France and Spain were absolutely right not to support EU plans to introduce a quota system for illegal migrants (EU migrant quotas plan close to collapse, 20 May). While Europe-wide efforts to tackle people trafficking in the Mediterranean are welcome, the measures suggested are insufficient. Greece and Italy have warned of the severity of this growing problem for many years, yet we have waited for the situation to reach crisis point, with almost two thousand people losing their lives this year alone, before the EU has taken any decisive steps. Military action against people-trafficking is critical. We must foster a strong relationship with Maghreb countries to stem the flow of migrants, working closely with the International Organisation for Migration. We must also begin processing asylum applications on the ground in these countries to lessen the strain on our own services.
Keith Vaz MP
Labour, Leicester East

• In all the hostility to illegal immigrants (Migration to UK surges close to 2005 peak, 22 May) no mention is made of the fact that they treat the natives here much better than the British treated the natives when they went as illegal immigrants to India, Africa, Australasia and many other places (aka the British empire). They do not turn us into slaves. They do not discriminate against us. As a young African growing up in Northern Rhodesia (now Zambia) I was not allowed by the migrant shopkeepers to enter many butchers and chemists or to try on clothes before buying them. When I married an Englishman many of my friends wondered how I could marry one of them after the way we had been treated by these migrants.
Nellie Suffolk

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