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People smugglers send migrant boat of up to 60 men and boys across Channel

People-smugglers took advantage of the good weather to send a migrant boat full of dozens of men and boys to Dover as the crisis in the Channel continues. 

Up to 60 migrants were picked up in a dinghy in the English Channel this morning and were taken to Dover Marina onboard HMS Seeker.

Photos show the newly-arrived men landing in Dover, where Border Force officials then took them to a holding facility for processing.

More than 1,000 migrants have crossed the Channel this month, while more than 5,000 have made the perilous journey from France this year – more than double the number of migrants during the same period in 2020.  

The crisis is putting ‘extreme pressure’ on local authorities, with Kent County Council threatening to sue the Home Secretary over it.  

Boris Johnson is said to be furious about the surging number of small boats crossing the Channel, and reportedly blasted Priti Patel privately.

According to the Times, the premier told a minister: ‘What the f*** is the Home Office doing? When is she [Priti] going to sort this out?’   

Miss Patel is bringing forward new laws to try to crackdown on the journeys but ministers are apparently frustrated that officials are failing to enforce the existing rules. 

Border Force officials took dozens of migrants to a holding facility in Dover today as the crisis in the English Channel continues 

Up to 60 migrants, most of them young men, were picked up in a dinghy in the Channel this morning and taken to Dover

Up to 60 migrants, most of them young men, were picked up in a dinghy in the Channel this morning and taken to Dover 

Border Force officials guide migrants off the vessel, where they are then taken to a facility

Border Force officials guide migrants off the vessel, where they are then taken to a facility 

Most of the migrants who were picked up in the English Channel today were young men

Most of the migrants who were picked up in the English Channel today were young men 

Border Force officials stand over the migrants who were picked up in the Channel today

Border Force officials stand over the migrants who were picked up in the Channel today 

Border Force vessel transports newly arrived migrants to a holding facility

Border Force vessel transports newly arrived migrants to a holding facility

More than 5,000 migrants have crossed the Channel this year - more than double the same period in 2020

More than 5,000 migrants have crossed the Channel this year – more than double the same period in 2020 

Kent County Council has warned it has ‘reached the limit’ for the number of unaccompanied child migrants it can look after – after the amount of people crossing the channel hit 1,000 for this month.

Council leader Roger Gough and Sue Chandler, the cabinet member for integrated children’s services, said it had again reached an unsafe capacity.

They added it would no longer be able to accept any new unaccompanied asylum-seeking children (UASC) from June 14, just 10 months after it had to take similar action.

Mr Gough said: ‘I am profoundly saddened to be in this unthinkable position once again in such a short period of time.

‘Despite warnings, and continued dialogue with government, Kent’s UASC support resources are again significantly overwhelmed,’ Mr Gough said.

The Home Office announced measures to encourage more local authorities around the UK to take in child migrants who arrive unaccompanied.  

Border Force officials guide newly arrived migrants to a holding facility

Border Force officials guide newly arrived migrants to a holding facility

Migrants are seen disembarking HMS Seeker in Dover Marina today as the crisis continues

Migrants are seen disembarking HMS Seeker in Dover Marina today as the crisis continues

Border Force officials guide migrants off the vessel, where they are then taken to a facility

Border Force officials guide migrants off the vessel, where they are then taken to a facility

Most of the migrants who were picked up in the English Channel today were young men

Most of the migrants who were picked up in the English Channel today were young men

Border Force officials guide migrants off the vessel, where they are then taken to a facility

Border Force officials guide migrants off the vessel, where they are then taken to a facility

Mr Gough said that after taking advice from its Director of Children’s Services, the council would ‘no longer be able meet our statutory duty to safely care for the children we support’ and no further arrivals could be accepted until ‘sufficient transfers have been made outside of Kent bringing our numbers back to safe levels’. 

The council said the government’s recommended maximum number of under 18-year-old UASC that Kent should care for is 231.

Kent’s number of under-18 UASC in care has risen from 274 to more than 400 since the beginning of the year and the numbers are rapidly increasing on a daily basis, according to KCC.

The council said it is also dealing with 1,100 UASC care leavers over 18 who remain in care with the council until the age of 25.

Mr Gough said: ‘If every other local authority in the UK were to take two or three under 18-year-old UASC who arrive at Dover into their care, Kent’s numbers would reduce to the council’s safe allocation immediately. 

‘This remains, a small problem for the nation to resolve but a huge and unreasonable responsibility for Kent.’ 

The crisis is putting 'extreme pressure' on local authorities, with Kent County Council threatening to sue the Home Secretary over it

The crisis is putting ‘extreme pressure’ on local authorities, with Kent County Council threatening to sue the Home Secretary over it 

A newly arrived migrant shows his wrist band to a Border Force official

A newly arrived migrant shows his wrist band to a Border Force official

Most of the migrants who were picked up in the English Channel today were young men

Most of the migrants who were picked up in the English Channel today were young men

Up to 60 migrants, most of them young men, were picked up in a dinghy in the Channel this morning and taken to Dover

Up to 60 migrants, most of them young men, were picked up in a dinghy in the Channel this morning and taken to Dover

The council suggested the National Transfer Scheme had failed to meet the purpose the Home Office created it for in 2016, to keep pace with the rate of arrivals and provide timely transfers.

It called for a robust mandatory National Transfer Scheme for all local authorities.

A Home Office spokesman said: ‘The Home Office is grateful for the role Kent County Council has played in supporting unaccompanied asylum-seeking children and we have provided them with substantial operational support, including transferring those in need of support to other local authorities in the UK.

‘We recently announced vital updates to the National Transfer Scheme to alleviate pressures on certain areas and continue to work closely across Government on provision for unaccompanied minors.’

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