Dover & Deal MP calls for immediate action on migrant crossings during coronavirus outbreak

Contributed by editor on Mar 26, 2020 - 02:30 PM

Dover & Deal MP Natalie Elphicke has called for 'immediate action' to deal with illegal migrant crossings after a flotilla of five craft and well over 80 illegal migrants arrived yesterday (March 25).

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She has also called for the immediate quarantine of 14 days for all illegal entrants.

Mrs Elphicke understands that five craft and well over 80 illegal migrants were detained by Border Force and taken into the Port of Dover before being handed over to Immigration Officers, after being tested for coronavirus.

She also pointed out that the Port of Dover is a vital supply line for the nation which cannot be risked - therefore new arrivals should not be landed at Dover but instead taken to other ports for processing and then placed into quarantine.

Natalie Elphicke said: “It’s vital the Home Office and the French authorities take immediate action to stop these illegal crossings.

“If people break into the country illegally, whether by small boats or lorries, they should be immediately quarantined for 14 days for the protection of our community and our country.

“There have been reports that illegal migrants are being tested on arrival and then released to the immigration authorities. If so, that’s simply not right. We have a serious shortage of testing kits for frontline nurses and doctors and other key health workers. There is a national need to prioritise and that’s where the testing resources need to go - not on testing illegal entrants. Illegal entrants must be placed into quarantine for 14 days.

“The Port of Dover, the ferry companies, lorry drivers and other local workers are a key part of the vital supply line of food, medicine and goods. These illegal crossings cannot be allowed to put any part of our national operation at risk. Illegal migrants picked up at sea must be taken to other smaller ports.

”Now more than ever, we need to put a stop to these illegal crossings across the English Channel. We must protect the nation. We need to be fully focussed on beating the virus at this time.”

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