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  1. #1
    Senior Member
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    Apr 2006

    U.N. Pressures Britain to Take Migrants from Calais Camp

    When 'The Jungle' is razed, how many migrants will Britain take from Calais this time?

    By Steve Doughty and Matthew Hickley
    Last updated at 3:03 AM on 19th September 2009

    Britain was under pressure yesterday to take in hundreds of migrants who have been living in a shanty town in Calais known as The Jungle.

    The UN's refugee chief said Britain should take a share of the migrants who are to be evicted from their shacks when French officials clear the camp, probably early next week.

    As many as 2,000 foreigners live rough in the Calais area with about 800, mainly from Iraq and Afghanistan, camped in The Jungle.

    Doomed: An aerial view of the Calais 'Jungle' migrant camp due to be razed by the end of next week

    The proposal by Antonio Guterres raised the prospect of a repeat of the British humiliation when France closed the Red Cross refugee camp at Sangatte seven years ago.

    Then Britain accepted and gave four-year work permits to 1,200 migrants who had been waiting near the Channel Tunnel mouth in the hope of making a crossing and claiming asylum.

    But three months later, it emerged that the great majority had refused work and were costing taxpayers £100,000 a day in benefits.

    French Immigration minister Eric Besson, left, and UN High Commissioner Antonio Guterres who said the British government should be prepared to allow migrants with large families already in the UK to enter the country

    Many were living in hotels, including the four-star Adelphi in Liverpool. None of the Sangatte migrants is thought to have left the UK since.

    French officials have decided to bulldoze The Jungle after months of violence and disorder on the streets of Calais involving migrant gangs and attempts to board lorries bound for Dover.

    Mr Guterres, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, waded into the row over the camp with a demand that 'everybody that is in need of protection should be granted protection'.

    The former Portuguese prime minister said: 'There will be situations in which we would recommend the British authorities consider the possibility, within reason, of receiving, for instance, people who have large families in Britain and things of this sort.'

    He did not specify how many migrants he thought Britain should take.

    Mr Guterres spoke after meeting with the man in charge of clearing The Jungle, French immigration minister Eric Besson, who has in the past advocated freedom of travel for migrants from France to Britain.

    French border policemen yesterday arresting a suspected go-between paid to assist illegal migrants in boarding a lorry near the port of Calais in hopes of smuggling themselves into England

    A statement put out by the UK Border Agency stopped short of a refusal to accept any of those from The Jungle.

    A spokesman said: 'People seeking asylum should do so in the first safe country they come to. Those who are not in need of protection will be expected to return home.

    'The decision to close illegal encampments in and around Calais is a matter for the French government and we will continue to co- operate with them on tackling illegal immigration.'

    There was anger in the UK over the suggestion that migrants from The Jungle should come here.

    Tory immigration spokesman Damian Green said: 'Britain has a duty to genuine refugees but not to anyone who happens to have made their way to Calais.

    'We need to improve our own border security which has been too lax for too long.'

    Robert Whelan, of the Civitas think-tank, said: 'It is very important that people of all countries feel they have control over their own borders.

    'Decisions need to be taken by an elected government, not by a UN quango.' ... z0RnQDZwLO
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  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    No Britain should not buckle to this. They are a sovereign country with high unemployment. It is not their responsibility, any more than it is ours to take care of the rest of the world.
    Britain is already agreeing to Sharia law as an alternative to British law, and perhaps in the eyes of the UN that has made them weak and easily influenced.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    We'll STILL reach the UK, insist migrants evicted from Jungle

    By Kirsty Walker, Peter Allen and Paul Bracchi
    Last updated at 1:48 PM on 23rd September 2009

    Britain will not take in hundreds of migrants evicted yesterday from the French refugee camp known as the Jungle, the Home Secretary claimed last night.

    Alan Johnson insisted that suggestions Britain will be forced to accept some of the migrants were 'wrong'. He added he was 'delighted' French police had bulldozed the squalid camp near Calais.

    However, evidence from France last night suggested Mr Johnson's optimism was seriously misplaced.

    Screaming defiance: One of the migrants is hauled away by French riot police during their dawn raid on the Jungle

    Migrants gather at a camp fire to demonstrate their plight, before being evacuated by police

    Many of those forced out of the Jungle at dawn by more than 600 riot police said they were still determined to reach Britain.

