Skip to main content

Illegal Immigrants: France

Volume 497: debated on Tuesday 13 October 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what steps he is taking to improve conditions for illegal immigrants in the holding area in the UK Border Agency jurisdiction in Calais. (291625)

Both the UK and French Governments remain committed to further joint action to achieve our common goals under the strong UK-French partnership on migration.

Discussions are ongoing for the construction of a secure facility in the UK control zone to replace our existing facility. This will hold and process illegal immigrants found by UK Border Agency officials and their contractors, for short periods, until they can be handed over to the French border police and processed under French law. All details, including financing, are still under discussion between officials.

We continue to develop a package of measures to target, dismantle and prosecute the networks of facilitators and traffickers who exploit illegal immigrants. These measures include world leading technology, enhanced intelligence and closer working between all agencies.

We are concerned about the humanitarian situation faced by individuals in the Calais region and will provide support to those in genuine need. However, the message is clear—the only way to live and work in France and the UK is by legal routes.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many illegal immigrants have been detected trying to enter Dover by ferry from Calais in each month since January 2009. (291627)

From 1 January to 31 August 2009 a total of 15,753 individual attempts to enter the UK illegally were detected at the freight and tourist controls at the ferry port in Calais. The totals for each month were as follows:

Total

January

2,097

February

2,395

March

2,244

April

2,177

May

1,801

June

1,555

July

1,780

August

1,704

Total

15,753

Note:

These figures have been sourced from locally collated management information held within locally accessed computer systems and do not represent National Statistics. They have not been the subject of National Statistics protocols and verification and should therefore be treated as provisional and subject to change.