(London) The British government announced on Wednesday that three initial military sites would be used to house migrants, and plans to do the same on boats as part of its arsenal to combat illegal immigration.

Last year, a record number of migrants (more than 45,000) reached English shores crossing the English Channel in small boats, helping to overwhelm the UK asylum system.

The Conservative government intends to deter irregular migrants from coming to the UK. He wants to send them to Rwanda, a project suspended by court decisions.

In December, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak announced that he wanted to halve the bill for lodging asylum seekers in hotels.

Hotels cost British taxpayers £2.3 billion a year, Secretary of State for Immigration Robert Jenrick told parliament on Wednesday.

“The accommodation of migrants must meet their basic needs, nothing more,” he said. “We cannot risk becoming a magnet for the millions of people who are displaced each year and who seek better economic prospects,” Mr. Jenrick continued.

He revealed the location of three military sites in Essex, East Sussex (south-east England) and Lincolnshire (east).

Through the repurposing of old barracks and the installation of prefabs, the project ultimately aims to accommodate “thousands of asylum seekers”, he said.

In the hope of alleviating reluctance locally, the Secretary of State for Immigration stressed that the places would offer basic medical services and be permanently guarded. He also insisted on the aid that will benefit the local authorities where these accommodations will be located.

According to British media, Foreign Secretary James Cleverly is opposed to the opening of such a site in his constituency.

On Tuesday, the government announced a plan to relocate 8,000 Afghans who arrived in the UK after fleeing the Taliban, and who are still in hotels, sparking criticism from both the opposition and refugee advocacy groups.