Breaking into Britain Panorama


Breaking into Britain

Evan Davis uncovers the truth behind the economic migrants who cross continents to try to illegally enter Britain, as two reporters follow the dangerous routes they use to get in.


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For centuries, Britain has been a magnet for people from other

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countries, who want to make a better life for themselves. Now to

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get here, many of these migrants have to breach fortress Europe,

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which means taking incredible risks, living penniless on the streets,

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suffering great hardships on the way. They have perilous journeys,

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many never make it, and those who do can end up in a detention cam np

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Europe. What draws them here? What dangers do they face? What barriers

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do they encount sner to find out we're sending two reporters to

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travel the route most used by illegal immigrants to the UK.

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Shoaib Sharifi starts his journey in Afghanistan, hearing the stories

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that are rarely told. He follows the Afghan migrants' paths into

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Europe, meeting families whose children are forced to sleep rough.

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Seeing the reality of these people's lives as they desperately

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set their sights on Britain. And Kassim Kayire takes another

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journey, across Africa, starting in Nigeria, where he tracks the trade

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He follows the migrants to the Sahara, where they cross deserts

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surrounded by armed men and suffer unimaginable horror.

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And I'll look at how Britain and the rest of Europe are trying to

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keep these economic migrants out. Together we're on a journey to

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discover just how difficult it is Migration is one of those topics

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that's guaranteed to generate strong opinions. We're used to

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seeing foreign workers cleaning our offices or looking after the old,

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doing jobs we may not want to do ourselves. But do we really welcome

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the idea of people come nooing our country? -- coming into our

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country? Got to stop. I'll be blunt. People come in this country because

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they think they can milk the system. It's probably the only country in

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Europe where you get this benefit, that benefit and God know what's

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benefit. It's good to have a variety of people. Everybody should

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live in harmony together. We're only here for a short time and

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enjoy life. Do you think we should let everybody in? No-one more.

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one more? No, enough. Too much is here.

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We've got too lenient a system. They just disappear. Illegal

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immigration they need to be deported, because they have no

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right to be here. Too many foreigners, not enough? Too many.

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They're taking over country. British people are immigrating

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everywhere, Australia, New Zealand, America, everywhere you go, you see

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British people. They're welcomed everywhere. We need to welcome

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people in England. What do we know about what's driving them here? We

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are lucky to live in an affluent part of the world. But for those

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who are not, who have no hope in their own country, Britain remains

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something of a promised land and Our reporter, Shoaib Sharifi, has

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been back to his homeland in Afghanistan to begin a journey of

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Afghanistan has been devastated by over 30 years of war and life is

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hard. Across the country, the average annual wage is under �300

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and life expectancy, just 45. Few people see much of a future here.

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Shoaib's family come from a village 20 miles from the capital. Many of

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the men he's known since childhood have gone abroad to find work. Last

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year 20 of them died trying to get to Europe illegally. Yet the young

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are still leaving in their thousands. I'm on my way to meet a

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father of seven who lives in this Kabul neighbourhood. He's sending

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He's telling me that he is aware of the risks involved sending his son

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to go through many countries illegally in order to reach the UK,

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but he says, it's like a gamble. He's gambling on his son.

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Fakhrudin's 18-year-old son, Sear, has lived at home with his parents

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all his life. Sear knows the road Sear wouldn't be able to get a visa

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to enter Britain legally. He and others like him, will have to

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travel on an illegal trail. But why do they want to go? Shoaib

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meets a group of university graduates and the answer soon

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The number of people leaving has made people smuggling into one of

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Afghanistan's few growth industries. For the first step of their journey,

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Shoaib and the graduates head for a Kabul market, where they've heard

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it's easy to find a smuggler. And The smuggler can organise a journey

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from here to London for around �8,000 per person. For an Afghan,

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that price means selling land or property. But if you haven't got

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any, you're forced to go it alone. It's 1am and I'm on my way to a bus

