First News

NAVY AT THE CROSSING

- Society · Immigration · Human Rights · English Channel · United Kingdom · European Union · Dover · Kent · Kent County · France · Priti Patel · Government of the United Kingdom · Iran · Kent County Council · Amnesty International UK

HOME Sec­re­tary Priti Pa­tel has asked the Royal Navy to pre­vent des­per­ate mi­grants from crossing the English Chan­nel to get into the UK.

A mi­grant is any child or adult who leaves their coun­try to live else­where. Some leave for rea­sons such as war or vi­o­lence, and hope to be granted of­fi­cial refugee sta­tus, which would mean they could stay and make a new home; th­ese mi­grants are known as asy­lum seek­ers.

This week, a lot of peo­ple were talk­ing about the num­ber of mi­grants at­tempt­ing the danger­ous jour­ney across the English Chan­nel to get to the UK from main­land Europe. Last Thurs­day, 235 peo­ple made the crossing into Dover in Kent – the record for a sin­gle day. That same day, Kent County Coun­cil said it took care of 23 mi­grant chil­dren who had made the danger­ous jour­ney with­out any fam­ily. More than 4,000 mi­grants trav­el­ling in small boats have suc­cess­fully crossed the Chan­nel from France into the UK this year.

Some Con­ser­va­tive MPs say that too many mi­grants are be­ing al­lowed into the UK af­ter mak­ing the crossing and are de­mand­ing tougher ac­tion. This is one of the rea­sons why Priti Pa­tel has asked the Navy to help.

How­ever, Amnesty In­ter­na­tional UK’s Refugee and Mi­grant Rights Pro­gramme Di­rec­tor, Steve ValdezSy­monds, de­scribed the re­quest as “un­law­ful, reck­less and danger­ous”.

He added: “What is needed is co-op­er­a­tion with France to share re­spon­si­bil­ity for pro­vid­ing a place of safety, in­clud­ing the UK Govern­ment re­unit­ing fam­i­lies and en­abling more peo­ple to travel safely to make asy­lum claims in this coun­try.”

Mrs Pa­tel said that she is “ab­so­lutely com­mit­ted to mak­ing this in­cred­i­bly danger­ous route” too tough for mi­grants to cross.

One of our Kid­ver­sa­tion films made with the BFI, Sky Kids and FYI is about a young refugee from Iran called Ar­ven. You can watch his story at first.news/ar­ven­refugee.

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