98 Per Cent of Illegal Boat Migrants Arrive in Britain Without a Passport

Migrants walk on a beach after being helped ashore by an RNLI (Royal National Lifeboat Ins
BEN STANSALL/AFP via Getty Images

Nearly all of the illegal boat migrants who arrive on British shores after crossing the English Channel have no passports, according to a Freedom of Information request from the Migration Watch UK think tank.

According to official data from the Home Office obtained through a Freedom of Information request by Migration Watch UK, 98 per cent of boat migrants arrive in Britain without a passport.

The report, seen by Breitbart London, found that only two per cent, or 317 illegal migrants, were found to have a passport in their possession between 2018 and June of 2021, during which time at least 16,500 illegals landed via the Channel route.

The practice of illegal migrants destroying or discarding their identity documents has been a longstanding and well-documented practice, as it makes it more difficult for individuals to be deported to their country of origin if those origins are unclear.

While asylum seekers who destroyed their documents could face prosecution under a 2004 law passed by the then-Tony Blair Government, yet, Migration Watch noted that the number of actual prosecutions of such offences has become essentially non-existent.

According to Ministry of Justice data, just two migrants were prosecuted for failing to produce an immigration document during their asylum or leave interviews in 2019, despite 1,840 arriving during that year.

Dan O’Mahoney, the government’s threat commander for the English Channel commented on the problems of documents being destroyed in 2020: “Generally speaking, encouraged by the facilitators, [those crossing] will get rid of any sort of documentation or pocket litter, as we call it in law enforcement—phones, SIM cards, anything—before they are intercepted by Border Force.”

Like the previous two years, the number of illegal migrants crossing the English Channel in small rubber boats from France is expected to hit another all-time high. The government has been warned that up to as 65,000 could land this year, nearly double last year’s record of 28,400.

The first month of the year smashed records for January, with over 1,300 landings compared to 223 last year.

While the government is planning to deploy the Royal Navy into the Channel to coordinate the response to the growing crises, the navy has already shut down the idea of actually turning the boats back to France.

In an apparent attempt to reduce public outrage over the constant flow of migrants, Priti Patel’s Home Office is reportedly planning on stopping the daily reporting of migrant arrivals in favour of a quarterly reporting scheme. In response to the mooted plan, Migration Watch UK launched a petition “to send a message that hiding the data in this way would deeply injure transparency and accountability.”

The problems of migrants arriving on English soil without identity documents was noted by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) which previously said: “The destruction of documents disables the authorities from establishing where an entrant came from, in order to increase the chances of success of a claim or application and/or to thwart removal… These offences have the real potential to undermine the whole system of immigration control.”

The CPS has not been particularly keen on acting as a deterrent for illegal migration, however, declaring in June of last year that they would no longer pursue legal action against the majority of illegal migrants even under existing legislation.

In comments provided to Breitbart London, Migration Watch UK chairman Alp Mehmet said: “Verifying that those arriving in small boats are who they say they are is all but impossible given they have nearly all destroyed their documents.

“And yet, in most cases, we take them at their word and let them in even when there are serious doubts about their age and identity. This is dangerous loophole that puts the public at massive risk. Most galling is that the government have known about it for years.”

Follow Kurt Zindulka on Twitter here @KurtZindulka


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