Five Migrants Die Trying to Cross the English Channel to Enter the UK

Just hours after the British government passed a migrant law to deport certain illegal immigrants to Rwanda, five individuals, including a child, perished attempting to cross the English Channel from France to the UK. 

Off the coast of Pas-de-Calais, French officials found several boats trying to leave early in the morning, all crowded with migrants. Several French naval ships, including the assistance and rescue tug Abeille Normandie, rescued a very overcrowded boat carrying more than one hundred people on board.

Authorities in France are concerned that the individuals responsible for the tragic deaths in the Channel may be seeking refuge in Britain. On the last day, an estimated 200 people attempted to cross in search of a better life in the United Kingdom. 

The five migrants, including a little girl aged four to seven, perished yesterday after their rubber boat went overboard off the coast of northern France. Near Boulogne-sur-Mer in the north of France, a small ship carrying 112 overloaded passengers momentarily came aground. Hundreds of people, including women and children, were thrown into the icy water when the boat became unsteady as everyone got off, causing panic. The 58 surviving passengers persisted in making the voyage to Britain while being escorted by the French Navy.

A gang of youths, presumably from Sudan or Eritrea, stormed the boat just before it sailed. These are the individuals who might well be involved in the fatalities, an investigative source claimed on Wednesday. The catch is that they are already in Britain, and they are seeking asylum.

The prosecutor in Boulogne-sur-Mer has initiated an inquiry into the fatalities. 

This happened shortly after Prime Minister Rishi Sunak introduced the Rwanda Bill, which was enacted in Parliament to discourage migrants from attempting the dangerous crossing. Of 67,337 asylum petitions to the UK last year, 29,437 were from individuals who landed in tiny boats. With an annual capacity of 200 individuals, the Rwanda plan would have deported fewer than 0.7% of minor boat migrants had it been operational last year.

According to Whitehall’s official spending watchdog, the first 300 migrants transferred to Rwanda would incur a cost of £1.8 million per person. Yesterday, after the tragedy, the prime minister said that the ‘tragic’ episode, as reported in the Channel, ‘underscores’ the need for the deterrent impact of the Rwanda plan.