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Priti Patel: Considered Sending Asylum Seekers to Volcanic Islands.

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It is alleged, Home secretary, Priti Patel, considered sending asylum seekers to two volcanic islands in the middle of the Atlantic. St Helena and Ascension Island are two islands located somewhere between Africa and South America.

Civil servants were apparently asked to investigate, how other countries, deal with their asylum seekers, immigration and migration. For example, Australia probably has the toughest system in the world, keeping asylum seekers, offshore while their cases are pending. The UK wouldn't be the first nation to look into asking other nations or territories to accept their migrants. Australia got PNG (Papua New Guinea) to take a lot of migrants heading to Australia. It is obvious, PNG would not do anything for nothing and what PNG got out of this deal is not known. However, migrants were transported to internment camps there by Australia, where these people, once their cases were successful, could theoretically start a new life in PNG.

It seems the British government has dropped the plans for sending asylum seekers to these remote islands. Much to the relief of both islands no doubt, as Alan Nicholls from the Ascension Island Council, described accepting these people as a "logistical nightmare". So, it would appear the PNG policy is a no go for the UK.

Labour's Shadow Home Secretary and Ms Patel's counterpart, has described, the policy as "inhumane". Even if, the PNG policy, was adopted by the UK and accepted by the islands of Ascension and St Helena, it would only be a temporary policy. These are two small islands in the Atlantic and do not have the space to accept a limitless number of people. Perhaps, some of the migrants would settle down to a new life in these islands. However, how would the natives feel? Maybe, they would at first, welcome these settlers, but there may eventually be resentment too, as people kept coming.

The movement of people across this planet has always happened and probably always will. The UK has always attracted different kinds of people and it seems still does. On one hand, you have to understand why people are leaving the places they come from. You have to feel compassion for them, imagine if we were in their shoes, seeking a better life, for whatever reason. The UK has a good humanitarian record in taking in fleeing people, look at the Jews during WWII. Look at the Ugandan Asians, look at the Bosnians/Kosovons from Europe, look a the Syrians we have taken in. You also, have to recognise, our nation, is an overcrowded island. More people means more problems for housing, welfare, jobs, which is a strain in many ways. British people, especially, the poorest have been suffering from austerity, and now with Brexit and COVID, many feel that ordinary Brits have already shouldered too much.

Immigration, asylum and migrants divide the nation. Some feel we should continue to welcome these people, while others feel, we should not. Any government, of whatever hue, has to walk a thin line between being compassionate to migrants and also realising the real fears of many Native Brits about outsiders entering our country.

Australia had a massive problem with migrants, some Australians saw it as an invasion (not unlike people, in the UK now). The Australian government deployed the navy to turn back the migrant boats or tow them to places like PNG. This may seem inhumane, however, the migrant boat problem has apparently dropped. So, from a position of strength and standing firm, Australia appears to have solved much of its migration problem. Many of these migrants are fleeing persecution, war, famine and it is understandable they would want a better life. However, countries like Australia, have to consider the needs of their own people and how more people will affect public services, etc.

Priti Patel has also considered using the Royal Navy to deter migrants from making the dangerous crossing between France and the UK. There are already British vessels patrolling the Channel rescuing migrants often on flimsy craft, like rubber boats. 5,000 people have already crossed the Channel this year, showing how desperate they are to get into the UK. It seems they prefer to take their chances in the Channel and get to the UK, rather than settle, in France. From the French point of view, they are probably happy to see the migrants leave and give the headache to their old chums (?) the British. The French have taken action against migrant camps, by forcibly, removing these camps and marching these people on. However, this does not solve the problem, the migrants move on to somewhere else, on the French coast, and make their camps, anew.

Many migrants are at the mercy of people traffickers. Migrants pay extortionate prices to cross the channel to these gangs. The gangs supply the migrants with a rubber dinghy or some other flimsy vessel, then the migrants, are often then, left to their own devices. These small vessels often cross the channel overloaded and are often picked up by Royal Navy craft, others may meet sadly, unknown fates.


Comments

Ashutosh Joshi from New Delhi, India on October 01, 2020:

Both perspectives on eitherside make perfect sense but the thing it's a done deal. These are long term after shocks that states have to absorb.

From war to rehabilitation - A comphrehensive plan to create a perpetual state of panic has been the writing on the wall. Needless I mention who the victims are on either side.