Largest group of irregular migrants intercepted while trying to cross the English Channel

A group of 86 irregular migrants have been intercepted while trying to cross the English Channel to the UK on 10 September 2019, the UK Home Office said. It is highest number of irregular migrants intercepted in a single day.

Early that morning, the UK Border Force said they were alerted to two boats traveling towards the UK coast. All 23 irregular migrants on board were taken to a makeshift processing station at the Port of Dover for medical checks. Once cleared, they were then transferred to an immigration detention centre. The irregular migrants were said to from Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan and the Philippines.

Around midday, another two boats were incepted, this time with 41 irregular migrants, from Iran, Iraq, Ethiopia and Vietnam.

Authorities were then alerted to two other incidents where migrants reached the shore. A total of 22 irregular migrants were picked up on two beaches.

The UK has issued a warning to irregular migrants not to risk crossing the Channel because of its dangers. At least two migrants, an Iranian woman and an Iraqi man, have died attempting to cross the Channel in recent weeks.

“I will not let the ruthless gangs of criminal people-smugglers continue to put lives in danger, which is why I’m doing everything in my power as home secretary to put a stop to these illegal crossings,” said UK Home Secretary Priti Patel.

“We’ve been working extremely closely with our French colleagues to tackle the use of small boats but we both agreed more needs to be done.” Patel met with her French counterpart in August 2019 to discuss intensifying action to tackle small boat crossings in the English Channel.

More 1,200 irregular migrants have been intercepted by UK authorities this year, according to news agency Telegraph. Over 500 of those have arrived in the summer months between June and August.

TMP – 20/09/2019

Photo credit: Susan Pilcher/Shutterstock

Photo caption: Folkestone, Kent, United Kingdom – February 24th 2019: UK Border Force coastal patrol vessel returning to Folkestone Harbour after being involved in operations to bring migrants ashore.