Number of French migrants crossing the Channel at record high

French and British border patrols are working tirelessly to apprehend migrants after 375 people attempted to cross the English Channel last night.

The past month has seen a rapid increase in French migrants crossing the waters between France and the UK, with the current amount of people seeking asylum being double that of the amount seen at the same time last year.

French
French migrants take to the Channel on calm nights, seeking asylum in the UK.

Last night’s string of attempted crossings mark the daily record for 2021 as nine separate boats were detained by border patrols in France and Dover. French authorities picked up 166 migrants while 209 more were rescued from the waters in Dover.

Three times more migrants have attempted to cross the Dover Straits than in 2020, with the current number of migrants hitting 2,000. Alongside this, French Police have been arresting individuals found with evidence and intention to smuggle people across the Channel with two separate cases occurring last night alongside the string of successful departures.

The last daily record for the highest number of attempted migrant crossings occurred on March 23 with 183 on six small boats. Last night’s attempted crossings add up to over double the previous record.

French Migrants etc.
French, Indian, Syrian and Albanian Migrants are only a few that make the trip to the UK.

The two records from yesterday and March aren’t the only cases of migrants crossing over to the UK. In 2020 8,000 people braved the waters of the Channel in small boats and arrived on the UK coast. During early April five Moroccan stowaways were discovered in a vessel docked in Dover.

Two weeks before that the British border force intercepted over 200 migrants across six incidents as they attempted to enter the UK, including a family of five that included a newborn baby.

Priti Patel
Priti Patel has voiced her concerns with the current Asylum system, and proposes “Fair, but Just” changes.

These attempts to seek asylum in the UK follow home secretary Priti Patel’s pledge to overhaul asylum seeker rules and to make them “fair but firm”. The changes proposed specify that people who attempt to enter the UK by “illegal means” will no longer be given the same entitlements as asylum seekers who arrive through proper means.

Despite these changes, many migrants have still attempted to cross to the UK through the Channel, and if the current numbers keep up, the border forces on both sides will continue to fight an uphill battle.