Editor: This is a guest post by reader ‘pungentpeppers’ giving us a more vivid picture of what is happening with illegal migration in France (and Europe generally). Note our post from earlier in the week—From Catalonia to Calais….
“In France, as here in the U.S., the press often shows illustrations of women and children in stories about illegal migrants and refugees.” But, the French are mostly “fed up.” Photo: L’Express. Pascal Leray.
From ‘pungentpeppers’ (emphasis is RRW’s):
Illegal migration is stressing the French Republic.
From Lyon in the south to Calais in the north, from the Paris suburbs of Bagnolet and Saint-Ouen, and east to the German border, and south to Menton on the Mediterranean, our basket of news from France is filled with recent worrisome stories.
Last year France ranked third, after Germany and America, among rich countries for asylum applications received. French authorities handled almost 66,000 asylum requests, but granted protection to fewer than 11,500. Some migrants, refused asylum, stay on illegally. The rest join hundreds of others who want to leave France to try their luck elsewhere. Many head for the northern port city of Calais from where they hope to smuggle themselves into the United Kingdom.
Calais in Disarray
Angry mobs of hundreds of Sudanese and Eritrean migrants desperate to leave France battled each other last week in the northern French port city of Calais. Wielding iron bars and knives, and hurling masses of stones and rocks, they fought for control of an area of land from which they could sneak onto trucks headed for the U.K. More than 50 migrants were injured in the melee. The fighters are part of a group of about 2,000 Africans and Middle Easterners currently encamped in Calais, sleeping in makeshift tents, waiting for a chance to smuggle themselves abroad. Conditions are rough, and numerous fights have broken out over food and supplies. French police have at times bulldozed the migrants’ camp sites, citing health concerns – including an outbreak of scabies – but the migrants keep returning.
Truck drivers heading for the U.K. are terrified. One driver, Tommy Harrison, was ambushed by a gang in Calais. He said: “One of them pulled a knife on me while others climbed up on top of the cab and cut a hole in the curtain to get inside. It was very frightening. There was very little I could do. About 10 of them got in. It’s hopeless going to the gendarmes [French police] because they don’t want to know, so I drove to a lorry park where I knew there would be other drivers and we got them out.”
The French blame the British for the terrible situation in Calais. If Britain wasn’t such an attractive nuisance, the migrants wouldn’t try to go there, and Calais wouldn’t be having all of this trouble.
The New “French Resistance”?
It’s obvious that France isn’t measuring up when it comes to the uninvited migrants’ expectations for hospitality. Instead of greeting needy foreigners with a warm “bienvenu” (welcome), and offering them housing, food coupons and interpreter services, the French instead give them the cold shoulder. Perhaps it’s the famed “French Résistance” technique. Migrants arrive thinking they will wear the French down – but instead the French wear the migrants down and try to make them want to leave. If going to Britain isn’t appealing, the second prime destination choice for migrants escaping the country of fine wine and camembert is the land of ale and schnitzel.
To Germany By Train
Migrants have begun to head east from France to Germany in search of the elusive European “better life”. They travel by train, using tickets purchased from smugglers. So far this year, over 1,000 illegal migrants have taken advantage of Paris-Frankfurt rail links that connect the two countries. The trend worries Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, the governor of the German state of Saarland. Her region is at the receiving end of the migration and is responsible for handling the asylum applicants arriving from France. As in the U.S., an increasing number of migrants pose as unaccompanied minors who are guaranteed special youth housing, medical care, and schooling paid for by local German taxpayers. German Chancellor Merkel is seeking French cooperation on the issue. Perhaps Germany should do like the French, and send the migrants back to Italy?
One Way or Round Trip?
Tens of thousands of illegal boat migrants have landed in Italy after sailing across the Mediterranean from Africa. Many of these newcomers, dissatisfied with the little that Italy has offered them, now dream of a better life in Germany, Britain or Sweden. On the way to dreamland, however, lies an inconvenient nation called France and the very bothersome French border police.
