Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) voted on an amendment to a bill opposing the reintroduction of border controls into Europe to combat terrorism.
Amendment 48 to the ‘Prevention of Radicalization and Recruitment of European Citizen’s bill’ was tabled by the Socialists & Democrats group (S&D).
The amendment adds a new paragraph to the bill, stating that the EU “vehemently believes, in light of the current refugee and migrant crisis in Europe, that Member States must refrain from using any border control measures aimed at fighting terrorism and stopping the travel of suspected terrorists, for immigration control purposes.”
In other words, S&D opposes curbing or controlling immigration to prevent terrorism.
The lawmakers justified their stance highlighting “the risk of such measures being based on arbitrariness and racial or ethnic profiling, which is totally contrary to EU principles and values.”
The amendment was one of three put together, the other two adding more judicial restrictions on separating Islamist extremists from the general population in prisons and collecting evidence against terrorists.
The S&D group is a collation of various left-aligned parties in the European parliament. The group has 190/751 MEPs made up of representatives from each of the 28 European Union countries.
Parties included in the coalition include the Socialist Party in France (12), the Social Democratic Party of Germany (27), the Democratic Party of Italy (30), the Labour Party of the UK (20) and the Spanish Socialist Workers Party (14).
MEPs from anti-immigration parties strongly criticized the amendment.
“After the events of Paris I am astounded that Labour MEPs have voted for these amendments” said Diane James, an MEP for Britain’s UKIP party. “The free movement of people has led to the free movement of jihad and the only way to combat this is for Member States to regain control of their borders immediately.”
PBS discusses the European migrant crisis and fears of terrorist infiltration: