Migrant makes ‘V for Victory’ sign as up to 30 including small child make dangerous Channel crossing today after total for this month passed 1,000 – compared to 223 last January
- Up to 30 migrants crossed the Channel today and were brought into Dover
- Dozens, including a child, were picked up by Border Force in early hours
- It comes as the number of small-boat Channel migrants who have landed in Britain since the start of the passed 1,000 – two months earlier than last year
A migrants made the ‘V for victory’ sign as up to 30 crossed the Channel today – after the total number of arrivals this month passed 1,000, compared to just 223 in January 2021.
Dozens of people, including a small child, arrived at Dover Marina in Kent after they were picked up by Border Force early this morning.
A group of adults wearing black puffer jackets and pale blue face masks were among the arrivals today – who came amid flat and calm conditions in the English Channel.
One of the men held up two fingers, showing the ‘peace’ or ‘V for victory’ sign.
A child was see being carried by officials after the migrants arrived in Dover.
It comes as the number of small-boat Channel migrants who have landed in Britain since the start of the passed 1,000 – two months earlier than last year.
Another 87 crossed on Sunday and 67 yesterday, bringing January’s total to 1,119 so far – not including today’s number, which has not yet been confirmed by the Home Office.
Last January saw only 223 arrivals and the 1,000 mark was reached on March 24.
A group of adults wearing black puffer jackets and pale blue face masks were among the arrivals today – who came amid flat and calm conditions in the English Channel. One of the men held up two fingers, showing the ‘peace’ or ‘V for victory’ sign
A child was see being carried by officials after the migrants arrived in Dover
Dozens of people, including a small child, arrived at Dover Marina in Kent after they were picked up by Border Force early this morning
There were a record 28,400 arrivals in 2021 and Ministers expect a ‘worst case scenario’ of up to 65,000 this year (pictured: Migrants arriving today)
A group of adults wearing black puffer jackets and pale blue face masks were among the arrivals today – who came amid flat and calm conditions in the English Channel
UK authorities have intercepted more than 1,000 migrants so far this year – more than three times the 223 in January 2021. Last year 28,381 people were intercepted in the Channel in total
There were a record 28,400 arrivals in 2021 and Ministers expect a ‘worst case scenario’ of up to 65,000 this year.
Officials have denied that new migrants will be hidden from view at the Port of Dover after insiders claimed that from next month they will disembark behind a tall fence. Pictures of arrivals embarrass the Government because they show the huge numbers.
‘Day after day of more and more migrants coming in by sea is not the image the Government wants to portray,’ a dock worker said yesterday.
‘It has promised to control our borders but the pictures show a different story.’
A government source said: ‘The Home Office’s contract to use part of the port is coming to an end.
‘Operations will move to another part of the complex but it is not correct that arrivals will no longer be visible.’
Plans emerged last week to end daily updates of the number of crossings and publish the figures only four times per year. Tory MPs and campaigners attacked the move as a ‘crazy’ attempt to ‘cover up the scale of the problem’.
In total, an estimated 28,381 people crossed the Channel in 2021, more than treble the 8,400 that arrived in 2020 (pictured: Dover today)
At least 28,381 migrants arrived in England after crossing the Channel in 2021 – treble the number that made the journey in 2020, despite considerable investment from both UK and French authorities to prevent crossings (pictured: Dover today)
A child arrives at Dover Marina today after the number of crossings exceeded 1,000 this month
In total, an estimated 28,381 people crossed the Channel in 2021, more than treble the 8,400 that arrived in 2020.
What happens when someone arrives in the UK after crossing the Channel?
By Rory Tingle
The vast majority of people crossing the Channel in small boats claim asylum, according to the Refugee Council. At this point the process for what happens varies depending on whether they are an adult, unaccompanied minor or a family unit.
1 – Immediately transferred to a short-term holding facility dotted around the country, generally in southern England. Fingerprints are taken and they have a screening interview where they provide their name, date of birth and nationality. This registers them into the asylum system.
2 – One or two days later the asylum seekers would usually be sent to a hostel run by the Home Office, but in the last few years these have become full so officials are using hotels.
3 – Two to three weeks later they are dispersed to a town or city anywhere in the UK into ‘housing in the community’ – although these time scales have stretched recent years. In addition, dispersal accommodation has often been full so the Home Office has relied on rented accomodation from three private providers. The asylum seekers receive housing and £39.63 a week as a cash allowance.
