630,000 asylum-seeker applications in the EU last year – how many UK-bound?

The immigration crisis created by the EU for Brexit Britain – Part Three

Montage © Facts4EU.Org 2022

An exclusive Facts4EU.Org series shedding light on the illegal Channel boat migrant problem

Facts4EU.Org Three-Part Immigration Series, May 2022

Part One - EU's border force turning back illegal migrant boats in Greece? - EU coastguard boss quits

Part Two - EU’s soaring illegal immigration problem – border detections up 83% last year

Part Three (this report) - The EU's dismal 6% record in deporting illegal migrants - now many are UK-bound?

Yesterday Facts4EU.Org revealed the astonishing 83% rise in the number of illegal migrants crossing the EU’s borders detected last year by the EU’s border agency, Frontex.

In today’s report we show how the numbers claiming asylum in the EU are several times the number of those detected at the EU’s border. We also reveal just how few are ever repatriated.

Brexit Facts4EU.Org Summary

Migrants illegally present in the EU – that they know of

  • In 2019 EU’s border agency detected 141,741 illegal migrant crossings into EU
  • Same year, from EU’s statistics agency: almost 630,000 migrants found to be illegally present
  • Coincidentally, around the same number of asylum applications were received by the EU
  • Only 6.3% of illegal migrants are ever forcibly repatriated, according to official EU figures

The illegal boat migrants to the UK all come from the EU

Immigration statistics in the UK have generally been quoted as abstract numbers. For example: “Net migration in the UK last year was…”  When it comes to the illegal migrants being pushed across the English Channel by unscrupulous people traffickers, however, we can be more specific.

  • All of these illegal migrants are coming from a safe EU country (France)
  • They are not in fear of their lives or of persecution
  • They have had to cross at least one other safe EU country before France – generally several
  • The vast majority have deliberately thrown away their identity documents
  • The vast majority are young men and we have no idea about the threats they might pose
  • These are almost exclusively economic migrants

When the EU finds these people, what does it do?

Facts4EU.Org looked into the detail contained in EU databases regarding illegal immigration. In particular we analysed the ‘returns’ figures. What follows relates to 2019 and 2020 – the last years for which the EU has recorded numbers.

Brexit Facts4EU.Org Summary

Repatriation of illegal migrants in the EU

  • In 2020 the EU carried out only 39,565 “assisted forced returns”
  • These are illegal migrants returned to their country of origin
  • This compares with 627,900 found to be illegally present by the EU in the previous year
  • On this basis, the EU’s returns rate is just 6.3%

© Brexit Facts4EU.Org 2022 - click to enlarge

Why don’t the French or EU do something about the illegal migrant Channel crossings?

Home Secretary Priti Patel has made repeated attempts to persuade the French to do something about the thousands of illegal migrants departing French shores for southern England. She has paid them millions (and offered even more millions) to get them to increase their border officials and patrols.

In August last year she proposed to her counterpart, Gérald Darmanin, that the UK and France create a joint command center for the French and British coastline forces, particularly to share intelligence on people traffickers. Darmanin rejected this as “premature.”

Priti Patel has also repeatedly requested a bilateral deal with France to return asylum seekers. Again this has been rejected. The French appear to have used the EU as their excuse, saying the EU is developing its own policy and that this takes precedence over a bilateral deal.

“On the matter of readmitting migrants who have taken small boats, France still gives priority to a European solution, a process in which I hope the UK will get involved in its relations with the institutions of the European Union and other European partners.”

“The feasibility of a very small number of ad hoc bilateral transfers, to respond to targeted situations, will be studied at technical level before we progress further.”

- Gérald Darmanin, French Home Secretary, 06 Sept 2021

In short, the French have been obstructive and the EU Commission seems content to do nothing.


Governments around the world know that illegal immigration is a topic that the majority of their populations are deeply concerned about. This is certainly true in the United Kingdom.

Given that action on this by governments would be a vote winner, why don’t they act?

Readers will have their own views on this and some will favour theories about ‘Common Purpose’ and other suspected groupings of high-powered people.

One thing we do know for sure is that the UN’s agency, the ‘International Organisation for Migration’ (IOM) is an advocate of open borders. And the IOM is an organisation enthusiastically supported by the EU.

‘Yuman rights’ lawyers and Rwanda

The UK Government’s solution is now to send a majority of the illegal migrants to Rwanda, to deter people from making the crossing. The only problem is that none have yet been sent, and human rights lawyers are queueing up to challenge the Government in the courts, as a result of the UK continuing to be a member of the ‘European Court of Human Rights’.

Unless and until the Government acts to withdraw the UK from this outdated and politically-motivated institution, we believe Ms Patel will struggle to get a single illegal migrant onto a plane.

This series of reports took a lot of research and a lot of work

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[ Sources: EU Commission (Eurostat) | UN IOM | French Government | UK Home Office ] Politicians and journalists can contact us for details, as ever.

Brexit Facts4EU.Org, Wed 04 May 2022

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