Another week, another record broken in Channel crossings. If it wasn’t already, this saga is now becoming a farce. (Keep updated with our Channel Tracker). We have jet skis ‘rehearsing’ patrols on the Channel. We have £200 million of your money given to France since 2015 so that they can do what they were supposed to be doing anyway. We have activist zealots calling for the borders to be further opened. And we have a government promising tough pushbacks (see our new paper on this) and a clampdown on people-smuggling, while continuing to show marked reluctance to address the many pull-factors that have driven this crisis in the first place. Free housing and payments for rejected asylum seekers, fewer and fewer removal of those with no right to be here and failed asylum seekers. The Channel crisis will continue for as long as the people breaking in know that they won’t be sent home. The British people need those in government to stand up to the unholy alliance of people-smugglers and those playing the human rights card in every case, even when it’s not merited, as it clearly isn’t in the majority of cases and in particular those crossing the Channel illegally. And let us not forget that it is as often as not our more vulnerable communities which are paying the price with an oversubscribed NHS, a worsening housing crisis, a loss of green space and a squeeze on decent jobs.
Blog of the week
Modern Slavery laws came into force in Britain in 2015 when Theresa May was Home Secretary, linked to an international convention on trafficking dating back to 2011. Since the Home Office assumed responsibility for the processing and recording of modern slavery claims in recent years, there has been limited data released on the outcomes of claims. This comes as claims themselves (also known as ‘referrals’) tripled from 3,264 in 2015 to 10,613 in 2020. If someone is deemed to have reasonable grounds for being trafficked or a victim of modern slavery, they can be given accommodation, financial support, translation and interpretation services, transport and access to an outreach support worker. The Home Office says it is aware of the potential for abuse and is proposing moderate changes to the system in legislation currently before Parliament. Yet we remain deeply concerned that this scheme is being exploited as just another means for those with no right to be here to stay in the country. Read our full blog here.
Migration Watch in the news
Another busy week for our Chairman Alp Mehmet in nation’s media. See below:
‘We are among very few European countries that don’t use scientific evidence in verifying age. It has been a major hole in our defences that traffickers have been only too ready to exploit. If this is now going to change, it is a welcome development.’
‘This case is an example of why we are so worried about the potential for loopholes being exploited by criminals and terrorists who may be seeking to come here from Afghanistan.’
‘We’re not sending people back, even those who fail to qualify, they are still here. We provide accommodation, we provide maintenance, we provide free medical care. Of course it’s going to be an attraction.’
Sunday Express: Rise in adults claiming to be children
“Adult migrants claiming to be children has long been an issue at the border. It has been a major hole in our defences that the traffickers are exploiting. The Home Office has long been aware of the problem and chosen to look away. It’s time it dealt with it.”
Make your voice heard
According to some of the open-borders brigade, the illicit cross-Channel traffic is not a major problem because it involves small numbers (really? It’s already getting on for 15,000 this year). They see it as just another, ill-thought out, mass resettlement scheme it seems. Actually, it is an outrageous and flagrant breach of the law which needs to be halted. Perhaps the government’s proposals to turn back the boats (as Australia has so successfully done since 2013) is a sign that they know that the majority of voters care about this issue. Indeed, a clear majority of Brits support this plan (according to YouGov polling). It remains to be seen whether or not this is all spin and bluster (experience tells that it might be). A reduction in legal and illegal immigration must be part of the solution to the many challenges Britain faces after the pandemic. Yet the government has been systematically weakening the visa system at the same time as illegal entry into this country surges. If you are concerned about this, as we are, please consider writing to your MP here.