On the situation of the "sans-papiers' in France (immigrants fighting for a resident permit since 15 months)


24th July, 1997
by Janos Borovi, jborovi@pop.hol.fr

The newly elected 'left' governement produced on 24th June a 'circular to re-examinate the situation of some categories of foreigners in irregular situation'. Wrongly, and unhonestly this circular has been presented by the medias as the way to regularise the 'sans papiers'. At 14th July, Chirac even attacked the Jospin government saying that the government wants to regularise ALL 'sans papiers'. The Socialist party spokesman answered indignant: it is out of question. Effectively, since the victory of the'left' (Socialist party, Communist party, Greens) the deportations continue. There is any moratory on deportations. According to the circular, the illegal immigrants are asked to present a written demand, with their address, to the police until 1st of November to know if they can or can not be regularised. The "criterias" are in the same time restricted and vague. Nobody knows exactly who can enter in the criterias. Some of them certainly not. For the others, they ask for 5 or 7 years residancey with proofs, sometime impossible to get: a valid passeport, a bank account, an employer cerificate... To have this you need have a residence permit !!! In spite of this, thousends and thousends ask for papers. The organised 'sans papiers' don't give their personnal address but that of their 'collectif' (collectives). After a period of hope, know the anger is growing, more and more people denounce the hypocrisie of this mesures. There are weekly demos in front of the police in Paris and elswhere aks fo papers for all, moratory on the explusions... There was a police attack on demostrators inside the a townhall in Paris, and trials against a 'sans papiers' and two French supporters. The Saint-Bernard's sans-papiers produced a theater show in the Avignon theater festival. In spite of the summer holiday period, which is specifically quit here France, there is some mobilisation: on 23 August, first anniversary of the police attack on the church, the Saint-Bernards call for a demo in front of the church, on other national wide demo is projected in september.

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