A migrant camp in the French city of Dunkirk has stated populist Front National presidential candidate Marine Le Pen is not welcome in the camp because “humanity is a value she ignores”.
The move infuriated the Front National leader who has been a sharp critic of the migrant policies of the current government and is currently campaigning for the French presidency. Ms. Le Pen arrived at the camp, run by charity Utopia 56, unannounced claiming if she had made prior arrangements “they only show you what they want to show you”, French broadcaster BFMTV reports.
Mayor of Grande-Synthe Damien Careme welcomed the move by the charity to ban Le Pen from entering and took to Twitter writing, “I am the one who denied Marine Le Pen entry to the Grande-Synthe refugee camp – she had the audacity to show up without prior warning!” adding, “humanity is a value that she ignores”.
J'ai refusé l'accès au camp humanitaire de la Linière à Marine Le Pen qui a osé s'y présenter ! L'humanité est une valeur qu'elle ignore !
— Damien CAREME (@DamienCAREME) January 24, 2017
Ms. Le Pen fired back at Mayor Careme on Twitter saying, “This is democracy in France: only pro-immigrant officials are allowed to visit migrant camps!”
After being refused, entry Le Pen and her entourage set up a press conference near the camp in which she slammed both Mr. Carame and Mayor of Calais Natacha Bouchart saying they had both been “irresponsible” in their dealing with the migrant situation.
“Officials are sending migrants conflicting signals, and they are therefore partly to blame for the crisis. We tell immigrants that we don’t want them to come to France, but at the same time, we encourage the ones that are here to stay!” said Le Pen. She added, “What’s more, we are facilitating their illegal entry into the UK by setting up camps near the border”.
After the press conference had ended, Le Pen once again took to Twitter writing, “Calais is a martyred town that has been crushed by the migrant crisis. Immigrants are returning to Calais; the situation there has become intolerable. We must take back control of our borders.”
Ms. Le Pen was among several prominent populist politicians who attended the “2017: Year of the Patriots” conference last weekend in Koblenz, Germany. The Front National leader spoke of “the return of nation-states” and slammed the European Union (EU), which she has said France may leave if she becomes the next French president in May.
Le Pen has said the EU must restore member states the power to enforce their own borders and have more independence in their economic and fiscal policies.