FRANCE — French President Francois Hollande on Tuesday called on European nations to take steps to stop migrants from entering their borders, arguing that such a move would endanger the lives of their host countrymen.
Hollande said the migrant crisis would not be solved by turning Europe into a “permanent migrant camp.”
French Interior Minister Gerard Collomb said he is considering a new proposal that would see the closure of the so-called “Jungle” migrant camp in Calais, France, that has become an international symbol of the migrant influx.
Collomb also warned that Europe was at risk of becoming a “failed state” if it did not act swiftly to protect its citizens from the spread of the virus.
French Interior Ministry spokesman Frederic Bernard said a new law would be passed that would require authorities to turn back people arriving in the country by land or sea.
He said the law would also prohibit the “torturing and killing” of migrants who arrive in the northern French port city of Calais.
Holls office on Tuesday also criticized the European Union for not addressing the “humanitarian crisis” in Calais.
“The European Union should not be a refuge for the migrants who have reached our shores,” he said.
“We have to help them in the most humane way.”
Collomb’s office said that he had also asked the EU to set up a “migrant border control” force to help police the border.
He added that he hoped that European nations would take “a step” toward providing more assistance to refugees who are stranded in the Calais area.
Holland, who took office in March, has made an effort to stem the influx of migrants from North Africa to the United States, saying he would like to see France, Germany and other countries take in tens of thousands of migrants each year to curb the flow of people to the U.S.
A majority of migrants arriving in Europe in recent months have been from North African countries, mainly Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan.
In response, Hollande has also ordered France to deploy thousands of troops on its southern border with Germany to patrol the border to stem illegal crossings.