Time and again, we have said that once these migrants and refugees reach Calais, it is already too late. Anecdotal evidence suggests that migrants are usually in the town for an average of only three months, with 70% of the camps empty by the end of that time. In many cases, this is because they have been successful in entering the UK.
Perhaps you'll think I'm naïve, but I still believe that when you have a debate, it's a good idea to have some facts readily to hand. So here are some facts that you might find useful next time you're thinking about that "swarm" (David Cameron's word, not mine) of migrants crossing the Mediterranean from north Africa. Why not keep them handy (the facts, not the migrants) on your smartphone, or print them out and shove them in a pocket.
David Cameron will join the leaders of other EU countries on Thursday and Friday for a special summit to discuss the EU's migration policy, following a dramatic increase in the number of irregular migrants trying to enter the EU this year. In recent months there have also been more cases of migrants drowning while trying to cross the Mediterranean.
This is an enormous debate and affects countries far beyond the UK, but the recent UK election demonstrates clearly how the public are losing faith in a traditional approach to politics. Democracy can be difficult for most politicians to swallow, but if they don't listen to the people it's going to choke them all.
We should bear that fact in mind before denying our responsibilities in this crisis. Migration and asylum claims are part of our modern world and we need to be pro-active in international collaboration between countries of origin, transit and destination in order to preserve the right to seek international protection.
Let's change the narrative. We fought side by side during WWII, we are close allies in Nato and partners in the EU, we are "Europeans", people who believe in the same values, friends and neighbours. It is true that each local authority in England must have experienced change because of immigration. Local circumstances, tensions or problems cannot be ignored. But let us try and think how to integrate migrants better.
Britain can and must provide asylum seekers and refugees with the protection and support they deserve. Its political parties must outline their proposals for an efficient and fair immigration and asylum policy, which reflects our national self-interest and the rights of those feeling war and persecution.