Channel migrants led ashore at Dover overnight on hottest day so far

Dozens of migrants including a family with young children were seen arriving at Dover in the early hours this morning following the hottest day of the year so far.

People smugglers took advantage of good weather conditions to send up to 50 people on the dangerous English Channel crossing overnight.

Around 120 people were picked up by Border Force yesterday as temperatures hit 24.5C in the south of England – the hottest March date in 53 years.

This morning a Border Force vessel pulled into Dover Harbour with one group of life jacket-clad migrants they had intercepted on an inflatable boat shortly after 5am.

Onlookers spotted a family walking together, including a pregnant woman who appeared to be in pain and needed help getting up a ramp. 

People smugglers took advantage of good weather conditions to send up to 50 people on the dangerous English Channel crossing overnight

People smugglers took advantage of good weather conditions to send up to 50 people on the dangerous English Channel crossing overnight

People smugglers took advantage of good weather conditions to send up to 50 people on the dangerous English Channel crossing overnight

Onlookers spotted a family walking together, including a pregnant woman who appeared to be in pain and needed help getting up a ramp

Onlookers spotted a family walking together, including a pregnant woman who appeared to be in pain and needed help getting up a ramp

Onlookers spotted a family walking together, including a pregnant woman who appeared to be in pain and needed help getting up a ramp

One migrant was spotted being walked away in handcuffs by two Border Force agents

One migrant was spotted being walked away in handcuffs by two Border Force agents

One migrant was spotted being walked away in handcuffs by two Border Force agents

One Border agent was seen walking up the jetty with a small child before picking them up and carrying them along a ramp to dry land.

An older migrant was seen being escorted away in handcuffs.

Their arrival comes after the mercury soared above 20C across the country for the first time this year. Waves were expected to be strongest yesterday but this didn’t stop people smugglers jumping at the opportunity to facilitate crossings. 

The Home Office is still yet to confirm how many people made the dangerous 21-mile journey yesterday – but onlookers estimate the number of arrivals could come close to the daily record for the year of 183 in six boats on March 23. 

It is feared similarly good weather today will encourage more people to attempt the crossing before conditions worsen towards the weekend.

It also comes ahead of an immigration crackdown announced by Home Secretary Priti Patel to target criminal organised gangs running crossings and also change rules for asylum seekers.

One Border agent was seen walking up the jetty with a small child before picking them up and carrying them along a ramp to dry land

One Border agent was seen walking up the jetty with a small child before picking them up and carrying them along a ramp to dry land

One Border agent was seen walking up the jetty with a small child before picking them up and carrying them along a ramp to dry land

One Border agent was seen walking up the jetty with a small child before picking them up and carrying them along a ramp to dry land

One Border agent was seen walking up the jetty with a small child before picking them up and carrying them along a ramp to dry land

Their arrival comes after the mercury soared above 20C across the country for the first time this year. Waves were expected to be strongest yesterday but this didn't stop people smugglers jumping at the opportunity to facilitate crossings

Their arrival comes after the mercury soared above 20C across the country for the first time this year. Waves were expected to be strongest yesterday but this didn't stop people smugglers jumping at the opportunity to facilitate crossings

Their arrival comes after the mercury soared above 20C across the country for the first time this year. Waves were expected to be strongest yesterday but this didn’t stop people smugglers jumping at the opportunity to facilitate crossings

Speaking to the Commons, Ms Patel said she was introducing a ‘comprehensive, fair but firm’ plan which would address those entering the UK ‘illegally’.

For the first time, people who arrive in the UK illegally will no longer have the same entitlements as those who arrive legally under the Home Office plan.

There is also a push to introduce maximum life sentences for people smugglers.

Minister for Immigration Compliance and Justice Chris Philp said at the time: ‘We announced the most significant overhaul of our asylum system in decades – a new fair but firm long-term plan to fix the UK’s broken asylum system.

It also comes ahead of an immigration crackdown announced by Home Secretary Priti Patel to target criminal organised gangs running crossings and also change rules for asylum seekers

It also comes ahead of an immigration crackdown announced by Home Secretary Priti Patel to target criminal organised gangs running crossings and also change rules for asylum seekers

It also comes ahead of an immigration crackdown announced by Home Secretary Priti Patel to target criminal organised gangs running crossings and also change rules for asylum seekers

‘Under these plans, we will break the business model of these cruel criminal gangs and protect the lives of those they endanger.’

In 2020, four times as many migrants made the dangerous crossing than in 2019, official figures revealed.

Almost 8,400 made the dangerous crossing, up from 1,844 the previous year.

The latest official Home Office figures mean 1,133 migrants have made the 21-mile journey so far this year.

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