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A single national administrative centre for transmigration

Jan Jambon (left) and Theo Francken

There will be a national administrative centre for transmigration in the centre 127 bis in Steenokkerzeel, where everyone who wants to transit to the United Kingdom through Belgium will be taken. That is what Minister of the Interior Jan Jambon (N-VA) and Secretary of State for Asylum and Migration Theo Francken (N-VA) announced on Monday. The move is part of a whole package of “measures against transmigration”.

The intention is to centralise all those who transit through Belgium to the UK and transfer them to the new faciity, which will be integrated into the current closed centre, 127a. “In a first phase, it will concern groups of migrants that are found during operations conducted by law enforcement agencies. The short-term objective is to bring all migrants that are arrested by local or federal police to the centre,” says a spokesperson for Jambon’s office.

In the centre the federal police will administer files, which includes taking fingerprints or carrying out databases searches. But the migrants concerned will also be detained while awaiting a decision from the Immigration Office. The goal being to substantially relieve the local police from the job of tracking down migrants, allowing themto handle their normal durites. The federal police will deploy additional police vehicles and the army will provide a bus every day to transport migrants.

The measure is part of a set of initiatives that Jambon and Francken proposed on Monday. The short-term plan is to double the capacity of closed centres, specifically for people who are illegally transiting through Belgium, from 70 to 160 places. In the medium term Francken would like to create additional capacity through a plan that he will present to the government. From these closed centres the persons who are unlawfully resident in Belgium will be returned, either to their country of origin or to the first country of entry into Europe. In addition, more intensive police checks will be carried out on the travel routes of the so-called transmigrants.

Arthur Rubinstein
The Brussels Times