Callous People Smugglers Kill Again: At Least Five Drown in English Channel Within Hours of Stop-The-Boats Rwanda Policy Passing

A seascape of a danger banner telling swimmers not to enter the water due to rough seas, o
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Human traffickers have again sent migrants to their deaths on unseaworthy boats in the English Channel, with France reporting five deaths after a dinghy capsized in the early hours this morning.

At least five people including a child are thought to have been killed in the English Channel overnight into Tuesday morning as they attempted, as part of large groups onboard rubber boats inappropriate for the crossing, to break into the United Kingdom. The large-scale crossings are organised by criminal gangs, who in return for considerable sums of money provide boats and equipment enough — they claim — to deliver their ‘customers’ into the hands of the UK Border Force, which brings those individuals ashore and processes them for asylum claims.

French broadsheet Le Figaro cites a police source that states the deaths at the hands of people smugglers occurred near Wimereux beach, in Calais. The exact cause of death is not yet known, it stated. Reuters notes French police had a “busy” morning off their northern coast, with several boat launches towards the United Kingdom and some 100 migrants “rescued”.

Those people smuggler-caused deaths today would bring the known death toll in the English Channel since the start of 2023 to 24 people.

The tragedy of migrant boat deaths, which have been at unacceptably high levels across Europe for many years, have been permitted by weak European governments refusing to properly enforce their own borders, creating a void in which black-market people smugglers have been able to thrive. Despite Australia, for instance, having long ago discovered the most humane way to end this needless suffering on the seas is to enact strict border control and an uncompromising turn-back-the-boats policy, most Western nations don’t have the strength for such policy.

The sad irony of this morning’s fatalities is they came just hours after the British government finally passed its migrant boat deterrence law, known colloquially as the Rwanda Plan. Floundering for over two years already between legal challenges and “parliamentary ping-pong”, under the law migrants arriving in the United Kingdom irregularly would be relocated to Rwanda in East Africa for processing. Migrants who fail to qualify for asylum status would be permanently resettled in Rwanda.

While this would be at the expense of the British taxpayer, it has bene judged this would be better value-for-money than paying for migrants to live in high-cost Britain in perpetuity.

Asserting recognition of the dreadful role played by human traffickers in the deaths at Europe’s borders, using unseaworthy overloaded boats in busy shipping-lanes, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said of the issue on Monday: “We are in a battle with callous, sophisticated, and global criminal gangs who care nothing for the lives they risk in unseaworthy dinghies. Nine people have died already attempting to cross the Channel this year, including a seven-year-old girl… the only way to stop the boats is to eliminate the incentive to come, by making it clear if you arrive here illegally, you will not be able to stay.”
With the passing of the bill, finally completed after a marathon overnight legislating session in Britain’s Parliament from Monday to Tuesday, Sunak claimed there would now be a: “Relentless, continual process of successfully and permanently removing people to Rwanda with a regular rhythm of multiple flights every month over the summer and beyond until the boats are stopped.”

Yet whether this will be possible remains to be seen, and even in the best-case scenario the first removals are still ten weeks away, so the deterrent effect is likely to be minimal until then at the least. Brexit leader Nigel Farage — who is very pro border control and has been a key figure in bringing the Channel migrant crisis to the attention of the public — has been clear he believes the law will ultimately fail to deliver, and is destined to be felled by another court challenge.

He said: “Do I believe that in ten to 12 weeks there will be planes taking off with significant numbers of migrants onboard? No I don’t… I promise you, not a single person is going to Rwanda. This is a complete charade.”


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