Over 7,500 Illegal Boat Migrants Arrived in Britain This Year

DOVER, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 22: Border Force officials unload migrants, that have been intercepted in the English Channel, in order to process them on September 22, 2020 in Dover, England. This summer has seen an increase in people making the journey in small crafts from France seeking asylum in U.K. …
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Over 7,500 illegal boat migrants have reached the United Kingdom by crossing the English Channel from France since the start of the year, reaching the number that Migration Watch UK predicted would arrive in the country by the end of the year.

Following the arrival of 100 more illegal aliens on Monday, the total number of illegal migrants recorded to have reached British shores rose to a record 7,532, more than four times the number of migrants in 2019.

Since the beginning of the month, some 403 boat migrants have successfully crossed the Channel, according to the Daily Mail. In September, a monthly record of 1,954 landed in Britain.

In July, the mass migration sceptic think-tank Migration Watch UK predicted that — based on arrival trends at the time — between 7,500 and 7,600 migrants would reach the country by Christmas.

The frenzied pace of illegal migration has seen that prediction come true two months earlier than expected.

In response to the latest grim milestone, Executive Director of Migration Watch UK Ben Greening said: “There has been a massive surge in illegal crossings in the past few months with nearly six times the number of arrivals as we saw at this point last year.”

“We keep hearing words from Ministers about plans to stop this, but where’s the action? Toughening up port security and hugely boosting enforcement, including removals, are urgent and essential,” Greening added.

On Tuesday, Immigration Minister Chris Philp rolled out the standard line from the British government, that British and French officials are working together to combat people smuggling gangs.

“We are committed to fixing the asylum system, to make it fairer and firmer, compassionate to those who need help and welcoming people through safe and legal routes,” Philp added.

Following record crossings in July and August, Migration Watch updated its projections, saying in September that the UK is on track to see 10,000 illegal boat migrants arrive by the end of the year.

Migration Watch laid out three main ways that the British government could reduce the waves of illegal immigration.

Firstly, the think tank called for the government to broker a deal with the French, that would “ensure that anyone setting off is immediately returned” to France.

Second, the pressure group said that the government should substantially increase the number of deportations for those who have “no right to be here, including failed asylum seekers”.

Finally, Migration Watch said that Parliament should change the laws on immigration to reduce “pull factors” for migrants, such as free housing for asylum seekers and cutting the taxpayer-funded allowances for migrants seeking asylum in the UK.

“We are on course for approaching 10,000 illegal crossings by the end of the year. Until it becomes clear that the UK is not a soft touch with an open door, the numbers will go on increasing. All this with net migration at record levels before the Covid crisis hit and unemployment shooting up. Message to No 10: pull your finger out,” said Migration Watch chairman Alp Mehmet.

Over the past few months, Boris Johnson’s government has trotted out a series of plans to cut illegal migration, including housing migrants on ferries, using Ascension Island as a holding centre, tasking the Royal Navy to turn back boats in the Channel, as well as using floating walls and nets to prevent migrant boats from reaching British territorial waters.

Earlier this month, the Home Office revealed that it is planning to target Facebook ads to migrants in France, asking them not to make the illegal journey across the Channel.

The failure to stem the tide of illegal boat migration during the China virus pandemic has forced the government to start putting up migrants in hotels all across the country.

With soaring costs for housing the supposed asylum seekers and limited capacity in hotels, the government has been forced to take over former army barracks and other military facilities to hold the overflow of migrants.

Follow Kurt Zindulka on Twitter here: @KurtZindulka

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