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Prison-like center to focus on UK response to immigration

London – Behind wire fences in the South East of England, children wave their arms and chant ‘Freedom’ to get the attention of those on the other side. A young girl throws a bottle with a message. “I need your help. Help me,” she wrote in a note.

Children are among the thousands of people incarcerated dangerous overcrowding at a closed airport that acts as a processing center for immigration Having recently arrived on the English shores after crossing the English Channel in a small boat.

The Kent center, located on the site of the former Royal Air Force Base, which was briefly used as a civilian Manston airport, was designed as a short-term processing facility to accommodate approximately 1,600 newcomers. Up to 4,000 people were staying there at one point this week, and some reportedly held him illegally for more than a month.

Independent government inspectors said they saw families sleeping on the floor in prison-like conditions, causing fires and health hazards. warned of the risk of an outbreak after being reported.

The newspaper headline “Welcome to England” was accompanied by a close-up photo of young children looking out from behind a metal fence.

Faced with the pressure of the situation, UK Home Secretary Suella Braverman defended the government’s policy, explaining the growing number of migrants arriving via the English Channel: invasion on our south coast. ‘ Her comments were widely denounced.

Situation in Manston village center attracts attention wider problem The UK asylum system is struggling to cope with a record number of small boat crossings at a time when border officials are trying to clear a flood of backlogged asylum claims.

“There is a perfect storm of more people of this kind coming, which the government has been warning about, mixed with a huge waiting list of about 100,000 people seeking asylum,” Jonathan said. Ellis said. Spokesperson for the British Refugee Council. “There is a lack of political will, a lack of political focus and therefore[lack of]relevant resources to really address this issue.”

about 40,000 People from countries including Iran, Afghanistan, Iraq and Albania have crossed one of the busiest sea routes in the world on dinghies and other unseaworthy boats from northern France so far this year to reach Britain. I hope to start a new life.

This is an all-time high and represents an exponential increase since 2018, when only 299 migrants were detected arriving in the UK in small boats without permits. official data Indicated. last yearthere were 28,536.

Dozens have died trying to pass, including 27 who died when a full smuggling vessel capsized in November 2021.

Known for her uncompromising approach to immigration, Braverman accused criminal gangs of facilitating travel and focused on what she called false claims by some people seeking refuge.

She told lawmakers in parliament this week, “Stop pretending they are all suffering refugees.” Critics in the department have accused Braverman of promoting anti-immigrant hatred.

“Since I arrived, government rhetoric has scapegoated immigrants and blamed us for the problems in this country. documentary maker Hassan Akkad, who fled Syria in search of

“If you have a home minister who compares asylum seekers to invading enemies, you are giving the public the green light to attack them.”

Overcrowding at the Manston Center reached a breaking point this week after hundreds were displaced from another nearby immigration processing center that was hit by a gasoline bomb. Police said the man who carried out the Oct. 30 attack and subsequently committed suicide was likely driven by “hateful grievances.”

Braverman also faced accusations of blocking hotel reservations for asylum seekers to ease overcrowding in Manston and ignoring legal advice on the matter.

Critics say the government’s incompetence in managing the UK asylum system extends beyond Manston, before Braverman became Home Secretary in September. The opposition Labor Party said last year only 4% of asylum claims that arrived by small boat were processed, meaning more than 100,000 people were waiting for their asylum claims to be considered. rice field.

The UK is a preferred destination in Europe for English-speaking immigrants and immigrants with family ties to the UK. Before the coronavirus pandemic, many tried to cross from northern France. hide in a cargo truck Passing through the Channel Tunnel. Travel restrictions due to COVID-19 and stringent security measures on route have made perilous sea travel more viable to enter the UK

But despite an unprecedented increase in the number of people arriving by small boat, the UK has received far fewer asylum seekers than many other European countries, including France, Germany and Italy. 48,540 people applied for asylum in the UK, compared to 148,200 in France and more than 103,000 in France.

controversial deal British government attacked Rwanda In April, it gained a reputation for being the most unwelcome. The agreement called for the deportation of some asylum seekers to African countries, where their applications were processed and successful applicants were allowed to remain in Rwanda. The plan was intended to stop people from entering the UK illegally, but so far no one has been deported due to legal challenges to the policy.

British authorities are also working with French authorities to try to block the crossing. tense quarrel However, after Liz Truss and her successor Rishi Sunak became prime ministers, relations appeared to improve.

In a phone call with French President Emmanuel Macron last week, Snack said Britain and France were “committed to deepening their partnership to deter the deadly journey across the Channel that benefits organized criminals. I am doing,” he said.

The Refugee Council’s Ellis said authorities ultimately need not focus on hostile rhetoric or deterrence, but more on safer routes for legitimate asylum seekers to apply for asylum. said there was a need.

“We need to challenge this political rhetoric that people should only come to this country through legal routes,” he said. “On the surface it makes sense, but for those trying to escape the Horn of Africa, where are they going? What are those safe routes? None.”


Sylvie Corbe of Paris contributed to this report.


Follow AP’s coverage of the global transition. https://apnews.com/hub/migration

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

https://www.local10.com/news/world/2022/11/05/prison-like-center-puts-focus-on-uks-response-to-migrants/ Prison-like center to focus on UK response to immigration

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