns out to be true, he said he would ask the government (the Council of Ministers as it is officially called) to declare the Pakistani Ambassador a persona non grata and send him back to his country.