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ORIGINAL FRENCH ARTICLE: http://www.humanite.fr/societe/les-...

by Marie Barbier

Migrants’ rights take a “Guéant” step back

Translated Wednesday 1 February 2012, by Pauline Harrowell and reviewed by Bill Scoble

Marie Barbier

Migrants’ rights take a “Guéant” step back


Key words: immigration, undocumented migrants, claude gueant, CIMADE.

The report on current immigration policy CIMADE (Committee for the Support of Displaced Persons) is highly critical of the thinking behind removing foreign nationals’ rights.

CIMADE’s damning verdict published yesterday comes just two weeks after the Interior Minister congratulated himself on the success of his removals policy. In its 2012 report, the migrants’ welfare organisation describes two years’ worth of immigration policies as “a calculated attempt to reduce rights, increase vulnerability, stigmatise and criminalise foreign nationals which is in tune with trends in French society as a whole towards a society ’without rights’”.

According to CIMADE, working with 2000 volunteers on the ground, “deterrence is used at every level” towards foreign nationals, whether on entering France or seeking to remain. In Prefectures and Consulates, it is becoming increasingly difficult to put the case for foreign nationals’ rights. “With the Interior Ministry at the helm, the control of migration flows has become purely a security issue”. In November 2010, the Interior Ministry took over responsibility for managing asylum and visa issues for the first time since the second world war.

Currently, asylum is at crisis level in France. Asylum seekers have reached saturation point: there is a waiting list of 35,000 for accommodation. As a result, whole families find themselves out on the street, without permission to work, and having to rely on emergency shelters on a daily basis.

Alongside their report CIMADE has listed “40 steps to create a welcome policy for migrants” which they have sent to all the presidential candidates — a timely reminder that there are other ways to design immigration policy.

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