Two more migrant boats intercepted

Image caption Four boats with a total of 52 migrants on board have been intercepted over the weekend

Two boats carrying 32 migrants have been intercepted in the English Channel, the Home Office said.

A Border Force cutter was deployed at about 04:00 BST to a boat with six men, two women and five children on board heading towards Dover.

At about 09:00, another boat with 19 people on board was intercepted.

All 32 claimed to be either Iraqi or Iranian and were transferred to immigration officials for interview, the Home Office said.

The French authorities also said they had picked up a small boat in the Cape Gris-Nez area at about 07:00.

They were taken to Calais and handed over to French border police.

On Saturday, two boats carrying 20 migrants were intercepted off the Kent coast.

A total of 42 migrants, including 10 children, were brought to Dover by authorities after crossing the Channel in small boats over the previous weekend.

At least 616 people, including about 56 children, have crossed the Channel in small boats since 3 November 2018.

A note on terminology: The BBC uses the term migrant to refer to all people on the move who have yet to complete the legal process of claiming asylum. This group includes people fleeing war-torn countries, who are likely to be granted refugee status, as well as people who are seeking jobs and better lives, who governments are likely to rule are economic migrants.

Read more: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-kent-48327335

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