Channel migrants: Group of Iranians land on Kent beach

Channel migrants: Group of Iranians land on Kent beach

Border Force officials were called on Sunday morning after the men were found on a beach in Kent with a rigid-hulled inflatable boat.

Dozens more have crossed the Channel from France and Belgium using small dinghies and motor boats over the festive period, after seaborne crossings - once rare in what world's busiest shipping lane, compared to illegal crossings by auto, lorry, and even the Channel Tunnel - began to seriously escalate in November.

An official from UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) said they are dealing with 81 migrants claiming asylum, a couple of who have been in the UK previously, and one who claimed asylum in Denmark but was refused.

Mr Javid said that it was "vital that we strike a balance between protecting [the migrants] and protecting [UK] borders", adding that it was of "grave concern" that so many families were embarking on the perilous journey to the south east coast of England over the festive period.

The increase in those attempting to make the crossing in small boats in seas that are often rough and filled with commercial vessels has raised concern that the risky crossings will end in tragedy.

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Immigration minister Caroline Nokes visited Dover on Saturday but suggested deploying more resources could in fact prompt further attempted crossings.

The men received medical checks and were turned over to immigration officials for processing, the Home Office said.

She wrote in the Sunday Mirror: "He has still to explain exactly how the government plans to handle these mass criminal operations in British waters".

He has appointed a commander to oversee the response to the incidents and asked for daily updates.

The number of British citizens applying for Irish passports rose by 22 percent in 2018, Ireland's foreign office said on Monday, more than doubling the total of annual applications since Britain voted to leave the European Union.

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"We've put a big fence up to prevent people from accessing trains and lorries and people are resorting to other methods to get here", she told the BBC.

Sajid Javid said he will keep the number of Border Force vessels under close review, but the Defence Secretary has said that the military was ready to offer help if needed.

He said on Saturday: "The situation in the Channel is of grave concern, with people gambling their lives in reckless attempts to reach the United Kingdom in unsafe boats and treacherous conditions".

"I like this one, it looks safe", said a young Iraqi man at a camp in Calais who gave his name as Ali and was browsing the site.

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