DA’s stance on illegal immigrants in election campaign could spark xenophobic tensions

DA’s stance on illegal immigrants in election campaign could spark xenophobic tensions

- A group called Lawyers for Human Rights has warned that the DA’s election campaign based on illegal migration could spark a new wave of xenophobic tensions in the country

- On Monday, the DA revealed it would focus on illegal migration during the upcoming election campaign because its research showed potential voters viewed the issue as important

- The party has said its campaign was not aimed at sparking violence but rather creating a South Africa which worked for everyone who lived in it

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A group called Lawyers for Human Rights has warned that the Democratic Alliance’s (DA) election campaign based on illegal migration could spark a new wave of xenophobic tensions in the country. This comes after the DA revealed it would focus on illegal migration in the 2019 election campaign.

On Monday, the party revealed its strategy to focus on the hot-button topic. The DA claims its own research had shown potential voters viewed the issue as important. The party said it had decided to take up the mantle because it was being largely ignored by the ruling African National Congress (ANC).

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The group of lawyers warned that people in already frustrated and potentially volatile communities could take the DA’s election message as a call to arms and as an excuse to act against foreigners living and working in the country.

Briefly.co.za gathered that the DA’s candidate for Gauteng premier Solly Msimanga admitted that the issue was thorny and had the potential to erupt in violence, but said the DA would never condone or advocate the use violence or illegal action.

Msimanga told eNCA.com that the DA had decided to focus on the issue because of the complete and utter failure by the ANC-led government to secure the country’s borders or to implement measures which would alleviate the plight of asylum seekers and those wishing to make South Africa their new home.

Eyewitness News reported that the DA’s Jacques Julius pointed out that simply ignoring the massive problem which illegal immigration brings to South Africa would not make the problem go away.

The DA said the ANC had neglected border controls and the department of home affairs for years which has caused a ticking time bomb. The party pointed out that the department did not have a reliable estimate of how many migrants (legal or illegal) were currently in the country.

The DA revealed that it would introduce a greater amnesty period to encourage undocumented immigrants to come forward and obtain legal documents in addition to employing more immigration inspectors throughout the country.

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The DA said its plan was aimed at building a country which could become a home for anyone who wants to work, study and make a life here, but that process needed to happen under a strict set of rules and laws.

Msimanga seemed to echo the sentiments of US president Donald Trump when he said no country in the world could afford to have open borders with unrestricted and unchecked migration.

Msimanga said South African voters were concerned by the strain illegal migrants placed on the health and education systems. The DA said it would introduce humane detention centres to house illegal immigrants and asylum seekers while they were processed.

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Source: Briefly.co.za

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