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station South West of Kabul, just Buses filled with passengers leave

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Kabul every night, heading 400 miles west to the town that's

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border Iran. This is the bus. They call it the boat bus because most

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of the passengers are young Afghans aiming to leave the country in

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24 hours a day buses and trucks pour out of Kabul, taking migrants

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on the first leg of their journey. This is the border between

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Afghanistan and Iran. It's heavily policed. Many would-be migrants are

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caught, some hidden in lorries, others on foot. The ones that do

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manage to slip through illegally, face journeys of thousands of miles

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over hostile terrain that can take years. Shoaib will follow their

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routes, meeting migrants at the key moments of their incredible

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journeys towards Britain. The other popular starting point

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for migrants is Africa. The majority of African migrants trying

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to get into Britain come from Nigeria. Kassim Kayire has come to

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Lagos to investigate the route that many are choosing to take. Their

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journeys often start with fake Kassim is a British passport holder,

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but he wants to see how easy it is to get a Nigerian passport, that he

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has no right to. I've heard that in Nigeria anything

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is possible. If I wanted a passport, visa, bus certificate, even

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immunisation card, I would be able to get it. Things can be done, all

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you need is your money. Today, I'm going to the Passport Office to see

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whether I can get a passport. I'm not Nigerian, but I'm going to see

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how I can get a passport, how quickly I can get it and how much

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it will cost me. Kassim's driver, Abiola, tells him there are

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officials working at the Nigerian Passport Office, who'd be willing

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to sell him a passport. When you say an immigration officer, is it

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someone officially working in the immigration office or another

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Middle Man for another official inside the Passport Office? Well,

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they might be a Middle Man, but he is actually an immigration office

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who works for the federal government that works at the

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Passport Office. We head down town to the Passport Office. What I'm

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about to do is illegal. So I switch it a hidden camera.

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Once I'm through the gates, it doesn't take long for a uniformed

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immigration officer to offer his help. It seems extraordinary that a

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government official is going to help me get a Nigerian passport I'm

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That was it. Without a shred of evidence a real Nigerian passport,

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costing just �72, will be ready in a couple of days. Basically, I've

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gone through all the processes. I've qualified to receive a

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passport. This is sort of my guarantor. I have no idea who Lawal

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Akeem is. But he's there. He is my guarantor. I've had to develop a

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quick signature which is this, so it's Aminu Abdilahi. In the final

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analysis, the passport I'm waiting to receive is a genuine passport.

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It's in the a fake passport. It is a true passport that is coming from

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the national Immigration Service of the republic of nigh John Kerrya.

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The only thing that is not -- Republic of Nigeria. The only thing

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For many, this is the first step to getting to Britain. Kassim would

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still need to get a visa if he wanted to go to the UK. Getting the

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necessary document to make a convincing visa application is,

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he's told, just as easy, at a price. With money. All things are possible.

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Kassim had no intention of using the false documents he's getting,

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So, it seems pretty easy to get hold of a Nigerian passport

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fraudulently with the promise of all the necessary documents wasle.

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The real test is will all that get you into Britain? This is the

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border, Passport Control at Heathrow Airport.

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All the immigration officers are familiar with forgeries, basic

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forgeries. I've come to meet Tahira Shah. She's been working here for

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ten years. She helps to decide who can and can't come into Britain.

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Because technologies have advanced so much now, it's probably more

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easier to travel perhaps as an imposter. On a real document that

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you're not validly holding? Yeah. Would you watch if a Nigerian

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flight came in? Probably, yes. UK Border Agency has been very

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concerned about the number of people flying in from Nigeria with

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fraudulent documents. It's taken to giving training and technology to

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the Nigerian police to detect forgeries, crack the criminal rings

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producing thm and catch those corrupt officials.

