October 23, 2016

Migrant should be locked up in prison camp—Janice Atkinson MEP

MEP Janice Atkinson

MEP Janice Atkinson has said that Migrants trying to break into the Channel Tunnel to reach the UK should be locked up in a prison-style camp in Calais,

Her call has drawn criticism from Asylum Aid, which said her remarks showed how low this country has sunk in how it talks about desperate people.

The MEP is an independent after being expelled from UKIP amid an expenses row but has joined a far-right alliance.

She said migrants were criminals who broke fences and should be detained.

In an interview with BBC Radio Kent, the South East MEP said 6,000 people were in camps in Calais, and Kent had taken in 1,000 unaccompanied children with 300 more arriving in recent weeks.

She said: “If we build a camp that’s almost like a prison for those who have only committed crimes and we deal separately with the women and children, that sends a very, very strong message.

“They’ve all got social media, they’ve all got smartphones and that message can be sent home: ‘Don’t come here. This is what will happen.'”

Ms Atkinson said there was a problem with migrants advising each other to “ditch their ID” but it was possible to tell where people had come from by their language and DNA.

“I can tell a Sudanese gentleman from an Eritrean, from an Afghani and from a Syrian,” she said. “And the Syrians are being pretty honest about who they are.”

Last year, Ms Atkinson was criticised for calling a Thai constituent a “ting tong from”

Zoe Gardener, from Asylum Aid, said Ms Atkinson’s views were “a frighteningly authoritarian response”.

She said criminal damage was to be condemned but it was entirely legal to claim asylum and people should not be prosecuted for making an undocumented journey for the purposes of seeking asylum under international law.

Ms Gardener criticised France for leaving asylum seekers destitute on the streets, but she said the UK had no moral authority to put pressure on France to improve its asylum system if it responded by “shutting the gates”.

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