More than a thousand undocumented migrants parade in Paris

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“During COVID, we are the ones doing all the work”: undocumented migrants took advantage of International Migrants Day on Friday to demonstrate throughout France and again demand the regularization of illegal immigrants, weakened by the health crisis.

After those of May, June and October which had brought together thousands of people, this fourth day of mobilization took place in about fifty cities, including Bordeaux, Marseille and Strasbourg.

In Paris, more than a thousand undocumented migrants, mainly from Africa, demonstrated peacefully, surrounded by a very large police force, noted an AFP journalist.

“Undocumented migrants in danger”, “The national effort is us”, proclaimed their banners, lit by torches lit in memory of the migrants who died in exile.

“We are there for all undocumented migrants in France. During the Covid, we are the ones who do all the work, who have cleaned the hospitals, while those who have short-time working are warm at home. The government has forgotten us ”, lamented to AFP Siby Ahamada, member of the collective of undocumented migrants from Montreuil.

“As we don’t have papers, the bosses take advantage of us and when they want they don’t pay us”, explains another Malian, Lassana, 50, who has been living clandestinely in France for 19 years and works in the building industry. a week here, a day there, sometimes just for 40 euros ”. “We’ve been here for a long time, but our life is blocked”.

For Fernanda Marrucchelli, of the Federation of Associations of Solidarity with All Immigrants (Fasti), “the feeling of injustice is such for these people, who are in essential professions, that this denial of rights is unbearable”.

The government gave instructions to the prefects in mid-September to facilitate the French naturalization of foreign nationals mobilized on the front line during the epidemic.

In early November, the entourage of the Minister for Citizenship Marlène Schiappa announced that a first series of 334 naturalizations was underway.

A drop of water, immediately judged the associations who believe that naturalizations, reserved by definition for foreigners in a legal situation, are only a tiny part of the equation.

The number of undocumented migrants in France is estimated between 300,000 to 600,000.

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