Sky News reported that the United Kingdom set a record one-day total for migrants sailing across the English Channel, as more than 430 came ashore in the island nation on July 19. That compares to more than 6,000 CBP “encounters” at the U.S. Southwest border per day in June. Unlike our government, however, Her Majesty’s recognizes it has a problem, as Parliament debates an asylum bill.
The British people have had enough of open borders and uncontrolled migration.
Enough of a failed asylum system that costs the taxpayer over a billion pounds a year.
Enough of dinghies arriving illegally on our shores, directed by organised crime gangs.
Enough of people drowning on these dangerous, illegal, and unnecessary journeys.
Enough of people being trafficked and sold into modern slavery.
Enough of economic migrants pretending to be genuine refugees.
Enough of adults pretending to be children to claim asylum.
Enough of people trying to gain entry illegally, ahead of those who play by the rules.
Enough of foreign criminals — including murderers and rapists — who abuse our laws and then game the system so we can’t remove them.
The British people have had enough of being told none of these issues matter — enough of being told it is racist to even think about addressing public concerns and seeking to fix this failed system.
The home secretary in Britain is roughly akin to the DHS secretary here (there is a great deal of overlap, but Patel’s portfolio is a little broader). The “Westminster system of government”, under which the United Kingdom operates, blends the executive and legislative branches, and so cabinet secretaries like Patel are also sitting members of Parliament.
Every point that she made on the floor of the Commons could be made today in the U.S. House or Senate, and while I trust that similar sentiments have been expressed here (I can only watch so much C-SPAN), can you imagine any U.S. senator or representative from the majority party making that speech?
Even more fanciful, can you imagine Patel’s U.S. counterpart, DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, stating that the American people have had “enough of economic migrants pretending to be genuine refugees”, or even describing any alien entering the United States illegally as an “economic migrant”?
It would be difficult to describe Patel as “anti-immigrant”. The daughter of Gujarati parents who left Uganda in the 1960s, she was born in London — what we would term here a “second-generation” Briton.
She made clear in her speech that: “A fair asylum system should provide safe haven to those fleeing persecution, oppression, or tyranny,” but that the current system was being subject to abuse, with migrants “pay[ing] their way to travel through safe countries to then come to the UK to claim asylum.”
Sound familiar? As my colleague Todd Bensman has reported in a series of exposés, that is happening today on the “migrant trail” to the United States by increasing numbers of foreign nationals from all around the world.
The Trump administration attempted to end such efforts by entering into “safe third-country agreements” with regional partners. Pursuant to those agreements, DHS could remove illegal migrants to third countries where they would “have access to a full and fair procedure for determining a claim to asylum or equivalent temporary protection”.
That was a necessary and appropriate step because increasing numbers of migrants in recent years have transited third countries — where they could have applied for asylum, but did not — opting instead to proceed on to the United States. As the administration explained at the time, however, most asylum claims made by those who entered the United States illegally were denied.
In a November 2019 post, I noted that such safe third-country agreements would “dissuade future migrants from undertaking the dangerous trek to the United States, because it will eliminate the virtual likelihood that they will be able to remain.”
Despite these facts, the Biden administration suspended the Trump agreements on February 6, and began the process of withdrawing from them. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken at the time asserted, however, that: “To be clear, these actions do not mean that the U.S. border is open.”
The smugglers do not appear to have taken Secretary Blinken at his word.
The UK Nationality and Borders Bill would, among many other things (it’s 87 pages long), allow the British secretary of state to “declare an asylum claim made by a person ... who has a connection to a safe third State inadmissible”.
A “safe third State” is defined as one in which “a person may apply to be recognised as a refugee and (if so recognised) receive protection in accordance with the Refugee Convention, in that State”.
As the Biden administration is rolling back policies that discourage illegal migrants, the administration of PM Boris Johnson is planning to beef them up. Playwright George Bernard Shaw once asserted: “England and America are two countries separated by the same language.” Today, it appears, they are separated by two different views of illegal immigration, too.