AP

Report: UK clearly overwhelmed by surge in migrant crossings

Jul 21, 2022, 7:02 AM | Updated: 9:04 am

LONDON (AP) — Britain’s response to growing numbers of migrants crossing the English Channel on small boats is poor and officials are clearly overwhelmed on some days, an independent inspection found in a report published Thursday.

The review by David Neal, the chief inspector of borders and immigration, was among critical reports published this week on the British government’s handling of migration and asylum-seekers.

Authorities have been struggling to cope with an increasing flow of people fleeing countries such as Afghanistan, Somalia and Iraq to seek asylum and better opportunities in the U.K. Since the start of the year, around 15,100 people have reached British shores after crossing the English Channel — one of the world’s busiest shipping lanes — from France in unseaworthy vessels like rubber dinghies. The figure is almost double the 7,735 recorded last summer.

On April 13, 651 people made the crossing in 18 boats — the highest daily total so far this year.

“The volume is unprecedented, and on some days the system is clearly overwhelmed,” Neal said.

“Systems, processes and resourcing pathways, which months into the crisis should be routine, codified, auditable and familiar, have been delivered at ‘best effort.’ This is not good enough,” he added.

Neal described the department’s data as “inexcusably awful” and said its security check equipment was “often first generation and unreliable.”

More than 200 migrants absconded from secure hotels after arriving in Britain in just four months, his report found, and some didn’t have their biometrics recorded.

The inspector said his report was submitted to Home Secretary Priti Patel in February and should have been published in April. He said he was “frustrated” by the way the Home Office sat on his findings for months.

The Home Office said it has accepted all of Neal’s recommendations and it has already changed the way it managed migrants arriving in small boats.

A separate independent report, also published Thursday, said U.K. border officials have been “ineffective” and “possibly counter-productive” in preventing migrants from making small boat journeys to British shores.

That review, by former Australian immigration minister Alexander Downer, said the U.K. Border Force’s boats aren’t designed for conducting search and rescue operations.

The charges of incompetency came amid criticism of Britain’s increasingly tough measures to try to stop the small boat crossings. In April, the government agreed on a controversial deal with Rwanda to deport some migrants who entered the U.K. illegally to the east African country.

The first such deportation flight was scheduled to take off last month, but the plane was grounded after a last-minute intervention from the European Court of Human Rights.

Opponents, including Church of England leaders and the U.N. refugee agency, have condemned the move as immoral and inhumane.

___

Follow AP’s coverage of migration issues at https://apnews.com/hub/migration

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Rudy Giuliani...

Associated Press

Rudy Giuliani is the final defendant to serve indictment in Arizona fake elector case

Rudy Giuliani has been served an indictment in Arizona's fake elector case for his role in an attempt to overturn the 2020 election.

17 hours ago

Houston storms cause widespread damage on Friday...

Associated Press

Some in Houston facing no power for weeks after storms cause widespread damage, killing at least 4

Houston storms cause widespread damage on Friday, May 17. Thunderstorms hit the southeastern part of Texas, killing at least four people.

2 days ago

Man gets 30 years in prison for attacking ex-Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband with a hammer...

Associated Press

Man gets 30 years in prison for attacking ex-Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband with a hammer

A man has been sentenced to 30 years in prison for attacking the husband of then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi with a hammer.

2 days ago

audio from President Joe Biden’s interview about classified documents blocked...

Associated Press

GOP advances Garland contempt charges after White House exerts executive privilege over Biden audio

The move to release audio from President Joe Biden’s interview about classified documents was blocked on Thursday by the White House.

3 days ago

Asylum processing for new migrants: Changes could come soon...

Associated Press

The Biden administration is planning more changes to quicken asylum processing for new migrants

The Biden administration is planning to quicken the asylum processing for new migrants as an interim step rather than an executive order.

4 days ago

Record-setting rally for U.S. stocks reflects inflation slowing down...

Associated Press

Stock market today: Asian shares advance after another round of Wall St records

The S&P 500 jumped 1.2% to top its prior high set a month and a half ago. This move reflects a record-setting rally for U.S. stocks.

4 days ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Midwestern University

Midwestern University Clinics: transforming health care in the valley

Midwestern University, long a fixture of comprehensive health care education in the West Valley, is also a recognized leader in community health care.

...

DISC Desert Institute for Spine Care

Sciatica pain is treatable but surgery may be required

Sciatica pain is one of the most common ailments a person can face, and if not taken seriously, it could become one of the most harmful.

...

Collins Comfort Masters

Avoid a potential emergency and get your home’s heating and furnace safety checked

With the weather getting colder throughout the Valley, the best time to make sure your heating is all up to date is now. 

Report: UK clearly overwhelmed by surge in migrant crossings