Immigration crisis and asylum controversy around the world. The crisis has recently intensified in France and the United Kingdom. Immigration aspirants are facing a humanitarian catastrophe.
Last Saturday (December 16) was International Migrants Day. UN member states have been observing the day since the 1990s to protect the interests of migrants. Yet the security and rights of millions of migrants scattered around the world have not been established.
Most of the refugees migrate to their neighboring countries. Last November, at the risk of their lives, a thousand immigrants flocked to the UK in a single day, crossing the English Channel from France. This is the first time that so many immigrants have entered the UK in a single day. In addition, 25,000 people have crossed the Channel into the UK so far this year. This is almost three times more than last year. France is proving that it is failing to stop the migration of its people.
The last time 137 migrants were rescued from the English Channel was on December 16. The rescuers were trying to reach Britain by raft from France.
In recent years, 45,000 French people have sought refuge in the United Kingdom. They all crossed the channel in small boats and reached there. Not that these refugees are very happy to go to the UK. They are encamped in secluded areas away from the city. The situation there is very miserable.
Three million seven million refugees have been resettled in Turkey from Syria since 2014. By comparison, the UK’s refugee rate is less than one per cent. “One day, a 14-year-old girl died while I was on a ship,” said Brendon Woodhouse, a volunteer with the refugee agency. I could not save him. The scene of his death still floats before my eyes. No one there knew his name, did not know his identity, did not know anything. We can’t float anyone in the sea like this. No one wants to be swept away like this.
On November 26, 26 migrants died while crossing the English Channel from France. About 25 boats tried to cross the channel that day. In the last 20 years, more than three hundred and fifty immigrants have died. But why are they choosing the path of life crisis? The English Channel enters the UK by boat, mostly from France. Since 2020, there have been 85 cases involving boats belonging to the English Channel in the United Kingdom and about 300 people have been arrested in France.
Researchers from the International Journal of Health surveyed a camp in France where only 12 percent of the population wanted to stay. The remaining 72 percent planned to move to England. The reason is that 52% of people say they have family members in the UK. But French Interior Minister Gerald Dermanin says the UK job market often attracts immigrants.
According to the United Nations refugee agency, the United Kingdom is the fifth largest country in Europe in accepting immigrant applications. In 2020, the country received more than 36,000 asylum seekers. Under international law, anyone in the world can seek asylum in any country. It is his right. Meanwhile, laws have been proposed in the UK to prevent illegal immigrants. The law carries a maximum sentence of 14 years in prison for helping anyone enter the UK by boat. If this law is passed, volunteers and rescue workers will also be in danger.
However, the European Union (EU) Dublin Act provides for the repatriation of asylum seekers. Twenty-two immigrants have been deported in the last two years under that law. However, due to the UK’s exit from the EU, the law does not apply to them. As a result, the migration process is becoming more difficult.
Anyone can be a refugee for five years in the UK. After that, they can apply for permanent residency in the UK. They may also be allowed to stay for other humanitarian reasons. If there is a serious risk of them returning to the mainland. Such as- death penalty, unlawful killing, torture or inhuman or degrading treatment, threat of civilian life from armed conflict etc.
If the UK rejects the asylum seeker’s application, there is no chance of staying in the UK under any circumstances. Immigrants must leave the UK. However, the UK has the opportunity to appeal the decision. That’s why immigrants can get legal help. This takes years and years. Until then, the country also has financial and receptive benefits. From 2004 to 2020, 30 per cent of people appealed to stay in the UK.
In 1939, W. H. Auden wrote in a poem, “Refugee Blues,” “If you do not have a passport, you are officially dead.” But we are still alive. My dear, we are still alive. ‘So the only solution to the immigration crisis is to enter a country legally. Entering with a valid passport. In contrast, there is death or uncertainty.
How much more is this game of losing one’s life in the hope of a better life. The world community must think seriously now.