Number of migrants crossing English Channel nears last year's total

This year's arrivals are nearing the 28,526 crossings that were made in the whole of 2021

A group of people thought to be migrants are brought in to Dover, Kent, aboard a Border Force vessel. PA
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The number of migrants crossing the English Channel in 2022 is coming close to topping last year's total, as adults and children wrapped in blankets continued to arrive on the southern coast of the UK on Tuesday.

Women and young children were among those seen being brought ashore in Dover, Kent, amid windy conditions at sea as migrant crossings continued for the fifth day in a row.

Five boats carrying 188 people arrived on Monday, after 1,160 made the journey in 25 boats on Sunday, marking the second time the daily total has topped 1,000 in the past two weeks.

It comes after Priti Patel defended her record as home secretary hours before announcing her plan to resign from the role as soon as new Prime Minister Liz Truss appoints a successor, admitting in a letter to former leader Boris Johnson that migrant crossings are “frustrating”.

Meanwhile, campaigners continue to challenge the government’s plan to send migrants to Rwanda.

Several asylum seekers, the Public and Commercial Services union, and groups Care4Calais and Detention Action are questioning the legality of the plan in a case set to last all week in the High Court.

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In April, Ms Patel signed what she described as a “world-first agreement” with Rwanda in a bid to deter migrants from crossing the Channel.

But the first deportation flight — due to take off on June 14 — was grounded amid a series of legal challenges.

Since the deal was announced, 22,304 people have crossed the Channel to the UK in small boats.

More than 27,500 people have crossed the Channel from France to the UK in small boats such as dinghies so far in 2022.

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The total to date is about 1,000 short of the number of arrivals for the whole of last year — 28,526.

A total of 2,529 people made the journey in the first four days of September alone, after August had the highest monthly total on record for crossings, with 8,644 people arriving in 189 boats.

Updated: September 06, 2022, 11:40 PM