Macron gets tough on migrants, vowing 'no more Jungles'

Macron gets tough on migrants, vowing 'no more Jungles'

Separately, French Interior minister Gerard Collomb said Sunday in Le Parisien newspaper that France also wants Britain to take in more refugees, especially unaccompanied minors.

Gérard Collomb told French TV on Tuesday that he wanted the United Kingdom to pay more towards planned infrastructure improvements, citing the importance of the Calais port to British trade.

Macron goes later Tuesday to Calais, and meets Thursday with British Prime Minister Theresa May to discuss accords that effectively put the British border in Calais.

At stake with Britain is a 2003 agreement which effectively moved the United Kingdom border onto French territory, meaning the area around Calais has become a bottleneck for migrants hoping to cross to England.

The president is expected to order Mrs May to pay more for improved border security across the channel, as well as allowing lone children as well as adult refugees with family members into to the United Kingdom, in a meeting on Thursday.

Police in the port city routinely break up makeshift camps of migrants hoping to stow away on trucks crossing to Britain, a favoured destination for Afghans and east Africans.

The French president will also use Tuesday's visit to defend his government's uncompromising attitude ahead of a new immigration law that will seek to clamp down on illegal arrivals while opening up legal avenues for asylum seekers.

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Macron has taken a tough line on what he calls "economic migrants", with a new immigration bill to be debated this year aimed at speeding up the handling of asylum applications and the expulsion of those whose claims are rejected.

Pisani-Ferry, Moderate Trade Union Chief Laurent Berger and other signatories wrote that Macron's commitment during the election campaign to the right to asylum had led them to hope for a presidency "marked by a proud and responsible humanism".

Macron talked briefly Tuesday with Sudanese migrants at the center in Croisilles, home to 63 people. The number of asylum seekers receiving final approval to stay in France was down slightly, to 35.8 percent.

At least three aid groups, including Doctors of the World, were boycotting a meeting with Macron at the end of his daylong visit, saying he left no room for real discussions on critical issues.

Francois Guennoc of the Auberge des Migrants charity said he did not want to act "merely as an alibi for a strategy that is already well established". The huge, infamous "Jungle" camp was closed in 2016, and only a few hundred migrants are now present in the area, compared to an estimated 7-8,000 who once lived there.

An encounter with Calais Mayor Natacha Bouchart may be his biggest challenge.

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