Still Zero Boat Migrant Deportations This Year as 2021 Landings Pass 20,000

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 20,000 illegal migrants have landed on British soil after crossing the English Channel from France since the start of the year, zero of whom have been deported by Boris Johnson’s government.

An estimated 400 boat migrants successfully reached England on Wednesday, taking the total for the year to over 20,000 — more than double last year’s total of 8,410.

The latest milestone comes as a report from the Migration Watch UK think tank has found that arrests for illegal crossings of the English Channel fell to just 46 from January to September, despite over 17,000 making the illegal journey during the same time period.

The think tank’s figures, seen by Breitbart London, mean that the government only achieved an arrest rate of 0.3 per cent, compared to an already low 1.3 per cent the prior year, when 113 were arrested.

Migration Watch went on to note that the government has also failed to deport a single illegal boat migrant who crossed the Channel this year.

Confirming the grim statistic, a Home Office spokesman told The Telegraph: “There were no returns in charter flights to EU destinations of people who had arrived via small boats in 2021 to date.”

Commenting, Alp Mehmet, Chairman of Migration Watch UK, said: “This is another shocker. As illegal arrivals have shot up, the proportion of arrests has gone the other way, with zero returns reported this year of those who have come through, and set sail from, safe countries to get here.

“Meanwhile, the British people look on in utter disbelief as one Home Secretary after another fails to get a grip of an ever-worsening situation.”

While Home Secretary Priti Patel — the government minister tasked with controlling immigration — had vowed to “take back control” of Britain’s borders following Brexit, the government has in fact cut immigration enforcement spending by £40 million over the past two years alone.

Last month, the Home Secretary admitted that 70 per cent of the boat migrants who arrived over the past year have been young, single men, which she conceded means they are in fact “economic migrants” and not “genuine asylum seekers”.

Despite this, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) has said that they will not be prosecuting migrants who cross the Channel and claim asylum, 98 per cent of whom do so.

Legislation pending in Parliament would increase penalties for people-smugglers as well as expand the definition of who should be classified as illegally entering the country to include those taken ashore by the Border Force.

It remains to be seen if the CPS will actually begin prosecuting illegal migrants after the Borders bill is passed, however.

At the Conservative Party conference in Manchester last month, the Priti Patel claimed that the government would finally look to implement a “turn back the boats” approach and send boat migrants back to France — a safe and prosperous EU member-state from which they have no legitimate reason to flee.

Commenting on Tuesday evening, Brexit leader Nigel Farage said that “it’s all well and good for Priti Patel and Boris Johnson to stand up at the Tory Party conference and get the cheers of the delegates but it all means nothing because the economic pull factors are still there.”

He warned that, as things stand, “there is absolutely no end in sight” to the Channel migrant crisis.

In July, the Home Office agreed to send another £54.2 million to France to step up border patrols on the French coast against illegal migration, on top of the £28 million in payoffs sent last November. The government is currently withholding the latest payoff until more enforcement is seen.

It is estimated that there are currently thousands of migrants gathered near the beaches of France to make the journey to the United Kingdom.

As with issues between the UK and EU such as French fishing rights in the English Channel and the Northern Ireland Protocol, however, the French have so far been unwilling to come to an agreement on the return of illegal migrants.

The former chief of the Border Force, Tony Smith, told GB News: “The only way to reverse this trend to stop the boats is to break the business model which means we have to send people back to France.”

Follow Kurt Zindulka on Twitter here @KurtZindulka

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