the smuggling networks and immigration conditions in question

the smuggling networks and immigration conditions in question

Every day, dozens of migrants try to reach the English coast from France. A perilous journey since twenty-seven people died Wednesday, November 24. Since then, Paris and London have called for more cooperation, while accusing the other of not doing enough to prevent these crossings. Both the inhabitants of Calais and the migrants’ associations are wondering about the networks of smugglers as well as the reasons for the crossings.

with our special correspondent in Calais, Juliette Gheerbrant and our correspondent in London, Claire Digiacomi

This Thursday, November 25, Emmanuel Macron noted that France held the border for the British. For his part, Boris Johnson suggested sending back to France all illegal migrants who arrive through the Channel. It is in Calais that a meeting of several European states will be held this Sunday. The United Kingdom will not participate, Gérald Darmanin having canceled the invitation of Great Britain to this meeting. France wants the European Union to take up the migration issue and in particular the issue of smugglers.

►Also listen: Virginie Guiraudon (CNRS): Boris Johnson wants to sign “an agreement for the readmission of migrants with France and the EU”

We do not attack the smugglers

Thursday evening, during the tribute paid to the twenty-seven victims of Wednesday’s shipwreck, a Calaisienne deplored that we were not attacking the organized crime networks that manage the passages and in particular their leaders, reports our special correspondent at Calais.

It is absolutely shocking what is happening here.

Shipwreck of migrants in Mache: a tribute to the missing

English television has found one of its smugglers in Iraq, who would earn 90,000 euros per year, thanks to this activity in the Channel. It will be remembered that in Italy a few years ago trafficking in human beings won out more than drug trafficking.

There are fewer and fewer individual crossings here on very small boats, more and more large overloaded boats. According to an activist from Utopia 56, associations avoid getting too involved in this issue for security reasons, migrants remain discreet. However, we know that a passage costs 2,000 to 3,000 euros.

►Also read: Channel: the deadliest sinking of a migrant boat since the start of the crossings

But this young woman also explained that the less organized migration is, the fewer possibilities there are to obtain residence permits, the more the smugglers’ stranglehold on migrants grows. And it is for this reason, among others, that the European meeting on Sunday did not elicit enthusiastic comments yesterday.

Several people were worried about the uniquely repressive nature of the political response and also raised the question of the criminalization of aid in Calais, the members of associations which bring clothes and food to migrants are treated by the police as accomplices of the smugglers, while they do, they say, only level the failings of the public authorities.

Complicated family reunification

For migrant aid associations, there is no doubt: if the Channel crossings are so numerous, it is because it is too difficult for migrants to go through official, traditional channels to come and live. UK. This is particularly true for family reunification, specifies our correspondent in London, Claire Digiacomi.

6,449 beneficiaries in 2020, an increase of 2% compared to the previous year, but less than France and its 13,000 residence permits issued. The conditions are strict in the United Kingdom: to bring a child or a spouse, it is not enough to be an asylum seeker, it is necessary to have been granted refugee status, and this often takes several years.

As for relatives who remain abroad, they must submit their case to dedicated centers of the United Kingdom authorities around the world. But they would not be numerous enough and therefore not easy to access, according to the British Red Cross. She concludes that the situation often puts these people in danger, as they have to cross zones of war or violence.

The presence of family members on British soil is one of the main reasons for migrants to come to the UK. The other motivation, being the English language.