During 2013; 3,167 people that had been living in Belgium illegally were forcibly repatriated. A further 4,707 opted for voluntary repatriation.
The number of forced repatriations was up from 2,638 in 2012 and 2,420 in 2011. The Secretary of State responsible for asylum and migration Maggie De Block (Flemish liberal) says that the increase in forced repatriations has come about as a result of the various public service organisations that deal with migrants working more efficiently.
During 2013 the police at Belgium’s airports turned away 44% fewer passengers that were caught trying to enter the country illegally than they did in 2012. Ms De Block says that this is a result of her department’s campaigns to discourage migrants. “In addition to this the airline are now also cooperating with us”, Ms De Blocked added.