More than 100 migrants attempting to cross the English Channel have been apprehended by French and U.K. authorities during the final week of 2019, according to reports.
On December 26, some 49 migrants traveling in smalls boats were captured by U.K. border and coast guard patrols while another 14 migrants in two boats were picked up by French authorities near Dunkirk.
The migrants were identified as citizens of Afghanistan, Iran, and Iraq, according to the BBC.
“British border patrols regularly intercept migrants attempting to cross the Channel from France,” Reuters reports. “They picked up more than 148 suspected migrants, including women and children, from boats in the area earlier this month.”
Days later, at least three boats carrying another wave of 42 migrants, including at least one pregnant woman, were intercepted by British and French forces.
“French authorities rescued the expectant mother along with 19 other people from an inflatable boat that was taking on water near Dunkirk this morning,” the Daily Mailreports.
“Meanwhile, another vessel with ten men and one woman on board was intercepted off the coast of Kent at 5:34am.”
Eleven more migrants were also picked up near Calais after their vessel’s engine failed.
U.K. officials claimed they will work to return illegal migrants to mainland Europe – a statement deemed “disgraceful” and “extremely irresponsible” by Kent Refugee Action Network’s Bridget Chapman.
“There is no such thing as an illegal asylum seeker,” Chapman said.
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More than 100 migrants attempting to cross the English Channel have been apprehended by French and U.K. authorities during the final week of 2019, according to reports.On December 26, some 49 migrants traveling in smalls boats were captured by U.K. border and coast guard patrols while another