Despite the Tories having called the crossings a “major incident” and promising to restrict them in 2018, the increasing number of illegal migrants crossing the English Channel on small boats is currently the only subject receiving significant attention from British MPs.
However, other methods of illegal immigration, such as breaking into Britain-bound lorries and injuring or killing drivers, have been largely eliminated from public debate.
Beyond the boat problem, Sky News has revealed the scope of illegal immigration, with tens of thousands arriving on fake visas for travel, study, temporary job, or some other reason, and simply not leaving when they expire.
From 2018 through 2020, according to Home Office figures, an average of 3,600 migrants landed by boat in Britain each year. However, this figure is somewhat misleading, as the numbers have climbed considerably year on year and presently stand at over 14,500 for 2021.
The average number of so-called “clandestine entries” rises from 3,600 to 11,400 each year when stowing away in lorries, etc., but this is dwarfed by the hidden influx of visa overstayers, estimated at 64,4 million per year.
Some of these migrants may have fled later or without being reported due to Britain’s continually poor immigration data gathering. In addition, it estimates 4,000 migrants arriving by air with no or fake papers each year, with the caveat that “this is only those detected in airports” and “the true number is unknown”; and over 120,000 children with irregular status due to being born in the UK to parents with irregular status.
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