`International protection seekers to claim asylum in first safe country they enter.’ 28th April 2011: Amidst apprehensions of Tunisian and Libyan immigrants threatening to enter Britain, Immigration Minister Damian Green has claimed North African migrants gathering in France will not evade Britain’s tough border controls.
Green’s assertion follows media reports of camps being set up near the Eurostar terminal in Paris by migrants hoping to come to Britain. They are fleeing political unrest in North Africa.
Immigration minister Damian Green said: ‘There are strict British immigration controls in place in Paris and additional security checks on transport leaving France for the UK, which have significantly cut the numbers arriving in Britain hidden in lorries.’
The UK government has maintained its stance throughout the developments in Libya that a common asylum system or new laws will not resolve the unprecedented influx of migrants at Europe’s Mediterranean border.
Green added: ‘We are maintaining this strong regime. Britain has offered Italy practical assistance to help maintain border controls and asylum processes. Those seeking international protection are expected to claim asylum in the first safe country they enter.’
The Tunisian and Libyan migrants are currently having provisional six-month Italian residence permits. It permits them to take a trip freely without passports or frontier checks in 25-member "Schengen" zone.
As of now, hundreds of Tunisian and Libyan immigrants have set up camps near the Paris’s Eurostar terminal; and are threatening to find their way into Britain.
The Italian papers are not applicable to Britain. Like Ireland, it is outside the Schengen area zone. It is believed desperate migrants are working out the modalities to pay their way to Britain.
The chances of their paying people smugglers to enable them illegally undertake a journey to Britain for disappearing into the black economy cannot be ruled out.
Immigrants going by the illegal route normally get on a train to Calais from Paris. They then depend on organised crime gangs to get on ferries heading for Dover.