Migrants crossing English Channel in small boats passes 24,000 for this year

The figure is more than double the amount at the same time last year

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The number of people crossing the English Channel in small boats this year has passed 24,000, after more than 800 came across yesterday.

Latest official figures from the Ministry of Defence reveal 804 migrants crossed in 16 small boats on Thursday, the second busiest day of the year so far.

The busiest ever day for Channel crossings happened on Monday, when 1,295 people arrived in inflatables in UK waters.

GB News analysis of the figures shows a total of 24,196 people have now crossed crossed since 1 January this year.

Channel migrants arriving in the UK
Channel migrants arriving in the UK

The figure is more than double what it was at this time last year, and just over 4,000 short of the 28,526 who made the journey over the entire year in 2021.

The latest statistics come as GB News revealed most of those taken off small boats are from Albania, a tiny nation of just 2.8 million people.

This week so far, 2,818 people have been processed through the Border Force processing centres in Dover and Manston air base in Kent.

At least 60% of those processed have come from Albania.

The crisis has prompted the UK government to broker an emergency agreement with Albania, to help fast-track the deportation of Albanians who have no right to be here.

The Government believes the vast majority of those arriving from Albania would not qualify for asylum, have left a peaceful country.

As part of the agreement, some Albanian police officers will be based in Kent to help expedite the assessment process.

The government hopes that those deemed not eligible for asylum can be removed from the UK within a few weeks of arriving here.

However, many asylum refusals are likely to be challenged and appealed by immigration lawyers.