Calais, France (AP)
French President Emmanuel Macron urged neighboring European countries on Thursday to do more to prevent illegal immigrants to France after at least 27 people died trying to cross the English Channel.
Macron said it was “too late” when immigrants arrived on the French coast in hopes of heading to Britain.
Macron said France patrols the northern coastline the day after the most deadly migrant tragedy to date in the dangerous sea lane that separates France and the United Kingdom, as part of an enhanced effort to rescue migrants at sea. He said he was deploying a military drone.
But he also called France a “passing country” for immigrants to Britain and said that greater collective efforts were needed.
“We need to strengthen cooperation not only with Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany, but also with the United Kingdom and the (Europe) Commission,” he said in his visit to Croatia. “We need stronger European cooperation.”
Immigration is an explosive problem in Europe, and leaders blame each other for not doing enough to prevent immigrants from entering their own country or migrating to other countries. I often do. France and Britain exchanged thorns on this issue following the recent sinking, despite promising more cooperation.
The Macron administration has announced that officials from France, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, the United Kingdom and the EU will meet on Sunday to discuss strengthening efforts to crack down on the migrant smuggling network.
They gather in Calais, one of the coastal towns of France where immigrants gather, and look for ways to cross the British coast as seen from France on a sunny day. Seaside communities on either side of the waterway were upset on Thursday by the horrific victims of sinking, where huge cargo ships crossed and were often hit by dangerous weather, waves and currents.
“Unfortunately, this was a foreseeable, horrifying scenario we were afraid of,” said Ludwig Hochart, an officer of the Curry Police Union.
“It’s scary that people have died,” said Paula Elliott, a small business owner, at Dover Harbor, England, across the channel.
“The ships they board and navigate are not suitable for their purposes,” she said. “They probably don’t understand how difficult the trip will be, especially at this time of year, which is much colder than in the summer.”
Macron described the deaths from the sinking on Wednesday as “victims of the worst systems, smugglers and traffickers.”
France has never mobilized so many officers against illegal immigrants, he said, and his commitment is “perfect.” But he also revealed that it needed more help.
“It’s already too late when these women and men arrive on the shores of the English Channel,” he said.
Increasing numbers of people fleeing conflict and poverty in Afghanistan, Sudan, Iraq, Eritrea, etc., small and unacceptable from France, hoping to win asylum or find better opportunities in the UK We are endangering a dangerous journey with crafts.
Wednesday has been the deadliest migrant tragedy in the waterways since the deaths of seven migrants in October 2020, according to French officials. But shipwrecks of that size are not uncommon in the Mediterranean, which is only this year. The United Nations estimates that 1,600 people have died or are missing.
The French prosecutor’s office, tasked with investigating the sinking on Wednesday, said 17 men, 7 women, 2 boys and 1 girl were likely teenagers. The prosecution said it was investigating allegations of murder, unintentional injuries, illegal immigrants, and criminal plots.
Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin said children and pregnant women were among the dead. Two survivors from the sinking were treated for hypothermia. According to Dharmanin, one is Iraq and the other is Somalia. He said authorities were working to determine the nationality of the victims.
The Macron government has put pressure on investigators, vowing to bring the person responsible for the tragedy to trial. Dalmanin has announced the arrest of five suspected smugglers, who he said were suspected of being somehow involved in the sinking. He gave no details about the alleged link. The public prosecutor’s office investigating the dead has confirmed the arrests of five people since Wednesday, but said they did not appear to be involved in the investigation.
According to Dharmanin, the smuggler, who was arrested overnight, was driving a registered vehicle in Germany, where he bought an inflatable boat.
He said criminal groups in Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany and the United Kingdom were behind a network of smuggling people. He called on these countries to cooperate better with smugglers, stating that they do not always fully respond to requests for information by the French judiciary.
“The UK and France must work together. In fact, we shouldn’t be the only ones who can fight smugglers,” he said.
French officials initially showed different numbers for the number of deaths, from at least 27 to 31 in their immediate response to the sinking. The number Dalmanin used on RTL radio on Thursday morning was 27.
The minister also swiped the British government’s immigration policy, saying France would expel more people from the country without legal permission. Police are working together to prevent non-navigable vessels from crossing the English Channel. This issue is often used by both politicians promoting the agenda against immigration.
“Obviously, immigrants are not well controlled in the UK,” Dalmanin said.
He also suggested that British employers are encouraging illegal immigrants to the British coast by hiring people who live illegally in the country.
“British employers are using this workforce to make what the UK manufactures and consumes,” he said. “We say we will reform your labor market.”
Meanwhile, British officials have criticized France for rejecting their offer to conduct joint patrols with French police along the strait coast by French police and border guards.
Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Wednesday that France’s operation to prevent migrant ships from leaving the French coast was “not enough.”
He and Macron spoke after the tragedy and agreed to “keep all options on the table to stop these deadly crossings and break the business model of the criminal organization behind them.” Said the office.
Macron, according to his office, advocated immediate financial support for the European Union border agency Frontex.
“France does not allow the channel to become a graveyard,” Macron said.
Leicester was reported by Le Pecq, France. Lori Hinnant from Paris and David Keyton from Dover, England contributed.
France demands European help after 27 migrants die at sea
Source link France demands European help after 27 migrants die at sea