Through its Prime Minister Boris Johnson, the United Kingdom announced this Thursday, April 14 a project to entrust the surveillance of the Channel to the Royal Navy and to return immigrants who entered the territory illegally to Rwanda.
In keeping with his promise made during the Brexit campaign, Boris Johnson has toughened his tone on measures to reduce illegal immigration to the United Kingdom, one month before a local election deadline.
“From today (…) anyone entering the UK illegally as well as those who have arrived illegally since January 1 can now be relocated to Rwanda,” the Conservative party leader announced Thursday in a statement. speech.
To achieve its ends, the British government will finance the device to the tune of 120 million pounds, or 144 million euros. For its part, the African country has opened up the possibility for immigrants to “settle permanently in Rwanda if they so wish”.
Illegal Channel crossings tripled in 2021
According to the British Home Office, the number of illegal Channel crossings tripled in 2021, with 28,500 people recorded in 2021, compared to 8,466 in 2020 and 299 in 2018.
Publicized with the tragic death of 27 migrants in a shipwreck last November, the problem of illegal immigration to the United Kingdom has strained relations with France.
“Our compassion may be endless but our ability to help people is not,” said Boris Johnson, adding that “those who try to cut the queue or abuse our system will have no automatic route to settle in our country but will be returned in a quick and humane way to a safe third country or their country of origin”.
A strongly criticized project
To fight more effectively against this form of immigration, the British government on Thursday entrusted the control of illegal crossings of the Channel to the Navy. He also announced the end of the accommodation of these migrants in hotels, favoring reception centers instead, as is the case in Greece.
Criticized for its inhumanity, this bill has made associations and organizations for the defense of human rights jump. Amnesty International slammed “a scandalously ill-conceived idea” that “will cause suffering while wasting huge sums of public money”, also criticizing Rwanda’s “dismal human rights record”.
The opposition said the Prime Minister was trying to distract after being fined for a birthday party despite the lockdown in place.