Several boats containing over 70 migrants have been intercepted off the Kent coast. The migrants, including women and children have been brough ashore in Dover by HM Coastguard.
HM Coastguard has said it is responding to “a number of incidents” off the Kent coast. They are working alongside Kent Police, Border Force and other agencies.
where will they go once brought ashore?
The Maritime and Coastguard Agency confirmed “Border Force vessels Searcher, Speedwell and Alert have been sent, along with RNLI lifeboats from Dover and Littleston, a fixed wing aircraft and an HM Coastguard Search and Rescue Helicopter from Lydd”.
The Coastguard also confirmed that they are only concerned with preservation of life, hence the resuce attempts. The migrants will be medically assessed in the UK before being handed to immigration officials.
There is no indication of where the migrants will go after this, although chances are that they did not arrive with passports. It is a difficult job to place these individuals as they will not be citizens of the UK. Other countries will not want to take them back either, because they will not be their citizens. If they have originated from places like Syria, then it will be almost impossible to export them back to a warzone.
The problem is that if they are allowed to stay, then their attempt to make it to the UK has become a success. There is a possibility that they will not be able to speak English and we wil lhave to support them with food, shelther and medical support. Not only that, but it also sends a message to other migrants to attempt a crossing of the Channel. It is not an easy issue for anyone, but the UK needs to make it clear that those found in the Channel, will not gain permament entry to the UK.