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Society

ORIGINAL FRENCH ARTICLE: Que sont devenus les réfugiés de la « jungle » de Calais ?

by Marion D’Allard

What has Become of the Refugees of the "Jungle" at Calais?

Translated Thursday 8 October 2009, by Kieran O’Meara and reviewed by Henry Crapo

Immigration. The day after the forcible evacuation of the forest into which migrants had fled, some of them are already back in the town.

Bulldozers, mechanical diggers, CRS and policeman, the governmental armada destroyed the Calais "jungle", at dawn on Tuesday morning. What next? What will happen to the some 300 who were arrested, some of whom were released and are already on the way back.. to Calais?

Jean-Pierre Boutoille, spokesman for the organization C’Sur, which is helping the migrants of Calais, confirms that "since Tuesday night, some volunteers have received calls for help from migrants who had just been released after having been arrested that very morning". "Tomorrow, in a few days, people who think that happiness lies on the other side of the Channel will be back", Jacky Hénin, MEP and a former mayor of Calais assured us.

The others, the 130 adult migrants arrested at Calais who remain in custody were to be transferred yesterday to detention centres in the South of France, where "they will be distributed according to the availability of places for them", announced the Pas-de-Calais prefecture.

Late yesterday afternoon, around thirty activists were ready and waiting for the "bus" transporting 40 migrants to the administrative detention centre [1] in Nîmes. Others were expected to arrive at Toulouse, Lyons, Marseilles and Nancy, and were to appear before a magistrate [2] in the next 48 hours.

Moreover, out of the 135 minors arrested at Calais, some 60 of them will be brought to an overnight shelter in Vitry-sur-Orne, in Moselle. According the town’s mayor, Luc Corradi (Socialist Party), "they have been placed in a former Sonocotra centre which was turned into a shelter for asylum seekers in 2003." Although the prefecture hasn’t confirmed it, Francine Messina, an assistant at the Social Affairs Department of Vitry-Sur-Orne, is in little doubt. "Three buses arrived at about 5 o’clock on (Tuesday) afternoon escorted by police," she explained. She added that "around sixty adolescents, probably from Afghanistan, were among them."

At Nancy, where a certain number of minors from Calais had been placed on Tuesday night, "some of them have already escaped", explains Jean-Pierre Boutoille, and he adds, "they are already heading north, some of them will no doubt end up in Paris."

Angry and disillusioned, the volunteer worker concludes that "Besson’s show for the media is ridiculous and pathetic."

[1CRA the centre de rétention administrative

[2juge des libertés et de la détention


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