Britain’s Migrant Crisis

Migrants are pictured aboard of a Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) lifeboat after being picked up at sea while crossing the English Channel from France, arrive on the beach at Dungeness on the southeast coast of England, on August 16, 2023.

Britain’s Migrant Crisis

Britain’s population is growing about 1 percent per year, largely due to unprecedented levels of immigration.

In 2022, 745,000 people arrived; in 2023, 672,000 arrived from January to June. That’s roughly the population of Nottingham, the United Kingdom’s fourth-largest city, arriving each year. A decade ago, net migration was 212,000 per year, and that was considered high.

It is quickly changing the face of the UK. Over a quarter of all births are to migrant mothers. One in 5 elementary schoolchildren do not speak English as a first language.

The UK also has its own southern border crisis. Last year, 30,000 people illegally crossed the English Channel in small boats, down from 46,000 the year before. Ninety-nine percent of these illegal immigrants remain in the UK. Most are coming from Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria and Albania. For such a small country, Albania has sent a surprisingly huge number of its people to Britain. Around 2 percent of its entire adult male population is estimated to have crossed to the UK in dinghies.

The nation is spending £8 million (us$10 million) per day on hotel rooms for these migrants. The government spends £2 billion a year on the asylum system, not including the hotel bill.

Albanian gangs now dominate the illegal drug market. They’re the largest foreign nationality in prison; 1.6 percent of inmates come from a group that makes up 0.05 percent of the UK population.

Perversely, getting involved in crime can actually help these young men stay in the UK. Once in jail, they can claim that they were forced into the gang and are a victim of modern slavery, which entitles them to asylum in the UK.

The United States and Canada have their own migrant crises right now, but what makes the UK stand out is that it has a Conservative government.

At every election since 2010, British voters have elected the Conservative Party, running on a platform of reduced migration. In 2010, 2015 and 2017, they promised to cut net migration to “tens of thousands” per year. In 2019, they dropped that number but still promised to reduce migration.

Why? There’s more to this than politicians simply being corrupt liars.

Britain has a worklessness crisis. Not an unemployment crisis—that figure sits at 3.8 percent, or 1.3 million, hardly a shocking figure. But far more are claiming out-of-work benefits because of ill health. Around 5.6 million people have their livelihoods paid for by taxpayers while they sit at home and do nothing. In several northern towns and cities, between 20 and 25 percent of working age people are not working.

Half a million adults under the age of 35 are out of work due to long-term ill health. For one third of them, it’s “mental health” that makes them unproductive.

That’s a lot of lost workers and a massive welfare bill. Twenty percent of the government’s budget goes to welfare spending, excluding pensions. It has to be paid for somehow. This Conservative government believes if it follows through on its promises, it will crash the economy due to labor shortages.

As for illegal immigration, the government at least brought the total down from its peak, but it is nowhere near as low as it was just three years ago. Here the problem should be simple. Claiming asylum is for people fleeing from danger. How many of these migrants are in danger in France? Approximately zero—it’s not a dangerous country. All of these should be rejected. A major obstacle is the European Convention of Human Rights, which has been interpreted to mean that migrants have taxpayer funding for legal cases, many opportunities to appeal and all kinds of excuses to stay put.

The government arranged to ship some of the illegal immigrants to Rwanda, but the European Court of Human Rights ruled it incompatible with the convention.

Britain’s migrant problems reflect a host of deep problems: moral and family problems that lead to “mental health” issues, poor physical health, economic decline, rule from Europe and a lack of bold leadership to deal with any of these.

The migrant crisis isn’t simply a physical problem: It is a moral and spiritual crisis. It should not seem farfetched to look to the Bible for answers.

The book of Hosea catalogs many of the problems facing us today, and it gives solutions. Hosea 4:13 warns that we sacrifice our children when we neglect them. When they grow up, their own families are plagued with adultery and immorality, and family decline worsens (verse 14). The result is a nation that is “oppressed and broken in judgment” (Hosea 5:11). People in government make poor decisions, and the whole nation suffers. Instead of addressing the worklessness crisis, they try to take the easy way out by bringing in migrants, which causes more problems.

These are general warnings, but also specific prophecies. For years, we’ve taught that the tribe of Ephraim in Bible prophecy refers to Britain. (Read our free book The United States and Britain in Prophecy for more information.)

The results of this weak leadership? “Ephraim, he hath mixed himself among the people,” or “foreigners,” as the New Living Translation terms it (Hosea 7:8). The verse continues, “Ephraim is a cake not turned.” It may look good on the surface. But on the inside it is burned and overcooked. Even migration itself is covering up much deeper societal problems.

The Bible warns that when Britain needs strength and unity, it will suddenly be missing: “Strangers have devoured his strength, and he knoweth it not: yea, gray hairs are here and there upon him, yet he knoweth not” (verse 9).

But this same book has the solutions. In Hosea 8:7, God says, “For they have sown the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind ….” Hosea, and all Bible prophecy, is about cause and effect. We have caused our own problems, and God will let us experience the results. “O Israel, thou hast destroyed thyself,” God laments (Hosea 13:9).

Why? Hosea 4:6 says we “are destroyed for lack of knowledge ….” We’ve been running our lives, our families and our societies our own way. God wants us to see the problems we are causing ourselves—nationally and individually. Going our own way without submitting to the knowledge of God leads to problems, frustrations and unfulfilled lives.

“[B]ut in me is thine help,” God says (Hosea 13:9). “For I desired mercy, and not sacrifice; and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings” (Hosea 6:6). God wants us to know how to run our lives and our nations. Once we listen to that knowledge, we can live.

“I will heal their backsliding, I will love them freely: for mine anger is turned away from him,” God says. “I will be as the dew unto Israel: he shall grow as the lily, and cast forth his roots as Lebanon” (Hosea 14:4-5). Hosea ends with a message of hope: Turn to God and He will give us solutions.