At least 100 migrants including a tiny baby land in Dover today as total to have crossed Channel this year passes 15,000 – double the amount recorded by the same time last year

  • Border Force has picked up migrants crossing the Channel for 12 days straight 
  • Hot weather has brought calm waters and numbers show no signs of slowing 
  • A total of 2,010 migrants have crossed the English Channel since Friday, July 8
  • 15,107 migrants have crossed this year, double the amount this time last year 

At least 100 migrants including a tiny baby have crossed the English Channel by small boat today as government figures show more than 15,000 people have made the journey so far this year.

With the UK and Europe in the grip of a record-breaking heatwave, dozens of migrants crossed the water today, helped to shore by Border Force patrol boats.

The new provisional figures show nearly double the amount of people have made the perilous journey in 2022 than compared to this time last year. 

A total of 15,107 people have travelled on the water from France in dinghies and cobbled-together boats so far this year, compared to 7,735 at the same time in 2021.

With the sweltering weather bringing calmer waters, the numbers show no signs of slowing down – with boat crossings for the last 12 days straight amid weeks of calm seas. 

More than 400 migrants have arrived in Dover in the last two days as the country is in the grip of its worst ever heatwave. Pictured: A woman and child are spoken to by a member of the armed forces on arriving in Dover yesterday, July 18

More than 15,000 migrants have arrived in the UK so far this year on small boats. Pictured are a group of migrants on a Border Force boat in Dover yesterday, July 18

There have been 12 straight days of migrant crossings as people desperately try to make the journey from France to Britain. Pictured is a migrant holding a picture of the Virgin Mary as she arrives into Dover yesterday, July 18

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) says migrants have made the journey every day for the last 12 days, with 2,411 doing so between July 8 and July 18.

At least 100 more people have arrived so far today, taking advantage of calmer than usual seas in the ongoing heatwave, with temperatures in the Channel a relatively cool 20C overnight.

The first group of around 10 people were escorted into Dover on an RNLI lifeboat shortly after 2am.

This was followed by a second group of around 20 people who were intercepted at sea and brought in on Border Force cutter Hurricane at around 8.30am. 

Among them was a man who appeared to be injured and was limping badly. He was helped off the vessel by Border Force staff who then handed him into the care of soldiers dressed in camouflage fatigues.

Once on land they placed in him a wheelchair and escorted him along the gangway to be processed by UK officials.

Children and babies have been seen making the perilous crossing. Pictured is a baby in carrier arriving at Dover yesterday, July 18

Several children could also be seen disembarking the boat – including a small boy who helped a male migrant to do up his life jacket.

Border Force catamaran Typhoon brought a further 40 migrants into the harbour around 10.30am.

A tiny baby – wrapped in a zipped up orange life-jacket – could be seen being carried off the boat by Border Force staff.

A few minutes later Border Force cutter Defender escorted around 30 more migrants to shore.

It came as MPs told the government yesterday there was ‘no clear evidence’ its controversial plan to deport some asylum seekers to Rwanda will deter people from crossing the Channel.

The House of Commons Home Affairs Committee said ‘much more clarity’ was needed on the plan, including how much it will cost, and urged the government to look at alternative solutions.

The worsening migrant crisis has seen tens of thousands of people cross the Channel in recent years.

The number of migrants has continued to rise despite the government announcing its controversial Rwanda scheme. Pictured are two children being helped by Border Force officials after arriving into Dover yesterday, July 18

A total of 28,526 people made the crossing in 2021, compared with 8,466 in 2020, 1,843 in 2019 and 299 in 2018, official Home Office figures show. 

The highest daily total so far in 2022 was recorded on April 13 when 651 people made the crossing in 18 boats.

The following day Home Secretary Priti Patel signed what she described as a ‘world-first’ agreement to send migrants deemed to have arrived in the UK ‘illegally’ to Rwanda. Since then 9,839 migrants have crossed the Channel.

The Home Office came under fire on Tuesday from the Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration, who said he is becoming ‘increasingly frustrated’ over delays in publishing his report on small boat crossings.

The findings were submitted to Ms Patel in February and should have been made public by the end of April, David Neal said, adding: ‘There is a strong public interest that it is published. I fear that, unless it is laid before Parliament this week, there will be yet further delay over the summer recess.’

A record 1,185 people made the crossing on November 11 2021 – the highest figure recorded since the start of 2020.

Despite the increasing numbers, the UK’s small boat arrivals are a fraction of the number of people going to Europe.

Data from the UN’s refugee agency shows at least 120,441 people arrived in Europe via the Mediterranean by land and sea in 2021.

And yesterday the Home Affairs Committee urged the government to look at closer cooperation with its European neighbours to tackle the crisis. 

Members of the cross-party committee said the number of people attempting the make the journey had gone up since the Rwanda scheme was announced in April.

‘There is no clear evidence that the policy will deter migrant crossings,’ the committee said in a report on the ‘small boats’ phenomenon.

It attributed the rise to ‘scaremongering’ by people-smuggling gangs warning migrants about the change in the law.

Most people who arrive in the UK this way claim asylum but the government says the costs involved in the application process —- more than £1.5 billion — are unsustainably high.

The committee pointed out that there were a total of 48,450 asylum applications in Britain in 2021 — a similar number to every year since 2014 and ‘far less’ than in the early 2000s.

But it said the current asylum caseload of more than 125,000 was a result of ‘antiquated IT systems, high staff turnover and too few staff’.

The first flight carrying asylum seekers was due to take off for Rwanda in mid-June but was grounded due to legal challenges.

A cross-party committee of MPs has called on the government to look at alternative ways to deal with the migrant crisis. Pictured are a group of men arriving into Dover yesterday, July 18

The Home Affairs Committee said there was ‘no magical solution’ to deal with irregular migration.

But it said ‘close cooperation with international partners, particularly those in France’ stood more chance of success in deterring Channel crossings.

A Government spokesperson said: ‘The rise in dangerous Channel crossings is unacceptable.

‘Not only are they an overt abuse of our immigration laws, but they risk lives and hinder our ability to help refugees who come to the UK through safe and legal routes.

‘The Nationality and Borders Act will enable us to crack down on abuse of the system and the evil people smugglers, who will now be subject to a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.

‘Under our new Migration and Economic Development Partnership with Rwanda, we are continuing preparations to relocate those who are making dangerous, unnecessary and illegal journeys into the UK in order for their claims to be considered and rebuild their lives.’

Source: Read Full Article