A “big, new wall” will be built in the French city of Calais to stop migrants from hijacking trucks headed to the United Kingdom through the Eurotunnel.
British Immigration Minister Robert Goodwill announced a new $22.7 million package to boost security at the port in Calais. The area is home to 9,000 refugees in the “Jungle” migrant camp, which French authorities intend to close by the end of the year following a spree of violent attacks on truck drivers.
Truckers have been subject to hijacking attempts from migrants who want to get smuggled into the United Kingdom. People use rocks, shopping carts and tree logs to stop cars and trucks so they can jump on board. (RELATED: Migrants, Smugglers Line Up On Highways, Hit Cars With Branches In Attempts To Make Their Way To Britain [VIDEO])
Authorities have tried to stop migrants from gaining entry to the highway by erecting fences, a measure Goodwill says hasn’t been enough.
“People are still getting through,” Goodwill said. “We are going to start building this big new wall very soon. We have done the fences, now we are doing the wall.”
Construction of the wall will start later this month and cost $2.5 million. The designed wall is 13 ft tall and will stretch one kilometer (0.6 miles) on each side of the highway.
Locals are skeptical of how the wall will affect the landscape. Refugee advocates say it will do little to stop people from gaining entry to the highway, just make it a lot more dangerous.
“When you put walls up anywhere in the world, people find ways to go round them,”François Guennoc of Auberge des Migrants, a French aid group working in Calais, told The Guardian. “It’s a waste of money. It could make it more dangerous for people, it will push up tariffs for people smugglers and people will end up taking more risks.”
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