RIGA - Saeima today supported the government's decision to declare a state of emergency at the Latvian-Belarusian border, authorizing the State Border Guard to use physical force in order to return illegal immigrants to the country from which they came.
85 MPs voted for the bill, with no abstentions and votes against.
As reported, taking into consideration the steeply increasing numbers of illegal immigrants trying to cross into Latvia from Belarus, as well as the large number of illegal immigrants entering Lithuania from Belarus, the state of emergency will run from August 11 until November 10 in the following municipalities: Ludza Region, Kraslava Region, Augsdaugava Region, and the City of Daugavpils.
According to the government's decision, the National Armed Forces and the State Police will also assist the Border Guard with the prevention of illegal immigration.
The Border Guard, the Armed Forces and the State Police will have the right to instruct illegal immigrants to return to the country from which they came, as well as use physical force if an illegal immigrant ignores their instructions.
The government has also authorized the Border Guard and the Citizenship and Migration Affairs Office to use the Public Procurement Law's provisions to ensure accommodation, food and basic necessities for illegal immigrants who have arrived in Latvia from Belarus.
If necessary, the Cabinet of Ministers will request international assistance through the European Union's Civil Protection Mechanism, NATO and other international organizations.
Border guards on Wednesday prevented 91 foreign nationals from illegally entering Latvia from Belarus, LETA was told at the State Border Guard. In the past 24 hours nobody was detained for illegally crossing the border. Altogether 295 persons have been detained for illegally crossing the Latvian-Belarusian border between August 6 and 10. The total number of illegal border crossers detained this year is 355.