Gov't Considered Setting Up Tent Cities in London Parks to House Migrants
Civil servants at the Home Office, which is tasked with controlling immigration, reportedly raised the idea of constructing tent cities in London to deal with the thousands of illegal migrants arriving in small boats from France every month.
According to a report from The Times, bureaucrats raised the idea with local government officials in London following failed attempts to convince the city and other parts of the country to take more to take in more asylum seekers.
Rejecting the move, local council leaders reportedly suggested that the United Kingdom lift restrictions on asylum seekers working so that they could afford their own accommodation — a move that would also make illegal migration much more lucrative while making it even more difficult to deport those who are deemed to be ineligible for refugee status.
The paper claimed that the discussions came amid talks on what to do about the asylum processing site at Manston Airport, which was only designed to hold up to 1,000 people for a 24-hour period but is currently housing more than 2,600 migrants for often much longer stretches.
As a result of the overcrowding of the site, there have been outbreaks of unrest among the migrants as well as cases of diphtheria.
Though the government did not deny that the idea was raised, it said that there are no such plans to construct any camps in London — at least for now — with a Home Office spokesman telling The Times: “It is categorically untrue to suggest that the Home Office is planning to erect tents to house asylum seekers in London parks.”
Following the outbreak of coronavirus, the government controversially began housing asylum seekers, including those who entered the country illegally, into hotels across the country at taxpayers’ expense.
What was supposedly a stop-gap measure to begin with has now grown so large that it costing the British taxpayer nearly £7 million per day — an increase of some £2 million since just February.
There is also a growing backlog of asylum cases, with just four per cent of claims from boat migrants being decided upon so far this year.