Greeks in British immigration centers

Travelers from Europe who have arrived in the UK are being held in immigration centers, including Greeks, says the Guardian.

Europeans who have passed the required job interviews talk about detentions. This is despite the fact that current regulations allow non-visa holders to attend the interview. Travelers who were simply expelled from the country also complain.

Apparently the main reason for what is happening was Brexit, which radically changed the situation. EU citizens are held in temporary detention facilities located at airports, or sent to immigrant detention centers, informs Guardian in the revealing article. The Europeans had to face humiliating deportation as a result of the confusion over the interpretation of the British Foreign Office rules.

The UK Home Office allows foreign nationals to be present at job interviews in the absence of visas. But he does not specify at the same time whether European citizens can then return home to obtain a work visa and re-enter the country. Problems often arise over the prohibition for EU citizens to undergo unpaid internships.

Last week alone, at least 12 Europeans, mostly young women, were detained at Gatwick Airport for 48 hours or more and then deported or sent to an immigration center in Benfordshire. Among them are citizens of Greece, Spain, France, Italy, Bulgaria.

Two Spanish women were detained at the Gatwick airport on May 2 and 3, they flew in from Valencia and Bilbao. One of them, 25-year-old Maria, reported that other citizens were also in custody. The girl believed that she could freely explore the labor market, at least until October, since there was demand, and she had previously worked in the UK.

She complained that the border guards threatened her with deportation and offered to pay for the return flight on the same day. Instead, however, Maria was sent to an immigration center for three days. Upon her release, she was told that she was to be quarantined at her sister’s home in southeast London until May 17, and her passport would remain with the border guards. “I’m still in shock,” she says.

Eugenia came to Gatwick from Spain hoping to find a job, return to her country, apply for a visa and travel back to the UK. Her Spanish friend works for the British National Health System and has lived here for four years. The girl had a return ticket, and she told the border guards about the purpose of her trip. However, in Gatwick, her cell phone was confiscated and held in an airport room for 24 hours, along with six other detainees. Then they were deported. Portuguese, Italians and citizens with Eastern European passports were also deported.

Luke Piper, a former immigration lawyer working with European citizens after Brexit, said the rules were confusing, but stressed that border guards were being overly aggressive.





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