2017-03-30 Update: Border security – Global Legal Monitor

Italy: Measures to Fight Against Illegal Immigration Bolstered (Mar. 29, 2017) On February 18, 2017, new legislation on the fight against illegal immigration entered into effect in Italy. (Decree Law No. 13 of February 17, 2017, Urgent Provisions for the Acceleration of International Protection Procedures and for the Fight Against Illegal Immigration (D.L. No. 13), NORMATTIVA (in Italian).) More Efficient Handling of Non-EU Citizens The new legislation provides for accelerated procedures to identify and define the legal situation of non-European Union citizens and to fight illegal immigration and the trafficking of migrants. (D.L. No. 13, art. 15(1).)¬† In accordance with EU legislation, the director of Italy's National Central Police for Crime Prevention under the Ministry of the Interior, after consultation with the Italian Committee for Strategic Analysis of Anti-Terrorism, has the authority to adopt a decision to reject the entry of a migrant from outside the EU into the national territory.¬† (Id. art. 15(1).) To better identify non-EU citizens under international protection, EU residence permits issued for long-term residence to foreigners who are beneficiaries of international protection must contain the phrase protection recognized by Educators on [date]." (Id. art. 9(1)(a)(1).)¬† Pursuant to EU legislation, should foreigners holding these residence permits become subject to removal procedures, the EU states that have recognized such permits must implement removal procedures after consultation with the EU state that originally issued the permit.¬† (Id. art. 8(1)(b)(2).) When due to force majeure it is not possible to implement the repatriation of foreigners, judicial authorities must order the restoration of detention for the time strictly necessary to carry out the expulsion order.¬† (Id. art. 19(2)(b).)¬†¬† Detention centers must be located outside urban areas and must be furnished with appropriate public facilities and structures to ensure respect for the human dignity and personal freedom of the per …

Samoa: New Approval Guidelines for Arming Police Passed (Mar. 14, 2017) On March 7, 2017, the Samoan Parliament voted to pass the Police Powers Amendment Bill 2017, which sets out the approval requirements for police officers in the country to be armed when carrying out their duties. (Police Powers Amendment Bill 2017, Parliament of Samoa website;¬†Lagi Keresoma,¬†Samoa Parliament Approves New Police Powers Bill, PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT (Mar. 7, 2017).) The bill amends section 13 of the Police Powers Act 2007. (Police Powers Act 2007,¬†CONSOLIDATED ACTS OF SAMOA¬†2015, PacLII database.)¬† Subsection 2 of this provision currently¬†states that the Police Commissioner shall not permit a police officer to have in his or her possession a firearm, ammunition, explosives or dangerous weapons for use in the exercise of that officer's duties and shall not authorise a person to have in his or her possession a firearm, ammunition, explosives or dangerous weapons to assist police in the exercise of their duties of a police officer unless: (a) the Minister [of Police] has approved the arming of the police officer or person; (b) the police officer or person has satisfactorily carried out appropriate training in the safe use of firearms and dangerous weapons. (Id. s 13(2).)¬† The above language is unchanged by the bill, which only replaces subsection 13(3) of the Act. This subsection currently states, Minister may only approve a police officer or person to be armed under subsection (2)(a) where the arming is required because of exceptional circumstances and is otherwise in accordance with relevant police internal orders or rules." (Id.) The new subsection contains a list of matters¬†that the Minister could¬†consider in determining whether there exist circumstances," such as (i) the nature and seriousness of the offence; (ii) the behaviour or conduct of the suspect; (iii) the Minister has reason to believe or has been advised by the Police Commissioner that the suspect may be armed or in possession of arms; (iv) the Minister h …

