An independent review found that Britain’s response to the rise in migrants arriving in the country on tiny boats and traveling across the English Channel is inadequate and that officials are overburdened.
(AP) LONDON — An independent investigation found in a report released on Thursday that Britain’s response to the growing number of migrants crossing the English Channel on small boats is inadequate and that officials are overburdened on some days.
Among the negative assessments of the British government’s handling of immigration and asylum seekers, this week was a review by the chief inspector of borders and immigration David Neal.
Authorities are finding it difficult to handle the rising number of people leaving nations like Afghanistan, Somalia, and Iraq in search of asylum and better chances in the United Kingdom. Since the beginning of the year, over 15,100 migrants have arrived in Britain after traveling from France in unsafe boats like rubber dinghies across the English Channel, one of the busiest maritime lanes in the world. The amount is almost twice as high as the 7,735 figures from the previous summer.
The most people have crossed in a single day so far this year on April 13, when 651 passengers in 18 boats did so.
According to Neal, “the volume is unparalleled, and on some days the system is overburdened.”
“Systems, processes, and resourcing channels have been provided with “best effort,” even though they ought to be routine, standardized, auditable, and familiar months into the crisis. This is inadequate, he continued.
The department’s security check technology, according to Neal, is “frequently the first generation and unstable,” and its data is “inexcusably terrible.”
In just four months after coming to Britain, more than 200 immigrants fled from secure hotels, some without having their biometrics registered, according to his research.
The inspector claimed that his report was delivered to Priti Patel, the home secretary, in February and that it was due for publication in April. He expressed his “frustration” at the Home Office’s prolonged silence over his findings.
According to the Home Office, all of Neal’s recommendations have been taken on board, and the management of migrants coming in tiny boats has already altered.
Separate independent research that was also released on Thursday said that U.K. border officials’ efforts to stop migrants from sailing small boats to British shores had been “ineffective” and “potentially counter-productive.”
The boats used by the U.K. Border Force are not intended to be used for conducting search and rescue operations, according to that evaluation by former Australian immigration minister Alexander Downer.
The accusations of incapacity coincided with criticism of Britain’s increasingly strident efforts to halt the tiny boat crossings. The government and Rwanda reached a contentious agreement in April to send some migrants who had entered the U.K. illegally back there.
A last-minute intervention by the European Court of Human Rights caused the jet to be grounded before the first such deportation trip was about to depart last month.
The U.N. refugee agency and Church of England leaders have both criticised the action as immoral and harsh.
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