255 illegal migrants were rescued from the Mediterranean Sea, just off the coast of Libya, and brought to Europe on Christmas night, reports reveal.
One rubber dinghy carrying 134 people was rescued by Proactiva Open Arms; a non-governmental organisation . These people were taken to Sicily. Two other boats carrying an additional 121 migrants were rescued by a military ship from Operation Sophia.
Smugglers are currently charging €400 per person to smuggle the migrants to Europe. As you can see from the image below, rescue ships have been known to collect migrants right from the coast of Libya, offering them a door-to-door service directly to Europe.
Of course, by playing the game of the smugglers, we are sending a direct message to North Africa that if you risk the journey to Europe then we are willing to take you in. What we should be doing is taking them back to the coast of Libya. This way, less people will be inclined to make the journey and risk their lives.
Nobody is disputing that some of these people are fleeing a war-zone. It would be great if we could save everybody, but this should never be done by putting the safety of our own people and continent at risk.