Slovenia: Mechanisms Introduced for Stricter Border Control of Refugee Influx (Feb. 9, 2017) On January 26, 2017, the Parliament of Slovenia adopted amendments to the laws on aliens and on state border control that if implemented would allow the government to introduce a special temporary system of border checks and prevent the admission of refugees into the country. (Slovenia Passes Law Allowing Migrant Border Pushbacks, AFP (North European Service) (Jan. 26, 2017), Open Source Enterprise, Doc. ID: EUR2017012673892732.)¬†¬†A constitutional majority (two-thirds of the votes of the deputies present) is needed for the approval and imposition of the measure, as required for laws related to issues of national defense and territorial integrity according to article 124 of the Slovenian Constitution.¬† (Id.; Zakon o Tujcih [Aliens Act], URADNI LIST RS [OFFICAL GAZETTE OF THE REPUBLIC OF SLOVENIA] 2008, No. 71, arts. 11, 26, & 64-66, most recent English translation (2012) available at INFORMATION FOR FOREIGNERS WEBSITE; Constitution, OFFICIAL GAZETTE OF THE REPUBLIC OF SLOVENIA, No. 33/91-I (Dec. 23, 1991, as amended), Republic of Slovenia Constitutional Court website.) Changes to the Aliens Act Under the amendments to the Aliens Act, the government would have the authority to refuse foreigners who do not meet requirements entry into Slovenia and to expel those who have entered the country unlawfully through a simplified procedure.¬† The Interior Ministry, the government agency in charge of the national police and border control, could recommend the application of both of these measures on refusal of entry and¬†on expulsion if it could establish that the have become a threat to law and order or internal security of Slovenia." ¬†(Slovenia Passes Law Allowing Migrant Border Pushbacks, supra.) In such cases, the government would be required to seek parliamentary approval in order to carry out the measures.¬† (Id.) Individual requests for asylum would be reviewed by the national police agency, and the Ministry of Interior will decide on appeals for …

Indonesia: New Task Force to Monitor Foreigners (Jan. 13, 2017) On January 6, 2017, Indonesia's government announced¬†a plan to revise its current method of oversight of foreigners in the country. Due to concern that foreigners may enter Indonesia and pursue goals other than those for which they were granted entry, the administration will establish a task force that would track the movements of foreigners within the country. According to the Coordinating Political, Legal and Security Affairs Minister, Wiranto, the monitoring ensure foreigners who enter and move across Indonesia do not have a hidden agenda, such as working illegally, or even committing terror acts and being involved in the illegal drug trade." (Marguerite Afra Sapiie, Indonesia to Set up a Task Force to Monitor the Movement of Foreigners, JAKARTA POST (Jan. 7, 2017).) Wiranto commented that the new task force will supplement oversight functions in the current system, which is designed to monitor foreigners when they first enter Indonesia but has less coverage of what they do once inside the country. Under the new arrangement, he said, local administrations will have augmented abilities to follow the actions of foreigners in their areas. (Id.) The new task force's responsibilities will be similar to those of the former foreigner oversight team, a unit under the National Police established under the Suharto regime (1965-1998) but abolished in 2011 by the adoption of a new Immigration Law. (Id.; Law of the Republic of Indonesia Number 6 of 2011 Concerning Immigration (May 5, 2011), Directorate General of Immigration website; Undang-Undang Republik Indonesia Nomor 6 Tahun 2011 Tentang Keimigrasian (May 5, 2011), House of Representatives of Indonesia website; Alice Donald, Rise and Fall of Strongman Suharto, BBC NEWS (Sept. 28, 2000).) According to Commander General Syafruddin, the Deputy Chief of the National Police, the police will now have a role in monitoring the activities of foreigners, under the coordination of national security officials. …

European Union/Georgia: Negotiations on Visa-Free Travel (Nov. 11, 2016) The European Parliament, in the final stages of the integration process of Georgia into the European Union, called on the Council of the EU to start negotiations on a visa waiver for Georgia any further delay." (Press Release, European Parliament, EP Urges Council to Open Talks on a Visa Waiver for Georgia Any Further Delay" (Oct. 26, 2016).) At present, Georgia belongs to the list of states whose citizens need a visa to enter the Schengen zone. (Council Regulation (EC) No 539/2001 of 15 March 2001 Listing the Third Countries Whose Nationals Must Be in Possession of Visas When Crossing the External Borders and Those Whose Nationals Are Exempt from That Requirement, 2001 OJ (L 81) 1, EUR-LEX.) The Schengen zone includes 26 member countries (most of the EU States, except for Bulgaria, Croatia,¬†Cyprus, Ireland, Romania, and the United Kingdom), sharing common travel and movement rights; their citizens are free from passport checks and border control within the zone. (Schengen Area Countries List, SCHENGEN VISA INFO (last visited Nov. 8, 2016); Schengen Area, European Commission, Migration and Home Affairs website (last updated Jan. 29, 2016).) When the visa liberalization process for Georgia is finalized, it will allow visa-free travel between the two jurisdictions for both EU and Georgian citizens, for a period of stay of 90 days in any 180-day period. (Press Release, European Commission, European Commission Proposes to Lift Visa Obligations for Citizens of Georgia (Mar. 9, 2016), EUROPA.) According to the Council, the entry into force of visa liberalization for Georgia is expected to occur at the same time as the entry into force of the European Commission's new mechanism." The suspension mechanism will, in the future, allow EU states to re-impose visa restrictions and end visa-free travel as a matter of urgency, such as in cases of sudden and substantial increases in irregular migration, unfounded asylum applications, an …

