After UK Clears Deportation Bill, 5 Die in English Channel

Human rights groups describe new legislation as cruel
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Apr 23, 2024 7:01 AM CDT
After UK Clears Deportation Bill, 5 Deaths in English Channel
British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak speaks during a press conference at Downing Street in London, Monday, April 22, 2024. Sunak pledged Monday that the country's first deportation flights to Rwanda could leave in 10-12 weeks.   (Toby Melville/Pool Photo via AP)

At least five people have died while crossing the English Channel, according to French media, hours after the UK approved a migrant deportation bill, per the AP. The Voix du Nord newspaper said the bodies were discovered at the Wimereaux beach in northern France on Tuesday. The rescue operation is ongoing and helicopters and boats have been deployed, according to the regional newspaper. About 100 migrants have been rescued and placed aboard a French navy ship. They will be taken to the port of Boulogne, the paper said.

This came only hours after British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak's latest effort to send some migrants on a one-way ticket to Rwanda finally won approval from Parliament. The UK government plans to deport some of those who enter the country illegally as a deterrent to migrants who risk their lives in leaky, inflatable boats in hopes that they will be able to claim asylum once they reach Britain.

Human rights groups have described the legislation as inhumane and cruel. Both the United Nations refugee agency and the Council of Europe called on the UK Tuesday to rethink its plans for fears they could damage international cooperation on tackling the global migrant crisis. Migrants trying to cross the busy English Channel face drowning and sinking among other deadly incidents, often aboard crowded boats. An estimated 30,000 people made the crossing in 2023, according to UK government figures. (More migrants stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.