Up to 150 migrants, including five children, were brought ashore by Border Force officers today after they made the perilous crossing across the English Channel.
Four toddlers wrapped in hooded jackets and a baby were carried by adults as the group of migrants were brought into the port of Dover in Kent at around 10.30am today.
A child’s cries were heard as the migrants were helped ashore from a Border Force boat by immigration officials.
They were led up a gangway by staff and taken to the Home Office facility on the quayside.
The Home Office is yet to confirm exactly how many have made the 21-mile crossing today but more than 12,000 migrants have now crossed the Dover Strait, one of the world’s busiest shipping routes, by boat this year.
The latest crossings are believed to be the first since August 21 when a record-breaking 828 people were rescued or intercepted making the dangerous journey in 30 boats.
A group of migrants are brought ashore by Border Force officers into the port of Dover in Kent at around 10.30am today
A toddler is carried ashore by officers as the group of migrants are led up a gangway by staff
A baby wrapped in a blanket is carried into the port of Dover after around 150 migrants cross the English Channel
Last month figures showed that 12,427 had arrived in 2021 compared to the previous record of 8,410 in 2020.
On top of the continuous flow of migrants being brought into Dover Marina last month, many boats were believed to have landed along the South East coastline.
There were two reported landings in Folkestone, one in Broadstairs, another in Dungeness – all in Kent – and two more in Rye and Hastings, both in East Sussex.
More than 20 people jumped off a grey RHIB and ran along the sand at Stone Bay in Broadstairs while around 50 were seen sitting on the shingle at Dungeness Lifeboat Station after being brought to shore by an RNLI lifeboat.
In August, Dover and Deal MP Natalie Elphicke claimed France had ‘lost control of their side of the border’.
She said: ‘It increasingly looks like the French have lost control of their side of the border.
‘An urgent, fresh approach is needed for the British and French to work together to stop boats leaving in the first place, turn them around and make returns.
‘With the crisis in Afghanistan, it’s more important than ever that these illegal routes are closed down and safe, legal, routes prioritised.
Five children were among the group of migrants who were brought ashore by Border Force officers today
Two children wear life jackets as they are brought into the harbour at Dover in Kent this morning
Border Force officers assist migrants as they are brought ashore after making the 21-mile crossing today
A group of people wear jackets and cover themselves with blankets as they are taken onto a Border Force boat
Border Force officers brought the migrants into the port at around 10.30am today
‘We cannot risk of a return of the squalid and dangerous camps of Sangatte and the Calais Jungle.’
And Dan O’Mahoney, Clandestine Channel Threat Commander, said: ‘These dangerous crossings from safe EU countries are completely unnecessary and we are determined to take down the evil criminal gangs behind them.
‘We’re working across Government as well as with French and International partners to tackle this issue.
‘We have doubled the number of police officers on French beaches, prevented more than 10,000 attempts, secured nearly 300 arrests and 65 prosecutions.
‘The Government’s New Plan for Immigration will fix the broken asylum system so it can no longer be exploited in this way.’
Crossings in 2021 have already eclipsed last year’s annual total of 8,417 and that tally continues to rise on fair weather days.
Despite this, the UK continues to see far fewer boat arrivals and asylum claims than many of its European counterparts.
At least 65,984 people have arrived in Europe via the Mediterranean by land and sea so far this year, according to data from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.
More than 12,000 migrants have now crossed the Dover Strait, one of the world’s busiest shipping routes, by boat this year
Also, despite the sharp rise in small boats arrivals on the south coast, asylum applications in the UK fell in 2020 to 29,456.
This was significantly lower than the 93,475 asylum applications made in France and the 121,955 made in Germany.
Like many routes taken by migrants seeking asylum, the journeys of some people trying to cross the English Channel in small boats have ended in tragedy.
Since the beginning of 2019, more than a dozen people have died or gone missing.
Last month, a 27-year-old man from Eritrea died after he and four others jumped overboard as their boat started to sink in the English Channel.
MailOnline has contacted the Home Office for comment.