Wednesday 12/8/21
IMMIGRATION

France clears 1,500 Britain-bound migrants from makeshift camp

There have been mutual accusations about who is responsible for the increase in numbers
16 November 2021, France, Dunkirk: Migrants wait at a makeshift camp on the site of a former industrial complex in Grande-Synthe, as French police are evacuating migrants from the site, where at least 1,500 people had gathered in hopes of making it across the English Channel to Britain. Photo: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire/dpa.
French police evacuating migrants from the site, where at least 1,500 people had gathered in hopes of making it across the English Channel to Britain. Photo: Gareth Fuller/dpa.

French police on Tuesday cleared 1,500 migrants from a makeshift camp on the English Channel because they had been trying to make the illegal - and dangerous - crossing to Britain.

French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin said he had ordered the entire camp in Grande-Synthe, near Dunkirk, to be evacuated.

Local authorities have been tasked with finding short-term accommodation for the evicted. One possibility is in Calais, where emergency accommodation for about 800 migrants was recently created.

Migrants have been trying to reach Britain from northern French port cities for years, with their improvised camps regularly cleared by the police.

But, in recent months, the number of refugees arriving in Britain after crossing in small boats has skyrocketed, putting pressure on Paris to to make greater efforts to prevent the people from setting off.

There have been mutual accusations about who is responsible for the increase in numbers. Britain accuses France of insufficient security deployments on its coast, while France says Britain's labour market rules are attracting the refugees.

Smuggling network

Darmanin announced on Tuesday that a smuggling network had been broken up in Dunkirk and 13 arrests had been made.

Since January, 1,308 smugglers have been arrested.

"These smugglers are criminals who exploit human misery and are responsible for illegal immigration," the minister wrote on Twitter.

The British government has introduced a rigid immigration system after Brexit. Home Secretary Priti Patel wants to make it harder for migrants to claim asylum after arrival.

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