The British government has taken a chapter from Donald Trump’s campaign playbook by announcing the construction of “a big, new wall” in the northern French port of Calais to keep migrants from jumping on trucks.
“People are still getting through,” UK Immigration Minister Robert Goodwill said, The Guardian reported. “We have done the fences. Now we are doing the wall.”
The wall will be built in two sections on either side of a port approach road to protect the trucks from the migrants, who have used rocks, shopping carts and even tree trunks to try and stop the vehicles before climbing aboard.
The UK will pay for the $3 million wall, the latest barrier to be erected in Europe, which has been buckling under its biggest migrant influx in decades.
Dubbed “The Great Wall of Calais,” the concrete structure has already been assailed by local residents and mocked for sounding like a small version of The Donald’s proposed wall across the border with Mexico.
“We’re going to build a wall. Trump, no wait, I mean UK immigration minister says work to start on £1.9m Calais wall,” the Reading Green party tweeted.
“Out-Trumping Trump? Seriously? Work to begin on ‘big wall’ at Calais to block migrants,” Catherine Fieschi posted under the handle @CFieschi.
François Guennoc of Auberge des Migrants, a French aid group in Calais, said: “This wall is the latest extension to kilometres of fencing and security surveillance already in place. It will just result in people going further to get round it.
“When you put walls up anywhere in the world, people find ways to go round them. It’s a waste of money. It could make it more dangerous for people, it will push up tariffs for people smugglers and people will end up taking more risks,” he added.