At least 430 asylum seekers crossed the English Channel towards Great Britain on Monday. As announced by the British government on Tuesday, the number surpassed the previous daily high of 416 people in September 2020.
The number of refugees has been increasing since the beginning of 2020, who often cross the straits in overcrowded rubber dinghys. When summer weather is favorable, a particularly large number of people climb the dangerous crossing. Fewer refugees applied for asylum in Great Britain in 2020 than in previous years, according to a report in the Guardian. With 29,456 people, there were significantly fewer applications than France (93,475) and Germany (121,955).
On Monday, a rubber dinghy carrying about 50 people, including women and young children, reached the coast in Kent, in the south of England. When they reached the shore, some of them gleefully raised their hands.
According to the government, about 8,500 people entered Great Britain illegally across the English Channel last year. Most of them begin their perilous journey in France. However, both the governments argue about the solution to the problem.
Britain gives money for border guards in France
Great Britain now wants to take action against illegal migration with a new law. The maximum sentence for refugees entering the UK illegally is to be increased from six months to four years. Convicted smugglers have to face life imprisonment. Great Britain pays 55 million pounds (equivalent to 62.7 million euros) to France to strengthen border controls. The coast of France should also be better monitored by the wind.
Home Minister Priti Patel said in Parliament on Monday, “This law will eventually tackle the problems that have led to the collapse of the illegal migration system.”
Aid organizations criticize that the law does not fight the cause of flight.