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UK to speed up deportation of failed Albanian asylum seekers

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LONDON — The UK has announced plans to “speed up” the deportation of failed Albanian asylum seekers as authorities grapple with a rise in the number of migrants crossing the English Channel in small boats.

British immigration officials will immediately process asylum claims made by Albanians entering the UK on small boats, and those who have no right to stay in the country will be deported ‘as soon as possible’, according to the Ministry of the Interior, which oversees border enforcement.

The agency wants to dissuade Albanians from making the risky crossing in inflatable boats by demonstrating that they will not be allowed to live and work in Britain. This message is also disseminated through a series of Albanian-language advertisements on social media sites.

“Large numbers of Albanians are being sold lies by ruthless smugglers and vicious organized crime gangs, leading them to make treacherous journeys in flimsy boats to the UK,” the minister said. ‘Inside Priti Patel in a statement. “This abuse of our immigration system and people risking their lives cannot continue.”

The number of Albanians crossing the English Channel on small boats has soared in recent months, even though Britain considers Albania a ‘safe and prosperous country’, according to Home Office statistics released on Thursday .

Some 2,165 Albanians arrived in Britain via this route in the first six months of 2022, compared to just 23 in the same period last year. Overall, 12,747 people entered the UK on small boats in the first half of the year, more than double the figure for the previous year.

Albanians are now tied with Afghans as the largest nationalities arriving on small boats, each accounting for 18% of the total.

The Interior Ministry’s advertising campaign will seek to reverse this trend by warning migrants that they risk deportation to Rwanda and increased prison terms for immigration offences. The advertisements also provide information on safe immigration routes and advice on seeking asylum in the first safe country reached by a migrant.

The measures were announced after talks between Patel and his Albanian counterpart, Interior Minister Bledi Cuci.

He said the two ministers also discussed ways to provide more opportunities for Albanian workers and skilled professionals to work legally in the UK.

“We discourage these illegal and dangerous practices,” Cuci said of the small boat crossings.