English Channel: The "death journey” to the UK
In recent months, the number of migrants who attempted crossing the English Channel from northern France to enter the UK has dramatically been increased. Comparing to the last year, only in the last six months of 2021 the number has reached a peak and about 6000 migrants have successfully entered the UK.
Such sharp rise of migrants who attempt to cross the Channel to Britain comes after the UK government declared that the new migration law will be discussed in the parliament during this week. The UK Home Secretary Priti Patel has already warned the smugglers and migrants who are trying illegally to cross the UK border and seeking asylum will face long prison sentences. According to the new upcoming legislations, entering the UK without permission will consider as a criminal offence. Added to that, the migrants who found guilty might face up to four-year prison whereas, smugglers maybe face life sentences- up from 14 years.
People are risking their life to make such dangerous and illegal "death journey" and paying smugglers thousands of pounds to reach the British territories and then claiming to be an asylum seeker. Due to the appalling condition in Calais north France, criminal gangs using such a situation to put their benefits even before those migrants are crossing the Channel. The smugglers, therefore, are preferred to choose boat crossing as it is easy to enter and not expensive for them that cost about £4,000 with an inflatable and engine, and the smugglers usually charge every person between £3,500 and £5,000. Added to that, putting more people in boats including children, people's life became in more danger during the journey, and many migrants have lost their lives in previous years.
Arguably, people are risking their lives when crossing the English Channel using boats as currently, they are aware of the new UK legislation that will take place soon. That is why the migrant's number who had chosen to cross the Channel has been increased and eventually, this route will be closed in front of smugglers at first because of hard punishment. The new plan for immigration legislation might take place soon as the UK Home Secretary Priti Patel has confirmed that and she added that "We will welcome people through safe and legal routes whilst preventing abuse of the system". As a result, different human rights organisations are criticising such way of dealing with all migrants who are seeking asylum in the UK. There are many people who have been forced to leave their homeland due to civil wars, and such conditions will carry on as still various of migrants are coming from conflict-affected areas such as Syria, Yemen, and Sudan. death journey
by: Zara Saleh levant