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Romford MP calls for “crack down” on illegal migrants crossing the Channel

Andrew Rosindell has asked for firm action to stop illegal migrants coming to the UK 

The MP for Romford has called for the Home Secretary to crack down on the number of illegal migrants crossing the Channel from France. 

Andrew Rosindell claims more people have been making the journey in small boats due to a lack of alternative routes during the coronavirus lockdown. 

In a letter to Priti Patel, Mr Rosindell claimed his constituents are frustrated that they are not being stopped from coming to the UK.

“My understanding is that 3,200 migrants have successfully made the illegal crossing since 2018, with the number more than doubling in the first two months of this year compared to the same period last year,” Mr Rosindell wrote.

Last Thursday, the Home Office announced asylum seekers and illegal migrants will automatically be quarantined for two weeks upon arrival. 

“However, I am somewhat perplexed that only a small number of these illegal migrants are actually being returned to where they came from,” continued Mr Rosindell. 

“Is it actually correct that 1,400 people arrived between December 2018 and October 2019 and of those, only 6% were returned?” 

The Conservative MP argued the current system encourages people to come to the UK as they know it is unlikely they will be removed. He also pointed out it is unfair to those who come here legally. 

However, the letter has sparked a backlash from Labour representatives in the area who have described it as “distasteful.” 

Angelina Leatherbarrow, who has stood against Mr Rosindell in the last two general elections, called the letter “wholly inappropriate and dangerous.”

Havering Councillor Tele Lawal said: “During a global pandemic, where people are dying, I do not believe for a second this is a major concern constituents are raising at this time.

“Residents across the borough are worried about their health, employment, the risk of children returning to school too soon, the lack of PPE and how they will put food on their table in the coming weeks and months.”

Miss Lawal, who represents Heaton Ward, also raised concerns about local businesses and self-employed people who have not been able to access government support during the coronavirus lockdown.

“The MP for Romford is hiding behind voters, instead of boldly airing these concerns as his own,” Cllr Lawal added. 

“For once, I and many, would like to see him make a real and proper representation for the diverse constituency in which he was elected to represent.” 

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