Over 8,000 Illegal Boat Migrants Land in the UK This Year, as 60 More Arrive at Dover

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. …
Luke Dray/Getty Images

Over 8,000 illegal boat migrants have landed on British shores since the start of the year, as another 60 migrants were brought ashore at the Port of Dover on Monday.

As the recent spate of cold and windy weather eased, small rubber boats full of illegal migrants began to cross the English Channel from France in the early hours of the morning.

The government’s official tally for illegal boat migrants stands at 8,143, but this does not include the estimated 60 migrants who arrived on Monday, according to the Daily Mail.

The true number is likely to be much higher, however, as the government does not include alleged child migrants or those who skirt detection in the official tally.

The estimated 8,200 illegal crossings of the Channel far outpace the initial projections from the London-based pressure group Migration Watch UK, which predicted that between 7,500 and 7,600 migrants would reach the country by Christmas, based off of arrival trends at the time.

The think tank has since upped its projections to 10,000 by the end of the year. Migration Watch UK has also warned that if the current trends of illegal boat immigration continue, it will cost the British taxpayer almost a quarter of a billion pounds over the next decade.

The bulk of the money will be spent on asylum claim related expenses, despite 81 per cent of all boat migrants failing to meet the standards to qualify as a refugee.

“In the midst of ballooning budgets, rising backlogs and a shameful failure to keep track of rejected claimants, the asylum system is wide open to abuse. It is a gaping hole in immigration control that is being exploited by both traffickers and those who have no credible claim to asylum,” the chairman of Migration Watch UK Alp Mehmet said.

Amidst the massive uptick in illegal crossings, up from 1,890 in 2019, the Home Office under the direction of Home Secretary Priti Patel has floated a series of plans to stem the tide of migrants.

The government has suggested using ferries as floating asylum centres, using Ascension Island as a holding centre, tasking the Royal Navy with turning around boats in the Channel, and even mooted the idea of floating walls and nets to seal off British territorial waters.

The record waves of illegal aliens, combined with the Chinese coronavirus crisis, has forced the government to put up migrants in hotels across the country as well as commandeering military installations, which have been converted into camps in Kent and in Wales.

The failure to tackle the record waves of small boats from crossing from France, as well as an ongoing scandal surrounding allegations of bullying, has seen rumours circulate that Patel may be on her way out as the head of the Home Office.

“The view of the political operation in No 10 was always that she should be protected,” a senior Tory told the Sunday Times.

“But there is also a view that she should be reshuffled on competence grounds. There is continual frustration that the Home Office has not got a grip on things, the small boats in particular,” the source said.

Another official characterised Ms Patel as “ineffective”, saying that it would be “sensible” for Prime Minister Boris Johnson to move her to another post.

Follow Kurt Zindulka on Twitter here: @KurtZindulka

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