Boat Migrants Continue to Illegally Cross Channel
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Foreign migrants are continuing to illegally cross the English Channel in small boats, with over 300 individuals arriving in Britain on Sunday.

Despite harebrained attempts to stem the tide of arrivals by the UK government, illegal migrants are continuing to cross the English Channel in small boats in the hopes of arriving in Britain, with over 300 individuals making the perilous journey on Sunday alone.

While officials in the UK have been threatening new arrivals with a one-way trip to Rwanda should they come to Britain, this has not seemed to have stemmed the number of arrivals, though Sunday’s number has reportedly not yet been confirmed by the UK’s Ministry of Defence, which is now in charge of managing the crisis.

According to a report by The Times, nearly 8,000 people have made it to Britain after launching into the Channel on small boats this year, a number representing a nearly threefold increase on the figure who had made the journey this time last year.

The publication also notes that many of yesterday’s arrivals had to be rescued from choppy seas by the UK’s Border Force, as well as the water safety NGO the Royal National Lifeboat Institution.

Many of the new arrivals were reportedly taken to MOD Manston, a former Royal Air Force base that as well as being converted into an international airport has also been repurposed to process asylum seekers.

Speaking on the migrant boat arrivals, the minister in charge of dealing with illegal migration, Tom Pursglove, expressed his frustration at the rising number of people making the dangerous Channel crossing in small boats.

“Not only are they an overt abuse of our immigration laws but they also impact on the UK taxpayer, risk lives and our ability to help refugees come to the UK via safe and legal routes,” the Conservative Party official said. “Rightly, the British public has had enough.”

However, while Pursglove goes on to promise that new measures — including the government’s plan to export illegal migrants to Rwanda — will help remedy the situation, recent developments surrounding the migrant deterrence scheme have suggested that its effectiveness may ultimately be limited.

Firstly, documents from the UK Home Office appear to suggest that only 300 illegal migrants may be sent to Rwanda per year, an extremely small number considering over 28,000 migrants illegally landed in the country last year, and that as many as 100,000 could end up journeying to the island this year.

What’s more, of these migrants, those who claim to be transgender may be permitted to stay in the country despite the Rwanda plan, with a Home Office “Equality Impact Statement” finding that those who wish to switch gender may face human rights-breaching discrimination in the African country.

“We would undertake a case-by-case risk assessment when determining eligibility for relocation,” the equality document states regarding individuals who claim to be transgender.

“No one will be relocated if it is unsafe or inappropriate,” it goes on to confirm.

Follow Peter Caddle on Twitter: @Peter_Caddle
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