Illegal immigrants gathering in Calais have an even bigger incentive to make the journey from Northern Africa to the UK now that a new immigration centre complete with Michelin-starred chef has opened.
The Jules Ferry centre, a 12 acre site with beds, showers, lavatories, a laundry service and medical facilities as well as power points for supposed asylum seekers to charge up their smart phones, is being funded by money from British tax payers via the European Union as well as the French government, the Daily Mail reports.
The camp is situated a ten minute walk from the ferry port where hundreds of migrants, mainly from Eritrea, Libya and Syria gather trying to smuggle themselves onto lorries bound for the UK.
Until yesterday, thousands had been living in camps known as “The Jungle” with no running water or proper sanitation facilities, unaware until they got to Calais that they could not automatically travel straight on to England, where they were hoping to get free schooling and plentiful work.
However, this did not stop an endless stream of migrants making the journey, with people traffickers now using a new strategy of abandoning cargo ships near the coast of Italy crammed with asylum seekers and expecting the EU’s FRONTEX agency and coast guards to rescue the craft and take the passengers onto European soil.
Now they will have access to the £2.3 million centre with three course meals, seasoned with spices to make them ‘feel at home’ and costing £2.30 each – three times more than the British government spends on primary school meals.
The camp will also offer legal advice from immigration experts to the hundreds who want to start a new life in Britain, a country they view as a paradise with free housing, schooling and weekly hand outs.
But politicians and campaign groups have spoken out against the facility, which will cost £6million a year to run, fearing the numbers coming to Calais in order to get to the UK will increase with those currently there able to phone home and tell friends and family that they no longer have to camp out under plastic sheeting or queue up in a disused square to get a hot meal.
This has been exacerbated by the camp’s director Stephane Duval who said that Jules Ferry will ‘provide a more complete service than Sangatte’.
And those the camp was set up to assist certainly seemed to be happy, with hundreds queuing up for the camp’s first meal of lamb and chick peas, served Army style in large heated vats.
One of those taking advantage of the new catering facilities was 23 year old Afghan Raja who said they were “much better here than anything we’d had before. The food is also much better too.”
“I’m really pleased that they have lots of power sockets as I like to speak to my friends in England on the phone and over Facebook,” he added.
Another confirmed the worst fears of the opponents to the facility, saying that he had been trying to get onto a truck to Britain for the last four months and the camp would allow him to stay for as long as it too to reach his destination.
The centre can provide three course meals for 500 migrants a day, and by mid-March up to 1,500 will be given one three course meal at two sittings between 1700-1900hrs each day.
And there is every reason for migrants to queue up for their meal, as one of the chefs is Christophe Duchene, a trainee chef at a Michelin-starred restaurant.
Mr Duchene, 43, said: “I am a chef and my job is to cook food which people like so I will be doing my best for these people.
“They are African and Asian people and they like hot, spicy food so we have laid on ample stocks of spices like curry, chilli pepper sauce, turmeric and pepper.
“I will be eager to talk to the people who serve the food because they will be telling me whether the people like what we cook or not and we will be adapting our dishes to their tastes.”
UKIP MEP for Kent Janice Atkinson, who went to meet politicians in Calais last September to discuss the continuing crisis, said that the centre would only exacerbate the problem already being faced both sides of the Channel.
“If you build a hostel with a Michelin-starred chef, is that likely to end or increase the flow of illegal immigration across the Channel through Kent ports? We know the answer from common sense and we know it from the horrific memory of Sangatte, the first time this woeful experiment was run.
“Cameron hasn’t lifted a finger for British interests to stop this new one being constructed. I’m writing today to ask Cameron where the £12million he sent the French to deal with this has ended up. Funding a Michelin-starred canteen for the coming illegal immigration crisis? You wouldn’t put it past him.”
And a spokesman for the Tax Payers Alliance told Breitbart London:
“British taxpayers will be baffled at the use of their money to build a camp in France. The European Union needs to realise that this kind of spending is exactly the sort of thing that is turning people off the whole project.”