CALAIS, France (Reuters) – French police on Tuesday dismantled a migrant camp in the northern port of Calais, from where thousands of illegal economic migrants and would-be asylum seekers have sought to cross the English Channel to reach British shores.
A police source said the operation began shortly before sunrise. The makeshift camp was home to about 700 migrants, the source added.
Several thousand migrants have attempted the perilous crossing this year, often paying people traffickers to help them traverse one of the world’s busiest shipping lanes in overloaded rubber dinghies.
Britain has repeatedly pressed President Emmanuel Macron’s government to do more to prevent the migrants leaving France. The British government has called the high numbers who made the illegal crossing this summer unacceptable.
France says it has stepped up patrols.
Many of the migrants are from Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Syria and countries in Africa, fleeing poverty, persecution or war.
(Reporting by Pierre Savary; Writing by Richard Lough; Editing by Nick Macfie)