Record number of Channel crossings by migrants in the midst of the UK election campaign

Barely launched, the legislative election campaign in the United Kingdom has already found its major theme: illegal immigration. More than 10,000 migrants have arrived in the United Kingdom after crossing the Channel since the start of the year, a record, according to figures from the Interior Ministry published this Saturday.

Conservative Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, who set the election date for July 4, had promised to put an end to the arrival of irregular migrants and had even made it one of his priorities. But on Friday, five new boats reached the south of England, with 288 migrants on board. Since the start of the year, 10,170 people have managed to cross the Channel. Many come from Afghanistan, Iran and Turkey. This represents an increase of more than 35% compared to last year.

Labor criticizes Rwanda expulsion ‘gimmick’

The Conservative government hoped to deter migrants from coming to the UK with its law to deport thousands of asylum seekers to Rwanda. On Thursday, Rishi Sunak admitted that this very controversial project would probably not be implemented before the election. He said he wanted to see the first flights take off after the election if he wins.

“Rishi Sunak will take bold action to stop the boats” of migrants, Interior Minister James Cleverly insisted on X on Saturday. Labor, which has a lead of more than 20 points in the polls over the Conservatives, has promised that it will abandon the policy of deporting migrants to Rwanda, criticizing a costly and ineffective “gimmick”.

“The government has lost control of our borders,” said Keir Starmer, the opposition leader and future prime minister if Labor wins the election. The Labor Party also believes that immigration is too high and has promised to deploy means inspired by the fight against terrorism to fight against smuggling gangs.

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