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But no system is 1 hundred per safe. Last year, over 2,000 people were

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detected trying to get into Britain with fraudulent documents. Those

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are the one that's were caught. What we don't know is how many got

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This is the frontline of a fight against increasingly sophisticated

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forgeries from all over the world. We would fingerprint, again, much

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to make sure that they match the visa, but with the document, if you

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cannot detect it, you do not know. No. So... So it seems to me that

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once you are in, you are in. If you can buy the right documents

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and get on a plane, you will save yourself the pain and hardship of a

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journey overland, but not everyone can afford it. Thousands of

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migrants from parts of Asia and Afghanistan have made the road

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journey to Turkey, a key transit Shoaib has flown straight into

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Turkey from Afghanistan. His fellow Afghans may well have spent months

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getting here overland. Some of them have crossed mountains on horseback

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and hidden in trucks, and they have ended up here on the streets of

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Shoaib meets Suleiman, who arrived here a month ago as part of a

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By this point, many Afghan migrants have ran out of money and their

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The ones who can carry on another 150 miles west to the border with

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That border between Turkey and Greece effectively separates Europe

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from Asia, and it has been incredibly porous, a huge headache

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for the Greeks, who at the end of last year called for help from the

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The European taskforce held sprees in its role as gatekeeper for

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Infrared cameras watch as migrants tried to cross the river and land

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Undocumented migrants are rounded up. Shoaib went to this overcrowded

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detention centre just over the Greek border, where some of them

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It is a huge problem for the Greek authorities to process these

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migrants, who arrive with no documents. And it is not just

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single men. Entire families turn up. Once processed, they are free to

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leave for Athens, but many, like Soraya, virtually have no money and

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Within minutes of leaving the detention centre, Shoaib comes

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across four young men on the road. They have nothing, no money, no

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third and only a plastic sheet for protection from the rain. -- no

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Apology for the loss of subtitles for 42 seconds

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Without the money for the bus fare, it is clear these young men have a

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long haul ahead of them to get to Even the lucky ones on the bus have

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spent all day covering the 400 miles from the detention centre.

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And when they get to the Greek capital, they are stuck, because

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without the right documents, they cannot get out of Greece. Shoaib

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meets them when they finally arrive Many end up in the squares and

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Shoaib meets a young couple who arrived 10 days ago with their

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three young children, all under the age of five. They have been relying

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on a local charity to feed their children once a day. They show him

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where they are sleeving. -- Parents Abdullah and Zarminah take

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turns to sleep and keep watch over There are hundreds of Afghans with

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their children sleeping on the streets of this, the capital of a

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European Union country. It is a A short distance away, near the

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railway tracks, Shoaib finds makeshift shacks where more of his

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It is not even three square metres, they have four people, and one

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person can hardly stretch his legs. He is telling me there of four

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people. I could hear at least two There has been hostility to the

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migrants from the Greeks in Athens. It is not surprising, really. No-

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one wants to see their city full of people sleeping on the streets with

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In the morning, Shoaib goes to help at a charity which provides free

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meals to hundreds of microns every day. -- migrants. The Greek

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authorities cannot cope with these new arrivals. One man, an Algerian,

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Apology for the loss of subtitles for 42 seconds

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is desperate to tell Shoaib about If the Afghan migrants imagined for

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a moment that Europe was going to be welcoming, their illusions are

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shattered once and for all by the But 1800 miles away, more migrants

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are on the move, people from across West Africa are making their way to

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Kassim was flying from Nigeria to Agadez. For centuries, this town on

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the edge of the Sahara has been a staging post for people travelling

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from the heart of Africa to the There are thousands of migrants in

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transit in Agadez waiting to travel on through the Sahara desert to

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Libya or Morocco to continue their But getting out is not going to be

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easy. Most people have already travelled thousands of miles to get

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here and I spent all of their money. -- have spent. Like this group from

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Ghana. With no cash, they cannot afford to move on. How much money

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do you need? How long would you need to work for $2,000? Did you

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Mike Wren's dream of earning enough money to get on a lorry and make

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their way across the desert, heading to the Mediterranean and

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then Europe and on to Britain. -- migrants. You get to a point way

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When you get the money, those lorries become important. Very

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attractive! Do you come here every day to look and say, one day I will

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To be where I want, that is it. is not only the men who have been

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taken advantage of, it is far worse These three teenagers have come

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1,000 miles from Cameroon, and it has been an even more dangerous and

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difficult journey for them. Having been exploited by smugglers, they

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Apology for the loss of subtitles for 42 seconds

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To me, it's been very disheartening, because I was thinking, this could

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be my sister, this is someone's mother, this is someone's daughter.

