The UK. government is set to construct and pay for a wall along a roadside barrier in the port of Calais, France. The roadside wall has been blasted by critics for closely resembling the U.S.-Mexico border wall proposed by Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump.
Scheduled to be completed by the end of 2016, the proposed “anti-intrusion” wall would span roughly 0.6 miles and stand at 13 feet in height along a highway leading to the port of Calais.
The wall would bar the roughly 6,900 to 9,000 migrants living in a camp near the highway, which has been repeatedly disrupted by individuals desperate to stow away on trucks and ferries in order to gain entrance from across the English Channel.
“This wall is going to prevent migrants from invading the highway every night,” CEO Jean-Marc Puissesseau of the Calais port told the Agence France-Presse. “We can no longer continue to put up with these repeated assaults.”
The U.K. wall is estimated to cost between $2.25 million to $3 million. In March, the U.K. had already committed to spending $22.5 million in improving security for the Calais port.
The U.K. fence in Calais would be much smaller in size and cost than Trump’s proposed wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, which is estimated to stretch for 1,000 miles and cost at least $8 billion, but it has still drawn comparisons.
Chief executive Richard Burnett of Britain’s Road Haulage Association scolded the wall idea as a “poor use of taxpayers’ money.”
“People are using Trump to toxify everything he touches, including ideas,” associate director Douglas Murray of the Henry Jackson Society told NBC News.
Murray added that the immigration situation in Europe is much more severe than in the U.S.
“In Europe in the last two years, border security is very much a thing … we’re in a period in which people are flooding across national boundaries and the countries which are going to be interested are the ones which bear the burden when migrants arrive,” Murray said.
Europe is currently facing the worst migrant crisis since World War II. One million migrants came to the continent in 2015 and an additional 305,000 have entered so far in 2016.
Executive director Bob Dane of the Federation of the American Immigration Reform, an advocate for stricter immigration security, praised the new U.K. wall, telling Fox News that it would be effective both symbolically and literally.
Dane added the caveat that the U.K. “must understand that unless the incentives for illegal entry are eliminated, border barriers will be breached.”
French senator Nathalie Goulet blasted the wall as a repressive return to an outdated world order.
“It reminds me of the wall they built around the Warsaw Ghetto in World War Two,” Goulet said. “Putting up walls has happened throughout history but eventually people find a way around them or they fail.”