Channel migrants: Hundreds make the crossing in small boats

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Migrants arriving at DoverImage source, PA Media
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The majority of migrants being brought ashore are young men, the Home Office says

Five small boats with 231 migrants on board crossed the English Channel on Friday, the Ministry of Defence says.

In total, 837 people have made the crossing in small boats in the last week, according to BBC figures.

So far this month, 2,595 people have crossed from France, bringing the total so far this year to 12,159.

This year's total is more than double what it was during the same period last year.

About 8,400 migrants crossed in 2020. More than 28,000 made the journey in 2021.

In April, the government announced plans to send some asylum seekers to Rwanda as part of a five-year trial.

The first deportation flight to the east African nation was supposed to take place on 14 June, but was blocked at the last minute after a late intervention by the European Court of Human Rights.

A full judicial review of the policy is expected to take place in July.

A Downing Street spokesman said: "The High Court will then rule on the legality of the partnership.

"Work will continue and preparations for future flights have already begun."

'Deter migrants'

Home Office civil servant, Matthew Rycroft, told the Home Affairs Committee on Wednesday that it was "impossible" to say how many people would need to be sent to Rwanda to deter the Channel crossings.

He said the department had done "a lot of modelling" on the number that would need to be sent away before the disincentive kicks in.

"I don't think the success of this scheme should be measured by the number of people being relocated to Rwanda," he added.

"The success of the scheme should be measured by the number of journeys deterred."

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