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Albanian migrant who crossed the Channel just DAYS ago is among 32 illegal immigrants and foreign criminals deported fleeing to the Balkan state
- Priti Patel announced ‘quick removal’ scheme in response to surge in crossings
- This year, 6,000 Albanians have arrived, compared to 900 in the previous three years
- 27 removed offenders had combined prison terms of more than 87 years
An Albanian man who crossed the Channel just three and a half weeks ago is one of 32 illegal immigrants and foreign criminals removed from the UK today on a charter flight to the Balkan state.
Interior Minister Priti Patel recently announced a ‘quick removal’ scheme in response to the increase in Albanian migrants crossing the Channel.
Interior ministry officials say more than 6,000 Albanians have arrived in undersized dinghies and rigid inflatables so far this year, compared to fewer than 900 in the previous three years combined.
MailOnline understands that today’s relocations are not a park of the new accelerated eviction scheme, which is not yet operational, but is an example of “stepped up efforts” to evict people more quickly.
Under this project, all Albanians applying for asylum will be treated immediately, but those not entitled to be in the UK will be removed as soon as possible – with some possibly even being returned ‘within hours’.
Other individuals removed today included one who was caught by immigration officers working in a restaurant for staying too long as a visitor, and another who arrived hidden in a truck from May.
The 27 foreign offenders who were removed had received combined prison terms of more than 87 years and had been convicted of crimes including supplying class A drugs, facilitating illegal entry and sex offences.
Home Secretary Priti Patel recently announced a ‘quick removal’ scheme in response to the increase in Albanian migrants crossing the Channel
Ms Patel said: ‘Today’s flight sends a clear message to those who violate our laws and immigration rules that you will be expelled soon.
“Anyone who comes to our country by small boat or other dangerous, illegal means should not expect to stay in the UK for long.
“We are working closely with the Albanian government to tackle illegal immigration and agreed this week on our joint operational plans to expedite the removal of Albanians illegally entering the UK on small boats.
“In addition to measures in our Nationality and Borders Act, this will help end the cycle of last-minute claims and appeals that can delay removals. We are doing everything we can to remove those who are not allowed to be here, as the public rightly expects.”
It comes after it was revealed that Albanian crime lords are sending ‘cleanskins’ to the UK with no criminal record aboard small boats to get involved in organized gangs.
Criminal records checks on arrivals in the Channel are unable to establish links between some arrivals and organized crime groups, sources said.
Officials fear migrants with no previous convictions will be involved in serious crime such as drug gangs to pay off debts they owe to people smugglers, posing a significant risk to the British public.
‘Cleanskins’ is a term originally used by security forces in Northern Ireland to describe the recruitment of terrorists with no criminal record by IRA and loyalist paramilitaries.
It also emerged this week that Albanian migrants crossing the Channel could soon be met by their home country police in Dover to have their criminal records checked.
Ms Patel said: ‘Today’s flight sends a clear message to those who violate our laws and immigration rules that you will be removed quickly’
Albanian police are said to help British border forces by checking migrants’ fingerprints and biometrics in their own databases.
Home Office officials met with Albanian police on Tuesday to agree on a plan for the placement of the country’s police officers in British ports.
Government sources said the plan would allow the UK to identify and deport those who are not “conducive to the public interest”.
Today’s flight was the 45th this year carried out by the Interior Ministry as part of efforts to tackle illegal migration and abuse of the asylum system.
Since the signing of a landmark deal with Albania last year, nearly 1,000 Albanian foreign offenders have been deported, including some who have illegally crossed the Channel to come to the UK.
The UK has removed 7,638 people through forced, voluntary and other forms of return since January 1, including 1,995 foreign offenders.
Last month alone, 220 criminals were removed from the UK on both charter and scheduled flights.