Mayors from seven major French cities overwhelmed by the flow of migrants, have written a joint letter to Paris published in LeMonde on Saturday, begging the government to step in and help.
According to the letter, the cities of Lille, Bordeaux, Strasbourg, Grenoble, Rennes, Toulousa and Nantes are taking in “several thousand” refugees per month, which the mayors say is causing a social emergency as they are “backed up against a wall” and “completely saturated” by a seemingly endless flood of asylum seekers.
The year 2017 ends with a massive rise in the demand for asylum and the arrival of newcomers puts extreme tension – particularly with the onset of the cold wave – of the classic public and institutional policies. In a proportion never before known, the mechanisms allocated to housing asylum seekers, led by the State, often with the support of our communities, are indeed completely saturated, despite the steady increase the number of places … The evidence is there, before our eyes, in our streets, in homes and shelters: there is urgency.
Every month, several thousand people arrive in our cities. Integrating those recognized as refugees and helping those who have lost their right of asylum who still remain in our territory is a major issue. –Le Monde (translated)
The mayors point to a lack of shelters, and call on Paris to establish a “solidarity network” between the cities of France dedicated to addressing the flow of migrants, as well as an “enlarged meeting with the state at the highest level,” which the mayors say must act quickly by assuming its sovereign powers to “finance these developed actions and propose a clarified framework of work with the communities for a real plan of reception of the migrants.”
In other words – Paris needs to step up and dedicate more money and housing towards the migrant crisis.
In response to the letter, the French Interior Ministry proposed a resettlement scheme which would result in the relocation of some 20,000 housing units, “broken down regionally” to ensure “distribution balanced” refugees and mobilization of donors. reports AFP.
in addition, the authorities asked the prefects to establish “mobile teams” responsible for the identification of migrants in emergency accommodation, much to the chagrin of the associations. (Midecins du Monde, Emmaus, …) who denounce a logic of “census, labeling and triage”. –AFP (translated)
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