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The parents are there waiting, they know their daughter left. They went

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to look for a life. If they called back home, what are they going to

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tell their parents? I don't know what happened to those girls, but I

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do know that many women end the George Bushies -- journeys they

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hoped would take them to Europe in Where are the buses? The next monk,

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it becomes clear that those migrants able to move on may still

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face horrors on the road ahead. The road north out of Agadez into

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the Sahara is so dangerous that the only way to travel is in these

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armed convoys. This is one mass movement of people.

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It's about ten buses so far as I've managed to count, more than 40

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trucks. Because of the security situation here, they have to

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provide security, that's why they move together in what is a military

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convoy. They have to escort them The convoys head out across the

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Sahara bound for Algeria, Morocco and Libya, towards the

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Mediterranean. For migrants, this is a journey into danger and

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uncertainty. Bandits, militia and the desert itself can tear convoys

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apart. Recent footage, taken in the Samarra, shows overloaded trucks,

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broken down in the middle of nowhere, migrants abandoned to die

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in the dunes. Kassim is also heading for Morocco,

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but he's relieved not to be If they get to Morocco, these

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migrants will then try to cross the sea into Europe. On the other side

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of the Mediterranean, in Greece, Shoaib has reached the busy port of

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Patras. Every day hundreds of trucks leave

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on ferries for Italy. Some are carrying cargo that's not quite

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what's advertised on the waybill. For migrants, it's the perfect

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escape route to mainland Europe and Britain, if they can get on one

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At the fence around the port, there's a large group of Afghans

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All day long, in plain view, an almost ritualistic battle is played

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out between migrants and guards. The migrants are determined to get

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onto the trucks and so into the heart of Europe. The guards are

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The guards have seen a young man attempting to get onto a truck.

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He makes a run for it, trying to get back to the other side of the

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Everyone knows what's going on, including the truck drivers. You're

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sure there's nobody? Oh, yeah. 100%? 100. Have you come across

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anyone trying to get into your car? 500 times a year. Even today they

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open my truck three times. I open up, I got two, three guys out. One

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was on the Axels. He's risking his life. They suffer. They die on the

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road. It's not right. That's my point. Europe is a power now. They

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have money. They can organise this or help or find some way, not like

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this. They are not animals. They Wherever Shoaib goes, he sees

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Afghans just waiting for one lucky moment. He come as cross some

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camping by the beach -- comes At a playground nearby, Shoaib

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finds young Afghans. It's taken them months to travel over 2,500

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Some of the people Shoaib meets The migrants call this road their

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runway. It's where they hope to Shoaib watches as whole groups take

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to the streets, attempting to board the trucks in plain view of

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Apology for the loss of subtitles for 42 seconds

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Four times he tried today. ( Driver The ones that are caught receive

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Apology for the loss of subtitles for 42 seconds

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A tanker heading for the port stops at the traffic lights and one of

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The tanker pulls away with the young man clinging on below.

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Migrants are desperate people. No- one knows just how many die trying

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to get across the Mediterranean sea. Their goal is to get into mainland

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Europe and some of them onto And some try to cross in small

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boats and inflatible dinghies. I've joined an Italian Border

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Patrol, which aims to intercept them at sea.

