An "angry" Priti Patel supported sending Royal Navy patrols to the English Channel last night after a record number of migrants reached Britain.
Officials were directed to work out plans for the navy to turn boats back for the first time.
Yesterday up to 250 migrants made the dangerous crossing – the highest daily total since the beginning of the crisis and thus exceeded the previous record of 202 on Thursday last week.
The number of people who have reached Great Britain this year is now twice as high as the total number of people arriving in 2019.
On Thursday, up to 250 migrants crossed the channel – the highest daily total since the beginning of the crisis and exceeded the previous record of 202 on Thursday last week
An "angry" Priti Patel supported the dispatch of Royal Navy patrols to the English Channel on Thursday evening after the record number of migrants reached Britain
The number of people who have reached Great Britain this year is now twice as high as the total number of people arriving in 2019
Almost 3,950 migrants made the crossing in small boats in the first 219 days of 2020 – compared to 1,850 in the previous year.
The crisis is a personal blow to the Home Secretary, who pledged last October that crossings have now been virtually eliminated.
A source from the Home Office said: “The last straw was this record number, which prompted the Home Secretary to call for this new initiative. The real solution has to come from the French – we want the French to take it back. "
Last night's sources said that naval vessels could now begin to turn migrant boats back to France in a major tactical escalation.
Immigration Still Too High – Poll
More than half of the British believe that despite Tory's long-standing promises to lower it, immigration is still too high, a study said yesterday.
It warned Boris Johnson that voters will turn against him if his point-based immigration system allows for a wave of mass immigration.
The study by the Migration Watch UK think tank found that, according to recent surveys, 54 percent of respondents think that immigration has been too high in the past ten years.
Only 5 percent consider it too low. And more than six in ten respondents said the government mistreated immigration policies.
The analysis showed that concerns about the effects of immigration on a large scale became a major concern after Tony Blair opened the doors to millions of people inside and outside the European Union.
Concerns eased after David Cameron came to power in 2010, promising to bring immigration down to the 1990s level, and continued to subside after the 2016 Brexit referendum.
The report said: "Most still have strong views about an alleged lack of effective immigration control."
Ms. Patel informed MEPs that she had received legal advice that such a move would be legal under international maritime law.
But the tactic would be highly controversial and could alienate the French government, which has informed Britain that it believes it is illegal.
Other immediate measures considered by the Home Office include the use of naval vessels to block the way of migrant boats.
It is assumed that smaller military vehicles will be used instead of larger ships such as frigates or destroyers. The Royal Marines could play a key role, sources said.
British forces could also use nets to entangle propellers, or floating "booms" to block the way of migrants' dinghies.
Both methods were tested in secret trials in May and June with naval ships and border force boats.
A government source said, “These are all options that are being considered. The Home Secretary is furious with this daily sum, which we think is 250.
She has instructed her officials to speak to the Department of Defense about how we can go about it. She also asked to speak to French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin. "
Officials from both departments have had initial discussions and the Home Secretary can then make a formal request for assistance from the Department of Defense.
Yesterday's arrivals included at least ten young children and a pregnant woman aboard a boat that landed on Dungeness Beach in Kent.
One of the children, a boy of about four, looked exhausted when he lay down on the pebble beach with his arms outstretched. The heavily pregnant woman was wearing a black dress and face mask when she was holding a child's hand.
She looked tired and had her head in her hand sometime after being picked up by a lifeboat.
Amateur photographer Susan Pilcher, who saw the group on the beach, said, "I could hear the Border Force staff asking the woman how many months she was pregnant, and she answered" eight ".
Ms. Pilcher added: "If you think she is going to cross the canal so risky during a heavy pregnancy, it means how much you've been through."
A British patrol boat also towed a kayak into the port of Dover yesterday.
A group of around 16 migrants, including 10 children and an eight-month pregnant woman, landed on Dungeness Beach in Kent today
Nigel Farage used his Twitter feed to share an exclusive video of migrants who came to the UK, including several children
The Home Secretary said she wanted "stronger enforcement" on the other side of the channel and had tried to convince the French government to refuse migrant boats.
She said last year that an earlier deal with the French would make crossings a “rare phenomenon” by spring.
It came when the Commons' all-party internal affairs committee launched an investigation into the crisis.
MEPs will begin their investigations when Parliament returns in early September.
A spokesman for the committee said: "The investigation will look at the role of criminal gangs in facilitating the growth of this form of illegal immigration and the response by the British and French authorities to combating illegal migration and supporting legal asylum routes."