Migrants arriving in the UK after crossing the Channel in small boats will be flown to Albania as part of the government’s plans to tackle illegal immigration.
Those attempting to apply for asylum would be held in a processing center in the Balkans – 1,500 miles from the UK – while their applications are being processed.
Home Secretary Priti Patel, who is under mounting pressure after the number of migrants detained by Border Force reached record highs this year, said she hopes the new measures will deter people from crossing the road.
Migrants arriving in the UK after crossing the Channel in small boats are flown 1,500 miles to Albania as part of government plans to tackle illegal immigration
Officials in London and the Albanian capital Tirana are reportedly close to an agreement on the new center. The sun reports.
Figures released late last month showed that the number of migrants detained by the border force crossing the Channel with small boats reached 16,299 on September 23 this year – almost double the number arriving in all of 2020.
On September 6, 2021, Sky News reported that 1,000 people reached the UK – a record one day.
In 2020, a total of 8,410 people were detained in incidents involving small boats.
At present, most migrants arriving in Kent are initially housed in a former army barracks in Folkestone, which was set ablaze in January during a riot over conditions during a coronavirus outbreak.
Asylum seekers are free to come and go from the camp, and adults have an initial interview before being sent to reception centers across Britain, paid for by UK taxpayers and supplied by private contractors.
The migrants are paid £37.75 a week for essentials such as food, clothing and toiletries while they await a decision on their asylum application. Kent County Council normally takes care of single children.
Home Secretary Priti Patel, pictured ahead of this week’s Conservative Party conference, has previously vowed to make illegal immigration across the Channel ‘unviable’
The Albanian detention center, part of the new Nationality and Borders Bill, is the latest proposal from the interior minister who has vowed to make illegal immigration across the Channel “unfeasible”.
In June, she was in talks with Denmark to share an immigration center in Africa. Denmark would consider a location in Rwanda.
Ms Patel previously threatened to turn boats over and send them back to Europe as part of her ‘pushback’ plan.
French politicians, however, labeled the interior minister a ‘clown’, while interior minister Gerald Darmanin claimed any action to return migrant boats would be illegal. He said: ‘France will not accept any practice that violates the law of the sea, and will not accept financial blackmail’.
Earlier this year, the UK and France announced an agreement to more than double the number of police patrols on French beaches.
It was the second pledge of its kind in a year, in an effort to prevent small boats from leaving France.
As part of the deal, the government pledged to give France £54 million to support its efforts to stop small boats crossing.
Just days ago, French police shot migrants with potentially deadly rubber bullets to prevent their illegal boat from crossing the Channel to the UK.
The shooting took place after dark on September 30 in Dunkirk as eight Iranian Kurds carried a dinghy out to sea. It was destined to take 40 migrants from France.
Figures released late last month showed that the number of migrants detained by the border force crossing the Channel with small boats reached 16,299 on September 23 this year – almost double the number arriving in all of 2020
It marked a major escalation in tensions on the beaches as gendarmerie night patrols struggled to control the armada of boats bound for Britain and after Mrs Patel threatened to withdraw the £54 million if officials not reduce the flow of migrant boats.
In response, French General Frantz Tavart said he would call off nighttime patrols if funding were withdrawn.
Charities urged the Home Office to take a “more humane and responsible approach” to asylum seekers, saying humanitarian visas were needed to “avoid the chaos of the Channel crossings”.
Earlier this year, the UK and France announced an agreement to more than double the number of police patrols on French beaches in a bid to reduce the number of Channel crossings
Ms Patel has also previously worked with Albania in its efforts to curb immigration.
In July, she signed a deal with Albanian Interior Minister Bledar Cuci that would make it easier to remove convicted offenders and relocate failed Albanian asylum seekers and those who overstayed their visas.
At the time, the Home Secretary said: ‘I am determined to improve our immigration system, curb illegal entry and remove those who have no right to be in the UK as soon as possible.
“Our new immigration plan, combined with this new agreement, will accelerate the removal of Albanian nationals who have committed crimes in the UK and are no longer welcome.
“I make no apologies for removing dangerous foreign criminals to protect the British people and so far this year more than 1,000 foreign criminals have been deported, with more being removed every week.”