Britain’s immigration minister announced Wednesday it would begin constructing a wall to keep refugees living in France from illegally entering the United Kingdom.
The wall will be nearly 12 feet high and cost nearly 2.5 million dollars to construct. The wall will stretch for nearly a half mile along a road next to a port with easy access to the U.K. from Calais. Calais is home to nearly 7,000 refugees from war zones like Iraq, Syria, and Afghanistan.
Tens of thousands of refugees were crossing the English Channel from Calais to enter the U.K. illegally, reports indicate. The refugee camp at Calais is known colloquially as a “jungle.”
“We are going to start building this big new wall very soon. We’ve done the fence, now we are doing a wall,” Britain’s immigration minister Robert Goodwill told members of Parliament Wednesday. Britain’s Home Secretary Amber Rudd defended the wall, saying it was an initiative to merely prevent ‘illegal’ entry. The U.K. is “on track to meet our commitment to help the most vulnerable Syrian refugees,” she continued.
A common tactic of many refugees is to use tree branches to block access to port roads by trucks. Once trucks stop, refugees will swarm the trucks and stow themselves away in hopes of reaching Britain. “We get tire irons swung at us, branches; people get bricks through their window,” one truck driver told toldPolitico Europe Monday.
Truck drivers have become so fed up with the practice that they staged a protest Monday, blocking a major entry road. At the protest the truck drivers demanded the French government take steps to dismantle the Calais refugee camp.
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