French presidential candidate Marine Le Pen refused entry to refugee camp
“Today, they refused to let us enter the Grande-Synthe migrant camp. This is democracy a la francaise!” Le Pen tweeted shortly after trying to visit the camp.
Local authorities were also quick to take to Twitter, with Grande-Synthe Mayor Damien Careme posting: “I denied access to Marine Le Pen, who dared to show up! Humanity is the value she ignores!”
J'ai refusé l'accès au camp humanitaire de la Linière à Marine Le Pen qui a osé s'y présenter ! L'humanité est une valeur qu'elle ignore !— Damien CAREME (@DamienCAREME) January 24, 2017
Le Pen didn’t stop there, though, giving interviews outside the camp and posting a series of tweets that slammed the French authorities’ steps regarding the refugees.
She criticized the “crazy immigration policy of our successive governments,” and then urged the authorities to “send the illegals home and maintain our national borders.”
“Otherwise, the camps will multiply,” Le Pen warned.
The right-wing leader also voiced concern about the police being “mobilized daily to solve problems linked to jungles of migrants.”
Le Pen met with the residents of Calais, who she said shared with her their concerns about “complex problems” related to migrants in the area.
She was referring to another major camp in the region, the infamous ‘Jungle,’ which was shut down in October. The Grande-Synthe camp holds about 800 people, according to official data, as cited by AP.
Le Pen has been a vocal opponent of the French government’s migration policies, and pledged to hold a referendum on ‘Frexit’ – a potential French exit from the European Union – should she come to power.
The latest major survey, conducted for Cevipof and Le Monde, has shown that Le Pen is gaining momentum among French voters, leading with 25 to 26 percent in the pre-presidential election polls, while Republican ex-PM Francois Fillon is in second, with 23 to 25 percent of the vote.
The first round of the French presidential vote is scheduled for April 23, with a run-off on May 7.