Calais: Govt Offering Migrants Nearly €2,000 to Go Back to Home Countries

Migrants from Afghanistan sit under a semi-tent as they talk and smoke at a makeshift camp in the outskirts of Calais, northern France, on August 14, 2020. - The number of migrants crossing the English Channel -- which is 33,8 km (21 miles) at the closest point in the Straits …
SAMEER AL-DOUMY/AFP via Getty Images

The French Office for Immigration and Integration (OFII) is offering €1,850 to migrants in Calais to return to their home countries instead of trying to enter Britain illegally.

The offer of cash would also include a free one-way aeroplane ticket to any migrant who has been in French territory for at least six months as long as they are an illegal alien or a failed asylum seeker.

An additional €3,500 is available to migrants to finance a project in their country of origin, as well.

Pierre-André Henot is a member of the OFII who makes the offer in-person to migrants in Calais. France Info reported on Mr Henot’s trip to a food distribution site in the coastal city, with migrants responding to his proposition with amusement, some shaking their heads, declining.

Mashou, 20, told the broadcaster he wanted to travel to the United Kingdom but the French navy had turned his boat around in the English Channel, so he took up the offer.

“It’s not that I want to go home, but I can’t take it anymore. I’ve lost hope. It’s been four years since I left Sudan, and nothing good has happened,” he said.

Larbi Belmir, director of of the OFII in the Nord Pas-de-Calais region, said that 144 migrants, mostly from Iraq, have taken up repatriation funding this year.

Despite the Wuhan virus pandemic, the Calais area has seen a surge in migrants attempting to get to Britain this year.

While many opt to cross the English Channel by boat, some continue to attempt to hide in the back of lorries travelling through the Channel Tunnel.

Reports claimed that last week local police were overwhelmed by the number of migrants along the A16 motorway. A lorry driver was also injured in the area after being attacked by migrants he had been filming breaking into another lorry.

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)


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