Spain: National Police Chief Addresses Anti-Terrorism Policies
(Sept. 29, 2016) The head of Spain's National Police gave an address describing how Spain's efforts to improve anti-terrorist cooperation among European Union Member States, and arguing against national border patrols within the European Union.  (Hugo Gutiérrez, El Director de la Policia Nacional Pide mas Cooperación Europea contra el Terrorismo , EL PAIS (Aug.1, 2016).) He argued that because access to real time information on terrorists' activities is essential in the fight against international terrorism, in order to improve early detection efforts, databases from different countries, currently not shared, need to be accessed by all allied countries in order to succeed in fighting new forms of terrorism, and intelligence must be improved. (Id.)

The chief also observed that Spain's geography creates immigration challenges, and therefore the government has signed a number of cooperation agreements with immigrants' countries of origin of immigrants in an effort to stem human trafficking at the source. (Id.)  Spain's cooperation with Morocco, Mauritania, Senegal, and Niger has been critical, he stated, in reducing immigration waves from those countries and serves as an example of the importance of sharing intelligence.  (Id.)  According to the chief, the successful border management system and coordination among intelligence services have ensured that there is less Islamic radicalization in the border area with Africa in Southern Spain.  (Id.)

Japan: New Law on Preservation of Remote Island Areas (June 20, 2016) The Act on Preservation of Areas of Remote, Inhabited Islands Establishing Territorial Seas and Maintenance of Local Societies on Areas of Specified Remote, Inhabited Islands Establishing Territorial Seas (Act on Preserving Remote Island Areas)¬†was promulgated by Japan on April 27, 2016. (Act No. 33 of 2016, KANPOU [OFFICIAL GAZETTE].)¬† It will be effective for ten years, from April 1, 2017, to March 31, 2027.¬† (Id. Supp. art. 1.) ¬†The locations of the major remote islands are marked on an interactive map provided by a private website, at ritoumap.com. The Act is one of the measures being taken to boost remote local areas whose population is declining in most areas and is also part of the general measures to enhance Japan's security (border protection) and secure its borders (sea lines). The Act aims to preserve Japan's territorial seas and Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) by enhancing the capacity of inhabited remote islands that are on or close to the border of the territorial seas and the EEZ. (Id. art. 1.) The term of remote, inhabited islands establishing territorial seas" includes: a remote, inhabited island that is a basis for the drawing of the border of the territorial sea and the EEZ and its surrounding area; or a remote, inhabited island that is a part of a /group of remote islands that includes an island that is a basis for the drawing such borders and its surrounding area.¬† (Id. art. 2, ¬∂ 1.) The term area of a specified, remote, inhabited island establishing territorial seas" refers to specified islands among the general group of islands described in the previous article and their surrounding area that especially needs support to maintain human habitation. ¬†(Id. art. 2, ¬∂ 2.) The Cabinet must establish a basic plan to preserve areas of these particular remote, inhabited islands and to maintain local societies in areas of specified remote, inhabited islands establishing territorial seas.¬† (Id. art. 4.)¬† The basic plan incl …

Finland/Russian Federation: Agreements Concluded to Stem Migrant Flow (Apr. 7, 2016) Finland and Russia have concluded two agreements on cross-border traffic designed to reduce the flow of illegal immigrants into the Eastern Lapland region of Finland. According to P√§ivi Nerg of Finland's Ministry of the Interior, the two countries have been concerned about the number of migrants travelling in a westward direction into Finland and therefore concluded both an agreement to restrict cross-border traffic and a general agreement on cooperation in the matter of illegal immigration. (Aleksi Teivainen, Finland and Russia Made Two Agreements on Cross-Border Traffic, HELSINKI TIMES (Mar. 25, 2016).) Nerg noted that the to combat illegal immigration concerns our information exchange practices, the development of various tools and forced returns." (Id.) The agreements were to be reviewed by the Finns and to come into effect on March 31. Under the agreements, the border will be temporarily closed at the Finnish towns of Raja-Jooseppi and Salla; only citizens of the Finland and Russia and of Belarus, plus family members of those citizens, will be allowed to cross through at the two towns, which are near the northern end of the border with Russia. (Id.) That restriction will last for 180 days. (Finland, Russia Agree to Close Arctic Border for Migrants, YAHOO NEWS (Mar. 23, 2016).) Background In 2015, 5,500 people entered Norway over the Arctic route, through the far northern part of the territory; many of them were from Afghanistan or Syria. As of late November, when people traveling by bicycle were forbidden from crossing into Norway in that region, the migrants began entering Finland instead. Since that time, more than 1,700 people have sought asylum through northern Finland, a route that is particularly attractive as it is an entry point into the Schengen zone of Europe. (Id.) The Schengen zone, of which Finland is a member, allows passport-free crossing of borders between member nations. (European Commission, Schengen Area, EUROPA (las …

