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Record numbers of immigrants cross the English Channel

Record numbers of immigrants cross the English Channel

There are many large immigrant camps in the woods, in parking lots, and in deserted industrial areas along the French coast towards the canal.

We estimate that there are about 1,000 people here now, but it’s impossible to know because it changes from day to day, says Andy Brown, a volunteer worker in Calais, France.

Everyone here wants to go to England. 20 of my friends went yesterday and I’m leaving soon, says one migrant.

When the strait is the narrowest, the distance is a little more than 30 km. But large ships travel the waterway at the same time and it is one of the busiest routes in the world.

Many are desperate. Volunteer Andy Brown says the majority want to go to the UK because they have relatives there.

Volunteer Andy Brown protects vulnerable migrants in French camps picture: Mikael Erickson, SVT

Disturbed mood

Another aspect highlighted by the many immigrants we met with themselves is that the UK no longer belongs to the European Union. They say this will make it difficult for the state to return them once they get there.

The increasing influx of immigrants raised the mood between the nations. The British Home Secretary said the situation was “unacceptable” and called for action by France.

The British government also recently announced plans to deploy military ships as a barrier to migrants.

“This extremely dangerous road must be made unbearable,” said Priti Patel, UK Home Secretary.

Thousands tried to cross the strait

In total, more than 4,500 migrants have so far this year crossed the strait.

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Compare that to the number of people who came to Scandinavia, Germany or Italy, says Andy Brown.

They say it is unacceptable?

– I will talk about what is not acceptable. Andy Brown says that 15-year-olds sleep in trenches in Calais.