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A gathering storm: Radical plans are afoot to stop migrants crossing over to the UK

An enforcement raid on illegal migrants and a docked barge to accommodate asylum seekers have split the UK citizens' opinion on the migrants' plight

Published: Jun 19, 2023 05:04:18 PM IST
Updated: Jun 19, 2023 05:14:07 PM IST

Rishi Sunak, the UK Prime Minister, has made cracking down on illegal migration one of his government’s top priorities ahead of a general election, possibly next year. Sunak, dressed in a bullet-proof vest, joined the enforcement officials on a raid as part of a nationwide crackdown on illegal migration, which ended in the arrest of over a hundred foreign nationals. Since Sunak drew out a plan last year to “stop the boats” crossing illegally into the UK, arrests have doubled compared to the same period last year.

A gathering storm: Radical plans are afoot to stop migrants crossing over to the UKImage: Hugh Hastings/Getty Images
Bibby Stockholm, the 222-bedroom, three-story accommodation barge set to be used by the UK government to house up to 500 single male asylum seekers, will be positioned in Portland Port in Dorset. It is currently undergoing inspection and refurbishment in Falmouth, England, as of June 14, 2023. The government’s plan is to place the asylum seekers in as basic an accommodation as possible within international law, to make it a disincentive for migrants who cross the Channel in small boats to get to the UK.

A gathering storm: Radical plans are afoot to stop migrants crossing over to the UKImage: Ben Birchall/PA Images via Getty Images
A view of the Portland marina and the Portland Harbour area in Dorset, the site selected by the UK Home Office for the docking of the migrant barge. While the barge will have security, as well as catering, asylum seekers are not detained and are free to go into Portland. The local conservative council are concerned that there will be no control over where the migrants go and what they do in a very sensitive seaside town.

Also read: World Refugee Day: 10 biggest displacements in recent years

A gathering storm: Radical plans are afoot to stop migrants crossing over to the UKImage: Finnbarr Webster/Getty Images
Campaigners hand out ‘Refugees welcome here, not the prison barge' leaflets after the public meeting with the Home Office over the migrant barge on June 06, 2023, in Portland, England. The public meeting held at the All Saints Church in Easton provided residents with the opportunity to give their views and ask questions about the migrant barge, which is scheduled to arrive in Portland in the coming weeks.

A gathering storm: Radical plans are afoot to stop migrants crossing over to the UKImage: Susannah Ireland/Pool/ Reuters
British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak stands alongside an immigration van at Wembley Police Station in northwest London, Britain, June 15, 2023. Sunak, dressed in a bullet-proof vest, joined the enforcement officials on a raid as part of a nationwide crackdown on illegal migration, which ended in the arrest of over a hundred foreign nationals.

A gathering storm: Radical plans are afoot to stop migrants crossing over to the UKImage: Volke/DeFodi/ Getty Images
Illegal Migrants attempt to flee to the UK aboard an inflatable rubber dinghy on June 10, 2023, in Equihen-Plage, France. British PM Rishi Sunak and French President Emmanuel Macron had met at a summit in March aimed at improving military and business ties and toughening efforts against Channel migrant crossings.

Also read: World's 'most neglected' refugee crises are all in Africa: report

A gathering storm: Radical plans are afoot to stop migrants crossing over to the UKImage: PRU / AFP
A video grab shows Britain's Home Secretary Suella Braverman presenting Government legislation aimed at curbing illegal migrant boat arrivals at the House of Commons in London on March 7, 2023. Unveiling radical plans to stop migrants, Braverman said: “Illegal working harms our communities, cheats honest workers out of employment and defrauds the public purse as no taxes are paid.”

A gathering storm: Radical plans are afoot to stop migrants crossing over to the UKImage: Jordan Pettitt/PA Images via Getty Images
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and wife, Akshata Murty, host a big lunch for Ukrainian refugees in the UK, among volunteers and youth groups, to mark the coronation of  King Charles III and Queen Camilla in Downing Street, London, on May 7, 2023. “I am proud to welcome Ukrainians forced to flee their homes and some incredible community heroes to Downing Street for our very own coronation lunch to celebrate this historic moment,” said Sunak.

Also read: 5 days, 660,000 people: Moscow's Ukraine invasion sets off Europe's fastest migration in decades

A gathering storm: Radical plans are afoot to stop migrants crossing over to the UKImage: Alberto Pezzali - WPA Pool/Getty Images
Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni greets Prime Minister Rishi Sunak at 10 Downing Street on April 27, 2023, in London, England. Italy's far-right Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni made her first visit to the UK since her election last October, looking to strengthen ties between the UK and Italy and shared commonality on ‘concerns over migrant boats’.

A gathering storm: Radical plans are afoot to stop migrants crossing over to the UKImage: Susannah Ireland / AFP
A flag-waving nationalist, anti-immigration protester is surrounded by police officers during a march in Dover, England, on March 4, 2023. Dover has seen frequent pro-and anti-migrant demonstrations this year, while 51,000 refugees approx are currently lodged in hotels while their asylum claims are being processed.

Also read: Victims of the weather: How climate change is creating more refugees than other conflicts

A gathering storm: Radical plans are afoot to stop migrants crossing over to the UKImage: Gareth Fuller/PA via Getty Images
Little Amal, a 3.5 metre-tall giant puppet representing a ten-year-old Syrian refugee child, leads an early evening walk along Brighton Beach, UK, on March 30, 2023. The 3.5m puppet has travelled over 9,000km to 13 countries across Europe to spread a message of hope and solidarity for displaced people everywhere.

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