Illegal Migrants making the journey across the English Channel must be sent straight back to France according the former head of border enforcement.
David Wood, who was head of immigration enforcement, said that tough action must be taken to deter the people smugglers otherwise lives will be lost.
There were another 34 attempted crossings overnight yesterday, bringing the total number rescued from the Channel since November to 300 and 82 since Christmas Day.
It is feared people smugglers are targeting the holiday period because they believe there will be fewer patrols. Just one cutter is patrolling UK waters, aided by two smaller craft.
Mr Wood criticised the Home Office handling of the issue and the current Home Secretary Sajid Javid for his lacklustre response:
We have to stop this or it will grow and grow. It will escalate. The answer is to return them to France as soon as they are picked up. If we did that straight away, they would realise that paying £5,000 to the people smugglers would achieve nothing.’
As far as organised crime is concerned, it’s de-risked their business.
They know they don’t have to get right across the Channel and land, they can get half way across and the migrants will be taken the rest of the way.
Given that the immigrants travelled from France, it would not be unlawful if the French agreed. In theory, under the Dublin agreement, there are circumstances when immigrants can be returned to France even when landed in the UK.
Britain’s border force, coastguards and lifeboats are being used as a taxi service for the migrants. There will be a hue and cry when a boat full of 12 migrants sinks and they die.
Many on social media have criticised the dreadful scenes in the Channel and most go one step further by demanding that not only are the illegal aliens deported on arrival but that they are sent back to their country of origin.