Dreams of a fabled land of plentiful and high-paying jobs turn to despair. Thousands of migrants who have little hope of a decent life back home, are stuck in transit camps in France. And for some, despair leads to desperate measures. We take a closer look at their situation.
Hundreds of migrants from all walks of life arrive daily in Calais, located on the northwest coast of
France. There they set up temporary camps and live in rough conditions as they wait for a better life that may never come. They come from Afghanistan, Kurdistan, Somalia and many other African and eastern European countries.
Local charity organizations have stepped in to help feed the migrants, mostly males in their late teens. Their conditions have deteriorated into a humanitarian crisis.
[Nasir-Ahmad, Afghan Refugee]: male, Afghan
"I came to Calais on the 18th of February and until now I am here. I'm trying but I didn't cross the border. It's too difficult for me. For some it is easy but for me it's too difficult. I have no chance."
They face tough border controls or even death if anything goes wrong. Given the chance, they cling onto the bottom of freight trucks going into England where they believe a promise land of jobs and opportunity awaits them.
Truck drivers who drive regularly between France and Britain, face huge fines if a migrant is caught trying to cross the border attached to his truck.
[Jofre, Truck Driver]: male, Latin American
"We stop for 45 minutes but never to sleep."
The stowaways search for deserted parking lots or gas stations where truck drivers take short breaks.
Then, they work quickly to latch themselves onto the axles beneath the vehicle or pry open its back doors to hop inside.
Britain says it halted 18,000 illegal immigration attempts last year.
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