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PEERS expressed concerns today over plans to give Border Force officers powers to use “reasonable force” to fingerprint migrants and refugees in France.
In January, Home Secretary Priti Patel announced that the law will be changed to allow officials at Dunkirk and Calais to use physical force as part of attempts to stop asylum-seeker crossings.
In the House of Lords today, Home Office minister Baroness Williams said the new powers can be used in cases where an individual poses a risk and to “enforce compliance with immigration processes, including fingerprinting.”
The minister said the powers would only be used “as a last resort.”
However, Green peer Baroness Jones said the proposals are a “sad piece of legislation, because it perpetuates the government’s cruel and dehumanising approach to people who want to come to live, work and be safe in the UK.
“We should be saving people and helping them in dire circumstances, not increasing force and risk.”
Border Force officers at English ports can already use force to fingerprint. Under the proposals, due to come into force in this spring, this would be extended to ports in Calais and Dunkirk.
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