The European court of justice has ruled that European Union countries cannot jail illegal immigrants simply for crossing borders inside the continent’s 26-nation passport-free area known as, the Schengen zone.
The court in Luxembourg said EU rules prevent such arrests, unless non-EU migrants are suspected of having committed a crime or already have been subject to deportation procedures.
It also ruled against arrests made at Schengen borders as migrants head elsewhere on the continent.
The ruling — issued as europe grapples with a massive influx of migrants from the Middle East and Africa — came in the case of Ghanaian national Selina Affum, who was detained in 2013 by French police at the channel tunnel. The detainee was traveling by bus from Belgium to Britain, using someone else’s passport.