London is under fire for its controversial policy of deterring thousands of refugees from landing on British shores.
The government on Monday moved 50 migrants onto the 222-room Bibby Stockholm, which docked off the Dorset coast nearly three weeks ago.
Authorities hope to eventually transfer up to 500 men, between the ages of 18 and 65, to the three-story floating accommodation block, which can house virtually 500 people in more than 200 bedrooms, while they await the outcome of their asylum application.
The controversial move showcases the latest example of a steady hardening of migration policy under the governing Conservative Party, led by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, who was born in the UK to parents of Indian descent who immigrated to Britain from East Africa in the 1960s.
As a way to deter migrants from reaching Britain through unauthorized means, London is moving migrants on to disused military sites and barges like the gray, three-story Bibby Stockholm in Portland.
Every year, thousands of asylum-seekers travel to Britain on small dinghies, risking their lives to cross the English Channel. Now, more than 50,000 of these desperate people are living in hotels waiting for the result of their asylum claims.
The engineless Bibby Stockholm sends a message that Britain will give "proper accommodation but not luxurious," said Home Office minister Sarah Dines.
According to government figures, nearly 46,000 asylum-seekers made the dangerous crossing from France to Britain last year. The number so far this year stands at nearly 15,000.
London says Bibby Stockholm will only house single men, providing "basic and functional" accommodation, along with the provision of healthcare, catering facilities and onboard security.
The three-story floating accommodation block is the first vessel secured under Home Secretary Suella Braverman's plans to cut the cost of asylum accommodation.
Source: Press TV
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