I really didn't want to do a thread on safe and legal routes to the UK - but I can already tell that there's going to be a minefield of myths and hate speech today and there's some things that we need to be saying.
It makes total sense that there is an increase in crossings. Good weather, bad pandemic. Govt. has said that they will "shut down" routes and militarise the border. People on the other side of the channel can hear that too - it will make them more desperate. Predictable outcome.
No they are not "economic" migrants. We have a system for work and study. It is not a good system for people's rights, and the govt. want to make it worse, but it exists. People use it. That is why there are international students and migrants working in every industry/area.
No you do not have to apply for asylum in the "first safe country". There is zero legal requirement. The Dublin agreement sets out criteria which allows EU states to work out who should process the claim - safe country is one of them but family reunion is actually the priority.
The majority of people seeking asylum in the EU do it in France, Greece and Italy and other places. We have not stepped up, we have done the absolute bare minimum. The small number who try to make it to the UK are doing it because they have a reason to.
No there are not "plenty" of legal routes of entry for asylum seekers as the Home Office keeps saying. 3 maximum and 2 of them - resettlement and Dubs - have been closed since March. This isn't rocket science. How are you supposed to get here if you have to apply on British soil.
We must remember (as @BridgeeCee will tell us) the majority of Kent residents do not want people crossing to die. They may be scared (I would be if I thought that someone might die on the beach) and frustrated, but they are not evil. They have been welcoming too.
The Right have an agenda and they have co-opted the actual voices of Kent residents and the British public. It is a minority who are patrolling the beaches, beating up asylum seekers and terrorising asylum accommodation. The British public don't want this and didn't vote for it.
Now the govt. fabricates the truth, plays the big I am, and, if I'm frank, chats absolute shit. The reason they are focused on "activist lawyers" is because they have no one else left to blame for 10 years of failure. It's the ultimate bratty behaviour.
We can all agree - every one of us - that these crossings need to stop. But there is only one way to do that. That is to provide safe ways for people to get here and have their claims heard. Extend existing schemes, create some new ones. Work in cooperation with the EU.
The irony is that doing these things would be far simpler, more pragmatic, are preventative measures. Just like in medicine, it is better (and more cost effective) to screen early on and provide the right tonic, instead of waiting until it's too late.
So anyway, I've had my rant. But a warning to the govt. that if they continue in this way, they will have more blood on their hands. Enough is enough.