Migrants have left their welcome centers and returned to Calais in order to illegally reach the United Kingdom on the back of lorries amid increasing fears a similar settlement could be rebuilt, the Daily Express reported.
“There are less refugees here at this moment in time than there were before but that, I see, as a temporary situation just like other evictions that have taken place,” Clare Moseley from Care for Calais charity. “We are going to return back to the situation where we have desperate refugees here living in even worse conditions and they are going to need our help,” she said.
Many of migrants are desperate to reach Britain, which lies tantalizingly close across a narrow stretch of sea, saying they have relatives there.
“95 per cent of [migrant] minors wish to reach Britain’s shores at all costs,” said Pierre Henry, the director of France’s Terre d’Asile, after the camp was cleared.
French authorities in October cleared the squalid camp near Calais port and moved the thousands of migrants – mostly Afghans, Eritreans and Sudanese – who had been living there to shelters nationwide. They included around 1,900 minors. France last week denied reports that Britain has stopped taking in migrant children relocated from Calais, saying London has taken in over 450 minors since the “Jungle” camp was razed. Last month, Britain tightened the admission criteria for unaccompanied migrant children without family in Britain, saying the child must be 12 or under, or run a high risk of sexual exploitation.
Calais has for years been a staging post for attempts by migrants to sneak into Britain by stowing away on trucks or trains crossing the Channel. The Jungle camp was first demolished in 2009 only to sprout up again in 2015 when migrants from the Middle East and Africa began pouring into Europe in unprecedented numbers. A wall funded by Britain to try and stop migrants from the former Calais “jungle” camp reaching its shores has been completed, seven weeks after the site was cleared, a French official said. The four-meter-high (13-foot) wall runs along a kilometer-long stretch of the main road leading to Calais port, next to the area that used to house the sprawling camp.
French authorities evacuated more than 6,000 people in early November from the Jungle camp to lodgings in towns and villages across France where their eligibility for asylum will be assessed. In the past few months there have been several attacks on migrant shelters in France, mostly targeting centers for asylum seekers relocated from makeshift camps and squats in the northern port of Calais or Paris. But there had been no injuries or fatalities in those attacks.
In a bid to protest the arrival of migrants who are being dispersed around the country, the far-right party Front National (FN) urged mayors to resist the Calais relocation plan. Resistance to immigration is central to the campaign platform of National Front leader Marine Le Pen in her bid for the French presidency in elections next year.
The “Jungle” has become a symbol of the Europe’s biggest migrant crisis since the World War II and a major source of Anglo-French tensions. Most migrants coming from the eastern African countries of Eritrea, Ethiopia and Sudan and war-torn Syria intend to cross the English Channel and seek asylum in the U.K. As only a small number of refugees are eligible to enter European countries, the ones that can find shelter suffer from worsening humanitarian conditions in refugee camps.