Home Office to open another site for migrants in Kent

Part of military base will house 'illegal migrants' from January

A migrant carries her children after being helped ashore from a lifeboat at a beach in Dungeness, on the south-east coast of England, on November 24. AFP

Another military base will be used to process migrants arriving in the UK as of next month, the Home Office has said.

Part of the Ministry of Defence site in Manston, Kent, will be used as a “processing site for illegal migrants by January 2022”, the office said.

The secure site will be able to “hold migrants for up to five days as security and identity checks are completed”.

“This new site will provide safe and secure accommodation for illegal migrants while the government carries out necessary checks,” said Immigration Minister Tom Pursglove.

The Home Office said there should only be minimal implications for those living near by as people would be moved after initial checks and taken to longer-term accommodation.

Afghans who arrive in the UK, as part of an existing resettlement policy and the wider scheme the government is yet to open, will not be taken to the site, an office spokesman said.

The Home Office has been using the ministry’s Napier Barracks, near Folkestone, since last year to house asylum seekers and process people coming ashore at a site near Dover.

Meanwhile, French prosecutors said 26 people who died after trying to cross the English Channel last month to reach the UK have been formally identified.

At least 27 are thought to have died, including seven women, a teenager and a girl, 7.

The identity of one migrant remains unknown, Paris prosecutor Laure Beccuau said.

Several Iraqi Kurds, Iranian Kurds, Ethiopians, Afghans, and a Somali woman and an Egyptian man were among those who died.

Updated: December 14th 2021, 10:49 PM