French politicians call for new asylum process.
Care4Calais welcomes French politician’s call for discussions over a new asylum process in Calais. With the French elections coming up in April next year, various politicians in northern France have been making calls on their government to renegotiate the Le Touquet agreement which governs UK border controls in Calais. The home secretary, Amber Rudd, is to travel to Paris this week to meet French Interior Minster Bernard Cazeneuve.
The politician representing the region around Calais, Xavier Bertrand, has suggested a new deal whereby migrants hoping to claim asylum in the UK would be able to do so at a “hotspot” in France, and if they were turned down they would be immediately deported out of France.
Care4Calais welcomes discussions over a mechanism whereby refugees can have their UK asylum claims processed in France, such as that suggested by M. Bertrand. Care4Calais supports measures which would remove the need for any genuine refugee to enter the UK illegally and so be of great benefit in combatting the smuggling trade, reducing night time violence around Calais and removing cloaking illegal activities that disrupt truckers and transport links in the port town.
We have for a long time campaigned for safe passage for genuine refugees, specifically a mechanism whereby those in genuine need of asylum protection and young children who have a legal right to be reunited with families in the UK could be safely processed and thereby remove the need for them to risk their lives by night inside lorries and trains. So far the current French president (President Hollande) and the French Interior Minster have, like Teresa May, remained firm that there will be no change to existing arrangements.
The UK Home Office have commented “We firmly believe in the established principle, enshrined in the Dublin Regulation, that those in need of protection should seek asylum in the first safe country they enter.” However Care4Calais believes that this system is now out-dated and no longer fit for purpose, with countries like Greece and Italy collapsing under the strain of dealing with new arrivals. It is not fair that they should bear this burden alone while we hide behind an out-dated law so we don’t have to help.