When music fans think of “the British invasion,” they are referring to ‘60s bands like the Beatles and the Rolling Stones. Britain today, however, faces a different type of invasion.
Thousands of migrants, most from North Africa and the Middle East, are storming an ineffective “barricade” in Calais, France, as they attempt to enter England via the Chunnel, a 30-mile rail tunnel linking Folkestone, Kent, with Coquelles, Pas-de-Calais, in northern France. Some of these migrants hide on top of or inside of trucks or cling to the trains that travel beneath the English Channel. Some have died on the journey.
Cargo trucks were backed up last week in Calais, waiting for human and other traffic to clear. Some of the migrants have sat down on roads leading to the tunnel causing further traffic delays. A strike and blockade by French ferry workers has added to the misery, especially for vacationers trying to reach the continent. British Prime Minister David Cameron, confronting his first crisis since his re-election in May, is considering sending army soldiers to Kent to ease traffic congestion.
Britain is facing a problem familiar to America, which has its own challenges with a porous “southern border.”
Last Wednesday, at least 1,500 migrant attempts were made to storm inadequate fences in Calais. Outnumbered police could only stop a few. Some migrants interviewed vowed to return as many times as it takes to get into a country they see as providing jobs, health care and other benefits. In response, the Home Office confirmed “it was planning to strip families of the automatic right to benefits if their asylum applications were rejected,” the government moved forward with a plan to evict illegal immigrants without a court order from rentals properties “under new laws designed to make Britain a tougher place to live in” and Theresa May, the home secretary, who warned in a Telegraph article written with Bernard Cazeneuve, France’s minister of the Interior, that Britain’s “streets are not paved with gold,” said that “tackling this situation is the top priority for the U.K. and French governments.”
America take note.
The French government blames Britain for the migrant crisis. It claims Britain has failed to provide enough security at the tunnel. French officials also say British companies are too willing to hire migrants for their cheap labor. British officials counter that France isn’t doing enough to intercept the migrants before they reach Calais and that fences are inadequate.
A London Times editorial notes the rules adopted by the European Union: “Migrants are supposed to claim asylum in the first EU country in which they set foot. If they fail to do so, if they make their way from Italy and Greece on to France, then they should be sent back to their first port of call.”
That isn’t happening.
Then there is the problem, largely unspoken but real, that most of the migrants have come from Muslim countries. Are there radicals among them? No one can say with certainty, but “flooding the zone” would be part of a grand strategy to bring down Western nations by infiltrating and subjugating Britain and other European countries (and America) from within.
The London Times carried a story last week about how the University of Westminster in London “has hosted the highest number of extremist or intolerant speakers over the past three years.” Islamic State murderer Mohammed Emwazi attended the school. The terrorist known as “Jihadi John” earned a computer programming degree at the school.
Stories of people from Muslim countries who are admitted to Britain and the United States on student visas and then disappear are all too familiar. An unknown number of Shariah courts — estimated by the think tank Civitas to be 85 — operate outside British law in handling legal disputes between Muslims.
For thousands of years the British Isles have been invaded by foreign powers. The British eventually were able to expel (or absorb) the invaders. “There’ll always be an England,” says the patriotic song. Unless the unbridled migration and immigration is slowed, or halted, that could be a hollow prophecy here and in America, which also might not always be.
• Cal Thomas is a nationally syndicated columnist. His latest book is “What Works: Common Sense Solutions for a Stronger America” (Zondervan, 2014).
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