France Shuts Down Major Migrant Camp for Illegals Heading to UK
Illegal immigrant camp near English Channel is shut down and cleared by police
A migrant camp in northern France, near the English Channel, has been shut down and cleared by French police as the country begins to crack down on illegal immigration.
Police cleared out around 1,000 illegal migrants from a disused gym near the northern port of Dunkirk after a court ruled that it was a health and security hazard.
The camp, positioned near a narrow section of the English Channel, has been used as a last stop by illegal aliens as they prepare to make the treacherous journey across the sea to illegally enter the United Kingdom.
A court ordered the migrants to be removed, earlier this month, in a bid to tackle violence, disease, and human trafficking, which have all increased in the neighborhood, according to French media reports.
A large majority of the camp's migrants were believed to be Iraqi Kurds hoping to reach the UK.
The migrants removed from the camps will be moved to temporary shelters where they can apply for asylum in France.
Left-wing activist groups are accusing French authorities of “trying to make (migrants) invisible” by repeatedly tearing down their camps.
They claim that evacuations fail to stop migrants from coming to the area.
Although migrants congregating in areas along the French coast closest to the English Channel is nothing new, there has been a recent uptick in attempted channel crossings.
Over the weekend, the UK border force intercepted 41 migrants in three small boats and a kayak.
A week ago, 86 migrants were stopped about by the border force.
An additional 29 migrants were intercepted as they made their way towards the Kent coast on Monday, the BBC reports.
On the British side of the water, citizens have been attempting to stem the flood of illegal migrants from landing on the shores.
Britain First activists have set up a "Patriot Migrant Patrol" along a beach near Dover on England's south coast, to catch migrants crossing the channel.
The group says it sent people on the lookout for illegal migrants who risk their lives to get to Britain from France.
The organization shared pictures of their "Patriot Migrant Patrol" as they hold vigil at a beach in Dover, Kent, on its website, saying:
"Equipped with torches, binoculars and hi-vis jackets, our activists patrolled the beach keeping a close eye out for migrant crossings."
Liberal charities have criticized the patrols, with Care4Calais saying it was "shocked and concerned" by the search parties, describing them as "unsettling."
It comes after a spate of crossings in recent weeks, believed to have been prompted by calm summer seas and the impending Brexit deadline.
More than 1,200 migrants have crossed the Channel this year - more than the whole of 2018.