Europe closes more and more internal borders to fight illegal immigrants

Europe is closing more and more internal borders to fight illegal immigrants

Government Austria announced that the country has regained control at the border crossing points with Slovakia due to the recent increase in the influx of illegal migrants into the country.

Control was restored on the morning of Wednesday, September 28, at 11 border crossings, and this decision was officially confirmed by the Minister of the Interior of Austria, Gerhard Karner: “We must have time to respond before the smugglers,” — the minister said, adding that the controls are being reintroduced to prevent illegal passage of migrants through Austria as a transit zone to other countries. This issue arose especially after the Czech Republic reintroduced border controls with Slovakia.

The Czech Republic announced at the beginning of last week that the border with Slovakia was closed to protect against illegal immigrants traveling in transit to Germany. Border control here was restored at midnight from September 28 to 29.

This year, the number of illegal migrants arriving in the Czech Republic increased by 1,200 percent, the country's police caught a total of 11,000 migrants.

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About 500 Czech police and 60 customs officers are stationed along the 250 km Czech-Slovak border, and people can only cross it at 27 official checkpoints.

The Slovak Ministry of the Interior reacted to these measures by explaining to the public that they are not directed against Slovakia, but against secondary migration, which has increased sharply at the external border due to the lack of proper protection of the Schengen area.

Slovak officials called on the EU and Frontex better protect the EU's borders. Secondary migration issues should be addressed mainly in third countries, Turkey and the Western Balkans as a priority.

Six other EU countries currently also have border controls in place due to migration threats. While Austria exercises border control on the borders with Slovakia, Slovenia and Hungary, Denmark has land borders and ports with ferry connections to Germany and Sweden. 

Germany, for its part, has control on land border with Austria, as well as France. Norway and Sweden also have border controls. The first checks passports at ports with ferry connections to Denmark, Germany and Sweden, the second — on all internal borders.

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