[JURIST] The European Parliament (EP) [official website] adopted a new European Union directive to combat illegal immigration on Wednesday. The new rules [legislative materials; EP press release] are intended to normalize immigration procedures across the EU. Under the directive, illegal aliens caught in the EU must leave within 30 days, after which a removal order can be issued to forcibly deport them, and deported aliens can be banned from returning to the EU for five years. Authorities will be allowed to detain an illegal immigrant for up to six months, but that limit could be extended to 18 months in certain cases or even longer in "emergency situations." AP has more. BBC News has additional coverage.
The Permanent Representatives Committee of the Council of Europe agreed [JURIST report] to a draft of the directive last month. The EU estimates that between 350,000 to 500,000 illegal immigrants enter its member states annually, mainly filling jobs in construction and farming. Reuters has more.