Another sign of draconian crack-down on refugees and migrants are indicated by UK proposals to introduce hardline measures.
The immigration minister, Chris Philp, called for migrants caught crossing the Channel to be fingerprinted and face “real consequences” to discourage refugees and illegal migrants from seeking sanctuary and has been met with alarm.
Suggested measures to make crossing the Channel “unviable”, outlined in an article for the Daily Telegraph, are also understood to include taking migrants into custody for breaking the law and back to French ports rather than to the UK. Ministers are considering blocking migrant boats in the Channel before they enter British waters, modelled on Australian tactics used against migrants arriving by boats from neighbouring Indonesia.
Charities have criticised the lack of legal routes to claim asylum in the UK and called for safe and legal routes to do so.
Stephen Hale, chief executive of Refugee Action, said: “It’s deeply troubling the government is trying to shirk its responsibility to help people fleeing from some of the world’s most violent and oppressive countries. Britain is better than this. Refugees deserve better than this. We must step up alongside other countries and make our contribution to the global refugee crisis. The government must urgently restart its hugely successful refugee resettlement programme, on hold since March, and make a long-term commitment to this. It must also finally reform the restrictive rules on family reunion so that families are not kept apart.”