Following a sharp increase in the arrival of asylum seekers and other migrants from Africa and the Middle East at EU borders in 2015, European politicians have increasingly called for more and faster returns of migrants deemed not to have a right to stay. These returns can be carried out from within individual EU Member States or at the bloc’s external border. Yet to date, return rates from Europe have been relatively low: 214,000 individuals from all 28 EU Member States in 2017. EU leaders aim to make deportation procedures more efficient by using new methods to identify unauthorized migrants, increasing the use of detention, limiting asylum seekers’ opportunities to appeal a negative decision, and drawing on lists of third countries classified as “safe” to support return decisions.
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