Illegal Immigration from Albania
Priti Patel has advanced on plans to crack down on cases of illegal immigration from Albania to the UK by meeting with Albanian police.
The plans were initially revealed last week, when it was announced that Patel and the Minister for Interior Affairs of Albania, Bledi Çuçi, pledged to work together to reduce the number of Albanian immigrants crossing the English Channel at the hands of human traffickers.
Forensic and biometrics information will be shared between the two countries to target Albanian criminal offenders attempting to enter the UK.
“Ruthless People” and “Treacherous Journeys”
In a statement, Patel stated that “large numbers of Albanians are being sold lies by ruthless people smugglers and vicious organised crime gangs, leading them to take treacherous journeys in flimsy boats to the UK.”
The Home Office has described Albania as a “safe and prosperous country”, and also stated that many Albanian migrants make “spurious asylum claims” upon arrival to the UK.
In an effort to tackle this, the Home Office has stated that claims from Albanian migrants will be processed immediately, and those who are deemed to having no right UK will be removed as soon as possible.
Albania has shared forensic intelligence and criminal databases with the UK in order to achieve this.
Opposition From Refugee Council
Despite this crackdown, the Refugee Council have spoken out about the dangers that Albanian migrants are facing.
They state that many Albanian migrants “have been trafficked and are victims of criminal and sexual exploitation. Just because a country is not at war, does not mean that it is safe for all that live there.”
The Council have also emphasised the fact that over half of Albanian migrants are ultimately granted refugee protection, and that it would be wrong to prejudge cases.
The fast track removal scheme of Albanian migrants from the UK is already underway. Members of UK and Albanian intelligence will continue to meet and discuss how to move forward and develop strategies to tackle the stream of migrants crossing the Channel.
Last modified on May 11th, 2023 at 7:58 am
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