Asylum Seekers

The Archbishop of Canterbury says (Daily Telegraph 27th April) that the Church is calling for “safe and legal routes for asylum seekers”. Clearly then he should condemn those thousands of predominantly young men who have in effect broken into our country by engaging someone to transport them illegally across the English Channel.

In effect they rely on the humanity of our lifeboat service, and now the Royal Navy, to rescue them and others travelling with them from the inevitable and foreseeable dangers they get into.

As is entirely standard with Immigration matters the Archbishop offers no alternative to the Government’s new scheme except a vague reference to amending the 1951 UN Convention on the treatment of Refugees. There is no prospect of any such amendment which does not involve Western countries taking in even more immigrants than they have already done in recent decades, something their electorates will not allow them to do.

However, the asylum seekers the Archbishop is concerned about have a clear cut alternative to coming to England and that is to do what the Convention provides for and apply for asylum in any of the “safe” countries they have passed through on their way to Calais, notably France itself. But safety of the asylum country is not their principal concern. They want to get into Britain for economic and language reasons at virtually any cost.

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