Migrants cross English Channel for fourth consecutive day as Home Secretary Priti Patel meets with Border Force in Dover

Migrants were seen crossing the English Channel into the UK for the fourth day in a row, as the warm weather and calm seas provided relatively safe conditions for travel.

Sky News reporters saw immigrant boats traveling through the waters as Interior Minister Priti Patel met with Border Force officials in Dover.


Mark Austin was reporting from a Sky Helicopter that he was flying over the Kent coast when he saw that one of the ships was being intercepted.

He said: “There were dozens of people on board, and the Border Patrol boat Vigilant picked them up, then the vigil headed back to Dover.”

Photo: Home Secretary Priti Patel meets with Border Force officials in Kent as she crosses

Sky reporter Ashna Horenagh, reporting from Dover, said: “It has been a very busy day for Border Force officers.

“They know that when the heat comes the numbers increase and today was no different, those waters were disconcerting, leading many people to risk their lives in the desperate hope of reaching the other side.

“We actually saw a small boat that the Border Force and the Coast Guard came across this morning. We spoke to five or six people, who were from Syria and Sudan.”

The number of migrant crossings is expected to decline in the coming weeks as winter approaches.

Patel met with law enforcement teams dealing with illegal immigration a week after she said she wanted Britain’s Border Force to be able to reject the immigrant ships and return them to France.

“The Home Secretary’s visit here in Dover tells us everything we really need to know,” Hornagh continued.

“That is high on his agenda, we know that she is very interested in making this canal route unviable, and we know that she is definitely interested in tackling this type of illegal immigration.”

The number of migrants crossing into the UK has increased dramatically in recent years: around 300 made the journey in 2018 and around 1,800 in 2019.

In 2020, the number jumped to 8,500, and at least 14,400 people crossed into the UK in small boats this year.

A record number of migrants attempted to cross the English Channel on Monday, September 6, according to witnesses.

At least 1,000 men, women and children were believed to have been seen making the journey from France to the UK.

Migrants are usually men, aged between 18 and 34 years. They travel from countries like Yemen, Sudan, Afghanistan and Iraq and say they are seeking asylum to escape civil war and persecution.

Peter Walsh, a researcher at Migrant Monitor, told Sky News: “When we put it in an international perspective, other countries are much worse off.

“Countries like Italy, Greece and Spain. At the height of the migration crisis five years ago, both Greece and Italy had 200,000 unauthorized arrivals by ship. These days, the situation is not so bad, but it is still in the tens of thousands. more a year. ” than the UK. ”

Ms. Patel used the Citizenship and Borders Bill to say that she wanted to “simplify” the asylum or asylum application process.

Part of that would be increasing the prison sentence for those facing it from six months to four years. Human traffickers, who charge thousands of pounds for a seat on a boat, could face life in prison.

Sky Europe correspondent Michelle Clifford was reporting from France and said the country’s main strategy was to prevent human smugglers and ships from entering the waters.

She said: “We have been on the beaches for the past few days, both at night and in the early hours of the morning, where most of the launches take place.

“We have not seen any boats trying to cross, what we have seen is a permanent police presence and in the usually busiest areas of migrants and asylum seekers.

“We see policemen in those areas, policemen on the beaches, policemen at sea, police helicopters in the air.

“Much of this work is being paid for with funds from the UK government, and the Home Secretary has warned that some of these funds may be withheld if the French do not do more to stop the crossings.”