Who Needs Donald Trump? UK Govt to Build Huge Anti-Refugee Wall
The announcement Wednesday that government officials in the United Kingdom plan to start constructing a 13-foot high wall on the French border city of Calais to deter migrants sparked contentious debates on social media, with advocates and critics expressing both delight and horror at the idea that U.S. Republican nominee Donald Trump seems to be influencing public policy across the pond.
Kate Gibbs of the Road Haulage Association said the wall is a “scandalous waste of taxpayers' cash,” and is a wall that will “serve very little purpose and not provide any security.”
"Seems like the UK is one step ahead of Donald Trump" read a post on the Twitter account with the handle InSpirAl. "And now we´re the United Kingdom of Trump," fleetstreetfox wrote on Twitter.
The barrier will stretch nearly a mile along the main motorway to the port (seen on the map above) between the Jungle and the port. | Photo: AFP
"The UK will be better off. . . " read a tweet with the handle Louis Cannell. Continuing, the Twitter user stated, "deport Criminal Jocks. . . and jobs rebuilding wall."
Second only to Trump references were references to June's BREXIT referendum in which voters in the U.K. opted to leave the European Union, stunning the international community. One of the biggest factors in the BREXIT vote was immigration issues.
"BREXIT. for many, is a WALL to stop more migrants just as the physical wall Donald Trump wants to build," Graciela Carillo wrote on June 21st, days before the referendum.
Immigration Minister Robert Goodwill told MPs Wednesday morning that “the security that we are putting in at the port is being stepped up with better equipment. We are going to start building this big new wall very soon as part of the (nearly US $23 million) package we are doing with the French. We've done the fence, now we are doing a wall. There is still more to do. We have also invested in space for 200 lorries at Calais so that they have somewhere safe to wait.”
In July, official figures showed that 84,088 people were detained along the U.K.’s borders last year, with many arriving in boats from Turkey and North Africa.
And just Wednesday morning, more than 50 Jamaicans – most who had spent their adult lives in the U.K. – were deported despite protests held by activists Tuesday.
The protesters had gathered outside the Jamaican high commission in London to also protest Jamaica’s cooperation with the deportation. Many said that the U.K.’s Home Office immigration enforcement had strategically detained individuals in order to fill the flight, overlooking the circumstances of each individual.
Activists believe that this is the first immigration removal flight to Jamaica since November 2014.
“The people on that flight have lived in Britain for years. Some have committed criminal offenses, most have not. We urge you not to accept this charter flight that constitutes a grave infringement of the human rights of (Jamaicans) living in the UK,” Lee Jasper, veteran Black-rights activist and the former equalities adviser to the mayor of London, wrote in a plea to the Jamaican government on the Facebook page for the protest.
Another protest has been scheduled for Wednesday.