Albanian police forces will be deployed to the Port of Dover in the UK to help identify and deport illegal Channel migrants.
The move is part of a crackdown on rising arrivals from the Balkan state and will see migrants’ biometric data, including fingerprints, taken to be cross-checked against databases. Albanian criminals.
According to an analysis by the Telegraph, Albanians now make up between 50 and 60% of migrants crossing the Channel in small boats. It prompted a meeting this week between British Home Secretary Priti Patel and his Albanian counterpart to agree terms for the placement of Albanian police in Dover. The move is expected to speed up deportations, with flights returning migrants within weeks of arrival.
“That access would help us immensely, assuming there were no data protection or legal issues. [preventing] Albanian police to receive biographical and biometric data captured by UK Border Force under UK law to check against their own records,” a Border Force source told The Telegraph.
The same individual, however, also urged caution about sharing biometric data of migrants.
“There can be a risk in sharing information about asylum seekers with the government of the country from which they claim to fear persecution – at least before the claim is assessed.”
For context, any migrant who has served more than a year in prison can be deported from the UK under post-Brexit laws. The government can also legally deny entry where there is “serious harm, persistent offense or where it is conducive to the public good”.
Commenting on the news, a spokesperson for the Home Office said that while the UK is open to asylum claims, these must be made correctly and in accordance with the laws of the country.
“Asylum claims may be inadmissible if someone passes through a safe third country before reaching the UK.”
The news comes months after the Port of Dover’s chief executive called for talks between the UK and EU over plans for biometric checks at the port.
More recently, a report by David Neal, the Independent Chief Inspector for Borders and Immigration (ICIBI), suggested that the Home Office had failed to collect fingerprints or deal with the biometrics of asylum seekers and illegal migrants who then fled by the hundreds.
Albania | biometric identification | biometrics | border security | criminal identification | data sharing | UK