United Kingdom

Record 3,500 migrants arrived in July: Border Force intercepted 120 boats last month

A record 3,500 migrants arrived in Britain across the Channel last month as the total number of people who have made the dangerous 21-mile journey from France so far this year hits a staggering 9,300.

The total number of crossings has already surpassed last year's record of 8,410, while in July Border Force intercepted more than 120 overcrowded boats of migrants from Africa and the Middle East.  

In a bid to handle the crisis, ministers will speed up deportations by bringing in new laws to ban migrants from judicial reviews of their rejected asylum applications to prevent lawyers making spurious claims.

Migrants whose appeals have been rejected by the immigration tribunals will no longer be able to challenge the decision if they have been refused permission to appeal, the Sunday Telegraph reports.

The tactic has accounted for hundreds of cases which have delayed the removal of rejected asylum seekers or illegal migrants who crossed the Channel for months at enormous cost to the British taxpayer.

Ministry of Justice data showed just three per cent of such immigration claims are successful in the high courts compared with 50 per cent for other cases. 

The changes will be part of the Government's bill reforming judicial review and overturn a landmark 2012 Supreme Court ruling which allowed for these cases to be subject to judicial review. 

A record 3,500 migrants arrived in Britain across the Channel last month as the total number of people who have made the dangerous 21-mile journey from France so far this year hits a staggering 9,300 (stock image)

A view of one of two areas now being used at a warehouse facility in Dover, Kent, for boats used by people thought to be migrants

Officials claimed the ruling had prevented the swift processing of immigration and asylum cases, with legal challenges causing delays and leaving the Home Office unable to remove people from the country.

An official review found that just 0.2 per cent of 5,500 judicial review cases since 2012 were successful - the vast majority being immigration and asylum cases. 

Justice Secretary Robert Buckland said: 'The Government has pledged to ensure that the courts are not open to abuse and delay. Today we are delivering on that commitment.

'We are giving judges the powers they need to ensure the Government is held to account, while tackling those who seek to frustrate the court process.'

The Government's judicial review bill comes on top of a proposed crack-down on illegal migrants from using small boats to cross the Channel and claim asylum or long-term residency in Britain.  

In a bid to manage the huge numbers of migrants coming over from Continental Europe, dozens of asylum seekers are being housed in a hotel in one of London's most upmarket postcodes.

The Best Western Kensington Olympia, a short walk from the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's residence Kensington Palace, has been closed to paying customers and is instead putting up 55 migrants - in some cases for up to nine months. 

Migrants whose appeals have been rejected by the immigration tribunals will no longer be able to challenge the decision if they have been refused permission to appeal (stock image)

The Best Western Kensington Olympia (pictured) has been closed to paying customers and is instead putting up 55 migrants – in some cases for up to nine months

The hotel is nestled in a corner of West London where three-bedroom flats sell for about £1.2million. The Mail on Sunday watched on last week as a group of young men gathered outside the hotel casually chatting and smoking together.

One strolled out of the building watching a video on an iPad. Inside, rooms are equipped with wi-fi, air conditioning and flat-screen TVs.

Most of the residents said they did not understand or speak any English. One man named Mosin, 28, who said he was from Iran, told the MoS he had been living in the hotel for more than nine months. 

He said: 'There are 55 of us. We are all refugees. Many of us are waiting to know what will happen to us next. We survive here but we are f****** bored. There is nothing to do and we cannot work.'

Another man, who claimed to be from El Salvador, said that he was not allowed to talk about why he was staying there. A neighbour, who declined to give his name, said: 'It does sometimes feel like you're living next to a refugee camp when they're all outside smoking, which is quite strange for West London.'

The Best Western Kensington Olympia is one of dozens of hotels up and down the country being used to house migrants.  There are around 64,000 people in Home Office accommodation. 

While the majority are in shared housing, about 10,000 people are in hotels.  Home Office officials have admitted that 90 hotels are being used to house migrants and that the hotels are 'not great value for the taxpayer'.

The accommodation, which includes four-star hotels, is part of a £4billion contract between the Home Office and a string of outsourcing giants. The Government plans to move migrants out of hotels and into housing, known as dispersed accommodation, in a scheme called Operation Oak.

In Hull, where dozens of migrants are being housed in a hotel, local MPs and the council have objected, saying it is 'totally unsuitable for the vulnerable individuals'.

Analysis by the National Audit Office has shown that the average cost of accommodating an asylum seeker is £560 a month, up from £437 a month, plus a weekly allowance of £39.63 for food and other costs.

Figures published by the Home Office reveal that asylum costs stood at £956million in 2019-20.

A Home Office spokesman said: 'The asylum system is being exploited by criminal gangs who facilitate dangerous, unnecessary and illegal small boat crossings.

'Our Nationality and Borders Bill will fix this broken system to deter these crossings.

'In the meantime, due to the unprecedented demand, we need to use temporary facilities such as hotels to manage demands on our existing accommodation and the immigration detention estate.'

Best Western did not respond to request for comment.

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