Rossella Pagliuchi-Lor, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees’ Representative to the UK, has asked for the country to “consider keeping your borders open” to Afghan asylum seekers amid a raging illegal immigration crisis in the English Channel.
Speaking to Parliament’s Home Affairs Committee on Tuesday the UN representative also criticised the Home Secretary’s upcoming Borders Bill which aims to tackle illegal immigration, and claimed that it was “in breach of international law”.
“There is something ironic in the way we are so concerned about them while they are there, but we are ready not to consider them when they come to the UK” she whined to the committee, fearing that Afghan migrants who choose to enter the UK illegally could end up jailed as a result of the bill.
She went on to call for the government to halt the deportation of Afghans in the UK, even if they fail to qualify for asylum, “regardless of their status in this country.”
The demands will rankle some, with illegal immigration across the English Channel nearing 15,000 this year – way up on 8,713 who arrived by small boat last year.
It will also concern many given that junior immigration minister Kevin Foster revealed that known threats to the UK were already using the Afghan crisis as a ruse to sneak into the UK – with at least five hits against Britain’s no-fly list being flagged in the days following the fall of Kabul. One man on that list successfully made it to Britain, where he was released into the population by authorities who decided he was “not a person of interest”.
At least five migrants airlifted into Paris were also put under surveillance, with one of the men already facing sanctions for failing to comply with orders to limit his movement. He told the courts that he’d strayed because somebody offered to buy him drugs to soothe a headache, but contradictory testimony suggested he’d in fact left the designated zone to acquire SIM cards.