Record 202 Migrants Make It Across The Channel To Kent

Published on 31st July 2020 by BrickTop

Filed under News, Politicians

Last modified 19th October 2020

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Record 202 Migrants Make It Across The Channel To Kent In A Single Day.

Brand new boats the illegal immigrants used to cross the Channel

More than 200 illegal immigrants crossed the Channel to arrive on the British coast yesterday – a record for a single day.

The astonishing number brought renewed calls for ministers to get a grip on the Channel crossings crisis. The previous record for one day was 180, set on July 12.

In fact, yesterday’s figure of 202 could be even higher because the Border Force records only include intercepted boats and it was unclear last night if they account for at least two groups of migrants picked up by police inland.

It began at 3.26am when 48 arrived on three boats in Kent. A further 17 boats carrying 154 migrants then arrived, mostly over the course of 12 hours. One local resident said the boats were like a ‘flotilla’.

One group of around 12 young men sprawled in a garden in the historic town of Walmer. One of them fell asleep against the garden fence. Others took off their shoes as they rested and cooled down.

A few of the young men sat texting – possibly telling other migrants they had made it – before being picked up by police. They are likely to be among those not included in the 202 figure.

Last night there were calls for Home Secretary Priti Patel to put more pressure on the French authorities to intercept and tow boatloads of illegal migrants back to their shores.

Migrants texting other migrants they had made it to the land of milk and honey.

Retired driving instructor Bob Chesney, 71, who owns the £407,000 two-bedroom bungalow where the migrants rested on the grass, said they arrived at about 9.30am.

The married grandfather-of-five said: ‘I was a bit worried at first and I asked one of the officers if it was safe. I asked if they were illegal immigrants.

‘He said they were, but that I had nothing to worry about. He mentioned that several had run away.’

Mr Chesney said they were picked up by immigration enforcement vans at about 11am.

Carpenter Kelvin Thomas, 67, working next door, said: ‘I think they were pleased to get caught. There was no commotion – they were very subdued.’

At around 6am, another group of five wrecked their inflatable boat before swimming ashore at St Margaret’s at Cliffe, near Dover.

The illegal immigrants were making local girls uncomfortable, according to locals.

They were seen lying in the sun, taking selfies and using the seafront railings as a clothes rail to dry their clothing.

They were then picked up by immigration officials who gave them face masks.

One boat which arrived after being picked up by Border Force guards appeared to have a young girl of no more than six or seven-years-old on board. She was carried into the processing centre by an official at Dover port.

MP for Dover Natalie Elphicke told the Mail: ‘The brazen behaviour of these latest arrivals highlights how illegal entrants are mocking our border security.

‘This is simply not good enough. There needs to be firmer action taken by the Home Office to bring an end to these dangerous small boat crossings.’

Home Office minister Chris Philp said: ‘The number of illegal small boat crossings we are seeing from France is unacceptably high.

‘France have stopped thousands of migrants this year and they stopped more today, but more needs to be done.

‘We need stronger enforcement measures, including interceptions at sea and direct return of boats and the French have heard that directly from the Home Secretary.’ 

Hundreds of migrants have been arriving in the UK in small boats every month, even with Britain being under coronavirus lockdown.

Home Secretary Priti Patel was in Calais on the same day 200 migrants tried to travel into Britain, to discuss a clampdown on illegal crossings with her French counterpart.

She said: ‘Despite all of the action taken by law enforcement to date – intercepting the boats, making arrests, returning people to France and putting the criminals responsible behind bars – the numbers continue to increase.

‘This simply cannot be allowed to go on.’

In May, the Mail revealed how French navy vessels are escorting some migrant-filled boats to British waters before handing them over to UK Border Force vessels without even intercepting them.

Some migrants are believed to threaten to throw themselves into the water, causing the French boats to stand off.

Last week saw the 3,000th migrant arrive by illegal boat since the start of the year. The figure for the whole of 2019 was 1,890. In 2018 it was just 297.