A FRENCH politician has slammed Britain’s “grotesque and hypocritical” immigration policies for leaving Calais overrun with migrants.
The port’s deputy mayor Philippe Mignonet said a combination of failure to clampdown on illegal workers, a soft asylum system and the welfare state meant hordes of people were trying to reach the UK via France.
He revealed Calais was facing a crisis similar to the days when its infamous Sangatte shelter housed thousands of migrants trying to slip across the Channel.
Mr Mignonet said: “We are facing a grotesque British immigration policy, if not hypocritical. Britain says, ‘We don’t want immigrants’ but does nothing to prevent the black economy. Two million people work in the black economy in Britain.”
He claimed 400 migrants from Africa and Asia were currently squatting in dilapidated buildings or in tents in Calais city centre. And he warned they will soon number thousands in the region as a whole.
Mr Mignonet said: “The town is facing something beyond its limits and which must be handled at highest national and European levels.”
The deputy mayor has also warned of a new wave of refugees from the Syrian civil war. Britain was their target because it was regarded as a “paradise” for people trying to start new lives, Mr Mignonet said.
People-traffickers based in Calais – which he called “mafias” – offer to smuggle migrants out of Syria and into Europe for £10,000, he claimed.
He added: “The thing they want is to go to England. In their original countries those people are saying, ‘If you go to England, you will have everything. You will have a house, you will have money, you will have a job, your family will be able to join you’.
“Right or wrong, it is what is said. We have to understand that in Europe and fight those mafias.”
His words highlight the Daily Express crusade to persuade the Government to maintain controls on Romanian and Bulgarian immigrants from January 1. And they echo similar comments last month by the mayor of Calais Natacha Bouchart.
She also blamed UK immigration policy for encouraging a flood of migrants, who hope to stow away on cross-Channel ferries or trains.
Ukip leader Nigel Farage backed the French complaints yesterday and pointed to “shameful” figures, which show a mere six per cent of tip-offs about illegal immigration the UK are investigated. And fewer than one in 60 cases leads to deportation.
See on www.express.co.uk