Migrant crisis: Home Office to open another processing site in Kent

Immigration minister says the new site will 'provide safe and secure accommodation for illegal migrants whilst the government carries out necessary checks'

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Another military base will be used to process migrants arriving in the UK from next month, the Home Office has confirmed.

Part of the Ministry of Defence (MoD) site in Manston, Kent, will be used as a “processing site for illegal migrants by January 2022”, the department said.

The secure site will be able to “hold migrants for up to five days as security and identity checks are completed”.

Immigration minister Tom Pursglove said: “This new site will provide safe and secure accommodation for illegal migrants whilst the government carries out necessary checks.”

The Home Office said there should only be minimal implications for those living nearby as people will be moved after initial checks and taken to longer-term accommodation.

Afghans who arrive in the UK – as part of an existing resettlement policy and the wider scheme the Government is yet to open – will not be taken to the site, according to a department spokesman.

The Home Office has been using the MoD’s Napier Barracks, near Folkestone, since last year to house asylum seekers and also process people coming ashore at a site near Dover.

It comes as French prosecutors said 26 people, who died after trying to cross the English Channel by boat last month to reach the UK, have now been formally identified.

At least 27 are thought to have died, including seven women, a teenager and a seven-year-old girl.

The identity of one migrant remains unknown, Paris prosecutor Laure Beccuau said in a statement.

Several Iraqi Kurds, Iranian Kurds, Ethiopians, Afghans as well as a Somali woman and an Egyptian man were among those who died.