Displaying items by tag: migrants
Channel migrants - remove regardless
PM Richard Sunak has made ‘stopping the boats’ one of his top priorities, saying, ‘Make no mistake if you come here illegally, you will not be able to stay.’ He wants Channel migrants removed from the UK, banned from future re-entry and unable to apply for British citizenship under proposed new legislation. These tactical measures will apply to anyone arriving on UK shores in a small boat. The Refugee Council has criticised the plans and says that thousands of people will be left ‘permanently in limbo’ as a result. There are many reasons for seeking asylum in the UK. One of the main reasons, recognised in the 1951 UN Convention on Refugees, is Religious Persecution. Across the world today there is considerable religious persecution, mostly targeting Christians, so it is no surprise that Christians claim asylum in the UK on that basis. See However Christian persecution rarely makes the news.
Europe: migrants shipwrecked
Over 100 migrants died and 80 were recovered alive after their overloaded boat of 200+ people sank in rough seas off southern Italy. It was trying to land near Crotone. 43 bodies were recovered from a nearby beach resort. The migrants were from Iran, Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Somalia. Large numbers of people fleeing conflict and poverty cross from Africa to Italy each year. Italy’s prime minister Giorgia Meloni, who pledged to stem the migrant flow into Italy, expressed deep sorrow, blaming the deaths on traffickers. One survivor was arrested for migrant trafficking. Pope Francis, who often defends the rights of migrants, has said he is praying for the dead, the missing and those who survived. Sadly, 15 days earlier, 73 migrants went missing and were presumed dead after their boat sank off the Libyan coast in a boat en route to Europe on the world's deadliest migratory sea crossing.
Migrants given diphtheria jabs
Migrants at the Manston Airport detention centre are to be vaccinated against diphtheria after dozens of cases were confirmed. Diphtheria is contagious, infecting the nose, throat and sometimes the skin ,and can be fatal. The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) is working closely with the Home Office at the reception centre, where there are cases of diphtheria and other infections, including one unaccompanied child who had scabies. The UKHSA said accommodation settings should be considered ‘high-risk for infectious diseases with a high prevalence of toxigenic diphtheria infection’ and endorsed mass antibiotic prophylaxis and mass vaccination. Antibiotics and diphtheria vaccination are being offered to everyone at the centre and all who have moved on to hostels recently’. A national briefing was also sent to NHS staff to highlight ‘the importance of early diagnoses.
Mass migration has cost Britain dear
Some say that failure to plan for the millions of people coming to Britain is behind our current woes. Twenty years ago, Migration Watch UK said Britain could expect over two million immigrants every ten years unless curbs were introduced. The Home Office denounced the prediction, but the actual increase is far greater. Since 2002, the UK's population has grown by eight million. 80% of which is attributed to immigration: but no one talked about it. At the 2001 general election, parties promised ‘not to play the race card’ during their campaigns, so the impact of extensive immigration was closed. By the 2005 election it could not be ignored. Population increase is now the fastest in history. Recruiting overseas professionals (doctors, teachers, etc.) helps support our growing needs. However, the extra hospitals, schools, GP surgeries, houses, transport links and the like that are required for such a large number of people have not been provided in sufficient quantity.
