France, UK seek to send Calais migrants back

31st Jul 2015
France, UK seek to send Calais migrants back

By Andrew Jay Rosenbaum

ANKARA (AA): After more than 1,500 migrants attempted to storm trains using the underground rail link between Great Britain and France this week, both countries are moving to end the chaos at Eurotunnel’s terminal at Calais.

The situation outside the northern French depot is such that Calais mayor, Natacha Bouchart, told reporters late on Wednesday that she is demanding €50 million ($54.8 million) in reparations from the French government for damage apparently caused by the migrants’ activities.

Bouchart claims that several Calais businesses have been forced to close because of the migrants, and that the bad publicity has damaged the city’s image.

U.K. Home Secretary Theresa May, after a meeting with French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve on Wednesday, announced measures to deport illegal immigrants who are camped outside the Eurotunnel terminal.

May told the press: “We have had a constructive meeting with Bernard Cazeneuve and we have agreed on further work to ensure we can return migrants particularly to West Africa, so we can help break the link between people making the perilous journey and thinking they can live in Britain.”

The Conservative Party minister gave no details of how these measures would work but said that the British government would allocate £7 million ($10.9 million) to increasing security at the Calais departure point.

Cazeneuve told the media that reinforced fencing is being put in place around the terminal and that an additional 120 French police had been dispatched to the scene where 260 security officers are already on patrol.

Meanwhile, French police said that the number of migrants camped at the port has grown to a total of 3,500, of which 1,500 have actually tried to board freight trains to the U.K.

One Sudanese migrant was killed in such an attempt early Wednesday morning.

A total of 16 migrants have lost their lives trying to reach the U.K. since June, according to the French medical organization Medecins du Monde, which has opened a mobile clinic at the site.

Pierre Henry, president of the migrant aid association France Terre d’Asile [France Asylum], said in an interview on Europe 1 on Wednesday that the situation for these people had reached critical proportions:

“These migrants, who are largely English-speaking, are in a state of absolute need. It is only logical that they try to reach a country where their language is spoken, and where the social services are better able to help them,” he added.

According to the Statistical Office of the European Union (EuroStat), 31,475 migrants have demanded asylum in the U.K. in 2014. This is about half the number who made the same demand in France, but, in the U.K., 39 percent of requests were agreed as opposed to 22 percent in France.

Henry called for the creation of a joint Franco-British asylum bureau in Calais, so that migrants demanding to stay in the countries could receive better attention.

[Photo: Migrants camped out in Calais, are seen at Calais forests, France on April 18, 2015. Photographer: Mustafa Yalçın/Anadolu Agency]

Leave a Comment

What is 13 + 3 ?
Please leave these two fields as-is:
IMPORTANT! To be able to proceed, you need to solve the following simple math (so we know that you are a human) :-)

Over 120 people attended a landmark conference on the media reporting of Islam and Muslims. It was held jointly by The Muslim News and Society of Editors in London on September 15.

The Muslim News Awards for Excellence 2015 was held on March in London to acknowledge British Muslim and non-Muslim contributions to the society.

The Muslim News Awards for Excellence 2015 was held on March in London to acknowledge British Muslim and non-Muslim contributions to the society.

The Muslim News Awards for Excellence event is to acknowledge British Muslim and non-Muslim contributions to society. Over 850 people from diverse background, Muslim and non-Muslim, attended the gala dinner.

Latest Tweets