Migrant crisis: 711 asylum seekers crossed English Channel yesterday in record-breaking day so far this year

Migrant crisis: 711 asylum seekers crossed English Channel yesterday in record-breaking day so far this year

WATCH: Police to launch raids to find migrants to deport to Rwanda

GB News
James Saunders

By James Saunders


Published: 02/05/2024

- 10:35

Updated: 02/05/2024

- 11:22

The total number of small boat arrivals now stands at a provisional total of more than 8,000 this year alone

Some 711 people were detected crossing the English Channel on Wednesday, the highest number on a single day so far this year, the Home Office has revealed.

The total number of small boat arrivals now stands at a provisional total of 8,278 this year alone.


This is 34 per cent higher than the total at the same time in 2023, which was 6,192, and 19 per cent higher than the total at this stage in 2022, which was 6,945.

Some 14 boats were detected by officials on Wednesday - which suggests an average of around 51 migrants per boat.

Small boat crossing English Channel

A record 711 people crossed the Channel yesterday (file photo)

Getty

The figures only add to GB News' exclusive reveal yesterday that over 1,700 migrants had crossed the English Channel in just over a week - with the latest Home Office data factored in, this now pushes past a staggering 2,000.

The data comes as the National Crime Agency said a fourth man had been arrested on suspicion of immigration offences after five migrants, including a seven-year-old girl, died last week while trying to cross the Channel.

Just days ago, the amount of crossings had prompted a Home Office spokesperson to state: "The unacceptable number of people who continue to cross the Channel demonstrates exactly why we must get flights to Rwanda off the ground as soon as possible.

"We continue to work closely with French police who are facing increasing violence and disruption on their beaches as they work tirelessly to prevent these dangerous, illegal and unnecessary journeys."

MORE ON THE MIGRANT CRISIS:

Home Office raids

Operational teams within the Home Office had been working at pace to "safely and swiftly detain individuals" for relocation to Rwanda

PA

The arrivals follow yesterday's news that the Home Office had detained the first migrants bound for Rwanda under the Safety of Rwanda (Asylum and Immigration) Act after it was enshrined in law last week.

Operational teams within the Home Office had been "working at pace to safely and swiftly detain individuals" for relocation to Rwanda, the department said.

The Act's eventual passing followed an extended process of parliamentary ping-pong between MPs and Lords over the designation of the central African nation as a safe country.

The Lords had eventually ended the deadlock after MPs rejected a requirement that Rwanda could not be treated as safe until the secretary of state, having consulted an independent monitoring body, made a statement to Parliament to that effect.

More detentions are expected to take place in the coming weeks, ahead of flights expected to take off at the begining of July.

Home Secretary James Cleverly said: "Our Rwanda Partnership is a pioneering response to the global challenge of illegal migration, and we have worked tirelessly to introduce new, robust legislation to deliver it.

"Our dedicated enforcement teams are working at pace to swiftly detain those who have no right to be here so we can get flights off the ground.

"This is a complex piece of work, but we remain absolutely committed to operationalising the policy, to stop the boats and break the business model of people smuggling gangs."

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