Number of Migrants Trying to Cross English Channel up 400% over 2018

DOVER, ENGLAND - APRIL 04: An inflatable rib lies in the surf near Samphire Hoe on April 4, 2019 in Dover, England. Two separate incidents of migrants coming ashore have been reported along the Kent coast near Folkestone this morning. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)
Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

The number of migrants attempting to cross the English Channel rose by nearly 400 per cent in 2019.

In 2019 the number of migrants attempting to enter the UK illegally by crossing the English Channel surged to 2,358,  quadrupling the number of 2018, which saw 586 people attempting the perilous sea journey across one of the world’s busiest shipping lanes.

French authorities report that 261 migrant filled boats, which are typically undersized, overloaded and ill-equipped to deal with the heavily trafficked and icy waters of the channel, attempted to make the crossing, leading to four deaths last year, reports The Guardian.

Of the total, some 1,892 migrants successfully reached British shores last year, according to The Standard. The figure is twice as many as the year prior, many of whom were brought to Dover by UK Border Force.

The news comes after 43 migrants from Iraq, Iran, and Afganistan were brought to Dover after attempting to cross in three small boats.

Last week, Breitbart London reported that a former immigration chief blamed the surge in migrant crossings on increased border patrols on the channel.

“The more Border Force cutters there are in the Channel the more attractive it is for those setting sail in small boats. They know they will be picked up and taken to the UK. For them that is mission accomplished,” said David Wood, former immigration enforcement at the Home Office.

Home Secretary Priti Patel said that in response to the surge of illegal migrants, the government will look into how to speed up the deportation process, possibly to be modelled on Australia’s uncompromising system which saw a steep decline in illegal migration under the Commonwealth’s “stop the boats” policy.

“When there is an incentive, people will find ways to get here, whether it is in lorries, small boats or any other means. If they know they are going to be promptly returned they will stop coming,” a Home Office spokesman told The Telegraph.

In 2018 under the leadership of former Prime Minister Theresa May, the UK agreed to pay France £44.5 million to install border fencing and surveillance systems at Calais and other French ports where migrants set sail from. The United Kingdom had previously paid £100 million to France to increase border security.

In October, Breitbart London reported that French police are allegedly actively assisting migrants to avoid detection by UK Border Force, telling them when and when not to attempt to cross the channel, according to a people smuggler.

Follow Kurt on Twitter at @KurtZindulka

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