At least 430 migrants crossed the English channel headed for Britain on Monday, the highest number on a single day according to figures from the U.K. Home Office given to the BBC.
Monday’s tally surpasses the previous record of 416 migrants in one day which was recorded in September 2020, according to figures from British news agency PA. Fifty people, including women and children, were seen walking ashore after landing at Dungeness in Kent.
The migrants are believed to have sailed from Northern France or Belgium earlier on Monday before crossing the dangerous straight of Dover, which is 31 kilometers wide, according to Sky News.
The Home Office stated that it is taking “substantial steps to tackle the unacceptable problem of illegal migration.” Last summer, Home Secretary Priti Patel vowed to make the journey “unviable.”
According to the BBC, 8,000 migrants have arrived in the U.K. illegally so far in 2021, a similar figure to the total for the whole of 2020.
The Nationality and Borders Bill, which is currently being debated in the House of Commons, would make it a criminal offense to enter the U.K. illegally. Migrants could face up to four years in prison.