Why are increasing numbers of asylum-seekers crossing the channel?

Asylum-seekers are more likely to resort to desperate measures to reach the UK when the legal routes to protection – such as resettlement and family reunion – are limited. (1/8)
But France is a safe country, why don’t they seek asylum there?

Most do. Last year France received 123,900 applications, Germany 142,500 and the UK 35,566. Only a minority of refugees in Europe attempt to reach the UK… (2/8)
… In 2009 the UK was home to 238,000 refugees. In 2019 the number was 133,000 refugees.

After a decade that included the Arab Spring, Syrian war and European refugee crisis, the UK hosts fewer refugees. It’s the 26th largest refugee host, down from tenth a decade ago. (3/8)
But still, why do asylum seekers want to come to the UK?

The reasons are often simple: Some may have family, diaspora or cultural links to the UK, some may just see the UK as a safe sanctuary, worth the risk to reach. (4/8)
Do benefits and rights in the UK play a part?

Unlikely. Receiving temporary housing and around £170/month (compared with €190 in France and €344 in Germany) seems hardly worth risking your life for… (5/8)
… The UK’s system is also far from ‘soft’, It’s the only western European country with no statutory immigration detention limit, and most asylum seekers are prohibited from working, sometimes for years while the wait for a decision on their claims. (6/8)
Nevertheless, how do we prevent people resorting to lorries or boats?
Three basic steps could make a huge difference:
1)Saving lives at sea should remain a priority
2)Cooperation to tackle smuggling gangs
3)Expand access to safe routes like family reunion and resettlement(7/8)
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