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France, Britain at odds on migrant crisis

Migrants who died attempting to cross the English Channel lie buried in Calais, France, on Thursday. Associated Press/Photo by Rafael Yaghobzadeh

France, Britain at odds on migrant crisis

Pregnant women and young teenagers were among the 27 migrants who died in the English Channel on Wednesday when their inflatable rafts sank. On Thursday, United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson tweeted a letter to French President Emmanuel Macron with immigration policy recommendations. Macron scolded Johnson for making the letter public over social media, and France uninvited the British home secretary from a Sunday meeting of European ministers in Calais to address migrant surges. Two survivors of the drownings are receiving treatment for hypothermia, and France is conducting an investigation into whether migrant-smuggling networks are to blame.

What is the immigration situation in Europe? According to the British Parliament, more than 23,000 people have illegally entered the U.K. this year, mostly on unstable rafts. Roughly 1,185 crossed the channel on Nov. 11 alone, surpassing previous daily records. The country reported 8,500 illegal immigrants in 2020 and a mere 800 in 2018. The U.K.-based Refugee Council estimates 91 percent of migrants who have crossed since 2020 hail from countries such as Afghanistan and Iraq. Macron previously announced he would deploy army drones to patrol France’s northern coastline and help rescue migrants but said the international community needs to address rampant illegal immigration.

Dig deeper: Read Mindy Belz’s report in WORLD Magazine on efforts to help at-risk Afghans flee the country after the Taliban takeover.

Carolina Lumetta

Carolina is a reporter for WORLD Digital. She is a World Journalism Institute and Wheaton College graduate. She resides in Washington, D.C.



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