France: Progressives prepare to fight Macron anti-migrant laws

Campaigners are gearing up for the next round of fighting against Macron’s planned tightening of deportation laws in the early part of 2018 with a major rally this Saturday.

The CSP93 campaign (named for the 1993 Pasqua Law revoking automatic citizenship to babies born on French soil) made the initial callout for a rally starting 2.30pm at Porte de Paris in Saint Denis, northern Paris, with three main themes:

  • Against the Macron/Collomb immigration bill
  • Against inhumane reception conditions for migrants
  • For a decent welcome, accommodation and regularisation of undocumented migrants (sans papiers)

The group has been joined by campaigns, co-ops and unions concerned by the efforts of the centrist government to speed up deportation procedures in the wake of a national furore over increased recent inward migration. Macron’s government has been attempting to win back voters who voted for the far-right Front National in recent elections by promising tougher treatment of asylum seekers.

Among other measures the bill, which has been widely denounced by humanitarian organisations, aims to:

  • Extend the time limits for “verification detention” and administrative detention
  • The use of “specialised means” to accelerate the expulsion of “Dublines” (migrants registered at their country of entry)
  • Interventions with people’s origin countries to accelerate the process.

In addition Macron wants to reinforce the borders of fortress Europe “by setting up referral centers for asylum seekers in in southern Libya” – similar to hugely controversial deals made with Turkey.

In a statement, campaigners said:

We reject the trap Macron gives us by distinguishing between undocumented immigrants and migrants, political and economic migration. No one leaves his country with merry heart without being pushed by extreme causes.

Moreover, who benefits from capitalist globalisation? They are the same people who, on the one hand, plunder wealth and provoke wars in entire continents, and on the other hand deny the democratic rights of migrants and keep undocumented migrants in irregularity for many years. All this to win on both sides: over-exploitation there and here.

The papers are the key of all social life: to live with family, to circulate freely, to work, to study, to take care, to lodge oneself. Without papers we are at the mercy of sleep merchants, over-exploitation at work, we are under the constant pressure of the police, street checks, under the anguish of expulsion.

For months the treatment of migrants at the [northern Parisian suburb of] Porte de la Chapelle has been particularly unacceptable: torn tents, gassed duvets, food rendered unfit for consumption by the police, while no accommodation worthy of the name is proposed.

For several months, we have been facing a deterioration of the reception in the prefectures – especially in Seine Saint Denis – with scandalous delays, for any request for regularisation. These muct be maintained to standards worthy of the state of law!

Regularisation by work (payslips and employment contracts) is a hypocrisy: legally without the right to work, undocumented migrants must nevertheless prove that they work legally to be regularised. All of this encourages over-exploitation and a dependence on rogue bosses who take advantage of this hidden work. The OFII tax and the application for authorisation to hire by CERFA must be repealed.

Faced with the deterioration of living conditions on French soil, we demand:

  • Conditions in the Prefecture and waiting times that respect users
  • Papers for everyone
  • Closure of the long-term migrant detention centers
  • Dignified accommodation conditions and accommodations for all

The city of Saint-Denis is directly concerned by the situation of undocumented migrants and the poorly housed. The mobilisation against the bill, against the sorting of undocumented migrants and their expulsion, for a dignified reception of migrants, for the accommodation and housing of all, must know about the city a particular extent.

We call on organisations, associations, parties, unions, elected representatives, citizens of Saint Denis and more broadly, the 93, to support andmobilize with us, for a more just society, less violent, which refuses discrimination.

For regularisation of all undocumented migrants, freedom of movement!

Signatories:
Coordination 93 fight for the Sans Papiers, the 168/99 and 57/59 Collectives of the avenue of president Wilson in Saint Denis, the Coordination of the Foyers of the Plain, Collectif Schaeffer of Aubervilliers

Supported by: DAL, Housing Solidarity Network, MRAP Saint-Denis, Attiéké Collective, Peace Movement, EVTC, LDH Saint-Denis, South-Solidaires Local Union Saint-Denis, SUDCT Saint-Denis Town Hall, Catholic Action 93 North worker, Wilson Migrant Solidarity, Andean Cooperative, Farmer Confederation, CGA, LFI, NPA, OCML-VP, UPML, …


Pic: LALLA – ALI