Migrants crossing English Channel pass 10,000 as daily record reached

Migrants arrive in Kent after crossing Channel in July

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The milestone number was passed as a record number of 482 migrants crossed the Dover Strait on Wednesday. Crossings in 2021 have already surpassed the total number for the whole of 2020, with five months of the year still to go.

Yesterday’s 482 arrivals, confirmed by the Home Office on Thursday morning, surpass the previous daily high of 430 set on July 19 2021.

Priti Patel has vowed to crack down on the number of crossings, pledging to make the Channel route “unviable”.

Last month she introduced a new law into the House of Commons which would give harsher prison sentences to people-smugglers enabling the crossings.

Criminal gangs found guilty of exploiting the vulnerable by aiding Channel crossings would face life in prison – an increase on the current maximum sentence of 14 years.

The Nationality and Borders Bill would also seek to give the Home Secretary more powers to remove those who enter the UK without permission.

Centres outside of the country would be set up to where asylum seekers could apply for the right to seek refuge.

Ms Patel said at the time: “The Nationality and Borders Bill contains vital measures to fix the UK’s broken asylum system.

“Our new plan for immigration is fair but firm.

“We will welcome people through safe and legal routes whilst preventing abuse of the system, cracking down on illegal entry and the criminality associated with it.”

However, despite her attempts to get tough on people-smuggling, the number of Channel crossings has continued to rise.

More to follow…

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