United Nations representative Rossella Pagliuchi-Lor has urged British politicians to “consider keeping your borders open” and criticised pending government legislation against illegal immigration.
Pagliuchi-Lor, who represents the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) — the UN Refugee Agency — in the United Kingdom, made the comments at a Home Affairs Select Committee evidence session titled ‘Afghanistan: safe routes and resettlement’, examining the situation in the South Asian country and related migration issues in the wake of the Taliban takeover there.
The select committee was warned of an “impending humanitarian catastrophe” in the newy-declared Islamic emirate by another contributor to the session — with Afghanistan having been “on life support” under the former Western regime, and the “extreme fragility of the economy” likely to be dealt a devastating blow by factors including drought and city-dwellers with no land losing their former salaries — and Pagliuchi-Lor did say the UNHCR had already noted an “uptick” in people leaving the country, if no “dramatic outflows” as yet.
She had a great deal of criticism for the upcoming Nationality and Borders Bill, which will supposedly toughen measures against illegal migrants and those who facilitate illegal migration, claiming to find it “a bit ironic to be honest, that the very same people we felt so affected by when we saw them hanging from planes in Kabul, or those we are now discussing how they should be extracted … if they extracted themselves and made it here, they would, if that bill were law, be liable to potentially four years in jail and then subject to some attempts to return them to some other countries.”
She later reiterated “There is something ironic in the way we are so concerned about them while they are there, but we are ready not to consider them when they come to the UK,” expressing the UN’s view that the bill would be “in breach of international law”.
The measures referenced by Pagliuchi-Lor are clearly intended to be aimed primarily at illegal migrants seeking to enter the United Kingdom via France, however — a safe, first world nation and EU member-state, where the situation of migrants is not remotely comparable to that of Afghans at Kabul attempting to escape the Taliban by clinging to the undercarriage of evacuation flights.
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