Record number of illegal aliens arrive in Britain, putting pressure on Rishi Sunak

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak's government is struggling to fulfill promises on immigration as public frustration continues to mount.

Record number of illegal aliens arrive in Britain, putting pressure on Rishi Sunak
AP Photo/Matt Dunham, File
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Rishi Sunak's government in Britain is finally set to pass a law to send some illegal immigrants on their way to Rwanda. However, Sunak's liberal opponents are planning to obstruct deportation flights from taking off. 

Britain experienced an unprecedented influx of illegal migrants arriving on its southern shore in the first three months of the year, with a total of 4,644 individuals landing in southeast England on small boats from Europe up to March 26. According to provisional Home Office data, this figure represents a significant increase from the 3,770 recorded last year and the previous record high of 4,162 in 2022. 

That number has gone up to 6,000, with hundreds who arrived by small boats over the weekend, ABC News reported.

The surge in arrivals has put immense pressure on the Conservative government, which has been struggling to appease its core voters on the issue of immigration. Despite Home Secretary James Cleverly's previous claims that the government was honoring its pledge to "stop the boats," the recent spike in arrivals coinciding with warmer weather conditions and calmer seas has cast doubt on the effectiveness of the government's measures.

The Home Office is now using the escalating figures to push for its immigration reforms, which are currently being held up in the House of Lords, Remix News reports. The government claims that a change in the law is necessary to ensure that deportation flights to Rwanda, the African nation with which Britain recently signed an asylum agreement, can proceed.

According to ABC News, a bill aimed at overcoming a U.K. Supreme Court block on sending illegal immigrants to Rwanda is due to pass Parliament after the government takes it through the House of Lords.

“This week Parliament has the opportunity to pass a bill that will save lives of those being exploited by people-smuggling gangs," a spokesperson for the prime minister said Monday. “It is clear we cannot continue with the status quo … now is the time to change the equation.”

Once the bill is passed, it could take weeks before any illegal immigrants are deported, as those selected for deportation have the right to appeal.

However, Conservative voters have grown increasingly disenchanted with the party's unfulfilled promises to reduce immigration, as evidenced by recent polling showing the Conservatives attaining less than half the vote share of the opposition Labour Party. The situation appears even more dire in Wales, where a Redfield Wilton survey published in late March indicates that the Tories could soon find themselves trailing behind the fledgling right-wing Reform UK party.

Reform UK, led by Brexiteer Richard Tice and closely affiliated with nationalist firebrand Nigel Farage, has called for Britain to leave the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) to implement measures to prevent arrivals and expedite deportations without the hindrance of vexatious appeals in Britain's immigration tribunals. While this move has garnered support from several backbench Conservative MPs, including former Home Secretary Suella Braverman, it has not received widespread backing from the government.

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