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Cameron: Britain not a 'safe haven' for migrants

His comments came as hundreds attempted to cross the English Channel by train from Calais, France.

By
Ed Adamczyk
British Prime Minister David Cameron speaks to the media about his vision for the country outside No.10 Downing St after securing a majority for the Conservative Party and a further five year term in the 2015 UK General Election in London on May 08, 2015. On Thursday, Cameron warned illegal immigrants Britain should not be considered a safe haven after disturbances in Calais, France. File Photo by Hugo Philpott/UPI Photo by Hugo Philpott/UPI
British Prime Minister David Cameron speaks to the media about his vision for the country outside No.10 Downing St after securing a majority for the Conservative Party and a further five year term in the 2015 UK General Election in London on May 08, 2015. On Thursday, Cameron warned illegal immigrants Britain should not be considered a "safe haven" after disturbances in Calais, France. File Photo by Hugo Philpott/UPI Photo by Hugo Philpott/UPI | License Photo

HO CHI MINH CITY, Vietnam, July 30 (UPI) -- British Prime Minister David Cameron attempted to dissuade illegal migration after continued attempts by hundreds to leave France for Britain.

Speaking Friday in Vietnam on a tour of southeast Asia, Cameron acknowledged a "swarm of people coming across the Mediterranean (Sea), seeking a better life," but added Britain would remove illegal immigrants "so people know it's not a safe haven."

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His comments came as hundreds of people, largely from North Africa and the Middle East, gathered in Calais, France, at the entrance to the tunnel to Britain under the English Channel. At least 3,500 people have attempted to illegally board the train and cross to Britain this week; nine have died in the attempt in July.

France has sent 120 police officers to Calais and 300 people have been detained by police, and Eurotunnel, manager of the train service, has requested 9.7 million Euros ($10.6 million) from the British and French governments to cover extra security costs.

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Zoe Gardner of Asylum aid, a British non-governmental organization, decried Cameron's use of the term "swarm" to describe the immigrants as "irresponsible, dehumanizing language," adding, "It's absolutely disgraceful. We need far more political courage and foresight.''

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Conservative Parliament member David Davies suggested the British army be sent to Calais, and suggested camps be built in migrants' home countries so they could be "sent back in a kind and humane fashion."

Peter Sutherland of the United Nations called British demands to keep migrants out "a xenophobic response to the issue of free movement. The debate in the U.K. is grossly excessive in terms of Calais."

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