UK migrant crossing: A record number of English Channel crossings, according to report

Twenty-seven boats made the journey, according to the UK’s Ministry of Defense. As channel crossings continued into Tuesday, around 40 people including young children were rescued and brought ashore in Dover, southern England, by the UK’s Border Force.

The previous daily record of migrants recorded was 1,185 on November 11, 2021, according to PA. A total of 28,526 people entered the UK in small boats in 2021 with nearly two-thirds coming from Iran, Iraq, Eritrea and Syria, according to the UK Home Office.

The English Channel, a narrow waterway between Britain and France, is one of the busiest shipping lanes in the world.

Refugees and migrants fleeing conflict, persecution and poverty in the world’s poorest or war-torn countries risk the dangerous crossing, often in dinghies unfit for the voyage and at the mercy of people smugglers, hoping to claim asylum or economic opportunities in Britain.

Last November, 27 people drowned in bitterly cold waters off the coast of France after an inflatable boat carrying migrants bound for Britain capsized, in one of the deadliest incidents in the English Channel in recent years.

The issue of migrant crossing has heightened tensions between British and French leaders, with both sides accusing the other of not doing enough.
It has also turned into a political issue for the UK government, which put in place tighter immigration rules after Britain left the European Union.

Earlier this year, UK Home Secretary Priti Patel brokered a highly controversial £120 million ($147m) deal with Rwanda to send asylum seekers to the East African country. But the accord has been stymied by a number of legal challenges, including a last-minute intervention by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR).

Patel described Rwanda as “a safe haven for refugees” as the UK vowed to push ahead with the controversial scheme.

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