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At least 150 migrants cross the Channel for the first time in almost a week and land in Kent

At least 150 migrants have crossed the Channel for the first time in almost a week as people smugglers take advantage of a break in the bad weather.

Border Force brought the first group into Dover Marina, Kent, at around 8am today on board cutter Speedwell.

Immigration Enforcement officers were seen walking 11 young men, some draped in light blue blankets for warmth and others carrying their possessions in bags.

Border Force catamaran Hurricane then docked around an hour later with 45 people on board.

By 1pm, at least 150 people were thought to have been brought into the docks, reported onlookers monitoring activity in the Channel off the Kent coast. 

There has also been two boat landings on the beach in Folkestone, Kent, but it is not yet known how many people were on board. 

The group is the first to arrive since 285 people crossed one of the busiest shipping routes in the world on nine boats last Sunday.

So far in August, 2,184 migrants have arrived in 70 boats. A record-breaking 11,599 made the treacherous trip so far this year compared to 2020’s total of 8,410.

A group of up to 20 migrants including two children are pictured after landing their dinghy on a beach near Folkestone, Kent, this morning. The group is the first to arrive since 285 people crossed one of the busiest shipping routes in the world on nine boats last Sunday

A dinghy spotted out at sea off Sandgate, Kent, today. There has been two boat landings on the beach in Folkestone. So far in August, 2,184 migrants have arrived in 70 boats

A dinghy spotted out at sea off Sandgate, Kent, today. There has been two boat landings on the beach in Folkestone. So far in August, 2,184 migrants have arrived in 70 boats

A group is pictured waiting at a bus stop after at least 150 migrants crossed the Channel for the first time in almost a week this morning

A group is pictured waiting at a bus stop after at least 150 migrants crossed the Channel for the first time in almost a week this morning

A man is seen picking berries after two boat landings at Folkestone today. A record-breaking 11,599 made the treacherous trip so far this year compared to 2020's total of 8,410

A man is seen picking berries after two boat landings at Folkestone today. A record-breaking 11,599 made the treacherous trip so far this year compared to 2020’s total of 8,410

The Home Office has not yet revealed how many migrants made the treacherous Channel crossings today.

A man wearing a red jacket and a woman wearing a white woolly hat handed their baby boy to officers as they disembarked.

Another woman also got off the boat before 41 young men left the moored search and rescue vessel.

One male appeared to be very elderly and had long grey hair sweeping over his face.

Two large black rigid inflatable boats with outboard engines – one severely deflated after making the journey – were towed into harbour shortly afterwards.

The next group of migrants were brought in on Speedwell around half an hour later with 35 people on board.

A family consisting of a father, a mother carrying one tiny tot and three girls – the youngest holding the hand of an Immigration Enforcement officer – walked up the gangway.

Another mother gave a thumbs up as she disembarked with her three young girls and a little boy who were also waving. They were followed by 24 young men.

One man is seen waving towards the camera in Folkestone, Kent, this morning. It follows 285 people crossing one of the busiest shipping routes in the world on nine boats last Sunday

One man is seen waving towards the camera in Folkestone, Kent, this morning. It follows 285 people crossing one of the busiest shipping routes in the world on nine boats last Sunday

A group of seven migrants, including one child being carried on a person's back, are seen on a beach at Folkestone in Kent this morning, following two boat landings

A group of seven migrants, including one child being carried on a person’s back, are seen on a beach at Folkestone in Kent this morning, following two boat landings 

A second group of up to 30 migrants, including women and children, were pictured after landing their dinghy near some rocks at Folkstone, Kent, today

A second group of up to 30 migrants, including women and children, were pictured after landing their dinghy near some rocks at Folkstone, Kent, today

A large rigid hulled inflatable boat (RHIB) was towed into harbour by a Border Force officer on a jet ski followed by another red inflatable and a black vessel.

As Speedwell disembarked around a dozen more migrants – including one woman – the RNLI Dover Lifeboat moored next to it to disembark another group of migrants.

Around 50 people were on board. One man held the hands of his two sons as they walked up the gangway followed by two women, one holding the hand of a little girl wearing a pink jacket, and a man carrying a young infant.

Another young boy aged around eight disembarked with his mother.

A mother and father held the hands of their two young daughters followed by another two couples carrying four children.

Their red RHIB filled with fuel cannisters, shoes, oars and foot pumps was towed into harbour.  

A group of up to 20 migrants including two children were pictured this morning after landing their dinghy on a beach in Folkestone, Kent

A group of up to 20 migrants including two children were pictured this morning after landing their dinghy on a beach in Folkestone, Kent

A man is seen picking berries after a second group of up to 30 migrants were seen after landing their dinghy near rocks in Folkestone, Kent, this morning

A man is seen picking berries after a second group of up to 30 migrants were seen after landing their dinghy near rocks in Folkestone, Kent, this morning

A police officer is seen next to a group of up to 30 migrants including women and children in Folkestone, Kent, this morning

A police officer is seen next to a group of up to 30 migrants including women and children in Folkestone, Kent, this morning

The landings follow a Conservative MP criticising the Home Office’s plan to spend £2million on a permanent migrant reception centre in Dover, saying they should instead focus on ‘closing the small boats route’.

The centre is being developed at the Dover docks to process the record numbers of migrants crossing the Channel, and will allow Border Force officials to test, check, interview and feed migrants on-site.

The £2million Intake Unit, which will be converted from a disused welding site, will be ready next May, according to Home Secretary Priti Patel.

But some MPs slammed the plans and said it sends the wrong signal by suggesting that illegal cross-Channel migration cannot be prevented, The Telegraph reported.

Tory MP for Dover Natalie Elphicke, 50, instead argued that the Home Office should spend the money on trying to stop arrivals from crossing the Channel.

She told the publication: ‘I would rather we focused our efforts on closing the small boats route than investing more and more millions of pounds in permanent structures.’

A man is seen picking berries while carrying a child on his back in Folkestone.  The Home Office has not yet revealed how many migrants made the treacherous Channel crossings today

A man is seen picking berries while carrying a child on his back in Folkestone.  The Home Office has not yet revealed how many migrants made the treacherous Channel crossings today

Four people, including a child, are seen sitting on a nearby wall in Folkestone this morning. At least 150 people were thought to have also been brought into Dover Marina

Four people, including a child, are seen sitting on a nearby wall in Folkestone this morning. At least 150 people were thought to have also been brought into Dover Marina

When the multi-million pound facility was announced earlier this month, the politician said it was time to bring an end to ‘illegal and dangerous journeys’ across the Channel.

A Home Office spokesperson said earlier this week: ‘The number of crossings is unacceptable – that’s why we’re taking action on all fronts. 

‘Law enforcement agencies are dismantling the people smuggling gangs, joint work with the French has seen a doubling of police officers on French beaches, and we’re reforming the pull factors here at home.

‘Our strengthened agreement with the French will build on existing cooperation and further increase police patrols on beaches, improve surveillance technology and enhance intelligence sharing.

‘Our New Plan for Immigration will also reform the system to make people think again before attempting to enter this country illegally and break the business model of people smugglers.’


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