Most arrivals are genuine refugees, Home Office confirms
Migrants crossing the English Channel in small boats are overwhelmingly genuine refugees, senior Home Office officials have confirmed.
Evidence presented to the Home Affairs committee of MPs on 3 September makes clear that the majority of those making the perilous crossing are either being granted refugee status straight away or come from countries for which the success rate in asylum applications is extremely high.
Figures on small boat crossings are not routinely published, but the Home Office keeps tabs. Senior official Abi Tierney told the committee that 5,000 people have crossed the Channel in small boats so far this year. Of those, 98% have claimed asylum. The Home Office has issued an initial decision on around half of those asylum claims so far.
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