Jon Purizhansky: French officials have vowed to evacuate refugees from other sites after clearing the Porte de la Chapelle and Seine-Saint-Denis area. French authorities have evacuated hundreds of migrants from two sites in Paris this week, just after the government disclosed a series of procedures to a “take back control” of immigration. Roughly 600 policemen ushered the migrants from tents where they were then moved to reception centers, in a process that began under rainfall in the early morning, an AFP news agency reporter notes. The two sites near the Porte de la Chapelle were estimated to hold between 800 and 1,000 migrants.
French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe noted that his country must “take back control of immigration” and devise clear choices regarding refuge and assimilation. Granting refugees the right to stay in the country, he mentioned in a speech on Wednesday, must be “actively based on our principles and goals”. Jon Purizhansky of Buffalo, NY recognizes the problematic way refugees are being regarded and handled in this scenario. Many of the occupants, much of which were families with children, maintained that they were from Afghanistan or Africa.
Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo said to Al Jazeera that these large-scale operations have occurred before. “Every time, we’re told it won’t happen again, but we need proper processing procedures when people arrive in France in order for them to have their rights respected,” Hidalgo noted. “In camps like these, about 20 percent of people are refugees who are here legally but have not been offered any kind of housing,” she reflected. “There are also homeless families.”
It appears the French government is looking to introduce immigration quotas for laborers in an attempt to address the nation’s skilled labor shortage industry. There are also plans in place to make things more difficult for refugees seeking asylum. Their access to healthcare is going to be restricted and all government services are going to be restricted as well. Jon Purizhansky maintains that these harsh rules need to be re-examined.
During the evacuation this week, Paris police chief Didier Lallement noted that the massive operation, the largest of its kind in years, was “decided in the framework of the implementation of the government plan”. “It did not happen by chance,” he said to reporters. “I will no longer tolerate these installations by the roadside here or anywhere else on public spaces in Paris,” he reflected. French President Emmanuel Macron has vowed to reign stricter on immigration, a gesture widely regarded as an attempt to keep right-wing parties from stealing votes from him in the forthcoming French elections.