Over 20,000 illegal immigrants have crossed the English Channel into the UK this year

More than 20,000 illegal migrants have been detected arriving in the UK across the English Channel in small boats since the beginning of 2022, according to UK government statistics.

Approximately 607 ships crossing the Channel were detected on 13 August by 14 boats, bringing the provisional total for the year to 20,017.

A total of 28,526 crossings were detected in 2021. By this time last year, over 11,300 crossings had been made.

According to the Ministry of Defense (MoD), 3,618 crossings were detected so far in August, and 1,694 crossings were detected last week.

The all-time record for 2022 was set on August 1, with 696 people traveling in 14 boats.

A record 1,185 people traveled to the UK on 11 November 2021. This is the highest number recorded since the start of 2020.

The number of illegal crossings has surged in recent years, with 28,526 detected in 2021, compared with 8,466 in 2020, 1,843 in 2019, and 299 in 2018, according to Interior Ministry figures. I was.

“no effect” response

Last month, two reports criticized the Home Office’s “ineffective” response to the complaint. Some said the Border Patrol’s approach to interdicting movements “can be ineffective and counterproductive,” while others said the initial treatment of those arriving was “ineffective.” , is inefficient”.

In one of the reports, former Australian Foreign Affairs Minister Alexander Downer said the Border Patrol’s Maritime Command was “poorly equipped” to meet the “all-consuming” challenge.

All small boats carrying migrants are considered “wreck ships” because they are fragile and overloaded.

As a result, Border Patrol “are effectively rescuing people and escorting them to ports so they can enter the UK,” Downer said. is not surprising.”

Mr Downer said that to deter illegal immigration, the UK government should use “contract vessels and professional crews” to divert boats “when safe and legal”. All options should be preserved.

He also recommended that Britain reach an agreement with France to expedite the transfer of illegal immigrants to third countries for processing and to return small boat arrivals.

Since the UK’s exit from the European Union, the Dublin Regulation, which allows EU Member States to return illegal immigrants to the EU Member State of first arrival, no longer applies to the UK. As a result, few were successful in repatriating illegal immigrants. Efforts to sign a new bilateral agreement with France have so far been unsuccessful.

Lily Zhou and PA Media contributed to this report.

Alexander Chan