On Christmas Day, another 67 migrants, including young children and a baby girl, arrive in the UK.
Hundreds of migrants have arrived in the United Kingdom after attempting the dangerous crossing of the English Channel in the early hours of Christmas Day.
Following an incident with two small boats at sea, UK authorities took 67 people into custody, including women and children, shortly before 1.30 a.m. in Dover, Kent.
A third boat was also intercepted by French authorities, though the number of people on board is unknown.
Tom Pursglove, the Minister for Justice and Counter-Illegal Migration, said that instead of attempting to cross the Channel, people should seek asylum in the first safe country they come across.
The Nationality and Borders Bill, he said, was reforming the government’s approach to people attempting the perilous crossing.
‘The public has been clamoring for reform for two decades, and that is exactly what this government is delivering with our new immigration plan,’ he said.
‘Under the Nationality and Borders Bill, it will be illegal to enter the UK knowingly, and those who assist illegal entry into the country will face life sentences.
The Archbishop of Canterbury preached a message of support for volunteers assisting refugees in his Christmas sermon.
At 11 a.m. on Christmas Day, the Most Rev Justin Welby preached at Canterbury Cathedral’s Christmas Day Eucharist.
He explained that the Christmas story of Joseph and Mary seeking refuge demonstrates the importance of treating those who “risk everything to arrive on the beaches” with compassion.
He also said that ‘there is no doubting’ human capacity for ‘great kindness,’ and that volunteers greeting refugees arriving on beaches near Canterbury Cathedral are ‘amazing people.’
In his sermon, Mr. Welby praised rescuers such as the RNLI and Border Patrol cutter crews.
He also thanked those who helped out at food banks over the holidays.
Mr. Welby mentioned how the pandemic has forced people to confront their ‘fragility’ like never before.
‘From Sage and Cabinet to each of us, from large corporations to those sleeping rough, we all face uncertainty, unpredictability, and uncontrollability,’ he said.
‘It will also strengthen Border Force’s ability to stop and redirect vessels, as well as introduce new powers to remove asylum seekers from the UK to have their claims processed elsewhere.’
‘MPs have already voted to reform this broken and abusive system, and the sooner the Borders Bill is approved by the House of Lords, the sooner these reforms will be implemented…
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