Around 6,000 migrants have been camping out rough for months on the outskirts of the French port city. They seek to cross the Channel Tunnel, the terminal of which is located in Calais, and claim asylum in the United Kingdom. The approaching winter has added urgency to their precarious situation.
"We are going to urgently reinforce police and gendarmes forces in Calais. We will add 300 gendarmes and 160 riot policemen tomorrow to the 225 gendarmes and 440 riot police forces, whose presence has permitted us to avoid numerous tragedies and difficulties," Cazeneuve told journalists after his visit to Calais.
As temperatures drop, the French Interior Ministry has pledged to accommodate all women and children stranded at the makeshift "jungle" camp near Calais.
Every night, desperate migrants – from Eritrea, Sudan, Somalia, as well as Syria and Afghanistan – attempt crossing to England. At least 16 have died in traffic accidents at the entrance or inside the Channel Tunnel since June.