Migrant crisis: Anger in Kent area over ‘how easy’ it is to cross the Channel and enter the UK | UK News

Another summer has passed without a solution to the small boat crisis.

Record number of migrants have landed on the Kent coast this year.

Asylum seekers are driven away to be treated, but as we discovered, they leave behind coastal communities, where some describe a mood of frustration, exhaustion and division over the issue.

Sky News has got videos made by a ward council member who, completely tired of the government’s failure to stop the transitions, filmed himself and others challenging migrants arrives at the beach at Dungeness a few weeks ago.

Kim Rye shared the videos with us. In the recordings, another shout “offender” is heard.

Migrants arrive at the beach at Dungeness
Migrants arrive at the beach at Dungeness

Mrs Rye, who was walking with a young man who had just stepped onto the beach next to a lifeboat, admits she’s angry when she films herself and asks him, ‘Can you tell me why you’re here? “France not a nice country to live in? What’s wrong with France?”

He replies briefly that he has come to England because of “the language”.

We met Mrs Rye and her husband Graham, who say they want to make it clear that they welcome genuine refugees, but admit that their attitude towards asylum seekers and especially economic migrants is hostile.

She says: “Young men get off a boat and strut in shingles wearing Nike sneakers and wearing smartphones – sorry, but it’s not a refugee.”

Mrs Rye describes the arrival of the illegal boats as “an invasion”.

She says, “It’s so easy now to just go into this country undiscovered. It’s really far beyond a joke.”

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Sky News is witnessing people trying to reach the shores of Britain while French police do not intervene.

She adds that it “will be a frequent occurrence” to see migrants who have not been picked up by the authorities wandering around.

“If you lived through this every day, if you listen to the helicopters going up, police sirens, and that’s why I’m angry. I feel very protective of this community and the people in it. The people who can not speak for themselves. , because they are scared. “

Graham Rye puts into words his fear for safety.

He says: “No one knows who these people are. They do not know who they are, do not know where they have come from. The longer it lasts, the greater the chance that something unpleasant will happen. Someone who comes to the beach equipped with AK-47s. “

It is clear among the people we spoke to along the coast between Dungeness, Lydd, Littlestone and Dymchurch that this is a hugely divisive issue.

Around Dungeness, some people have a strong attitude – but most are afraid to share them publicly.

A local I spoke to who did not want to be identified called the arrivals of the small boats “relentless” and described their frustration when roads are closed to take coaches of migrants away.

More than one person I spoke to described the coaches as “luxury”. Whether true or not, it gives a sense of belonging among some in the community who seem to resent the migrants and the potential impact it has on where they live and work.

Migrants - handling a large inflatable boat down a northern French beach to get to the seafront to cross the canal.  - copy from Adam Parsons and Sophie Garratt
Migrants lead a large rubber dinghy down a northern French beach

On a busy day, local resources called for help can involve RNLI crews – who are mostly volunteers and working in the community – along with Kent Police, the Border Force and a rescue helicopter.

An RNLI crew member says this about the record-breaking summer of small boat arrivals: “It puts a lot of strain on us, but we are here to save lives. I think in order for anyone to make that journey, they must be in danger. “

The crew member told me he had seen holidaymakers start running as migrants walked up the beach.

“It must be alarming,” he says. Describing the migrants as “very distressed”, he added: “It is a shame that nothing can be done.”

And that’s something everyone seems to agree on.

There is terrible frustration that the French are getting money to try to help break the cycle and crack down on smugglers. Sky News has calculated that the British government has committed almost £ 200 million to the French over the last six years.

Mike Golding has lived in Dungeness for more than 40 years.

A border craft captures a group of people believed to be migrants in a small boat off the coast of Dover, Kent.  Image Date: Friday, September 17, 2021.
A border craft picks up a group of people believed to be migrants in a small boat off the coast of Dover

He says: “You have to feel sympathy for them (the migrants), but you have to draw the line. How many do you want to let into the country? And what do you want to do about it to stop them? The French are not going to do anything. They want to get rid of them as much as we want them. “

I ask him if he has resigned as it is.

“Yes a lot,” he replies. “Today you just take it for granted, they come, and it really is. Nothing we can do at this level.”

So these communities are entering another season, waiting for the government to deliver on its promise to tackle the increase in canal crossings.

The border forces rescue a number of people after a small boat incident in the canal
The border forces rescue a number of people after a small boat incident in the canal

Terry Preston, who has lived in Dymchurch most of his life, says: “Of course there has to be an immigration system – we can not on this small island take everyone who comes.

“But there has to be a compassionate way of being treated. We have to treat these people with compassion and justice. They have to be totally desperate to do it – it’s not something they do easily.”

Sir. Preston also accepts that the small boat crisis has taken its toll locally.

He says, “It’s very divisive, and it has certainly divided society.”

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