UK Will Begin Resettling up to 20,000 People Directly From Afghanistan in January

KABUL, AFGHANISTAN - AUGUST 24: In this handout provided by U.S. Central Command Public Affairs, U.S. Air Force loadmasters and pilots assigned to the 816th Expeditionary Airlift Squadron, load passengers aboard a U.S. Air Force C-17 Globemaster III in support of the Afghanistan evacuation at Hamid Karzai International Airport (HKIA) …
Master Sgt. Donald R. Allen/U.S. Air Forces Europe-Africa via Getty Images

The UK will begin resettling up to 20,000 Afghans, many directly from Afghanistan, from January as part of the country’s ‘Warm Welcome’ scheme.

Up to 20,000 Afghan citizens are to be resettled in the UK starting in January as part of Operation Warm Welcome.

The announcement comes after the UK received a record level of asylum applications this year, partly driven by over 27,000 migrants illegally crossing the English Channel from France this year.

According to the UK’s official government website, Operation Warm Welcome will provide “safe and legal” resettlement routes into the UK for up to 20,000 eligible Afghans.

The scheme represents “one of the largest commitments to [Afghan] resettlement of any country,” the site claims.

“The Afghan citizens resettlement scheme provides a safe and legal way for the most vulnerable and at-risk people from Afghanistan to come to the United Kingdom and rebuild their lives, as part of the New Plan for Immigration,” said the UK’s Minister for Afghan Resettlement, Victoria Atkins.

“Operation Warm Welcome is a huge national effort which could not succeed without the compassion and determination of our partners in local government, the private sector, voluntary organisations and the great British public,” Atkins continued. “Every single one of them should be very proud.”

Under the scheme, “extremely vulnerable people such as women and girls at risk and members of minority groups” will be prioritised, as well as those who “assisted UK efforts in Afghanistan and stood up for our values such as democracy, women’s rights, freedom of speech and rule of law,” according to the government’s official statement.

Local authorities in the UK who take in Afghans through this scheme will be granted £20,520 per person in “integration funding” over a period of three years.

The news that the UK will be taking in up to 20,000 legal Afghan migrants starting next year comes after the country saw a record number of individuals landing illegally on its shores.

Nearly 28,000 migrants crossed the English Channel illegally in small boats this year, over three-times the number who did so in 2020.

Regarding the crisis in the channel, France has accused the UK of operating an economic model of “quasi-modern slavery” over the exploitation of illegal migrants within the country’s black market.

Accusations have also been levelled by the French that the UK is also too economically attractive to irregular migrants.

French Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin said that migrants crossing the channel illegally have been “attracted by England, especially the labour market which means you can work in England without any identification”.

The UK is now looking to take steps to address this criticism.

One proposal being considered is the electronic tagging of migrants in order to ensure that those requesting asylum do not disappear onto Britain’s black labour market, which would allow them to remain in the country illegally.

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