More than 40,000 migrants have crossed the English Channel to the UK so far this year
More than 40,000 migrants have crossed the English Channel to the UK this year, Government figures show.
The Ministry of Defence (MoD) confirmed on Sunday that 40,885 individuals have made the journey into the country so far in 2022.
The UK is seeing an increase in migrant crossings compared to 2021 which had a recorded 28,561 crossings.
The latest figures come after 972 people – including men, women and children – made the crossing in 22 boats yesterday.
The arrivals on Saturday were the first so far in November, with the most recent crossings previously made on October 31 when 46 people were detected on one boat.
The milestone comes as immigration minister Robert Jenrick has insisted a move towards more basic accommodation is necessary to remove a ‘pull factor’ for those making their way to the UK in small boats.
He claimed the country’s ‘generosity’ towards refugees is being ‘abused’ by people ‘skipping the queue’, putting a strain on the immigration system.
More than 40,000 migrants have crossed the English Channel to the UK this year, Government figures show. Pictured: A group of people arrive in the UK after being rescued from the English Channel on Saturday
In an article for The Sunday Telegraph, Mr Jenrick said a ‘chronic shortage of acceptable accommodation’ for ‘record numbers’ of migrants has forced the Government to procure expensive and often unsuitable hotels, burdening the taxpayer with an ‘unacceptable’ cost.
‘Human decency has to be accompanied by hard-headed common sense: illegal immigrants are not entitled to luxury hotels,’ he said.
‘Conditions in the UK are almost always better than in neighbouring countries, which helps explain why the UK is a destination of choice for economic migrants on the continent ‘asylum shopping’.
”Hotel Britain’ must end and be replaced with simple, functional accommodation that does not create an additional pull factor.’
August 22 saw the highest daily total on record, with 1,295 people crossing in 27 boats.
It is nearly seven months since then Home Secretary Priti Patel announced plans to send migrants to Rwanda to try to deter people from crossing the Channel.
Since then, 33,805 people have arrived in the UK after making the journey.
The Ministry of Defence (MoD) confirmed on Sunday that 40,885 individuals have made the journey into the country so far in 2022. Pictured: A UK Border Force patrol boat carries migrants picked up at sea on arrival at the Marina in Dover in December 2021
The UK is seeing an increase in migrant crossings compared to 2021 which had a recorded 28,561 crossings. Pictured: A group of people thought to be migrants are brought in to Dover, Kent on Saturday
Almost 7,000 people arrived in the UK via small boat crossings in October, many of whom are vulnerable asylum seekers.
On April 14, Ms Patel signed what she described as a ‘world-first’ agreement with Rwanda, under which the east African country will receive migrants deemed by the UK to have arrived ‘illegally’, and are therefore inadmissible under new immigration rules.
However, the first deportation flight, due to take off on June 14, was grounded amid legal challenges.
The legality of the policy has since been contested in the courts, with ministers and campaigners awaiting a ruling from High Court judges on the case.
The number of people reaching the UK in small boats from France after navigating busy shipping lanes has increased steadily in recent years.
Some 299 were detected in 2018, followed by 1,843 in 2019 and 8,466 in 2020, official figures show.
Last week it was revealed the Home Office deported 350 people last month, more than 100 of whom were Albanian nationals.
The figure included 22 people who arrived after crossing the Channel in small boats and were removed directly from Manston processing centre in Kent.
As the peak for small boat crossings tends to be in summer, this suggests that only a very small proportion of those arriving in the UK have committed offences.
But the Home Office said those deported with prior offences had been convicted of ‘serious’ crimes, including rape, murder and assault.
Despite the growing numbers, the small boat arrivals are a fraction of the number of people going to mainland Europe.
Data from the UN’s refugee agency shows at least 120,441 people arrived in Europe via the Mediterranean by land and sea last year.
The MoD said its data is taken from ‘live operational systems’ and is subject to change, ‘including reduction’.
Boarder force officials were seen brining migrants into shore at Dover, Kent on Saturday, making them the first arrivals this month after a long period of bad weather.
Families and women with young children were among those pictured disembarking from Border Force vessels after being picked up from the Channel.
Crossings began early in the morning and were continuing throughout the day.
Saturday’s arrivals, the first so far in November, came after officials confirmed migrants being held at Manston immigration centre are being vaccinated against diphtheria.
Dozens of cases of the highly contagious disease were confirmed in England, including four at the processing centre, health authorities have said.
People being held at Manston processing centre in Kent will be given the vaccine, with young children prioritised
Mr Jenrick confirmed on November 1 that four cases had been identified, but insisted those involved had arrived at Manston already infected.
He said reports of diphtheria, MRSA and scabies incidents at the centre had been ‘exaggerated’. There have been multiple reports of people at the site with scabies and diphtheria.
But the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) said it is now moving with the Home Office to vaccinate migrants at the centre following a spike in infections.
The UKHSA revealed on Friday that 39 diphtheria cases had been identified in asylum seekers in England in 2022, as of November 10, warning accommodation settings should be considered ‘high-risk for infectious diseases’.
The Government agency said in many cases the illness had been contracted abroad and carried to the UK, stressing the need for action to ‘minimise the risk of further transmission’.