UN Insists Record Boat Migrant Numbers ‘Not a Threat’ to Britain

Record numbers of illegal immigrants crossing the English Channel are “not a threat” to Britain, and could even be a boon for taxpayers, the United Nations (UN) has claimed.

Speaking to the Commons Home Affairs Committee on Wednesday, representatives from the international body argued that Britain should open new channels that would allow many more low and no-skilled third world migrants to enter the country legally in order to deter individuals from paying people traffickers.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees’ (UNHCR) representative in the UK, Rossella Pagliuchi-Lor, told MPs that the thousands of people who have broken into Britain in recent months were not a problem.

Instead, she insisted that the only “dangers” of the situation were risks to the lives of migrants travelling across the Channel in dinghies, along with “a different sort of risk”, which she said was critical media reporting of the phenomenon.

Taking aim at “the sort of narrative that we’re seeing in the media and elsewhere that suggests these arrivals by boat present… a danger, a threat to the UK, when in fact [illegal immigrants are taking] simply a different route,” the UN official insisted that third world migrants are “not a threat”.

“The people that you will find on the boats are pretty much the same you would have found otherwise on the back of a lorry. There is no real difference — the main risk is to themselves with regards to the danger of the crossing itself”.

She also dismissed the idea that boats could be turned back to France, stressing that attempts to do this could put migrants’ lives at risk in the water and therefore should not be an option for Britain.

The UN’s evidence to the select committee came as the total number of migrants officially recorded as having made it to British shores by boat this year had reached close to 7,000 — more than triple the figure recorded in 2019.

Pagliuchi-Lor and Vincent Cochetel, the UNHCR’s special envoy for illegal immigration to Europe via the Mediterranean route, said Britain was a popular destination for migrants due to its reputation as a “champion in terms of multiculturalism”, and called for the government to create “safe, legal routes” for migration.

Currently, family reunification rules in the UK are “quite restrictive”, Pagliuchi-Lor complained, explaining that the government limits claims to members of the nuclear family, such as parents and children.

The UN “has been advocating for a somewhat broader definition of family”, she said, before alleging that a huge expansion of chain migration would “not be a massive burden” on Britain and its welfare system and public services.

Other ways Britain could reduce the number of people migrating illegally would be to open up legal pathways for unqualified, low-wage labourers from the third world to resettle in Britain, as well as with an expansion in “study visas”, the UNHCR representative said.

However, she warned that politicians should “be realistic” and realise that massively expanding legal migration from the world’s poorest countries would not prevent illegal entry entirely, asserting that immigration to first world countries is set to soar.

“The notion that any individual country can seal itself off” from mass, third world migration is “impractical and unrealistic”, she said.

In response to a question on whether it would be more cost-effective for Britain to help refugees in conflict areas rather than resettle them here, Pagliuchi-Lor claimed she had “seen a study” which showed that migrants contributed more to the UK treasury than they cost in services.

In fact, EU-sponsored, pro-immigration researchers from University College London found that migration from outside Europe cost British taxpayers £118 billion between 1995 and 2011.

Studies from across Europe have come to similar conclusions, finding that third world migrants and their descendants are significantly more likely to be unemployed or in low-paid work than indigenous populations.

The UN’s call for Britain to expand opportunities for chain migration comes days after NGOs, along with a cadre of more than 70 so-called celebrities, made similar demands for the government to greatly boost immigration from the world’s poorest countries through family reunification.

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