Migration Watch UK responds to statistics on irregular migration

Migration Watch UK responds to statistics on irregular migration

February 29, 2024

According to the latest Home Office statistics, eighty per cent of all irregular arrivals came through small boats, which has become the predominant method of entry since 2020.

The average number of people per small boat increased to 49 in 2023, compared to 41 in 2022. This alarming rise in the number of individuals per boat poses an even greater risk to public safety and national security.

The top nationalities of irregular arrivals include Afghanistan, Iran, and Turkey. These countries have consistently been among the leading sources of irregular migration to the UK. This is not a situation that is likely to change in the foreseeable future.

Between 2018 and 2023, there were 2,580 returns of small boat arrivals, accounting for 2% of all small boat arrivals. Since January 2018, 70% of people arriving irregularly have been adult males aged 18 and over. In the last two or three years the number being returned is even lower.

Responding to these statistics, Migration Watch UK Chairman Alp Mehmet said:

The tiny number of returns of small boat arrivals is the main reason why illegal immigration will continue unabated. Add to this the ease with which permission to stay is given, whether or not asylum is granted, and it isn’t difficult to see what a simple recruiting task the traffickers have.

As the law stands, with the government reluctant to revise it in the manner necessary and Parliament unwilling or slow to agree to even modest revisions to the legal framework, it would be naïve to expect an end to the flow of illegal boat crossings. More will come and, sadly, more will die in their attempts to get here.

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