Greece Begins Mass Deportations Of Economic Migrants

REUTERS/Murad Sezer

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Jacob Bojesson Foreign Correspondent
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Greece began its mass deportations of migrants Monday when 202 people were shipped to Turkey.

The deportations are part of the deal struck between the European Union and Turkey to get rid of economic migrants and allow Syrians fleeing war the chance of asylum. Greece sent 202 migrants to Turkey, primarily Pakistanis, and Germany received 32 Syrians in exchange.

More than 400 people have arrived to Greece each day since the deal was struck March 8. These migrants are kept in detention centers while they await deportations. The goal is to be able to intercept boats as they arrive and immediately reroute them back to Turkey. (RELATED: Turkey Kills Refugees Crossing Border Illegally)

The deal was opposed by some European countries for not doing enough to stop the influx. Turkey managed to get billions of dollars from the EU for agreeing to it, after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan threatened to flood Greece with more refugees.

Some organizations observing the situation in Greece think the deal violates human rights laws for being “inhumane” toward migrants.

“This is the first day of a very difficult time,” Giorgos Kosmopoulos, the head of Amnesty International in Greece, told the Associated Press. “The EU is forging ahead with a dangerous deal.”

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