The European Commission has made clear its view on how illegal immigrants should be treated. It is calling for up to 18 months behind bars and a ban on returning to Europe for at least five years. MEPs will vote on that later today in a bid to wipe-out national inconsistencies among EU member states.
Jacques Barrot, the EU Commissioner for Justice, Freedom and Security, said: “I can’t let our politics be caricatured as Europe barricading its borders. That’s not true. This is a Europe which is tackling the problems of immigration in a balanced way; it’s an open Europe; a Europe which does not accept that everything can remain in a state of disorder, which is in nobody’s interests.”