In 2017, a Swedish documentary explained that most people who cross the Mediterranean from Africa are not 'refugees' - they are economic immigrants who want a better life and who believe that Europe is 'one big ATM'.
However on Friday, Gere visited over 120 immigrants who had been stuck on international waters on the island of Lampedusa for over a week, after Italy and Malta denied them access to their ports.
According to Reuters , the 69-year-old actor walked onto the boat with a sign with the text 'You are not alone', and then distributed water and other supplies among the passengers. Richard Gere said:
The most important thing for these people is to get to an open harbor, get off the boat, get ashore and start a new life. Please support us at Open Arms to help these people, our brothers and sisters.
Immigrants have traveled from Libya, which is still in violent chaos since several Western states, including Sweden, helped Islamists take over parts of the country in 2011 and kill its former leader Ghadaffi, who had built up one of the few functioning countries in Africa.
Author's comment: And to think that we all idolised him in 'An Officer and a Gentleman' and 'Pretty Woman'. It just goes to show that aging Hollywood celebrities should keep out of international politics, because they just make matters worse by encouraging levels of illegal immigration that are completely unsustainable.