Displaying items by tag: border control
Last month you prayed for compassionate provisions for refugees (see). Now Tony Smith, the former head of UK Border Force, said that if the UK and France fail to agree joint Channel patrols, arrivals will reach crisis levels. He said, ‘They need to agree a treaty with a joint patrol where migrants picked up in the Channel can be returned to France to have asylum claims considered there. What I'm advocating is we try as best we can to replicate the juxtaposed controls for legitimate applicants in the same way as for illegitimate applicants. Over 200 migrants managed to cross to Britain in twenty boats in one day. If they want to come to the UK they need to make their case on the French side, and if they are found in the waterways or even make it as far as Dover we say, “I'm sorry but you go back there and that's where you will be interviewed and processed, on the French side”.’
1,775 migrants entered the UK in small boats this year: a record 741 landed in May. The French navy is escorting them across the Channel and into British waters as smugglers exploit legal maritime loopholes. By a 1974 law, all mariners must provide assistance to vessels in distress at sea. The small boats crossing the Channel are often overloaded and taking on water. When French vessels attempt to intercept them, migrants threaten to jump into the sea, or even throw children overboard. Their refusal to be rescued by French authorities puts lives at risk, so the French have no option but to shadow the boats into British waters, where migrants are safe, knowing they will be taken to Britain, not back to France. MPs are calling for new powers to return people to France.
Women in Tijuana shelters fear their children will be kidnapped after seeing groups of men approaching mothers and offering to purchase their children to expedite their asylum process. When children are accompanied by adults crossing the border, current US law stipulates that they are held in custody temporarily, then released with parents or guardians with whom they arrived while they wait for their asylum cases to be processed. Authorities are investigating claims of women being asked to sell their children for $350 (£280) each. Border authorities are aware that migrants crossing the border are using children that are not related to in order to more easily enter the U.S. Tijuana, known for its nightlife and shopping, is in Baja California State, and has no way of keeping track of migrant children, according to the pastor of Agape Mission shelter in south Tijuana.
The Co-operative Academy of Leeds has been working with human rights charity Karma Nirvana to end forced marriages and honour-based abuse. In school education lessons, students were given spoons which they could use if they feared they were being taken abroad to be married in the summer holidays. If they concealed them in their underwear, the spoons would trigger airport metal detectors, and the child would be taken to one side to be searched away from their parent or guardian. This would allow the youngster to tell airport staff that they were being forced into a marriage. Karma Nirvana’s helpline has taken nearly 70,000 calls in ten years. It has worked with the academy for five years, teaching pupils and staff how to be aware of this problem and how to get help if they are affected. See https://www.karmanirvana.org.uk/what-we-do/raising-awareness-education/
In May, Amnesty International said the US government must stop separating asylum-seeking parents from their children and denying them access to asylum procedures through prolonged detention when they present themselves at the US-Mexico border. On 20 June Donald Trump ended this policy, following days of public outrage. Many asylum-seekers are fleeing violent countries which abuse human rights (such as Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala). They usually cross Mexico in caravans, as travelling in a group is safer in dangerous places. Although Trump seeks to brand them as criminals, it is not a crime to seek asylum at official border posts. Recently members of a caravan and their representatives marched through the streets of Tijuana to the border crossing point saying, ‘We are not criminals, we are the hope of Latin America’.
Security at Calais is tight and Caen is becoming the point for illegal migrants to reach the UK. On 30 May the Road Haulage Association spoke of truckers running a gauntlet of violence and intimidation by migrants trying to cross into Britain. ‘We have evidence of real and present threats to lorry drivers’ lives. Lorries are forced to stop by makeshift roadblocks where migrant gangs attempt to get on board - frequently with threats of violence. There have been threats of rape towards female drivers. There is no question that the risk to drivers is significant and the situation is deteriorating.’ The RHA said that the French authorities need to do more to ensure that hauliers can operate safely. Drivers have the right to complete their journeys in safety and though the police and security forces are doing their best, they are heavily outnumbered. The RHA is calling for the deployment of the French military, who have the resources necessary to bring the situation under control.