The migrant invasion flooding Europe from across the Mediterranean is entirely composed of innocents fleeing wars in Libya, Syria, Sudan and other far-flung parts of Sub-Saharan Africa. Really, it is.
We know because we are endlessly told by the media that we have to accept every, single one as they have no choice and little future beyond the borders of their troubled former homelands.
Unless they are economic migrants with enough money to pay people traffickers to clear the way for a trans-Continental journey to their Calais departure lounge ahead of a trip to the UK. Or one of the hundreds who make it on their own but still have enough cash to pay people traffickers £5,000 to complete their trip.
According to the BBC, a reporter spoke to a Syrian migrant in Calais who revealed on condition of anonymity that he handed over £15,000 to traffickers to make his journey. All up he has spent £12,000 on getting from Syria to France and a further £3,000 on trying to cross the Channel.
Now that is hardly the story of a man bereft of opportunity to start his life elsewhere or without the means to stay and settle in France. Indeed he is part of a wider influx, the economic migrants who see an opportunity in the UK and are prepared to pay their way into it. The Daily Telegraph offers these figures in a snapshot of the growing problem at Calais:
5000 – Estimated migrants currently camped out in the ‘New Jungle’ outside Calais
100- 150 Migrants arrive in Calais every day
700 – Migrants from Calais granted asylum in France last year
1,200 – Migrants from Calais deported from France last year
21 miles – Distance between Dover and Calais
£12 million – The amount Britain has spent reinforcing borders in Calais
18,700 – Stowaways attempting to get to Britain between January 1 and May 21 2015
Under the Dublin Regulation, those same migrants were supposed to claim asylum in the first safe EU country they reached, and can be sent back there if they fail to do so. By definition, Britain will not be the first safe country for any of those who arrive from Calais.
Yet still they come. Why? Because they know they will NOT be sent back from a land that promises so much. As the Mayor of Calais Natacha Bouchart has so artfully put it, England promises the easy life of endless benefits with no prospect of rejection. Last year she said:
“The weekly benefits of £36 that are given to migrants or asylum seekers is a huge amount for people who have nothing in their lives.
‘They have no idea about the value of money … But they know from those people who have got through [to Britain] that … they can easily find work, don’t have to declare their work, they can find accommodation and can get some money every week. People who have got through call and say, ‘ … this is El Dorado and we’re staying here’.”
As the problem continues to grow, Bouchart has since threatened to up the ante by simply opening the floodgates and letting migrants through. “If the British do not want to get around the table to discuss security, humanitarian issues and economic solidarity then we will have to open the borders,” she warned yesterday.
All are heading this way because nobody in Europe has the guts to stand up and say ‘no’ to illegal boat arrivals in the same way Australia’s Prime Minister Tony Abbott did when he took office. The result? Australia has now gone an entire year without a single people-smuggling boat successfully reaching land.
Immigration Minister Peter Dutton just last week confirmed the milestone, revealing 20 boats, with more than 600 people on board, had successfully been turned around since December 2013. All boats were sent back to their country of origin.
It’s a shame nobody in Europe is prepared to do the same thing to defeat people traffickers and the economic migrants all too willing to play Britons as useful fools.