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The paths that migrants follow to get to Europe are constantly

:41:48.:41:53.

changing as they try to evade border controls. A couple of years

:41:53.:41:58.

ago subSaharan Africans used to go to Libya, cross in small boats and

:41:58.:42:06.

make their way to southern Italy. Their journeys were unbelievably

:42:06.:42:09.

perilous. Nearly 200 miles through heavy seas on overcrowded, unstable

:42:09.:42:19.
:42:19.:42:21.

boats. The results - boats often capsized and people drowned.

:42:21.:42:31.
:42:31.:42:33.

Survivors sent back to Libya. Now, once again, Italian border patrols

:42:33.:42:38.

are picking up increasing numbers of boats filled with migrants, over

:42:38.:42:42.

40,000 have arrived so far this year with 1200 reported missing or

:42:42.:42:48.

dead on their journeys. They've come from north Africa,

:42:48.:42:51.

taking advantage of the recent political upheaval to try to break

:42:51.:43:01.
:43:01.:43:03.

into Europe. The north African coastline is the traditional

:43:03.:43:06.

departure point for Europe for African migrants, who've slogged

:43:06.:43:13.

their way across most of a huge continent.

:43:13.:43:18.

Kassim has reached rab at in Morocco. He's flown from Niger, but

:43:18.:43:28.
:43:28.:43:32.

he wants to find migrants who've It's not long before he sees a few

:43:32.:43:38.

faces in the market that don't look Moroccan.

:43:38.:43:42.

The government here is sensitive about the issue of migrants, who

:43:42.:43:48.

make their way across the Sahara, so we can't film openly.

:43:48.:43:55.

Kassim is meeting a woman at her home. To get here she and her two

:43:56.:43:58.

children travelled 3,000 miles over land from the Democratic Republic

:43:59.:44:08.
:44:09.:44:13.

She was stuck in the desert. She tried to pay the drivers off, but

:44:13.:44:16.

they refused, took her off the lorry, threatened her with a knife

:44:16.:44:26.
:44:26.:44:26.

Apology for the loss of subtitles for 42 seconds

:44:26.:45:15.

Mourinho ran away from Congo, thinking she was leaving the

:45:15.:45:19.

insecurity in our country. -- Philomen. What broke my heart was

:45:19.:45:23.

that the traffickers even tried to force her child into sex, they

:45:23.:45:31.

tried to sleep with a four-year-old. I mean, how hard can things get?

:45:31.:45:35.

Philomen is stuck in Morocco, but she just wants to get to a European

:45:35.:45:38.

country where she believes that a human rights will be respected and

:45:38.:45:48.
:45:48.:46:01.

Kassim has told about some men who have travelled overland from Agadez

:46:01.:46:05.

and are in Rabat. They do not want to continue their journey by road

:46:05.:46:09.

and not planning to use fake documents, like the passport that

:46:09.:46:14.

Kassim himself left behind in Lagos, to fly into Britain. You are still

:46:14.:46:20.

intent on going to London? Yes. Have you got a passport? A British

:46:20.:46:27.

passport? How easy was it to get it? It wasn't easy, but I have

:46:27.:46:37.
:46:37.:46:46.

And it is your photograph that is in there? Not my photo. But you

:46:46.:46:55.

look alike, you need to have him Glass's off. -- your classes off.

:46:55.:46:59.

But you do not need to use false passport to get into Europe, and

:46:59.:47:02.

you do not have to cross the Mediterranean a Smuggler's boat

:47:03.:47:12.
:47:13.:47:18.

either. For a migrant heading for Melilla is on the coast of North

:47:18.:47:22.

Africa, but it is not African, it is Spanish, in the same way that

:47:22.:47:32.

Gibraltar is a British territory. So if you can get in, you are in

:47:32.:47:41.

Europe, and you are unlikely to get It is such a tantalising option for

:47:41.:47:44.

migrants that the Spanish build a fence around their town to keep

:47:44.:47:54.
:47:54.:47:56.

But it was no deterrent, and hundreds of people simply left over.

:47:56.:48:03.

