According to a recent report released by the UK Home Office, Indians have overtaken Albanians to become the second largest migrant group in the UK crossing the English Channel.
Around 250 Indian migrants crossed the Channel in small boats in January alone, while the total was 675 over the months of January to March. In the previous year, the number was 683 during the entire year. Following this spike, Indians make up one-fifth of the 1,180 migrants attempting to enter the UK through the English Channel this year.
Serbia’s visa-free travel rules for Indians is one of the main reasons behind the increase in Indian migrants entering the UK. According to the Home Office, these rules provide a getaway for them into Europe. Until last December, all Indian passport holders were allowed to enter Serbia for up to 30 days without a visa.
British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak stated that the migrant issue is one of his top priorities. The UK government is clamping down on illegal workers to ensure that people are adequately contributing to the country’s economy by filing taxes and other regulations.
Recently, the British government launched a week-long crackdown on illegal migration in London. As many as 60 delivery drivers working for companies like Uber Eats, JustEat and Deliveroo have been arrested for several offences, including working illegally and possessing false documentation.
Out of the 60 arrested, 44 were detained by the Home Office, pending their removal from the UK. The remaining 16 were released on immigration bail. A number of the arrested will also voluntarily leave the UK.
Weapons and cash suspected of being linked to criminal activity were also seized during the crackdown. Following searches of properties linked to the arrests, a Home Office statement mentioned that imitation firearms and other types of weapons were found. More than 4,500 pounds of these weapons were seized under the Proceeds of Crime Act.
Most of the arrested illegal migrants were Brazilian nationals, along with a few Indian and Algerian nationals.
“Illegal working damages our communities, cheats honest workers out of employment and defrauds the public purse. As the Prime Minister has set out, we are committed to going further and faster to prevent the abuse of our laws and borders,” said Suella Braverman, Britain’s Indian-origin Home Secretary.