More than 6,000 people have been brought ashore in the UK after crossing the English Channel in small boats so far this year. The Ministry of Defense has confirmed that 181 migrants crossed the UK on six boats on Good Friday (April 15), with more expected in good weather over the Easter weekend.
The Royal Navy on Thursday assumed “operational command” of the management of migrants crossing the English Channel as part of a shake-up that will see the planned transfer of asylum seekers to Rwanda. The government says the plan will limit migrant crossings of the Channel in small boats and prevent people from entering Britain by illegal means.
Anyone caught entering Britain illegally from January 1 can be sent to Rwanda where they will be allowed to seek asylum in the African country. But the measures faced a fierce backlash from opposition parties, some within the Conservative Party, and charities.
Read: Rwandan migrant plan ‘cannot stand the judgment of God’ – Archbishop of Canterbury
A total of 651 people across 18 boats were rescued or intercepted on Wednesday April 13, making it the highest number in one day so far this year. Another 562 arrived on Thursday from 14 boats, bringing the total for the year to 6,011 according to figures gathered by the PA news agency.
A record 1,185 people made the crossing to the UK on November 11, 2021 – the highest recorded so far since the start of 2020. In March this year, 3,066 people made the crossing. This is almost four times the amount recorded for the same month in 2021 (831) and more than 16 times the number recorded in March 2020 (187).
It is also the fourth highest monthly total on record since the start of 2020, behind July (3,510), September (4,652) and November (6,869) last year. A total of 28,395 people made the crossing in 2021, compared to 8,417 in 2020.
Among those who have criticized the plans are political commentator Nigel Farage, who criticized the Navy’s involvement in the plan and called it “a waste of time and resources”, saying the ships used are “too high” to pick up people. their role is limited to towing empty canoes. An MoD spokesperson said patrol vessels are being used to boost capacity in the English Channel until “more suitable” boats are found.
Elsewhere, the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby has also criticized the government’s plans. In his Easter sermon today (April 17), the Archbishop said that “outsourcing our responsibilities, even to a country that seeks to do well, like Rwanda, is against nature. of God who himself took responsibility for our failures”. .
The archbishop said there were “serious ethical questions about sending asylum seekers abroad”. He said: “Details are for politics. The principle must bear the judgment of God, and it cannot. She cannot bear the weight of the righteousness of resurrection, of life victorious over death. He cannot bear the weight of the resurrection which was at first least appreciated, because he privileges the rich and the strong.
In response, a Home Office spokesperson said: ‘The UK is proud to support those in need of protection and our resettlement schemes have provided safe and legal pathways to a brighter future for hundreds thousands of people around the world. However, the world is facing a global migration crisis of unprecedented proportions and change is needed to prevent despicable smugglers from putting people’s lives at risk and to fix the broken global asylum system. Rwanda is a fundamentally safe and secure country with a proven track record of supporting asylum seekers. Under this agreement, they will process applications in accordance with the UN Refugee Convention and national and international human rights laws.
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