Great Britain has ordered two more Maxi-passengers to accommodate migrants seeking asylum. This was announced yesterday by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak (photo), at a press conference in which he defended his immigration plan. After seeing record numbers of arrivals last year, Sunak vowed to stop cross-channel crossings from northern Europe, mostly via small boats. Delays in processing applications have put pressure on the government, particularly with regard to housing while applications are being considered. During a visit to the English Channel port of Dover, Sunak announced new sites at former Royal Air Force bases to host “hundreds” of migrants over the coming months. He said “nearly 3,000” will be hosting there by the end of the year. “To reduce pressure on local communities, we will also host people on board,” he said. “The first one will arrive in Portland next week, and today we got two more hosting another 1,000,” the prime minister announced.
Brexiteers have made “taking back control” of the country’s borders a key point of their campaign to leave the European Union. With the UK now out of the European Union, immigration remains a hot political issue, particularly as next year’s general election approaches. Last month, Sunak said levels of legal immigration were “very high” and announced restrictions on family visas for international students. Sunak said the asylum system had been “overwhelmed” by exploitative criminal gangs. However, asylum applications are still much lower than those from European countries such as France and Germany. Then the head of the British government reported that “Channel crossings have decreased by 20% compared to last year,” asserting instead that “illegal immigrants entering the rest of Europe have increased by 30%.” As the UK is no longer part of the EU’s immigration policy, the government has established resettlement schemes with individual continental European countries. A new multi-million dollar partnership has also been signed with France to prevent small boats from crossing in the first place. But the controversial deal to deport migrants to Rwanda who did not receive asylum has been denounced by human rights groups and blocked in court.
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