Boris Johnson to announce new measures to tackle illegal immigration

While the British Prime Minister has made the fight against illegal immigration his priority after Brexit, crossings across the English Channel continue to increase in 2021.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is due to announce new measures on Thursday to tackle illegal immigration, including an agreement with Rwanda for migrant crossings across the English Channel after a record year.

According to Downing Street, Boris Johnson is due to announce measures to “dismantle smuggling structures, intensify operations in the Channel, bring more criminals to justice and end the barbaric trade in human suffering”.

The announcement of the new measures comes as the prime minister is struggling after being notified on Tuesday that he was to be fined for parties held in Downing Street during the lockdown, a scandal that has dented his long-standing popularity. has tarnished.

greater channel crossing

Although post-Brexit the Prime Minister has made the fight against illegal immigration his priority, crossings across the Channel continue to grow.

More than 28,500 people made these dangerous crossings in 2021, compared to 8,466 in 2020, 1,843 in 2019 and 299 in 2018, according to interior ministry data.

“Some 600 (migrants) crossed the channel yesterday,” the prime minister is to say on Thursday. “I understand that these people are looking for a better life… and look forward to a new beginning.”

“But those hopes, those dreams have been exploited. These smugglers abuse the vulnerable and turn the channel into an underwater graveyard.”

UNHCR’s concern

For months, Boris Johnson and his government have been seeking to end agreements with third countries to send migrants while waiting for their file to be processed. Rwanda and Ghana were mentioned, but Ghana strongly denied in January that it was discussing the matter with the United Kingdom.

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The British Parliament is also about to adopt a law that could authorize the creation of centers overseas to deport migrants while their applications are being processed or even allow the Coast Guard to evacuate migrants from British waters. can authorize.

According to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), this law, if adopted, would contradict the Geneva Convention for Refugees, which has been signed by the United Kingdom.

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