Once again, Britain’s place as a global leader in humanitarianism is needed, and here at Migration Watch UK we totally support the government’s efforts to offer safety and refuge to those displaced by the monstrous invasion of Ukraine by Vladimir Putin. Pointing to the impact that the arrival of large numbers have on local communities in no way gainsays what the UK has offered to do. David Davis reminded the Home Secretary that with potentially half a million women and children requiring our help this will mean proper housing and social care for tens of thousands of displaced families. All we ask is a bit of common sense, and as Mr Davis noted, we need not ‘throw away the immigration rule book’ in order to show compassion where it is rightly needed. You may have also noticed that the Lords this week voted down a government clause, backed by our President Lord Green, that would make it possible to reject outright those who come without prior permission from safe countries. We can but hope that the government will reverse these seriously damaging amendments when the Bill returns to the Commons. The crisis in Ukraine helps to remind us just how important it is to have an effective and functioning asylum system. If we cannot separate abusive claims that game the system from those that are genuine, it becomes so much more difficult to provide the necessary refuge and support to those who need it most.
As media coverage was, quite rightly, dominated by events in Ukraine, more than 300 people have illegally arrived in boats from safe places since the start of March (see our Tracker). As crossings continue, it is crucial that the government keeps the public informed about this debacle as arrivals happen. Please sign and share our petition. You can also write to your MP.
Blog of the week
For months we’ve been keeping track of reported illegal entries with our Channel Tracking Station. Now, our figures of the number of boats that have crossed have, effectively, been confirmed by the Home Office with the release of its first ever statistics detailing irregular migration to the UK.
The government’s stated aim is to switch from daily boat crossing numbers to the much less transparent system of a quarterly publication of hazy figures, buried among others, and months after boats have arrived. This is outrageous. (Again, you can sign the petition to make your objections clear here.) One thing that the recently released Home Office figures underlined was our warnings that that there has been a huge rise in illegal immigration in recent years. They have gone from 13,700 in 2018 to more than 35,000 in 2021. Read our full blog here.
Migration Watch in the news
We have been in the media this week:
Migration Watch UK said it was “vital” to “help those facing devastation in Ukraine as best we can”, but expressed concerns regarding how the government was expected to house new arrivals.
“Only a few months ago the Home Secretary said we do not have the infrastructure or housing to accommodate new arrivals from Afghanistan. This is underlined by the fact that 37,000 migrants are in hotels. We have a housing, cost of living and health crisis, and the needs of the British public must not be ignored.”
And here are some other reactions to the week’s news from our Chairman Alp Mehmet:
Commenting on the shortfall of workers in Britain post-Brexit, driven by a decrease in the number of EU nationals receiving employment in the country (now covered by non-EU nationals working in Britain), Migration Watch UK Chairman Alp Mehmet said this was down to the “failure” of the UK Government.
He said in a post on Twitter: “[The] shortfall was as much due to our not training sufficient numbers and a failure to retain many of those we had.”
“What Sir Edward Leigh said was perfectly reasonable and reasoned. Large numbers arriving at short notice, whatever the circumstances, without proper arrangements in place, will serve the interests of no-one.”
Make your voice heard
|At least 1,800 people have come across the Channel, in nearly 60 boats, since the start of 2022. That is over triple the number detected and reported by this point last year. 28,526 migrants crossed in dinghies during 2021, the Home Office confirmed last week. A population the size of a large town – 40,854 people – has been reported coming illegally by boat since 1 January 2018. As the crisis in Ukraine continues, the Channel crisis at home is largely missing from the headlines, making it all the easier for politicians to avoid making tough decisions and to be held to account for our broken borders. Please remember to sign our petition and do write to your MP to help us hold the political class to account on reducing mass immigration. Migration Watch UK is looking for a researcher and operations director. Click here to learn more|