4 – The asylum seekers are issued with a form called a preliminary information questionnaire (PIC) where they are asked why they have a fear of persecution. At some point they are invited to the Home Office for substantive interview where they will be asked questions based on information from their screening interview and PIC form.
4 – If the initial decision is a refusal, the applicant can appeal to an independent tribunal. Their accommodation and support would continue.
5 – If they get an initial refusal and they don’t appeal or their appeal is refused they become what’s known in official jargon as ‘appeal rights exhausted’. The Home Office will send them a letter saying they will be evicted and the weekly support will stop.
6 – They have the option of signing up to the Voluntary Return Scheme, under which the Home Office will pay for their flights. If they don’t sign up they are liable to being picked up and detained by immigration officers and perhaps forcibly removed. But they are not enough detention spaces for people in that situation so they often become homeless and destitute, the Refugee Council said.
Children (under 18) are sent to a short term holding facility for a much shorter amount of time and then transferred into the care of a local authority. They are allocated a social worker and accomodation.
The Home Office cannot remove minors if they have been separated from their parents. However, if their asylum claim is unsuccessful they could be given a form of leave to remain until they are 17 and a half.
The only slight difference is that if a family become an ‘appeal rights exhausted’ case the Home Office wouldn’t evict them from the accommodation or stop their financial support.
It comes after it was reported that Prime Minister Boris Johnson gave Home Secretary Priti Patel the green light to develop new powers that would allow male asylum seekers crossing the Narrow Sea to be held in immigration removal centres.
The Government meanwhile was accused of ‘cowardice’ earlier this week after it was revealed that the Home Office plans to publish a running total of migrant crossings just four time a year, rather than on a daily basis.
At least 28,381 migrants arrived in England after crossing the Channel in 2021 – treble the number that made the journey in 2020, despite considerable investment from both UK and French authorities to prevent crossings.
The Prime Minister is said to be clamping down on the number of migrants crossing into the UK via the Channel, after it was reported that he had encouraged Priti Patel to proceed with a policy of detaining all male migrants.
Though the Home Office has not published a breakdown of Channel migrants by age or gender, Miss Patel claims that seven in ten of all people who cross the Narrow Sea are single men under 40.
Mr Johnson’s new gung-ho attitude to border security is part of a series of populist policies which are intended to shore up his tottering premiership as the embattled Tory leader faces calls to quit over the ‘Partygate’ lockdown scandal enveloping Westminster.
Miss Patel is working closely with Attorney-General Suella Braverman to establish what current laws would allow on detention and what new powers would be needed to be approved by MPs, according to The Times.
Currently only migrants who land on the UK coast are breaking the law and can be detained, rather than those intercepted in the Channel.
An announcement is due next month as part of wider plans for the Royal Navy to take over operational control of Channel crossings.
These plans would be accompanied with powers to remove Channel migrants from the UK, including proposals to ‘outsource’ asylum claims to third countries.
A Home Office spokesperson has said: ‘The British public have had enough of seeing people die in the Channel while ruthless criminal gangs profit from their misery and our New Plan for Immigration will fix the broken system which encourages migrants to make this lethal journey.’
Home Office officials have warned Miss Patel that 65,000 migrants could cross the Channel this year – more than double last year’s 28,300 record number.
The Government has this month been accused of trying to ‘cover up’ the migrant crisis after it was reported that the Home Office will soon stop issuing daily totals of migrant crossings in favour of announcing a running total at three-month intervals.
The Home Office currently issues the data after arrivals have been processed by the UK Border Force, typically on the following day, but this could stop when the Ministry of Defence (MoD) takes over operations to intercept migrants.
The move has drawn criticism from Tory MPs – with one saying it ‘seems more like burying bad news than being transparent about crossings.
Another anonymous Conservative said: ‘It just looks like covering up, and no doubt journalists will come up with their own figures based on people arriving at Tughaven [the migrant processing centre in Dover] and Freedom of Information requests.’
Alp Mehmet, chairman of Migration Watch UK which campaigns for tougher border controls, added: ‘This is a cowardly act. It just shows the Government is running scared.
‘I’m very surprised at Priti Patel, and the British people deserve better from her.
‘Do they really think they can hide the figures from the electorate when all this takes place in the open on our beaches and at our ports?
‘The Home Office can’t simply pretend this problem is not happening, and hope it will go away.’
Internal Home Office documents show officials are planning for a ‘worst case scenario’ of up to 65,000 arrivals this year.
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