More than 20,000 immigrants crossed the English Channel to England this year

According to the latest figures, since the beginning of this year, more than 20,000 people have illegally boarded the English Channel to the United Kingdom, more than doubling the total in 2020.

This year’s numbers continue to exceed the previous year’s numbers, even though the government has promised to stop the flow of small boats, which are often overloaded with semi-rigid inflatables.

On Tuesday, British authorities rescued or intercepted 456 people trying to cross the channel, and French authorities also blocked 343 people from arriving in the UK.

French British immigrants
Immigrants are escorted for processing after being picked up by a RNLI (Royal National Lifeboat Institution) lifeboat while crossing the English Channel on September 7, 2021 at the beach in Dungenes, southeast England. Carry a child. (Ven Stansall / via AFP Getty Images)

According to data compiled by PA news agencies, about 19,756 people from France have already arrived in the UK by small boat this year.

The trip was “promoted by a violent criminal organization that was dangerous, unnecessary, and profited from misery,” said Dan Omahoney, commander of secret channel threats at the Interior Ministry.

“We are working with the French to stop boats from leaving the beach and crack down on criminals driving these intersections,” he said.

In July, the United Kingdom and France announced an agreement on addressing this issue. Under this agreement, Britain will pay France £ 54 million ($ 75 million), more than double the number of police patrol the beaches of France.

Prior to 2018, this crossroads accounted for a small proportion of illegal immigrants, and very few are known to achieve it each year.

According to Interior Ministry statistics, the number of people trying to cross has begun to increase from the winter of 2018. That year, 299 people crossed.

At the narrowest point, 21 miles away, the English Channel is one of the busiest routes in the world.

In the last few years, some people have died trying to cross.

Last week, Home Secretary Priti Patel said in a “horrifying” and “absolute tragedy” case that as many as three people were believed to be unexplained after trying to travel from France to Britain in a dinghy. explained.

On October 25, two men, both Somali citizens, were rescued off the coast of Essex near Harwich, stopping the search for possible survivors.

According to the Interior Ministry, when immigrants declined due to pandemic restrictions last year, there were about 16,000 “known illegal immigrations” across the UK.

Simon Veazey and PA contributed to this report.

Alexander Chan