- Today, dozens of migrants crossed the English Channel in small boats
- Latest illegal crossings could bring total for the year above 5,000
- Border Force escorted dozens of migrants into the port at Dover at around 11am
More than 5,000 migrants could have crossed the English Channel this year, with dozens more making the perilous journey today in more favorable weather conditions.
Eyewitnesses reported seeing three groups stopped as they attempted to cross the 21-mile Strait of Dover in small inflatable boats or other small boats this morning.
The Border Force Ranger escorted dozens of migrants, including at least three young children and a baby, into the port of Dover, Kent just before 11am.
The second group, mostly men, was brought into the harbor on a Border Force storm cutter less than an hour later.
Smugglers appear to be taking advantage of the milder UK weather – as Britons suffered a high of 17 degrees this afternoon.
According to data released by the Government, 37 migrants crossed the Channel on Sunday, bringing the total number of migrants for 2023 so far to 4,936 per 118 boats – an average of 42 people per boat.
Although the Home Office has yet to confirm official figures for today, it is thought that the latest arrivals could surpass the total of more than 5,000 active people.
READ MORE: Half of Britons support Government’s plan to deport migrants to Rwanda but most don’t believe it will work, new poll shows
This is significantly less than 2022, which has seen 6,342 migrants cross the English Channel in small boats this time of year.
Last year saw a record 45,755 asylum seekers arriving in the UK. The busiest day was on August 22 when 1,295 people made the perilous journey in a 24-hour period.
Officials predict that as many as 80,000 migrants could enter the UK in small boats this year, but bad weather on the coast has made the temporary crossing several times halted.
A Home Office spokesman said: ‘The unacceptable number of people risking their lives by making these dangerous intersections is placing an unprecedented strain on the asylum system. ours.
‘Our priority is to stop this illegal trade and our Small Boat Operations Command is working together with our French partners and other agencies to stop people smugglers .
‘The Government has gone further by introducing legislation to ensure that those who arrive in the UK illegally are detained and promptly returned to their country of origin or a safe third country.’
Chancellor Rishi Sunak and Home Secretary Ms Braverman have said ‘stopping boats’ crossing the Channel is an important priority, but campaigners have largely condemned the Government’s response, with the proposed legislation. The latest – the Illegal Migration Bill – is described as effective. ‘refugee ban’.
Meanwhile, it’s been just over a year since the £120m Rwanda plan was announced by Home Secretary Priti Patel on April 14.
Under the proposals, any adult who entered the UK illegally could be sent a one-way ticket to the African country to have their asylum claim processed.
However, in the past 12 months, no migrants have been sent to Rwanda from the UK as the Government battles legal challenges against the policy.
A poll by think tank More In Common, conducted April 6-11, found that 46 percent of people still support the Rwanda plan.
However, Voting results announced showed that nearly half (48%) believe the policy will not make a difference to the number of people crossing the English Channel in small boats.