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At least 2,000 migrants in France try to enter Channel Tunnel to England

Attempts by migrants to enter England via the Channel Tunnel have been exacerbated by worker strikes in Calais, France.

By Fred Lambert
At least 2,000 migrants in France try to enter Channel Tunnel to England
The Eurostar high-speed bullet train, which connects Paris Gare du Nord to London St. Pancras station, March 11, 2015. Eurotunnel, the company that operates the Channel Tunnel service from France to Britain, said about 2,000 of the estimated 3,000 migrants living in Calais tried entering the tunnel on Monday July 27, 2015, in an attempt to illegally cross over to Britain. Photo by EQRoy/Shutterstock

CALAIS, France, July 28 (UPI) -- Thousands of migrants have reportedly attempted to cross from France to England through the Channel Tunnel.

Eurotunnel, the company that operates the Channel Tunnel, said about 2,000 migrants tried to enter the tunnel on Monday night, according to the BBC.

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A spokesman for Eurotunnel reportedly said it was the "biggest incursion effort in the past month-and-a-half."

There are an estimated 3,000 migrants living in poor conditions in Calais, France, seeking entrance into Britain. Labor protests in the area have exacerbated illegal attempts to enter England.

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Workers with MyFerryLink last week used burning tires to block the entrance to the Channel Tunnel in Calais during a protest over job and pay cuts, as well as Eurotunnel's sale of the ferry service.

A similar protest late last month caused traffic jams for miles leading into the port, and migrants reportedly attempted boarding slow-moving semi-trucks destined for Britain.

A migrant teen was found dead Thursday after stowing away on top of a Eurotunnel shuttle bound from France to Britain, and a man died in a similar attempt earlier this month. The incident came days after an Eritrean migrant died trying to board a train in the city of Coquelles and after 150 immigrants stormed the Channel Tunnel in Calais.

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Britain agreed last week to provide Eurotunnel with more than $5 million in reimbursements for security, but the transit service requested an additional $10 million from France and Britain to recover funds already spent on the problem.

The U.K. Home Office estimates authorities in Britain and France thwarted about 39,000 attempts by migrants to illegally cross the English Channel in 2014 and 2015, more than double the previous year.

Last month, Calais' Deputy Mayor Philippe Mignonet suggested the border frontier between France and Britain be moved to south England, noting that Calais is not the migrants' intended destination, but conservative British politician and former immigration minister Damian Green reportedly said responsibility for the matter belonged to French police.

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