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Britain, France in New Push to Block Migrants

  • VOA News

French riot policemen cross the Eurotunnel ramp for trucks after they pushed back migrants who were blocking the road early in the morning, at Coquelles near Calais, France, Aug. 2, 2015.

French riot policemen cross the Eurotunnel ramp for trucks after they pushed back migrants who were blocking the road early in the morning, at Coquelles near Calais, France, Aug. 2, 2015.

Britain and France said Sunday it was a "top priority" for them to block the onslaught of thousands of migrants seeking passage to England via the Eurotunnel.

In a joint statement published in British and French newspapers, British Home Secretary Theresa May and her French counterpart, Bernard Cazeneuve, called on other European Union countries and the international community to help curb the flow of refugees from Africa to Europe.

"Our streets are not paved with gold," they said.

The two officials said the thousands of migrants who have sought passage from Calais, France on trains or trucks into Britain in recent weeks have often made their way there after first landing in Italy and Greece via Mediterranean boat trips from Africa.

May and Cazeneuve said the crisis should not be addressed by easing immigration policies, but rather by "reducing the number of migrants who are crossing into Europe from Africa."

At least 10 migrants have died attempting the France-to-Britain passage.

Britain and France say they are bolstering security at the French entry to the Eurotunnel, adding more police and private security guards, more fencing and infra-red detectors and floodlighting.

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