April 18, 2020
Author: Ralph Berry
The Austrians used to say that the situation is ‘hopeless, but not serious’. Covid-19 leaves people stranded in mid-adjectives. If Central America goes on the march, with untold numbers fleeing the pandemic and taking their troubles to the gates of America, then the outlook is bleak indeed. The point is coming when the West will have to take a stand and say: no more. It was bad enough when the immigration problem was ‘only’ immigration. Now it is plague-bearing immigration as well.
Every week hundreds of illegal migrants fetch up on boats near Dover. How many are plague-bearers? We are never told. The authorities, mendacious as ever, scold the migrants for their ‘reckless’ behaviour. Of course, it is not reckless at all. The Channel is a mill-pond currently, and the boat people will be seen safely to their destination by kindly border control vessels. These migrants have made a perfectly rational assessment of risk v. gain, and have simply reckoned accordingly. The official language is a lie: the migrants are not ‘intercepted’—which implies that they were foiled in their endeavour—but escorted to these shores, where they will attain their hearts’ desire, life in England. These uninvited visitors will never be expelled and will remain forever a tax burden on the legitimate inhabitants–who have now and in future taxes enough to shoulder. The Channel is in fact our open border with France.
The Home Office blundered during the rule of Amber Rudd while she was Home Secretary by allowing a group of migrant children to be filmed for public viewing. The result was a PR disaster, when these ‘children’ were seen to include great strapping young men (one of whom was certainly over 30), causing much derision. Of course, the Home Office stopped filming the operation for the public, but not the business itself. We have no idea what happened subsequently to these lucky travelers—well-off enough to pay the traffickers’ hefty fees—since they were safely settled on these hospitable shores? Will they have access to jobs, or merely housing and other benefits? May they dream of a future amnesty for illegals—Boris Johnson once advocated this—in which they can bring in family members from abroad to join them in England? What is certain is that Covid-19 has concentrated the mind of the Government, and the public. The immediate crisis has raised the immigration issue to high priority status, where it will remain.
The signs are that the Home Office is at last getting tough. The number of immigrants refused the right to live in the UK under the EU Settlement Scheme doubled in a month, from 300 in February to 600 in March. Some of the applications are criminal, and some fraudulent. Many failed–for good reason–to arrive before the deadline. The people who submitted them will remain under the State’s radar. We simply do not know about them–yet. Under Priti Patel, the Home Office is at last beginning to get to grips with the greatest challenge of our era, the invasion of the West by the Third World.