Illegal migrants queueing up to enter UK, waiting for Labour government: Sunak

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has criticised Labour leader Keir Starmer, claiming that illegal migrants were waiting in Calais, France, for a potential Labour government that would allow them to stay in Britain. Sunak said Starmer lacked a plan to address the migrant boat crisis and would reverse the Rwanda policy.
Illegal migrants queueing up to enter UK, waiting for Labour government: Sunak
Anjali Raj / Jaano Junction

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has claimed that illegal migrants were "queuing up in Calais", a port city in France, waiting for a Labour government under Keir Starmer that would allow them to stay in Britain. Sunak said Starmer lacked a plan to tackle the migrant boat crisis and would reverse the Rwanda policy to fly out immigrants if elected.

The UK Home Office reported a record number of Channel migrants for the first six months of the year, with 12,901 arrivals. This surpasses the previous record of 12,747 arrivals from January to June 2022. Over the past six-and-a-half years, 127,246 people have crossed the Channel to reach the UK.

Sunak defended his government's stance on migration, stating that a Labour government would "release everyone we've detained" and "leave them out on the streets", reported The Standard.

This assertion has been seen as an attempt to sway public opinion against the Labour Party and its leader, Keir Starmer, ahead of a general election to be held on July 4.

"Those illegal migrants will not be on planes to Rwanda," Sunak said during The Sun's Never Mind the Ballots election debate. "They will be out on our streets putting pressure on public services. And by the way, I can tell you now they are queuing up in Calais waiting for a Starmer government so that they can come here and stay here," reported The Daily Mail.

Keir warned that the backlog of asylum claims would double by year's end if the Conservatives remained in power.

"There are currently 50,000 people waiting for processing. If Rishi Sunak continues as Prime Minister, this number will reach 100,000 by the end of the year," he stated, according to The Standard.

In April 2022, the UK government announced that asylum seekers entering the country "illegally" from a safe nation like France after 1 January 2022 could be relocated to Rwanda, an east-central African country. Their asylum applications would be processed in Rwanda rather than in the UK, reported the BBC.

Those who successfully gain refugee status would be permitted to stay in Rwanda. If their claims are denied, they could either apply to remain in Rwanda on different grounds or seek asylum in another safe country. None of these asylum seekers would be eligible to return to the UK to reapply.

The government believes this plan will discourage people from making dangerous crossings of the English Channel in small boats, which is a major concern for Prime Minister Rishi Sunak.

The UK Home Office reported a record number of Channel migrants for the first six months of the year, with 12,901 arrivals. This surpasses the previous record of 12,747 arrivals from January to June 2022. Over the past six-and-a-half years, 127,246 people have crossed the Channel to reach the UK.

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Illegal migrants queueing up to enter UK, waiting for Labour government: Sunak

Downing Street has reiterated its commitment to reducing small boat crossings, despite the increasing numbers.

Source: India Today

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