    Among them was Afridi Kahn, a salesman from Pakistan's north-west border with Afghanistan.

    The 30-year-old father of two young boys had already made several attempts to get to Britain since arriving in the Jungle a few weeks ago.

    'In Britain you get a solicitor, pocket money, good accommodation, your health is taken care of,' he said. 'People have rights in Britain. In France you get nothing.'

    The entry of riot police into the camp at 7.39am local time led to violent clashes. Lines of men from France's feared Compagnie Republicaine De Securite, or CRS, filed in, some wearing full riot gear and armed with tear gas and handguns.

    Also involved in the operation were 30 interpreters, three bulldozers, 12 lorries, and a team of tree surgeons.

    Wipe out: A bulldozers moves what's left of the once-massive Jungle migrant camp into a pile

    Police presence: Up to 500 officers raided the camp - one for each migrant

    Many of the immigrants, encouraged by a group of anarchists chanting, 'We will fight, we will fight', refused to go. Some had to be dragged out kicking and screaming.

    The worst trouble took place around the makeshift mosque, which the mainly Afghan Muslim residents of the camp had promised to defend 'at all costs'.

    'It is the centre of our camp, and leaving it pains us massively,' said Omar, a 26-year-old originally from Kabul, shortly before he was arrested.

    'The police can try to stop us as much as they like, but nothing will stop us getting to England.'

    In total, 278 migrants were arrested, 132 of whom claimed to be aged under 16. All were male. However, up to 1,000 were thought to have fled before the police arrived.

    Many had disappeared overnight, moving to other parts of Calais where they will continue to plan their journeys to Britain in the back of lorries or trains.

    Those who remained at the camp - where diseases such as scabies are rife - were divided into adults and children, put into a fleet of coaches, and taken to detention centres.

    There they will be given a choice to either apply for asylum in France or face deportation to their own country.

    Some of the evicted migrants will be offered £1,700 to return home under the Global Calais Project, which is funded by the British and French governments.

    Seized: Police officers grab one of the camp migrants while another refugee tries to stop them

    An Afghan migrant is comforted by a volunteer as police evacuate him and others from the improvised camp near Calais

    British taxpayers' contribution, likely to run to millions of pounds, is to help the migrants set up a small business once they return to their homeland.

    The Refugee Council, a charity providing advice to asylum seekers, wants Britain to accept some of the migrants, particularly children, with family connections here.

    But the Government insisted that would not happen.

    Immigration Minister Phil Woolas said: 'These people have no rights to claim asylum in the UK. Indeed, we would question whether they were genuine asylum seekers.

    'If they were fleeing persecution, they have the right to claim asylum in the first country of entry if they leave their own country.'

    Mr Woolas went on to deny that Britain was an 'easy touch' for those wanting to enter illegally.

    'My message is don't try to get in, because you can't unless you are a genuine asylum seeker.'

    Around 600 officers - more than two per remaining migrant - lined up to clear the camp

    Some of the would-be immigrants protest as the clear-out operation begins

    Policemen stand guard at some of the final shelters, before they too are pulled down

    One man sheds a tear as he is removed from his makeshift home

    Mr Johnson added: 'Reports that the UK will be forced to take illegal immigrants from The Jungle are wrong.

    'Both countries [Britain and France] are committed to helping individuals who are genuine refugees, who should apply for protection in the first safe country that they reach.

    'We expect those who are not in need of protection to return home.'

    French immigration minister Eric Besson had earlier taken an equally hard-line stance. He claimed clearing The Jungle was a step towards making Calais 'watertight' to illegal migrants.

    Just before the clearance operation began he said: 'There are traffickers who make these poor people pay an extremely high price for a ticket to England.

    'This is not a humanitarian camp. It's a base for people traffickers.'

    Calais shopkeepers also welcomed the clearing of the camp. British holidaymakers have been carjacked by gangs of refugees in recent months.

    However, many fear that the migrants will return elsewhere - just as they did when the notorious Sangatte camp was demolished in similar circumstances to the Jungle seven years ago. ... alais.html
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