RIGA - The number of illegal immigrants who reach Latvia traveling on counterfeit documents has increased threefold, State Border Guard Chief Normunds Garbars said in an interview with the LNT broadcast ‘900 sekundes’ on Aug. 11, reports news agency LETA. These illegal migrants’ destination is the European Union, mostly the Scandinavian countries.
According to Garbars, all these people are ready to seek asylum in Latvia after they are detained by the Border Guard. They stay in Latvia while their applications for asylum are being reviewed. Some of the illegal immigrants have already been refused asylum.
A large group of illegal immigrants from Congo has been detained by the Border Guard recently, as well as illegal immigrants from Cameron, while a large number of Georgian citizens have applied for asylum in Latvia. Some of the asylum seekers were included on the Schengen blacklist, but none of them have a criminal record, said Garbars, adding that Latvia is not a destination country for most illegal migrants.
Garbars also said in the interview that the smugglers were increasingly active, and the Border Guard should be provided more funds to successfully fight contraband. Most contraband goods come from Russia, he added.
At the same time, Garbars does not think that passport control should be resumed at Latvia’s border.