UK to introduce legislation to step up deportations to Albania

It comes as more than 11,000 Albanian men arrived in the UK in small boats last year

The UK is stepping up measures to deport Channel migrants.
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British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak is planning to introduce legislation to make it easier to deport Albanian migrants on flights in a bid to tackle the backlog of asylum seeker applications.

Last year, more than 11,000 Albanians arrived in the UK in small boats after they illegally crossed the Channel, compared with 815 in the whole of 2021.

The Home Office said men represented 95 per cent of Albanian small boat arrivals between 2018 and June 2022.

This has led the government to step up measures to deport them.

In the latest move, Mr Sunak is expected to introduce legislation by the end of February to increase the number of weekly flights deporting people to Albania.

Ministers are hoping the move will deter people from making the dangerous crossing.

It had been planned for this month but was pushed back over fears there would be legal challenges to the deportations.

The government has already faced a surge in legal challenges over its plan to deport illegal immigrants to Rwanda.

It had planned to begin deportations to Rwanda last June but the flight was grounded amid objections against migrant removals.

In other measures, this week more than 50 convicted Albanian criminals are expected to be deported to their country to serve out their sentences.

Albanian citizens represent about 10 per cent of foreigners held in English and Welsh jails.

The government is also hiring more than 1,000 caseworkers to help process asylum applications in an attempt to clear the backlog.

It costs the UK £7 million ($8.4 million) a day to house asylum seekers in hotels.

A total of 45,756 migrants crossed the Channel to the UK in 2022.

Updated: January 02, 2023, 1:50 PM
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