Australia/Nauru: High Court Rules Offshore Detention of Asylum Seekers Is Lawful (Feb. 5, 2016) On February 3, 2016, the High Court of Australia, Australia's highest court, held in a 6-1 decision that the government is legally able to participate in the detention of asylum seekers in the Pacific island country of Nauru; this means that a number of people who were brought to Australia to receive medical treatment can now be sent back to Nauru to have their claims processed. (Plaintiff M68/2015 v Minister for Immigration and Border Protection [2016] HCA 1, Australasian Legal Information Institute database.) Background Under Australian law and policy, boats carrying asylum seekers trying to enter Australian territory may be turned back at sea, and people who do arrive without a visa are categorized as maritime arrivals" and transported to processing countries."¬† (Migration Act 1958 (Cth), ss 4(5), 5AA, & 198AD, ComLaw website; Operation Sovereign Borders, DEPARTMENT OF IMMIGRATION AND BORDER PROTECTION (DIBP) (last visited Feb. 4, 2016).)¬† Pursuant to agreements signed with Nauru and Papua New Guinea (PNG), regional processing centers have been established on Nauru and Manus Island, PNG.¬† (Elibritt Karlsen, Australia's Offshore Processing of Asylum Seekers in Nauru and PNG: A Quick Guide to the Statistics, AUSTRALIAN PARLIAMENTARY LIBRARY (Oct. 12, 2015); Instrument of Designation of the Republic of Nauru as a Regional Processing Country Under Subsection 198AB(1) of the Migration Act 1958 (Sept. 2012), ComLaw website; Instrument of Designation of the Independent State of Papua New Guinea as a Regional Processing Country Under Subsection 198AB(1) of the Migration Act 1958 (Oct. 2012), ComLaw website.) Asylum seekers processed in the two countries are not able to receive visas to settle in Australia.¬† (See Illegal Maritime Arrivals,¬† DIBP (last visited Feb. 4, 2016).)¬† Instead, if they are found to be refugees, the agreements with Nauru and PNG provide for resettlement in those countries.¬† A further agreement with Cambodia mea …

Denmark: Law to Stem Asylum-Based Immigration (Feb. 1, 2016) On January 26, 2016, the Danish Parliament, in a vote of 81 to 27 (with 70 absentees), adopted several measures meant to reduce the number of asylum seekers arriving in Denmark. (Forslag til lov om √¶ndring af udl√¶ndingeloven [Bill of the Law on Amending the Aliens Act] (final text of the proposal as adopted)¬† (Amending Bill), Law No. 87 (Jan. 26, 2016), FOLKETINGSTIDENE C [FOLKETING HANSARD C]; Afstemning Afstemningsnummer 245 [Vote Number 245], FOLKETINGET (Jan. 26, 2016).) The law will take effect immediately, on the day following the publication of the law in the Danish Gazette (Lovetidende). Certain provisions, such as the imposition of a fee for certain applications (see below) enter into force on March 1, 2016. The measures are based on the asylum packet that the government presented to the public on November 13, 2015. (Asylpakke [Asylum Packet], STATSMINISTERIET (last visited Jan. 22, 2106).) ¬†The following measures put forward in the packet were adopted: delay of family reunification for asylum seekers fleeing indiscriminate violence: applicant family member must have been in Denmark for three years instead of one year; increase in time requirement (time spent legally in the country) before awarding of permanent residency status; imposition of additional integration requirements, such as the ability to prove language skills, before permanent residency can be attained; permanent as well as temporary residence status made easier to lose; introduction of a fee to apply for family reunification and to convert temporary residence permit to permanent residence permit; increase in threshold for how long an asylum seeker can be required to pay for his own housing; 10% reduction in economic aid to asylum seekers; power given to police to search the persons of asylum seekers and their luggage for items of value to support the cost of their stay; authority given to Danish Immigration Service to confiscate assets to support the asylum seeker's stay in Den …

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