More than 4,600 migrants have crossed the Channel since the start of the year, a record

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Since January 1, more than 4,600 exiles have landed in the United Kingdom after a dangerous crossing of the Channel. Figures increasing by more than 20% compared to last year, and which exceeds the record established in 2022 at the same period.

Channel crossings have never been so numerous at this time of year. Since January 1, 4,644 migrants have reached England aboard dinghies, a record for the first three months of the year. A figure up 23% compared to the same period last year, when 3,700 were counted by the Home Office.

The last record was set in 2022 with 4,548 crossings between the beginning of January and the end of March.

On March 20 in particular, ten migrant boats reached the British coast, transporting a total of 514 exiles. A new record for arrivals in a single day, underline the British media. Among them, an exile wounded by a stab wound was rescued and then transferred to a hospital after disembarking at the port of Dover.

On the French side, several rescues have taken place in recent days, reflecting continued departures from the coast. Wednesday March 27, 53 people were rescued off the coast of Oye-Plage, after an engine failure. They were then dropped off at the port of Boulogne-sur-Mer and taken care of by land rescue services and the border police.

The day before, a semi-rigid boat had been sent near a boat to rescue “a shipwrecked person who had fallen from a migrant boat”, says the maritime prefecture of the Channel and the North Sea (Premar) on X. The 20 Again in March, 113 exiles, “including women and young children”, were rescued near Gravelines.

Reduce crossings at all costs

These crossing records constitute a new blow for the conservative British government, which has made the fight against illegal immigration its hobby horse. Since taking power in October 2022, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has stepped up measures intended, according to him, to reduce crossings by small boats.

Tightening of British legislation on the right to asylum, strengthening cooperation with other countries, including France, and dissuasion campaigns on social networks, are part of the British anti-migrant arsenal deployed.

But London’s flagship project remains the expulsion of asylum seekers to Rwanda. Proposed for the first time in April 2022 by former leader Boris Johnson, the text has since had great difficulty coming to fruition. Definitively blocked by British justice in July 2023, it is a reformed law which is now under discussion in Parliament.

But here again, the project gets stuck. On Wednesday March 20, it was once again rejected by the House of Lords. A majority of deputies indeed voted in favor of seven modifications which weaken the law. Back to square one, therefore, for the treaty. It must return to the House of Commons to be examined once again, and not before April 15, as announced by the minister responsible for relations with Parliament.

This article is originally published on infomigrants.net

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