More than 150 illegal migrants were intercepted by UK Border Force crossing the Channel in small boats on Saturday – the same day Home Secretary Suella Braverman inspected a Rwanda deportation centre.
The Home Office confirmed today that a total of 155 illegal migrants were detained, while four dinghies were intercepted.
It is the latest group to arrive in the UK since the Government unveiled its controversial Illegal Migration Bill earlier this month.
It brings the total figure for 2023 to 3,562 in 83 boats as the Home Secretary attempts to bring illegal crossings under control.
Tough new measures will see any asylum seeker arriving illegally on small boats indefinitely banned from re-entering the country. The Illegal Migration Bill is also expected to further prevent migrants from using human rights laws to avoid removal from Britain.
More than 100 migrants were intercepted by Border Cross crossing the Channel in small boats on Saturday. Pictured: Migrants arriving in Dover on March 17
The latest illegal migrants to arrive came on the same day that Suella Braverman toured Bwiza Riverside Houses in Kigali
Ms Braverman, who announced the new laws on March 7, said: ‘The only route to the UK will be a safe and legal route’.
It comes as the Home Secretary inspected a potential deportation centre in Rwanda on Saturday as she continues her commitment to the controversial deportation policy.
It is 11 months since the UK agreed the deal, which would see people who claimed asylum in Britain deported to Rwanda to have their application processed, and if successful, reside there permanently.
An inaugural flight to Rwanda was blocked at the 11th hour by Strasbourg judges last summer, but the UK High Court ruled the policy was lawful in December.
Ms Braverman was given a tour of the housing on the Bwiza Riverside Estate on the outskirts of the capital Kigali, which the Home Secretary described as ‘really beautiful, great quality, really welcoming’.
She added: ‘I really like your interior designer… I need some advice for myself.’
Her visit comes in the wake of the row over Gary Lineker likening the Government’s language over the small boats crisis in the Channel to that of 1930s Germany.
Earlier today, Ms Braverman also mucked in at a Rwandan building site that could become the homes for failed UK migrants.
The Home Secretary posed for pictures – in an equatorial rain shower – building a wall at what will become a 500-apartment block in Kigali amid Tory hopes that the flights could begin within months.
The Home Secretary posed for pictures – in an equatorial rain shower – building a wall at what will become a 500-apartment block in Kigali amid Tory hopes that the flights could begin within months
Rwandan President Paul Kagame receives the visiting British Home Secretary Suella Braverman in Kigali today
Her charm offensive in east Africa also saw her visit a cricket match and a Commonwealth Day street fair
Ms Braverman visited stalls displaying food from Commonwealth countries India, Mozambique and the UK
The Home Secretary laid a brick at a new housing block on the outskirts of the city which could become home to migrants sent from the UK.
The 528-home estate, in Gahanga, is set to boast volleyball and basketball courts alongside its one, two and three-bedroom properties.
The Home Secretary said: ‘The Gahanga housing project represents a big step forward in Rwanda increasing its already existing capacity to accommodate refugees and provide humanitarian support to thousands of people around the country.’
Earlier in the day Ms Braverman attended a street fair which was organised to celebrate Commonwealth Day – where she visited stalls displaying food from Commonwealth countries India, Mozambique and the UK.
The latest 155 migrants to arrive come after more than 100 made the treacherous journey on Friday. They were the first to arrive since the Illegal Migration Bill was introduced.
A total of 45,728 people made the journey across the 21-mile Dover Straits in 1,104 boats last year, compared to 28,526 in 2021.
The busiest day came on August 22 last year when 1,295 migrants crossed the Channel in rubber dinghies or other small craft in a 24-hour period.
And officials have predicted the number of people crossing the Channel in small boats could double this year – potentially reaching up to 80,000.