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Migrants "forced onto even riskier paths" by UK/France deal to patrol Channel: Dr Maurice Stierl

The UK and French governments have agreed a deal to tackle the rise in people trying to cross the Channel. Read full story on BBC News here.

Dr Maurice Stierl, an expert on migrants' and refugees' rights at borders, offers his expert comment:

"The suggested deal between the UK and France to increase police presence along the northern coasts of France may decrease Channel crossings, though merely temporarily and in no way sustainably. The history of sea migration, both in the Channel and the Mediterranean, shows that increased policing does not end crossings but merely produces lengthier, costlier, and more dangerous migration routes.Dr Maurice Stierl

"Migrants will seek to evade the police presence and be forced onto even riskier paths. In overall figures, and despite being portrayed by the government as an “invasion”, Channel migration is not a significant phenomenon, and the UK is well-equipped to adequately deal with maritime migration, care for those in need, and provide routes to asylum.

"Unfortunately, the UK government has only one recipe when dealing with migration, which is to criminalise migration, reinforce border controls, and undermine the right to seek asylum. In this way, already-vulnerable people are not only placed into ever-more precarious situations but are also scapegoated for a range of social ills and policy failures that the government wants to distract the public from."

21 July 2021

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