Record-breaking day for Channel migrants
On 1 August almost 700 migrants crossed the English Channel in 14 small boats, a record for the year so far. The French authorities stopped one boat at sea with 35 people on board. Government figures state over 17,000 people have arrived in the UK after navigating busy shipping lanes from France in small boats so far in 2022. Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak have both vowed to toughen controls on migration into the UK as part of their bids to become next Tory leader and prime minister. Mr Sunak said he would tighten the definition of who qualifies for asylum and introduce a cap on refugee numbers. Ms Truss said she would increase the number of Border Force staff and extend the UK's Rwanda asylum plan. However, no asylum seekers have been sent to the East African country yet following a series of legal challenges. See
10,000 migrants already this year
10,057 migrants have now crossed from France to the UK since January. This time last year the figure for small boat arrivals with people fleeing wars and persecution was 4,200. They are desperate for sanctuary as they navigate dangerous and busy shipping lanes in dinghies and kayaks. They have no entry visas or permission to gain entry, yet they continue to come. There are fears of it being a record-breaking year for migrant crossings despite crackdowns and threats of deportation to Rwanda. There is concern that the Government’s flagship plan to end the people-smuggling risks failure. A hundred Home Office notices of removal to Uganda have been sent to migrants, and 17 failed asylum seekers at a detention centre staged a five-day hunger strike over the policy. The first flight will leave on 14 June, but last-minute legal challenges are expected. Pray for God to give compassion to negotiators helping anxious refugees, and for the Holy Spirit to comfort and heal victims of war and human rights abuses.
Greece: Pope condemns treatment of migrants
Speaking on the Greek island of Lesbos, Pope Francis said the migrants there were being used for political propaganda. He urged people to focus on the causes of migration, such as ‘forgotten wars’, instead of punishing those suffering from their effects. He criticised building walls to keep people out. Saying that there are people persisting in treating the problem as something that doesn’t concern them, history teaches us ‘narrow self-interest and nationalism lead to disastrous consequences.’ The pandemic showed that major challenges must be confronted together and there were some signs of this in climate change, but little sign of such an approach to migration. He spoke in front of refugees but aimed all comments at European political leaders. His words betrayed frustration at ‘the failure of politicians to adequately address the migrant issue’.
27 migrants drowned in Channel
Pregnant women and three children were among 27 Kurds from Iraq and Iran who drowned trying to cross the Channel. Two male survivors are being treated for exhaustion and hypothermia in a Calais hospital. A criminal investigation has been opened; five men are suspected of direct involvement in the attempted crossing. The bodies were brought by boat and helicopter to Calais, where volunteers with local migrant aid associations lit candles and held aloft placards reading ‘How many more?’ Despite the terrible loss of life, crossings have continued. The next morning forty migrants were brought to Dover by a lifeboat. It is windy on the water and extremely cold, but the determination to get to the UK remains as strong as ever. Boris Johnson said that there are ‘difficulties’ persuading France ‘to do things in a way that the situation deserves’; it was clear French attempts to stop the migrant boats leaving ‘haven't been enough’.
Polish PM holds talks in Europe on border crisis
Last weekend Polish prime minister Mateusz Morawiecki met his counterparts from Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia, also hit by migrant pressure in recent months. During the week he has travelled to other European countries, which he did not name. Morawiecki said on Facebook that it is a ‘very serious geopolitical situation’ which requires a lot of diplomatic effort as many migrants remain in Belarus and continue attempting to enter Poland. ‘This is why I set out on a journey to other European countries, to talk about the international crisis provoked by the actions of Alexander Lukashenko. Unfortunately, there are numerous signs suggesting that this geopolitical crisis will continue for many months, even years’, Morawiecki said. Poland is pushing the migrants back to protect the border for all of Europe and has received words of support from the EU, NATO and the USA.
Belarus / Poland: border crisis
On 17 November Belarus provided temporary shelter for 1,000 freezing hungry migrants camping on its border with Poland, wanting to enter the EU. For months, thousands of men, women and children have been amassing at Belarus's western borders. Belarus has been accused of pushing migrants, mostly from Iraq, to the border to destabilise the EU. Belarus's long-time authoritarian leader, Alexander Lukashenko, has denied luring migrants to the border in revenge for EU sanctions. Iraqi Airways confirmed it would send a plane to Belarus on 18 December to take its citizens home. The EU has asked Middle Eastern countries to stop flights to Belarus; several have agreed. Poland, with EU backing, is determined not to let the migrants into the bloc and warned that the border and humanitarian crisis may go on for months. The situation will not be resolved quickly. See also