Calais: Crisis or Exaggeration?

flickr | dfmagazine
Calais is a small town on the coast of France, famed for it's large port and the fact that the euro tunnel has a major station there. It is also famous for the fact that it is a 'hot-spot' for migrants, many illegal, trying to use the port to cross into Britain. Until recently, only a small number of these migrants got to Calais and their attempts to cross were usually unsuccessful. Then things changed. Suddenly, large numbers of migrants began camping next to the port in Calais, waiting for the cover of night to jump into the back of lorries. Despite larger numbers, the method was nothing new. Then, a few months ago, they began to storm the channel tunnel at night. This was new and brought media attention which therefore began to interest the public and before you knew it, the news was making international headlines. So the question is, is there really a crisis in Calais or have the media wildly exaggerated the situation?

To find the answer, the first question we must ask is why would they risk their life to get into Britain? The answer is that they are all individuals and will all have their own personal reasons. The general consensus, however, is that it is one of 3 reasons. The first could be that they fleeing from war. Countries such as Syria, Eritrea, Darfur, Afghanistan and more are all terrorised by war or despicable dictatorships so people will happily put their lives on the line to escape from their dystopian-like country. The second reason could be that they are attempting to enter Britain because they can either speak English or already have family and/or friends currently in the UK. This means that they will not only be able to get a job easier but they will also find life in general much easier. The third and final reason could be that they genuinely see Britain as a shining light at the end of the tunnel ad as somewhere they should aspire to be.

Next we need to look at what's being done about it. Due to the large media attention, the government have been forced to intervene. David Cameron made a speech on it in which he called the migrants a swarm. This caused outrage among many who believed this to be de-humanising the migrants. The British government have since commenced 'operation stack' which involves separating lorries into queues (one of the tunnel and one for the port). This slows the traffic down but means the lorries can be searched. The government have also paid for new fencing to be put around the port in Calais. There we even suggestions of sending the British army in. This situation has unfortunately given UKIP and several right-wing newspapers an excuse to moan with The Daily Mail telling us: "We kept out Hitler, why can't we our feeble leaders stop a few thousand exhausted migrants?".
My conclusion is this: There is a problem, but not a crisis and that the situation has been blown out of proportion by the media. All that is needed to solve this problem is for the countries to work together and each take their fair share of migrants.

By: Daniel Gondrin

Student Voices does not fact-check / verify facts claimed in opinion articles.
Calais: Crisis or Exaggeration? Calais: Crisis or Exaggeration? Reviewed by Admin on 19:35 Rating: 5

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