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UK reports highest daily migrant crossings with 872 people detected in English Channel

More than 870 migrants were detected crossing the English Channel via small boats on Saturday, the record number on a single day so far in 2023, the UK Home Office said on Sunday.

A total of 872 people in 15 small boats crossed the Channel on Saturday, breaking the previous single-day record on Aug. 10, when 756 migrants were detected in the Channel.

Figure by the Home Office on the migrant crossings in the past seven days showed that 60 people arrived Britain on Aug. 27 and 300 people reached the UK on Aug. 29.

A total of 1,232 migrants in 21 small boats were detected crossing the English Channel between Aug. 27 and Sept. 2, according to official data.

Meanwhile, the backlog of asylum seeker cases in Britain has hit a new record high, with 175,457 people waiting for a decision on asylum application in the UK at the end of June 2023, a 44% increase from the end of June 2022, according to official figures released last month.

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said tackling the problem of irregular migration via small boats, also known as Channel crossings, is among the top priorities of his government.

However, arrivals continue despite efforts to tackle the issue, including the controversial Rwanda plan, illegal migration bill, and most recently, housing asylum seekers on "more cost-effective forms of accommodation" such as disused military bases and barges.

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