Actor Richard Gere was captured aboard a non-governmental rescue ship helping leftist activists smuggle illegal immigrants across the border. However, soon after gloating about his charitable deed on camera, he received some surprising news about his private jet.
In an effort to inspire others to follow his tactics, Richard Gere allowed himself to be filmed helping illegal migrants to cross the Mediterranean to the Italian island of Lampedusa. After boarding the NGO ship Open Arms, Gere posed with migrants and handed out meals.
According to Bloomberg, Italian Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini immediately called out Gere when footage surfaced of the American actor abusing Italy’s immigration process. Salvini asked Gere why he doesn’t just fly 160 migrants on his “private jet” to his lavish homes and multiple guest houses instead of helping them illegally enter someone else’s land and forcing them to foot the bill. He then admonished the wealthy celebrity for using taxpayers’ money to care for the migrants and returning to the comfort of his luxurious life.
“As the generous millionaire airs his demands about the fate of the Open Arms immigrants, we thank him: he will be able to bring everyone in his private jet to Hollywood and keep them in his villas,” Salvini said in a statement after Gere’s press conference.
In an effort to salvage Italy’s economy and culture, Salvini has blocked all vessels from bringing rescued migrants into Italian waters. Instead, he has ordered them to return the migrants, nearly all of whom are from non-refugee North African nations, to the Libyan ports from whence they came. Open Arms is one of the progressive activist organizations that routinely helps smuggle these migrants into Italy.
Disregarding Italy’s sovereignty, Gere suggested that Italian taxpayers shell out more money and allow migrants to enter their ports. Although Malta eventually agreed to take in 39 of the migrants pictured with Gere, no other European government has offered asylum. Additionally, Spain, the country in which the Open Arms boat is registered, refused to accept even one migrant.
“The most important thing,” Gere said aboard the vessel, is for the rescued migrants “to be able to get to a free port, to be able to get off the boats and get on land and start a new life.”
Because of his hardline stance, Salvini has become Italy’s most popular politician. The people of Italy feel overwhelmed by mass migration, the allowance of which has only encouraged millions of migrants who are falsely seeking asylum to head to Italy’s shores. Knowing that they will be rescued and granted asylum, the migrants often sink their own dinghies in order to force ships to take them aboard and to Italy. This tactic has led to mass drowning and subsequently media outcry.
Responding to Gere’s comments, Salvini said, “surely, he is impressed by the decisions that have been taken to bolster police and counter smugglers and criminals. Italy had been waiting for those measures for years.”
Along with Salvini’s stance, the Italian interior minister has vowed to seize the Open Arms ship, which has contributed to the burden of mass migration and actively encourages migrants to make the deadly journey across the Mediterranean. Salvini, however, directly blamed activists like Gere, accusing him of emboldening human traffickers and criminal migrants.
While these charity ships see themselves as the saviors of a helpless demographic, they are nothing more than an accomplice helping thieves break into homes. They merely pawn off migrants on other taxpayers and pat themselves on the back for their efforts.
It’s easy to be charitable with other people’s money. In reality, the political stunt cost Gere nothing. In fact, he benefitted more than anyone else from exploiting the migrants. He boosted his PR, got his name back in the headlines, and went home without spending more than the cost of fuel for his private jet. You can’t buy that kind of publicity, but apparently, you can force the taxpayers to fund it.