The West’s Border Closure Reflex Comes With a Cost

Advocates for migrants’ rights light candles in front of a banner that reads, “309 dead on the France-U.K. border since 1999,” during a gathering outside the port of Calais, northern France, Nov. 25, 2021 (AP photo by Rafael Yaghobzadeh).
Advocates for migrants’ rights light candles in front of a banner that reads, “309 dead on the France-U.K. border since 1999,” during a gathering outside the port of Calais, northern France, Nov. 25, 2021 (AP photo by Rafael Yaghobzadeh).

On Nov. 24, two devastating and separate, but ultimately interrelated, incidents took place in far-flung corners of the world. First, at least 27 people perished while attempting to cross the turbulent waters of the English Channel, which separates France from the United Kingdom. The dead were migrants from Africa and the Middle East whose fragile, flimsy raft sank before it reached the U.K.’s shores. This was the deadliest migrant crossing across the channel ever recorded, but it is not an isolated incident. Attempted channel crossings have spiked since 2018, resulting in hundreds of deaths.  On the same day, more than […]

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