August 30, 2015 -
The UK’s Home Office has pledged its support for border officials using force to collect the fingerprints of migrants as part of an overall effort to track refugees crossing the Mediterranean, according to a report by Daily Mail.
The EU proposed the border practice to enforce mandatory fingerprinting of individuals suspected of migrating from poor European countries to claim asylum in wealthier ones.
Many of these so-called migrants have been refusing to be fingerprinted at the border when arriving in Greece and Italy as they know that they will be forced to return to their home country.
The border practice — which aims to store more fingerprints of migrants on the Europe-wide database, Eurodac — will likely reduce the number of migrants gathering in the makeshift camp in Calais, France.
“Over the last year it became apparent that certain nationalities (Syrians and Eritreans) were refusing to comply with fingerprinting procedures,” Immigration Minister James Brokenshire wrote in a recent letter to Parliaments’ EU committees. “This cannot go unchallenged: we agree with the [European] Commission that individuals must be given the opportunity to understand that non-compliance will have consequences.”
Any migrants who refuse to be fingerprinted could be put in detention and forced to return to their home countries, said The European Council, adding that coercion should not be used against pregnant women or children.