MIGRANTS are threatening to jump in the Channel to avoid being towed back to France.
Border Force sources claim immigrants are so desperate to reach Britain they are willing to risk their lives instead of being “rescued” by French boats.
Lucy Moreton of the Immigration Services Union said: “They are threatening to jump overboard when the French approach them as they want to beach here.
“The law of the sea is that you have to protect life, so the French have no alternative but to let them carry on with their crossing.
“We have to stop them getting in the water first.”
The extraordinary revelation came as another three dinghies containing 20 suspected migrants – including a woman and a baby – were picked up yesterday morning.
Incredible images showed the third boat being towed by Border Force vessels to Dover.
Home Secretary Priti Patel on Monday gave the Home Office 72 hours to come up with new ways of tackling the crisis as it threatens to spiral out of control.
‘THERE NEEDS TO BE A STRONGER DETERRENT’
A staggering 1,451 migrants are thought to have crossed the Channel so far this year – almost three times the number throughout the whole of 2018.
Only a handful of them – 65 – have been deported back overseas since January.
And yesterday local MPs and officials urged Priti Patel to speed up the deportation process to crack the crisis.
Ms Moreton said: “There has to be a far stronger deterrent. We are not quick enough in sending people back.”
Local MP Charlie Elphicke stormed: “It will only end when migrants and traffickers alike know the crossings won’t succeed.”
The UK has already sent officers from Immigration Enforcement and the National Crime Agency to a centre in Calais to try and tackle the gangs running the cross-Channel trafficking.
Ms Patel is due to hold urgent talks with her French counterpart Christophe Castaner on Thursday.
Sources said: “The focus will be on practical support to assist French patrols to deter migrants from embarking upon these perilous crossings organised by criminal gangs.”
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