Calais mayor wants Sangatte to reopen

08.Nov.02,  first published by BBCnews: read the original article here.

The mayor of Calais has asked the French Government to reopen the Red Cross refugee centre at Sangatte because of the dozens of illegal immigrants wandering the streets of his town.

Mayor Jacky Henin said the authorities in Paris had taken an overly hasty decision on Tuesday to close the centre to all newcomers.

An illegal Sudanese immigrant at the closed gates of Sangatte On Friday, the Communist mayor of Calais said the camp should be reopened to deal with the people who had had no food or shelter for three days.

Since the French Government ruled that the centre would accept no more newcomers, dozens of immigrants have been denied entry.

So, some of them have been sleeping in Calais railway station, while at least 30 are being sheltered in a local sports hall by humanitarian groups.


Sangatte was closed to new entrants 10 days ahead of schedule, prompting accusations that the French authorities had acted in a hasty and inhumane way.

There has been criticism too of the way deportation orders have been issued since Tuesday.

The French authorities have admitted that some were given to people with the right to stay in the centre.

And it is not just humanitarian groups who are annoyed.

The French Police Officers' Union has complained that their colleagues in Calais have not been given clear instructions about who they should and should not expel.