One repatriation flight a week for criminal illegal immigrants

5 January 2018

In 2017, Secretary of State for Asylum and Migration, Theo Francken, organised an average of one secured flight a week to repatriate undocumented persons to their home country. The result is that he’s achieving the aim he set at the beginning of the year with room to spare. “In total, 283 persons were repatriated last year,” says Theo Francken. “These cases mainly concern criminals and persons who stubbornly - and often violently - refuse to leave Belgian soil.”

Quadrupling of flights since 2014

When Theo Francken took office in 2014, barely a hundred people a year were being repatriated out of Belgium on secured flights. In the period since, the number of flights have increased every year, from two a month in 2015 and three a month in 2016 to over four a month in 2017.

The secured flights have been in place since the year 2000 and are organised in cooperation with the Ministry of Defence. The operational costs are borne to a large extent by Frontex, the European Border and Coast Guard. Belgium is one of the few countries in Europe that makes this much use of the possibilities offered by Frontex. Only Germany scores better.

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