And so, in 2005, they built this, a much higher fence designed to make

:48:03.:48:13.
:48:13.:48:14.

Europe a fortress. It is 20 ft high and six miles long. Defence is

:48:14.:48:17.

formidable, and it has reduced the number of illegal migrants getting

:48:17.:48:27.
:48:27.:48:31.

through. -- the fence. But it has Inside, there is a detention centre

:48:32.:48:35.

for all of those who have smuggled themselves through the border in

:48:35.:48:40.

trucks and cars. This is their sort-of last step, and if they

:48:40.:48:46.

manage to make it into Melilla, it defines the tree that will allow

:48:46.:48:49.

them to break into the last of Europe, including Britain. -- their

:48:49.:48:53.

dream. This man has travelled through eight African countries to

:48:53.:49:03.
:49:03.:49:07.

get this far. Where do you want to And it is mainland Spain where they

:49:07.:49:15.

all want to get to. Migrants are sent from Melilla to detention

:49:15.:49:19.

camps there, and it then becomes easier for them to disappear from

:49:19.:49:23.

the authority's' side, and then it is not that difficult for illegal

:49:23.:49:26.

migrants to make their way to almost any European country on the

:49:27.:49:36.
:49:37.:49:40.

Shoaib is on his way to Calais, almost at the end of his journey

:49:40.:49:47.

following Afghan migrants. As a cross and hit Italy, they are using

:49:47.:49:53.

mostly trains to Calais. I kind of feel that even in this train that

:49:54.:49:58.

we are travelling in, who knows, they may be hiding somewhere on

:49:58.:50:08.
:50:08.:50:09.

On mainland Europe, the movement of my friends is virtually

:50:09.:50:14.

undetectable. One reason for that is because of the European treaty,

:50:14.:50:19.

the Shengen agreement, which removed internal border controls.

:50:19.:50:24.

Once inside Shengen, he can go as far as your life. Until you get to

:50:24.:50:29.

hear, Calais. Firstly, you encounter the Channel. And secondly,

:50:29.:50:34.

there is a border, because Britain never signed the Shengen agreement,

:50:34.:50:44.
:50:44.:50:45.

Well, it is the early hours of the morning, it is extremely cold and

:50:45.:50:50.

damp, and it is actually quite busy, lorries queuing up to go through

:50:50.:50:56.

passport control to get into Britain. The UK Border Agency

:50:56.:51:00.

performs checks on many lorries, looking for any migrant he might be

:51:00.:51:07.

hidden on board. On average, they find one every day. We have got an

:51:07.:51:10.

office in here now utilising the CEO to probe, and this machine will

:51:11.:51:17.

detect if there is anybody in sight. -- carbon dioxide. It is connected

:51:17.:51:23.

to a heartbeat machine. It is actually detecting movement inside.

:51:23.:51:27.

So some sophisticated equipment and the enormous effort goes in to try

:51:27.:51:32.

to keep Britain's border impenetrable. But even seeing all

:51:32.:51:42.
:51:42.:51:42.

of this, I wonder whether migrants And the evidence from our border in

:51:42.:51:49.

Calais is that it is very difficult. Many migrants reached a dead end

:51:49.:51:55.

here, unable to cross the Channel. Shoaib finds some of his fellow

:51:55.:51:58.

Afghans living by the railway tracks, listening to music that

:51:58.:52:08.
:52:08.:52:08.

Apology for the loss of subtitles for 42 seconds

:52:08.:53:03.

Other migrants try and cross further along the Channel, in

:53:03.:53:10.

Belgium, at the port of Ostend. And here, Kassim can see just how hard

:53:10.:53:15.

people will try to make it into Britain. This is Ostend station,

:53:15.:53:19.

the port, which combines three different means of transport, you

:53:19.:53:22.

have the train on one side, the ferry on the other, and then the

:53:22.:53:26.

trucks. Those who are very desperate will try to jump onto the

:53:26.:53:30.

tracks, but this is electrified, there is an electric fence, and

:53:30.:53:35.

quite often we have heard stories that some have been electrocuted.

