"While dictators rage and statesmen talk, all Europe dances — to The Lambeth Walk."

Wednesday, 17 June 2009

Immigrants in Calais Incited to 'Tear Down the Border'

The first of 2,000 protesters from the French branch of the 'No Borders' movement have begun arriving in Calais, home to thousands of illegal immigrants who camp out and wait for their chance to make it to Britain.

The movement hopes to ignite a week of direct action; it is joined by anarchists whose stated goal is to 'help illegal migrants tear down border controls and make for Britain'.

The group is appealing for like-minded people from all over Europe to descend on Calais.

One anarchist, known only as Thierry, said: 'Calais is a symbol of injustices committed against the world's migrants.

'The authorities are taking us very seriously. We intend to encourage migrants to ignore border controls and get over to Britain en masse.'

Calais has been wracked with problems for at least a decade because so many illegal immigrants use it as a launchpad to get into Britain.

If the French police carry out a raid, the immigrants simply say they have come from Belgium, and they are dutifully driven over the border and walk back again.

The migrants have built a notorious squatter camp, known as 'The Jungle', in local woods. They live entirely off of theft and food handouts from local charities.

Recently, French riot police carried out a raid which made front page headlines when 200 migrants were rounded up and arrested - many of them suspected of people smuggling.

Of course, just days later all but two were free to resume their journey to Britain.

The problems caused by the presence of the migrants are many; they include sexual assaults on local women, armed battles between different groups of migrants, as well as British lorry drivers being threatened with crowbars and knives to turn a blind eye and let illegals hide in their trailers.

The French authorities have pointed out that the reason they want to claim asylum in Britain, not France is the huge array of benefits on offer:

Britain's ‘enormous’ state handouts to asylum seekers were furiously criticised yesterday – by the Mayor of Calais.

Natacha Bouchart said these payouts were the lure for thousands of foreigners using the French port as a staging point to cross the Channel illegally.

She said the UK government’s policy was ‘imposing’ migrants on the town, costing the local economy millions.

Mrs Bouchart, 45, a member of President Nicolas Sarkozy’s ruling UMP party, said she was so disgusted by what was going on that she refused to have any meetings with British government representatives.

She said the British system was predominantly to blame for thousands of Africans, eastern Europeans and Asians trying to clamber aboard lorries and trains in Calais every day.

‘Requesting asylum is easier with them (the British) than in France. The asylum seeker is given accommodation and receives up to £40 a week according to

their case, when the annual income of the average Eritrean is around $200 (£135).

‘That seems enormous and it’s attractive to them.’

In Britain, asylum seekers can receive payments as soon as a claim is lodged. In France, an asylum seeker generally is given nothing for six months.

Her solution to the problem isn't so wonderful, however - she thinks Britain should simply sign u to the Schengen Agreement, effectively opening the border to all of these people overnight:

Mr Besson even urged Britain to remove passport controls with France so illegal immigrants do not congregate in Calais but instead are allowed to cross to the UK - although he knows this will cause outrage in Britain.

Calais mayor Natacha Bouchard wants Britain to sign up to the Schengen Agreement, which allows anybody to travel between designated EU states - including France - without passports or visas.

She outlined the idea to Mr Besson yesterday and he also urged the UK to sign up to the agreement.

But British Immigration Minister Phil Woolas said: 'The UK policy is to not sign up to the Schengen Agreement. Free movement is only rightly available to legal entrants.

'Weakening our controls will only play into the hands of the traffickers who profit from human misery.'

So it goes on. No one thinks about the obvious solution - simply deporting all of them. The new idea is a series of 'mini-welcome centres', which provide showers, meals and helpful tips on colonising your new territory - er, claiming asylum.

One thing is certain, however - Britain seems the preferred destination for the vast majority of these people, so it will be interesting to see how the authorities handle next week's protests.

1 comment:

Dr.D said...

Hiram Maxim's invention could be applied to good effect to this problem. It would prevent repeat offenders.