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Biometrics used to identify Channel migrant criminals

September 2, 2022


Albanian police officers are to be deployed in the use of biometrics to identify and deport illegal Channel migrants.
The move will see the capture of migrants’ biometric data, including fingerprints, to cross-reference it with Albanian criminal databases.
Albanians now account for 60% of migrants crossing the English Channel in small boats, although the Balkan state is not considered unsafe.
UK Home Secretary Priti Patel and her Albanian counterpart to agree to terms for the placement of Albanian police at Dover.
The move is expected to speed up removals, with flights returning migrants within weeks of their arrival.
The Telegraph reported one source as saying: “This access would help us immensely, assuming there are no data protection or legal issues [preventing] the Albanian police from receiving biographic and biometric data captured by UK Border Force under UK law to check against their own records.
“There may be a risk in sharing information about asylum seekers with the government of the country they are claiming to fear persecution from — at least before the claim is assessed.”
For context, any migrant who has served more than a year in jail can be removed from the UK under post-Brexit laws. The Government can also legally refuse entry in cases of ‘serious harm, persistent offending or where it is conducive to the public good.’
The Home Office said that while the UK is open to asylum claims, these have to be filed properly and with respect to the country’s laws.
A statement added: “Asylum claims may be inadmissible if someone travels through a safe third country before reaching the UK.”
The Chief Executive of the Port of Dover called for talks between the UK and the EU over plans for biometric checks at the port.
A recent report by David Neal, the independent chief inspector of Borders and Immigration (ICIBI), suggested the Home Office failing to collect fingerprints or face biometrics from asylum seekers and illegal migrants absconding in their hundreds.

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