90 illegal immigrants cross the English Channel to arrive in the UK on Christmas

According to the UK Ministry of Defense, 90 illegal immigrants arrived in the UK across the English Channel on Christmas Day in two small boats.

These were the first crossings recorded since December 21st. So far, the provisional total of illegal migrants making the perilous journey across the Strait this year has reached 45,756, including about 15,000 believed to be from Albania.

This is 151 times the number of attempted crossings in 2018, compared to 28,501 in 2021.

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A member of the Dover lifeboat places a body bag on a stretcher after returning to Dover harbor after a major search and rescue operation started in the English Channel off Dungeness in Kent, south east England, 14 December 2022. (Gareth Fuller/PA Media)

Four people died on December 14 after a boat carrying illegal immigrants capsized in the English Channel.

This wasn’t the first time the journey turned deadly. At least 27 people were killed when the dinghy sank en route from France to England last November.

A government spokesperson said: “No one should risk their lives by making dangerous and illegal journeys.

“We will use whatever means necessary to deter illegal immigration and disrupt the business model of smugglers and further tackle the gangs that promote this.”

New plan

To tackle illegal boat crossings, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak announced on December 13 a new five-point plan to curb illegal immigration.

Addressing the House of Commons, Snack announced a “permanent” and “unified” Small Boat Operations Command. This will bring together military and civilian capabilities to take a coordinated approach to policing the English Channel, he said.

The National Crime Agency, which has promised 700 recruits and a doubling of its funding, will also be part of this force.

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Prime Minister Rishi Sunak leaves 10 Downing Street, London, 20 December 2022. Appears for the first time in the House of Representatives before the Commons Liaison Committee, chairman of the special committee. (James Manning/PA Media)

He also plans to change the immigration legal framework, introducing new legislation early next year to “make it very clear that if you enter the UK illegally you cannot stay here”. swore to

The prime minister claimed that many of the small boat arrivals came from “basically safe countries” and all passed through safe countries.

Illegal immigrants “are detained and promptly deported to their home country or to a safe country where their asylum claim is being considered” and “are not entitled to re-entry, settlement or citizenship,” Snack said.

The prime minister cited a cost of £5.5m ($6.8m) a day to house illegal immigrants in hotels and said the government would use “disused holiday parks, ex-students” to halve the bill. It said it was looking to alternative locations such as halls, surplus military installations.

After the deadly incident on 14 December, Home Secretary Suera Braverman told lawmakers that the proposed bill would “save lives”.

she said: This is why, above all, we work hard to disrupt the business model of smugglers, the evil organized criminals who treat humans as cargo. “

‘too weak’

The main opposition Labor Party has criticized the government for cracking down on smuggling gangs “too weak”.

Labor leader Sir Keir Sturmer said the incident “shows that the criminal gangs operating these routes are risking the lives of desperate people and profiting from their misery. “They must be dismantled and brought to justice,” he said.

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Detainees inside the Manston Short-term Detention Center for Illegal Migrants wave to members of the media outside near Ramsgate, Kent, South East England, November 3, 2022. (Daniel Leal/AFP via Getty Images)

Yvette Cooper, Labor’s shadow home secretary, told the House of Commons: Action against those gangs is too weak. There were few prosecutions or convictions, and very few incursions into smuggler gangs. “

Emphasizing the need to crack down on gangs, she said: Comprehensive action is needed. “

‘Overly Permissive Asylum Rules’

Britain’s “overly permissive asylum rules” are also a major factor in the rise in illegal immigration, says a British think tank.

According to a recent report by Migration Watch UK, asylum seekers are almost three times more likely to be granted an application in the UK than in France.

First permit grants have risen from 34% in 2016 to 77% in 2021, according to Interior Ministry data. France’s permit rate dropped from 32% to 25% over the same period.

France is one of the least likely countries in Europe to grant asylum, and the UK is at the other end of the spectrum.

“The UK’s overly permissive asylum rules are an anomaly compared to much of Europe and add to a powerful magnet that is attracting thousands of asylum seekers from across Europe on dangerous sea voyages across the Channel. It’s been done,” said Migration Watch.

According to a Migration Watch report, 55% of migrants from Eritrea, 44% of migrants from Afghanistan, 38% of migrants from Sudan and 27% of Iraqis seeking asylum in the UK had previously entered the EU. It became clear that I had applied in a member state.

An internal report from the UK Home Office found that some decisions to go to the UK “may reflect the failure of asylum applications in France”, another important factor was the He said that it is a secondary movement of

Chris Summers, Lily Zhou, and PA Media contributed to this report.

Alexander Chan