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One in three migrants crossing English Channel in small boats is Albanian

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One in three migrants crossing the Channel in small boats is Albanian, and on some days that figure rises to four out of five, according to new figures from the Interior Ministry.

  • Albanians accounted for more than a third of people crossing the Channel this year
  • On some days in recent months, the figure even reached 80 percent
  • This is a sharp increase of three percent in 2021 and one percent in 2020
  • The number of migrants entering the UK dried up in November due to bad weather

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Albanians accounted for just over a third of people crossing the Channel in small boats in the first nine months of the year, new figures show.

They also made up nearly half of those detected in July to September.

It is a sharp increase from previous years, with only 3% of arrivals in 2021 with Albanian nationality and only 1% in 2020.

The figures, published by the Home Office, show that 33,029 small boats arrived in the UK from January to September this year.

Of this total, 11,241 (35%) were Albanian citizens.

These have almost all arrived since May.

Albanians accounted for just over a third of people crossing the Channel in small boats in the first nine months of the year, new figures show

Albanians accounted for just over a third of people crossing the Channel in small boats in the first nine months of the year, new figures show

It is a sharp increase from previous years, with only 3% of arrivals in 2021 with Albanian nationality and only 1% in 2020

It is a sharp increase from previous years, with only 3% of arrivals in 2021 with Albanian nationality and only 1% in 2020

It is a sharp increase from previous years, with only 3% of arrivals in 2021 with Albanian nationality and only 1% in 2020

In the three months from July to September, 45% of small boat arrivals were Albanian (9,076) and on some days it was as high as 80%.

According to the Ministry of the Interior, a greater mix of nationalities has been discovered crossing over in recent years.

Iranians accounted for the majority of arrivals in both 2018 (80%) and 2019 (66%).

But since 2020, arrivals from countries such as Iraq, Afghanistan and Eritrea have become more common, while the number of Albanians “has increased significantly” this year.

The new figures also show that of the 35,345 small boats that arrived between October 1, 2021 and August 31, 2022, 31,891 have applied for asylum in the UK – of which only 139 (2%) have received a first decision.

Madeleine Sumption, director of the Migration Observatory at the University of Oxford, said: “The growing backlog means that people in the asylum system are left in limbo for a long time.

“There is evidence that these waiting times harm the long-term integration prospects of those granted refugee status.

“In the meantime, people with pending asylum applications cannot work and must therefore be given shelter so that they do not become homeless.

“As a result, the backlog also puts pressure on the availability of housing and drives up the costs of the asylum system.”

The official figure of 33,029 small boat crossings from January to September, together with separate figures of 9,125 crossings since October 1, means the provisional total for the year to date stands at 42,154.

This compares to 28,526 crossings for the whole of 2021.