Police dismantled the camp in the area of the Bourbourg Canal in Grande-Synthe near Dunkirk on Tuesday at around 8 a.m., with 400 migrants moved from the site while tents and other shelters were taken down.
According to a report from the news service Reuters, the police normally transport the migrants to various centres across France, but many simply end up back in northern France where they hope to reach the United Kingdom by crossing the English Channel.
One migrant, a Kurd from Iran, spoke to the news service, claiming he had previously been evicted from a camp in the area before being transferred to Lyon, but had managed to make it back to Dunkirk despite the 472-mile distance.
The dismantling of the camp comes just two weeks after another in Grande-Synthe was cleared of around 1,500 migrants on the order of Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin.
Georges-Francois Leclerc, the prefect of the northern region, commented on the dismantling of the camp, saying: “This morning, the border police proceeded to arrest 13 traffickers. During the evacuation of the camp, about 30 other traffickers, criminals, or suspected smugglers were arrested.”
Interior Minister Darmanin had added: “This morning, the dismantling of a network of smugglers in Dunkirk resulted in the arrest of 13 migrant smugglers, bringing the total to 1,308 since January. These smugglers are criminals who exploit human misery and are responsible for irregular immigration.”
The clearing of the makeshift camp this week also comes a week after 27 migrants died attempting to cross the English Channel, leading to tensions between the British and French governments over how to deal with the surge in migrants attempting the crossing over the last several months.
Last Sunday, Interior Minister Darmanin also claimed that migrants were attempting to blackmail French police by threatening to throw babies into the Channel if they tried to stop migrant boats from leaving France.