Nearly 450 asylum seekers arrested at sea in the English Channel, according to the Ministry of the Interior

Nearly 450 presumed asylum seekers were arrested yesterday in La Manche.

The Home Office says UK authorities had to rescue or intercept 253 people in 10 events.

A faded image of asylum seekers landing on the beach in Kent. Image submitted

Meanwhile, French authorities have stopped 196 people from traveling to the UK in seven incidents.

Tom Pursglove, Minister for Justice and the Fight against Illegal Immigration, said: “The increase in dangerous Channel crossings is unacceptable.

“Not only are they a clear abuse of our immigration laws, but they also impact the UK taxpayer, put lives at risk and our ability to help refugees come to the UK through safe and secure channels. Rightly, the British public has had enough.

“Through our Nationality and Borders Bill, we are cracking down on people smugglers and fixing the broken system by making it a criminal offense to knowingly arrive in the UK illegally and introducing a maximum sentence of life imprisonment for those who facilitate illegal entry into the UK. the country.”

The activity of asylum seekers crossing the Channel has resumed after a recent lull a fortnight ago due to bad weather, in particular storm Eunice on February 18.

Asylum seekers picked up at sea by Border Force are usually first brought to Dover Western Docks.  Photo by Sam Lennon KM Group Library
Asylum seekers picked up at sea by Border Force are usually first brought to Dover Western Docks. Photo by Sam Lennon KM Group Library

Last Friday, a further 132 people were intercepted crossing the English Channel in four different incidents.

As recently as Tuesday, Matt Dunkley, chief executive of Kent County Council for Children, Young People and Education, warned that a very high number of boat crossings were expected this summer.

He said it would be “difficult” for local authorities to provide aid.

More than 28,300 people crossed the Strait of Pas de Calais in small boats in 2021, triple the figure for 2020.

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