Record Number of Migrants Cross English Channel in a Single Day

Written by Camilla Jessen

May.02 - 2024 1:52 PM CET

In Britain, a record number of migrants crossed the English Channel in one day.

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Britain experienced a record-breaking surge in migrant crossings on Wednesday, with at least 711 individuals navigating the English Channel in small boats—the highest number recorded in a single day this year, as reported by the BBC.

Preliminary data from the British Home Office reveals that 8,278 migrants have made the journey via small boats so far this year. This figure represents a 34% increase over the same period last year and a 19% rise compared to 2022.

Escalating Numbers and Tragic Incidents

Despite the recent spike, the overall number of migrants reaching the UK's Kent coast from France in 2023 totals 29,437, reflecting a decrease of about one-third from the previous year.

The recent increase in crossings has been marred by tragic incidents, including a fatal stampede aboard one of the boats last week that claimed five lives, among them a seven-year-old girl.

In response to the escalating situation, the British government has ramped up measures to deter illegal migration.

The Ministry of Internal Affairs has detained several asylum seekers who are scheduled for deportation to Rwanda under a new policy.

This policy, part of a controversial bill enacted last month, aims to discourage illegal crossings by mandating the deportation of asylum seekers to Rwanda as part of a broader strategy to curtail the perilous journeys to the UK.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, who vowed to "stop the boats" as a cornerstone of his policy initiatives last year, is under growing scrutiny as the frequency and number of these crossings continue to escalate.

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