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UK Govt Only Managed to Deport 215 of 45,000 Illegal Boat Migrants Last Year

The British government only managed to remove 215 of the tens of thousands of illegal migrants who crossed the English Channel in small boats last year, government figures have revealed.

In yet another failure to “take back control” of the nation’s borders, the Home Office, the main immigration enforcement arm of the UK government, was only able to deport 215 of the record 45,728 illegal boat migrants that landed on British beaches in 2022.

The striking figures, which were revealed by a Freedom of Information request, mean that the government had just a 0.47 per cent success rate in deporting boat migrants, GB News reported.

Conservative MP Natalie Elphicke, who represents the Dover area — the main landing point for the people-smuggler operate boats — told The Sun newspaper: “The number of Channel migrants who are deported or returned is so low it’s not serving as a deterrent.

“That’s why it is vital to stop the boats leaving France in the first place — and migrants picked up in the Channel should be immediately returned to France. The Home Office needs to get a grip on their processing to deport without delay.”

So far this year, some 4,500 people successfully reached English soil after crossing the Channel illegally after over 500 made the often perilous journey in small rubber dinghies set off by people-smuggling gangs operating on the French coast.

Last month, UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak travelled to France to sign a deal with French President Emmanuel Macron, in which £478 million (€541 million) in British taxpayer money was committed to stepping up beach patrols by French law enforcement over the next three years. However, the Conservative government once again failed to secure an agreement from Paris on the issue of migrant returns.

Macron has been reticent to agree to such a deal, claiming that France cannot agree to a unilateral agreement as immigration policy is ultimately in the hands of Eurocrats in Brussels, who also appear uninterested in agreeing to an arrangement with Brexit Britain.

The massive increase in boat migrants arriving and the failure to deport them has seen the government requisition hundreds of hotels across the country to house the supposed asylum seekers, at a staggering cost of over £6 million per day.

Following a pronouncement from Prime Minister Sunak in January that the government would finally “stop the boats”, the Conservative Party unveiled its Illegal Immigration Bill, which would seek to prevent those who reach the country illegally from applying for asylum as well as making such people eligible for removal to a third-party country such as Rwanda.

Last year, the Home Office, under then-secretary Priti Patel signed an agreement with the Rwandan government to establish processing centres for illegal migrants. However, to date, the policy has yet to be enacted given legal challenges from pro-mass migration activists and organisations. The legal challenges have not only come at the UK level but also at the European, given that despite leaving the bloc, Britain is still bound by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) as it is technically a separate body from the EU.

ECHR judges in Strasbourg controversially intervened last July to block the first planned deportation flight to Rwanda, sparking questions about the sovereignty that was supposedly returned to the British public following Brexit. Although leaving the European court has been advocated for by current Home Secretary Suella Braverman, there has been little movement on the issue from Downing Street.

Responding to the latest deportation failures, a Home Office spokesman said: “The significant increase in dangerous and illegal journeys into this country puts great pressure on the asylum system, slowing down the processing of individual cases who could face deportation or removal.

“The Illegal Migration Bill will stop the boats and ensure those arriving illegally are detained and promptly removed to their country of origin or a safe third country.”


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