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Home Office in the media

Home Office in the media blog: Monday 20 May

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Today's Home Office in the media stories include the reports of Channel migrant rescues and an individual asylum seeker case.

Channel migrant rescues

There is widespread coverage of Channel crossing rescues over the weekend after more than 50 migrants were intercepted off the Kent coast.

Two incidents involving 32 people were reported on Sunday, with six men, two women and five children found on board one small boat. An additional 20 migrants in two small boats were rescued by Border Force on Saturday.

The Mail, Sun, Telegraph and Express are among those reporting on the incidents.

A Home Office spokesperson said:

Anyone crossing the Channel in a small boat is taking a huge risk with their life and the lives of their children.

Since the Home Secretary declared a major incident in December, two cutters have returned to UK waters from overseas operations, we have agreed a joint action plan with France and increased activity out of the Joint Coordination and Information Centre in Calais.

It is an established principle that those in need of protection should claim asylum in the first safe country they reach and since January more than 25 people who arrived illegally in the UK in small boats have been returned to Europe.

Kenyan asylum seeker

A gay rugby player fighting deportation to his native Kenya is calling on the Home Secretary to end his three-year ordeal in “legal limbo”, the Mirror, Metro and Star report.

The newspaper say that Ken Macharia fears for his safety in the African nation because homosexual activity is illegal and punishable with long jail terms.

Mr Macharia describes his treatment as “extremely hostile” and called on the Home Secretary to show that the UK “protects human rights” by making a decision on his application for asylum. His case has been ongoing since 2016, the newspaper report.

A Home Office spokesperson said:

This Government has a proud record of providing protection for asylum seekers fleeing persecution because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

All available evidence is carefully and sensitively considered by in light of published country information.

All decisions on claims based on sexual orientation are reviewed by a second experienced caseworker.

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