In exchange for concessions on visa requirements for Turks traveling to Europe, the European Union is asking Ankara to take back all migrants, including refugees from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan, and others, who are currently crossing from Turkey into Greece by irregular means; the European Union proposes in turn to accept an equivalent number of Syrian refugees directly from Turkey.
Some union officials are portraying this deal as a good solution to the crisis. In reality, the automatic forced return that the deal allows is illegal and will be ineffective.
It is illegal because forced returns run contrary to the European Convention on Human Rights, which prohibits the collective expulsions of aliens. They also violate the right to seek asylum that was established in 1948 by the Universal Declaration on Human Rights, and contravene guarantees established by the 1951 United Nations Refugee Convention, which recognizes that seeking asylum can require refugees to breach immigration rules.