Around thirty people are dead, drowned in the English Channel. And everyone knows why they died. Because the UK government, like all governments of wealthy countries, makes it impossible for people who want to claim asylum to enter the country by the ways you and I travel. So people who want to do so – as is their human right – have to enter by clandestine means. And because states are powerful, have border guards, fences, technology to detect people etc, they have to make use of smugglers to get across international borders.

Whenever there’s a major loss of life, the same politicians who have done everything they can to make it impossible for people to arrive by safe means, blame the smugglers and criminal gangs whose businesses would not exist without the measures they themselves put in place. They deplore people who make a profit at the expense of the vulnerable, but make sure that they also criminalize people who would help those people for free from humanitarian motives.
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