In an unexpected twist, France gears up to tackle its self-induced migrant problem.
Last week, France announced its new “action plan” to systemically deport all illegal economic migrants. Additionally, the government vowed to reduce the processing time for asylum requests made by actual refugees.
As you probably know, France is flooded with economic migrants, who entered the country using the pretext of the Syrian Civil War. Last year alone France had 85,000 asylum requests, which was up 20% from the year before.
Yet France is straining to accommodate those it has already taken in.
For example, the new French Prime Minister Édouard Philippe claims that 40% of refugees and asylum seekers do not have homes or access to shelter. This, despite the fact that France allocates over 80,000 homes and shelters for refugees, and this number is set to increase by 12,500 over the next two years.
In addition to sheltering more ostensibly legitimate refugees, Emmanuel Macron’s administration plans to keep his campaign promise to integrate said refugees by teaching them French.
This is welcome news for the French public, since the migrants have been at the center of increasing social friction since their arrival.
Earlier this month Parisian police evicted thousands of migrants (many from Sudan, Eritrea, and Afghanistan) from a camp called Port de la Chapelle, in the north of Paris, where hundreds of migrants arrived daily. This is the second time this year Paris’ police have cleaned up the area.
It should also be noted that the streets of Paris have changed dramatically since the start of the migrant crisis. Anti-Semitism is on the rise—Jews are being spit at in broad daylight by migrants.
Accepting refugees is often justified on the grounds that said people have nowhere to go. However, we must remember that the vast majority of the people who arrived in Europe are not from Syria, they are from Sub-Saharan Africa and other parts of the Middle East.
A decent, if sensationalized example is when former Rebel Media correspondent Lauren Southern traveled to the (now bulldozed) Calais “jungle” migrant camp. Of the 160 people she spoke with, only one was actually from Syria.
Although this may be a case of “too little, too late” it is nevertheless a good sign that France is beginning to take its migrant crisis seriously—especially since there are yet 168 million more migrants planning to enter Europe.