Asylum Seekers in Calais
The news headlines this week have been dominated by the story of a new wave of illegal immigrants attempting to enter the United Kingdom via the Channel tunnel. In today’s blog post we will examine the story itself as well as the reasons behind illegal immigration to the United Kingdom and potential solutions to combat this.
According to The Guardian (Source) ‘On Monday, about 2,000 attempts were made to get to the tunnel, then 1,500 more on Tuesday night and Wednesday morning’. Whilst illegal immigrants attempting to enter the United Kingdom via the channel tunnel is not a recent phenomenon this year has seen an increase with an estimated 185,000 migrants entering Southern Europe from Nothern Africa with many settling across Europe and others moving through the continent aiming to reach Britain.
Why do immigrants attempt to enter the United Kingdom Illegally?
This question is rather difficult to answer as there are often a myriad of complex factors that contribute to an individual’s reasons for attempting to enter the United Kingdom illegally. However, one of the main factors is undoubtably of a humanitarian nature. Many who attempt to enter the United Kingdom are often fleeing war torn countries, genocide and religious or political persecussion, others migrate for economic reasons (trying to find work) and others simply are looking for a better life (escaping from poverty and economic hardship).
Where do Asylum seekers in the United Kingdom come from?
According to the U.N Refugee Agency asylum seekers in the U.K for the first quarter of 2015 come from the following countries (Source)
- Eritrea (3,239),
- Pakistan (2,711),
- Syria (2,081),
- Iran (2,011),
- Albania (1,576),
- Sudan (1,449),
- Sri Lanka (1,282),
- Afghanistan (1,136),
- Nigeria (875),
- India (689)
Are there solutions to what is occurring in Calais?
As seen by the diverse motives of asylum seekers and illegal attempts to enter the United Kingdom, there is no one real solution to this complex and sad situation. However, I believe that the answer can be divided into two parts.
Firstly, is there a solution to actually physically stopping a person who tries to illegally enter the United Kingdom through Calais and the Euro tunnel? Yes, increased police or miltary patrols will clearly catch more immigrants who are trying to enter lorries or the Channel Tunnel. In addition to this an increase in surveillance cameras and the construction of, not only more fences, but biggger fences would make it more difficult to reach the United Kingdom. However, these migrants are in such a desperate situation that any physical deterrent will not stop them.
The second solution however is much more complex and involves huge geopolitical changes that are difficult, if not impossible for any one country to implement. In order to tackle the flow of illegal immigration the root causes of why immigrants flee their country need to be tackled. Of course, wars, persecussion and economic disaprity cannot be solved overnight but to truely tackle illegal immigration these reasons need to be discussed. Therefore, the sad reality is that there will always be illegal immigrants who attempt to enter the United Kingdom as there will always be global conflict, wars and economic hardship. Obviously these numbers increase when there are global conflicts and, as previously discussed, the root causes of this type of migration are, sadly, almost impossible to stop.
One thing that must change is the lack of compassion and human kindness shown towards these people. Many have left their lives, homes and family in other countries and are in need of help desperately. Whilst we may not be able to stop the causes of illegal immigration we can certainly show more understanding and compassion towards those who walk its perilous path.
Westkin Associates have experience in dealing with Asylum cases in the United Kingdom and our team of specialist lawyers can assist you in exploring your available options. For more information contact us on 0207 118 4546 or via firstname.lastname@example.org
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