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

Friday, 3 July 2009

Dismantling the Borders by the Back Door

Last week there was a large demonstration in Calais against the fact that migrants sleeping rough there can't simply enter Britain at will.

Many of the protesters were hardcore anarchists, and French riot police arrested around 47 people, finding weapons such as metal poles, machetes and pepper spray.

Many of the anarchists' threats, such as tearing down the border, leading migrants to Britain through the Channel Tunnel and burning symbols of capitalism and authority never came to pass, however.

This is a situation which has been going on for years now. The migrants live in Calais, daily trying to illegally sneak into Britain so they can claim asylum here and enjoy a range of benefits simply not on offer in France, plus the knowledge that only a minute fraction of them will ever be kicked out, even if their claims are turned down.

Since the Red Cross reception centre at Sangatte was closed in 2002, it is estimated that 2,000 illegal immigrants live rough in Calais.

Many in the town are sick of the situation, claiming that women are harassed, businesses are affected and hygiene is a problem.

The solution which is most often put forward by the French government involves the United Kingdom joining the Schengen Agreement, which would abolish border controls between this country and the other signatories (members of the EU an EEA).

Well, that won't happen any time soon, but it seems that the French government and the anarchists will get their wish in some form or another; on Wednesday the UN High Commissioner for Refugees opened its first full-time unit in Calais since Sangatte was closed.

It will now begin advising thousands of migrants on the steps they should take to come to Britain and claim asylum.

This is simply tearing down the borders by the back door - by legally subverting them.

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