The EU is planning to deport hundreds of thousands of migrants in a matter of weeks, using a new border guard unit and applying pressure to third world countries that depend on EU development aid, according to a document leaked to the Times of London. Brussels will threaten to withdraw aid, trade deals and visa arrangements if countries such as Niger and Eritrea refuse to take back their economic migrants. The documented proposals also recommend for EU states to detain thousands of migrants to prevent them from fleeing to avoid deportation.
Under the “action plan on return,” the EU’s border agency Frontex will establish a new unit to assist with deportations.
It is expected that the claims of more than 400,000 asylum seekers who have entered the EU in the first six months of 2015 will be rejected. The leaked document says: “The EU and its Member States must do more in terms of return. Increased return rates should act as a deterrent to irregular migration.”
It is believed that EU home office ministers, including Theresa May, will discuss the draft plans at a summit in Luxembourg this week. The British Home Secretary is expected to support the proposals if they lead to the clearing of the Calais, France migrant camps, The Times reported.
It is unclear if refugees from war-ravaged countries such as Syria and Afghanistan would be forced to return home. But the document insists the goal of the new policy is to end the migrant flow altogether, rather than deal with its causes.
The leaked document called on EU member states to become more active in pursuing deportations, and to take greater care to identify and deport illegal migrants. “Member states must systematically issue return decisions, take all necessary steps to enforce them and provide adequate resources, necessary for identifying and returning illegally staying third-country nationals,” the document said.