Migrants entering UK on cross-channel trains: minister

29th July 2015, Comments 0 comments

Some migrants have reached Britain aboard cross-Channel trains in recent days, Britain's interior minister said Wednesday, as a source told AFP that "more than 100" made it across that way on Tuesday alone.

"A number of people have come through," Home Secretary Theresa May said following an emergency cabinet meeting, after 1,500 attempts were made by migrants overnight to breach Channel Tunnel fencing in Coquelles in northeastern France.

A Home Office spokesman declined to give precise numbers, saying only: "All asylum claims are considered on their individual merits. We will seek to remove anyone found not to need our protection."

Referring to the migrant arrivals on Tuesday, a British source close to the matter told AFP: "It was over 100 on a number of trains. It's an unusually high number, normally it's a handful or zero."

The Times newspaper reported in its Wednesday edition that a record number of 148 people had made it across.

Migrants apprehended on the British side of the Channel Tunnel initially go through identity checks at a facility near the tunnel exit in Folkestone where they are allowed to make asylum claims.

Whether or not they have made asylum claims, the migrants are then transferred to an immigrant removal centre in nearby Dover, which is housed in a former fortress and run by the prison service, officials said.

The Eurotunnel operator said in a statement on Wednesday that it had blocked 37,000 attempts at trying to make the journey since the start of the year.

© 2015 AFP

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