Magazine article Europe-East

Illegal Immigration : Meps Back Plans for Eu-Wide Rules on Treatment of Asylum Seekers

Magazine article Europe-East

Illegal Immigration : Meps Back Plans for Eu-Wide Rules on Treatment of Asylum Seekers

Article excerpt

Firm backing has been given by MEPs to plans to create a common EU policy on the return of illegal immigrants to their countries of origin.

The plans set out binding rules for member states on how illegal immigrants, including asylum seekers, can be expelled from their territories. The European Parliament's Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE) adopted its report on the plans on 12 September. While endorsing the main thrust of the European Commission's original proposals, they also make some significant changes.

As anticipated in Europolitics 3369, one of the major changes is an extension of the period that immigrants awaiting deportation can be held in temporary custody. The Commission had foreseen a strict limit of six months. MEPs, on the other hand, want this to be extended to 18 months in certain circumstances. They have also widened the scope of when temporary custody can be used. The Commission proposals state that it should only be used in cases where there is a risk that the person due to be deported may abscond. MEPs state that it should also be possible in situations where an individual is a proven threat to public security.

Another change concerns the proposed EU-wide re-entry ban for people who have been deported. The Commission envisages that such bans would work on the basis that an individual who has been forbidden to return to one EU member state would also, automatically, be forbidden from entering any of the others. …

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