13,000 migrants have crossed Channel since Rwanda plan announced, figures show

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More than 13,000 migrants have crossed the English Channel since Priti Patel announced her plan to send asylum seekers to Rwanda, new figures show.

According to the Ministry of Defence, 176 people made the crossing on five small boats on Sunday, bringing the total to 13,016 since April 14.

It brings the total number of people who have crossed the English Channel so far this year to 18,284.

Photographs taken on Monday morning showed another group of migrants, clad in life jackets and face masks, being brought into Dover by Border Force officials.

A number of children and babies wrapped in light blue blankets, apparently distributed by the authorities, were among those being moved from the vessel to a waiting bus.

One young boy, wearing a rucksack and clutching his blanket, smiled before he boarded the transport.

Migrants at Dover
A group of people are brought ashore at Dover (Gareth Fuller/PA)

Analysis by the PA news agency of the MoD’s provisional figures shows 1,885 people have been brought to the UK so far in August.

That is more than half of the 3,053 people rescued in August 2021.

In April, Priti Patel hailed the Rwanda deal as a “world class” plan that provided a “blueprint” for other countries to follow.

“The UK asylum system is collapsing under a combination of real humanitarian crises and evil people smugglers profiteering by exploiting the system for their own gains,” she said.

“This has devastating consequences for the countless men, women and children who have tragically lost their lives or loved ones on perilous journeys.

“A global leadership is required to find new innovative solutions to this growing problem.”

The week in which the deal was announced proved the busiest of the year for migrant crossings, when 2,076 made the journey across the Channel.