The makeshift refugee camp nicknamed the ‘jungle’ on the outskirts of Calais has finally been demolished. Camps come and go, but this one was where the refugees stayed deliberately in an attempt to get across to the UK. Many tried to jump onto lorries, as it left the port risking their lives. It is the responsibility of the French to deal with this, but have pushed the British to police this. Le Touquet is a treaty, which allows the British to do passport checks in Calais in order to ease the burden on the French police, and vice-versa. However, since the announcement of Brexit (which the treaty is unconnected with officially) the French have threatened to pull the treaty, yet, that only works against them as they would have to pay more for policing in the area.
The swift demolition of the camp and subsequent relocation of the refugees should have come sooner. Maybe the French had been too lax, and now that Brexit is real, they know they can no longer expect the freer borders they have been used to. In the past, the French were accused of being lazy, and if the refugees made it on a lorry to leave France, so be it. They saw it as the problem of the UK officials if they got caught. It appeared the French didn’t want to deal with the problem until now that there has been more media pressure.
So why don’t refugees claim status in France and stay there, as surely it’s safer than where they have come from? That does bring up the question of human rights, as they should claim asylum in the first safe port, and they should not be able to pick and choose where they wish to live. That isn’t asylum, as it’s about being safe and they are in France.
Other issues such as terrorism arise, which is why it is hard to monitor potential threats with people who can hide easily in these camps. Another issue that the charities promote is the plight of minors, but what people fail to grasp is that parents do this deliberately, and leave the child to go alone knowing that the authorities must take care of them, and then this allows the rest of the family to join the child once settled. It sounds rather callous, but is a well-known trick, and more fool the people that cannot see that. Of course there will be children that have been abandoned, or who have lost their family, but they are unlikely to have been able to pay people to get them on a boat across to France or other countries if that were the case. The sad fact is that most people will have paid and had their routes planned. This shouldn’t stop humanitarian work, but the authorities need to balance what they can do without enabling the process. Those who smuggle refugees out know the system and exploit it, and while there is a need to help people there needs to be control.
Some refugees also feel they are entitled to treatment and expect to have an education and home handed to them. Is that right? When I see millions of homeless people who can’t get jobs, or live hand to mouth, and people who can’t afford education—how can the authorities find the funds to house, educate, and feed people that appear out of the blue, when they can’t do that for people they already live there? How can it be right that a British citizen who is poor and can’t afford to go to University or to have a home is denied this due to a lack of funding, whereas a refugee who speaks no English, has paid no taxes is given a home immediately, and free education? The sad thing is that many brag about this, and is why they choose to risk going to the UK rather than remain in France.People can’t see this simple fact; that some refugees are exploiting and taking advantage of the asylum laws. How can it be stopped without looking as if the authorities are biased or prejudiced? They can’t, not without being attacked, and that’s why the refugees win because of political correctness, and was a factor as to why Brexit was inevitable.
How does one solve the problem? One must look at the root cause, and that means to stop the refugees from becoming refugees in the first place. Trying to stop wars in Afghanistan, and Syria is not easy and the governments seem more concerned about power rather than the people. However, some people will still try to leave as they yearn for a western lifestyle and use it as a means to escape.
The ‘jungle’ may have been cleared, but another one will appear in other places. While NGOs fight to give them rights, they will use that to their advantage, but who pays for it all? The effects have led to terrorism, cultural shifts in communities, an increase in crime rates, social displacement, and cuts in welfare and services to citizens. I’m all for helping those in need, but not those who milk the system to get a better life at the expense of others. I was on a chat room where one Syrian bragged he wanted to get to Germany as he would get free education, a home, and also citizenship. Somehow, he still manages to log on to the chat room and Facebook on his phone while he is stuck in Turkey. I know many people who can’t afford smartphones, yet somehow these refugees manage to have an active smartphone… go figure, as I am on pay as you go!