The hope of many within the camp is to settle in France, but statistics suggest few do. In 2014, just 16 percent of the 52,053 asylum seekers in France were granted asylum, according to the French Office for the Protection of Refugees and Stateless People.
The failure to find a solution to Calais migrant crisis has led to fissures between French officials and the U.K. government.
“For too long, Calais and its population have been handling a situation which they are not responsible for,” Calais mayor Natacha Bouchart tweeted in July. She has publicly requested 50 million euros from the U.K. in compensation for the 15-year-long migrant situation. She accuses the British government of shirking its responsibility in regards the security situation in Calais. Fingers have also been pointed at the U.K. over its employment laws, which allow for people to work without an identity card.
Many in Calais blame the ongoing presence of migrants for its sluggish economy.
The port town has barely resurfaced economically since the recession, and its unemployment rate is now among the highest in the country — 12.6 percent since 2013, according to National French Institute of Statistics.
Laurent Roussel, president of the Merchants' Union and a member of the Calais City Council, said “fewer people travel to Calais for commerce, due to fear of migrants.”
“Businesses have lost around half of their turnover; butchers are forced to throw away meat,” he said.
But leaving Calais is not easy for the migrants in Jules Ferry camp. Security has been tightened recently after repeated mass attempts to stow away on the Eurotunnel that runs beneath the channel to England.
In spite of the increased police presence and an additional 7 million British pounds ($11 million) pledged by the U.K. government toward efforts to tackle the crisis on French soil, the number of fatalities is growing. At least 10 people have died in the attempt to cross into the U.K. since June, compared to 17 in the whole of 2014.
Recently installed fencing along the motorway leading to the ferry terminal has attempted to isolate the Jules Ferry camp. To circumvent the problem, migrants say they often walk for an hour-and-a-half to reach trucks lining up for the Eurotunnel on the other side of Calais.
The Eurotunnel terminal offers a better chance of passage for the migrants. Trucks are parked on the Eurotunnel shuttle trains, where the drivers leave their vehicles. This allows for unhindered access inside the trucks.
French border police with dogs and equipped with flashlights patrol the entrance to the terminal.
To prevent migrants from attempting, up to four police vans patrol the Boulevard de France, which runs parallel to the Eurotunnel entrance.
“You can't go there alone. You need to find a group of 35 people minimum. If there's enough of us, we can distract them and cut the fence with scissors,” Youssef said.