Just 215 of the 45,728 Channel migrants who arrived by small boat last year were deported from UK, figures show
- More than 45,700 migrants crossed the Channel in 2022, according to figures
- But data showed while just 217 were deported, more than 25,000 were refugees
Of the 45,755 migrants who crossed the Channel by small boat last year, 215 have been deported.
More than 25,000 of those were found to be refugees, despite Government claims the majority of those crossing by small boat are economic migrants.
The figures, based off Home Office data, also show one in five channel migrants are children.
Last year saw record numbers arrive into Dover – 1,104 boats with an average of 41 people each day.
Data obtained by The Sun through a Freedom of Information request showed just 0.47 per cent of the total migrant arrivals have been deported, including seven who were found to be criminals.
About fourty people thought to be migrants board a boat before they attempt to cross the Channel to Britain, near the northern French city of Gravelines on July 11, 2022
A group of people thought to be migrants are brought in to Dungeness, Kent, onboard the RNLI Life Boat following a small boat incident in the Channel on April 4
Of the 45,755 migrants who crossed the Channel by small boat last year, 215 have been deported
And Conservative MP for Dover Natalie Elphicke said deportation rates are so low they are no longer a deterrent to those travelling to the UK by small boat.
She also urged Home Secretary Suella Braverman to ‘get a grip’ on processing migrant arrivals, by stopping boats leaving France so they can’t reach the UK.
Priti Patel, as home secretary in 2021, claimed that ‘70% of individuals on small boats are single men who are effectively economic migrants’.
But the Home Office has now admitted, via a Freedom of Information request, that it had no evidence to support this claim. The statement has not been corrected.
READ MORE: More than 4,500 migrants have now crossed the Channel this year after 77 came in two boats yesterday
Asylum figures are taking longer to process, while a Refugee Council report based on the same figures found most of those arriving by small boat are people fleeing war-torn or oppressive countries where no safe and formal routes such as refugee visas exist for making an asylum claim in the UK.
A Home Office spokesman said the increase in dangerous and ‘illegal’ journeys into the UK puts ‘greater pressure on the asylum system, slowing down the processing of individual cases who could face deportation or removal’.
However, the UK has an international legal duty to not criminally penalise anyone seeking protection as a refugee.
Enver Solomon, CEO of the Refugee Council said: ‘The majority of the men, women and children who cross the Channel do so because they are desperate to escape war, conflict and persecution.
A group of people thought to be migrants are brought in by an RNLI Dungeness lifeboat
A group of people thought to be migrants are brought in to Dover, Kent, from the RNLI Dover Lifeboat following a small boat incident in the Channel on April 6
‘They have a genuine and urgent need of help and support – and have no other options.
‘The government has promised to look at more safe routes, but at the same time has proposed inhumane legislation to detain anyone who crosses the Channel in a small boat, removing the right to claim asylum.
‘This would leave tens of thousands being locked up and treated like criminals. It’s unfair and highlights yet again the lack of a clear process in the UK for most people seeking asylum.’
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