It’s been discussed in the news today that increased security on the Calais border would lead a domino effect on other routes into the UK. Littering our media and press at the moment is the migrant crisis in France of people trying to get across the boarder into the UK. What they are hoping to get over here is beyond me, nobody wants them here. We are an island at risk of sinking!
The issues in Calais are shocking, disturbing and many times very upsetting. Every channel is reporting on it, every newspaper printing it and Facebook and twitter are alive with people voicing their opinions over what should or could be done to deal with the situation.
There are a number of routes into the UK from Europe, Calais is not the only one so it begs the question as to if you stop them entry one way they will find another- hence the Domino Effect. At risk now is the carousel immigration route via Hook Van Holland, a popular Dutch port in which tourists and cargo can pass from mainland europe across to the UK, reports in 2014 claimed an increase in illegal activity. UK Immigrations Officer James Brokenshire is heading to the Netherlands to discuss increasing security at all ports on the east of Europe to maintain the security of the boarder. The Dutch port has been a target for illegal migration for a while.
I am all in support of refugees and those escaping conflict or other means of unrest in their home country. The UK has always strived to help these parts of the world to settle unrest and make countries more habitable but the issue we are seeing now if people fleeing by any method, many at the risk of their lives in an attempt to come to the UK.
In order to gain access to the UK from a non-european country you need a visa. This permit, depending on the type requested, gives an individaul leave to remain for X amount of months. This way the British Government knows who is in and who is out. The system is, in my opinion, flawed in the fact that people with out-of-date visas ‘disappear’ and many so desperate to work do so illegally and in unsafe conditions.
Perhaps Europe’s downfall is the Schengen Island agreement first signed in 1985 that allows passage through boarders without questions. I’ve been in the Netherlands and passed from there through Germany, Belgium, France and Spain without anyone knowing my name or nationality (until I open my mouth of course). Could this be where the problem really is? If you can pass through 10+ european countries and only get questions at the door to the UK do any of the European countries know who is living in their towns and cities?
Upon arrival to the UK legal passengers must show their passport and have a justifiable reason for being there i.e. visa, these illegal entrants using the undercarrage of cargo lorries or the unsafe and over crowded boats aren’t showing these documents and are appearing on English shores.
The Cost of a Migrant
In the UK we have the National Health Service, already overspent and underperforming. Anyone in the UK has access to this expensive emergency medicine paid for by legal workers National Insurance contributions on earnings.
Our benefit system, far to generous in my mind, offers help to those in the UK with little to no money but immigrants in the UK for longer than a certain amount of time and fulfilling criteria are entitled to support without first paying into a diminishing pot of money from tax payers. We can spend more than we have as a country. We can’t give what we haven’t got. If 10 people pay into a pot but 50 people want out from it we can’t balance the books, hence our British Debt.
I think what I’m trying to say is 3-fold.
1. If you don’t pay in to a country you can’t claim out.
2. If you have been denied legal entry there is a reason for this.
3. You cannot expect one country to bail out the worlds unhappy migrants. The UK Economy is up, unemployment is down, inflations is rising, as a nation its everything we want to see but to migrants it is a greener grass on the other side of the Atlantic.
I think the British Government should be focusing some efforts on dealing with the problem in Syria and these countries to help keep people in their own home countries. We, although arguably have no actual reason to, strive to help those all around the world. Maybe our energies should now be put in to bettering the countries these immigrants are fleeing and helping to rehabilitate migrants back to their homelands. How we intend to do that is for people more intelligent for me to decide but in my view, if you’re happy where you are you won’t want to flee!
Whichever way you look at it we are talking about human lives, this is an issue that needs some serious attention. The issue is in Calais right now but there are so many ports across Europe that it begs the question: Is anywhere safe?