RIGHT-WINGERS across the nation must be having conniptions as they hear that yesterday a record number of migrants were seen making their way across the English Channel.

Yes, at least 1,000 men, women and children have apparently taken advantage of the good weather to try to reach safe haven.

Crossings resume

Crossings over the dangerous Dover Strait have been quiet lately due to bad weather, but have seemingly resumed with four boats arriving on Sunday; five children were among 158 people to be rescued at Dover after crossing from France, and around 1,000 are thought to have attempted the journey on Monday.

Crossings in 2021 have already surpassed the 8,417 of last year.

Home Secretary Priti Patel has previously said she will make the route “unviable” for people wanting to enter the UK illegally.

She wants to increase prison sentences for illegal migrants, and for those who “facilitate” crossings to get a life sentence.

Down the rabbit hole

If the right-wingers are having a fit at the amount of migrants attempting to reach our shores yesterday then those of us who are not quite so narrow minded and lacking in compassion are having conniptions at the thought of a life sentence for trying to help people to safety.

Only last week we heard of a 21-year-old being sentenced to reading good old British classics after being convicted of downloading bomb-making instructions plus white supremacist and fascist material from the internet, but he was white and British so all’s well there then.

Most of us are well aware we are down the rabbit hole but this is a perfect example of how deep we are.

Who would benefit most from reading the classics of Austen, Dickens and Hardy – a white supremacist or people recently arrived in the UK and wanting to integrate as quickly as possible? It’s a tough one.

Perspective needed

And for those still complaining about the amount of migrants arriving on our shores let’s get just a little perspective.

The UK receives about a third of the asylum applications of France and only one percent of all the 4,000,000 refugees in Turkey.

Even with this latest crossing, arrivals here are nowhere near the level they are elsewhere in Europe.

But we still have the very same people who walk past the homeless without a second glance telling us we must “look after our own first” and telling all and sundry of the many benefits and lives of luxury these immigrants are entitled to.

Which is nonsense of course.

They hope for refugee status

If they manage to get across the channel, and unfortunately far too many die in the process, they are sent to ‘short term’ holding facilities (STHFs) for a period of usually seven days before being sent on to an immigration removal centre (IRC) where they can be held for anything from under two months to over six months.

Many of those arriving claim asylum and they then hope to receive refugee status, meaning they can stay.

They must prove they cannot return to their home country because they fear persecution due to their race, religion, nationality, political opinion, gender identity or sexual orientation. And, surprise, surprise, most come from countries we have had a part in destabilising at the least or bombing the crap out of.

Duty of care anyone?

Don’t we have some sort of duty of care to these people? Surely we have not always been such an uncaring and heartless nation.

Last year more than 36,000 people, including dependents, which is nowhere near the figure the media would have you believe, applied for asylum in the UK.

About 10,000 were offered refugee status or other protections.

So the other 26,000 were just sent back to at best no home and at worst torture and death.

I despair.

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