:53:35.:53:44.

It is not an easy thing to do. It is about 10 metres, the war itself.

:53:44.:53:54.
:53:54.:54:05.

But a desperate person will do In Calais, Shoaib meets 18 year-old

:54:05.:54:10.

Kadeer left his family in Afghanistan four years ago. He has

:54:10.:54:13.

been living rough here for the last two years, trying to make his way

:54:13.:54:23.
:54:23.:54:24.

Apology for the loss of subtitles for 42 seconds

:54:24.:55:18.

on to a ferry bound for the over. - Kadeer has travelled 3,500 miles

:55:18.:55:22.

and spent a quarter of his life trying to break into Britain. But

:55:22.:55:31.

the final 20 miles are proving Now I know what the migrants were

:55:31.:55:36.

talking about, the famous White Cliffs of Dover. It is not a very

:55:36.:55:40.

long distance, I can understand those migrants who are so

:55:40.:55:44.

determined, despite Britain becoming more and more difficult to

:55:44.:55:51.

break into. Because the final destination he is just an eyesight

:55:51.:55:55.

away from them. They cannot just give up while they can see their

:55:55.:56:05.
:56:05.:56:37.

Shoaib and Kassim are back in London, a city that has welcomed

:56:37.:56:43.

and benefited from migrants for centuries. Here is Kassim. For the

:56:43.:56:50.

first time, we are all meting out. Welcome, welcome. So this is the

:56:50.:56:55.

first time you have met, right? One thing that comes out of vocal

:56:55.:56:59.

stories is how this is a European issue, isn't it? Greece cannot cope

:56:59.:57:06.

on its own, it has got to have the bigger European perspective. People

:57:06.:57:11.

were saying on the ground that at least one aspect of the EU is human

:57:11.:57:17.

rights. No matter whether it is legal or illegal migration, what is

:57:17.:57:22.

the commitment of EU towards humans? There is an argument that

:57:22.:57:26.

says you build a wall so high that no one will even try to come over.

:57:26.:57:32.

Well, they tried that in Morocco, with Spain and Melilla, which

:57:32.:57:37.

really... I visited it. All you do is get rid of the official version,

:57:37.:57:41.

which is people coming in through the usual ways, through the borders

:57:41.:57:45.

that are known, into an official versions, where people have to find

:57:45.:57:49.

alternative ways, which may be very dangerous. So you cannot build a

:57:49.:57:58.

wall, it is always possible. People will find a way to come in. Son and

:57:58.:58:02.

Kassim did not have to break into Britain, but what they found on

:58:02.:58:05.

their journeys was that economic migrants are not a problem for

:58:05.:58:10.

Britain alone. The issue is one facing all of Europe. With our

:58:11.:58:15.

world so divided between rich and poor, it is easy to see why, even

:58:15.:58:19.

in hard times, Britain remains attractive. For Zarminah and her

:58:19.:58:26.

Evan Davis uncovers the truth behind the economic migrants who cross continents to try to illegally enter Britain. In a ground-breaking special edition of Panorama, two reporters set out to follow the journeys that these migrants take along the most popular and dangerous routes to the UK.

Shoaib Sharifi begins in his homeland of Afghanistan, following people as they enter Greece illegally. He discovers hundreds of fellow-Afghans sleeping on the streets of Athens, many with their children, and meets those who risk everything to smuggle themselves on lorries for Italy and beyond.

Ugandan-born Kassim Kayira looks at the trade in fake documents that many Nigerians are using to fly into the UK, before heading to the Sahara and North Africa to meet those prepared to risk death for their dream of getting to Britain.

And Evan Davis explores what Britain and the rest of Europe is doing to stop these economic migrants getting in.

This is the story of people from across the world who risk their lives to find a way into Britain and a Fortress Europe. But just how hard is it to break into Britain? And why do so many risk so much to try?


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