Faced with a massive influx of migrants leaving Italy, the French border police, newly reinforced, is concentrating its efforts on catching illegal travelers entering the south of France through Menton, Lyon, and other places. Many illegal migrants travel by rail, and the French border police have been arresting about one hundred a day, mostly Eritreans, on the trains and in train stations. They are then sent back to Italy. Thus the passengers, who planned a one-way trip, find that the French force them to travel round trip! Some travelers, however, show up sick.
Kidney Dialysis and a Transplant for Free!
Doctors and medical staff who treat kidney disease patients in the southern French city of Lyon are extra busy these days. Seriously ill kidney patients, from countries like Albania, Kosovo and Georgia, are arriving in Lyon seeking immediate medical treatment. Per the typical scenario, the traveler arrives at the train station very ill. He is immediately transported to a hospital emergency room. There the doctors see that the patient needs kidney dialysis. At that point the patient files for asylum, even if citizens from his country are not eligible. He then starts his emergency medical treatments. Per French law, three months after an asylum request is made, the patient becomes eligible for full free taxpayer-paid medical coverage and he is put on a waiting list for a kidney transplant. Eventually, even though his asylum claim is denied, the patient is granted special status as an “unwell foreigner”.
Per a report in the French “Le Monde” newspaper, well-organized networks are sending seriously ill patients to France as a business. The “medical refugees” arrive in Lyon knowing the full extent to which they can exploit the French system, have the names and addresses of dialysis centers in the city, and are quite open about coming to France “purely for health reasons”.
These new foreign patients are putting a serious strain on health facilities. For example, the Edouard-Herriot hospital has only 24 kidney dialysis patient beds and is running at maximum capacity. Besides the strain on medical facilities, unchecked migration is also contributing to a housing crisis in France.
Migrants Sleeping Rough: If Not Under a Bridge, Then in Front of City Hall
Migrants quit France for lack of housing, per a “Newsweek” report. “I’ve just been in Paris,” says Samuel (an Eritrean migrant), “and even the people I knew who had got asylum there were sleeping under a bridge.”
Last week a group of 200 Africans, mostly from Mali, set up camp outside the city hall of Bagnolet, a suburb of Paris. Joined by French anarchists, they demanded housing after the abandoned building where they had been squatting was destroyed in an arson fire. The local authority found housing for two families who had school-age children. However, the municipality issued a communique stating that they already have 3,000 applicants for social housing and do not have the means to relocate or house the rest of the migrants – and sent the police to evict them. The migrants then sought shelter under a highway bridge at first, but later settled themselves into another squat in the same suburb, an unoccupied building that used to serve as an employment agency.
Saint-Ouen – First Syrians, Now Kosovars or are they Kurds?
Back in April, I wrote about the refugees from Syria who occupied a city park in the Paris suburb of Saint-Ouen. After the municipality locked them out of the park, Syrian women continued to arrive, settling themselves on the sidewalk along the park fence. Because there were children with them, the French authorities expedited the asylum process and located housing for the families. The news of their victory must have spread, because in July a new group arrived on the scene.
This time, the municipality quickly locked up the park to prevent a recurrence of April’s events. Instead, the latest group of arrivals – about 40 families – set up camp on and alongside a grassy strip under a highway bridge at the entrance to Saint-Ouen. This new group was different from the April arrivals. They did not seem interested in seeking asylum. Their toddlers sometimes ran into the road amid the automobiles. The parents allowed their children to go and beg from passing motorists. During the evenings, the men fought over food and clothing donations. Per William Delannoy, the mayor of Saint-Ouen, the men were taking goods donated to them by car to local markets for resale. At the time he believed they were not refugees but Kurdish nomads from Syria. Per a later report, the municipality checked the group members’ papers and determined that although some were Syrian, most of them were Kosovar Albanians – and thus ineligible for asylum.
In France, as here in the U.S., the press often shows illustrations of women and children in stories about illegal migrants and refugees. An August “L’Express” report about the latest Saint-Ouen migrants refers to the group as “Syrians” and features at the top a photoshot showing a pair of cute little fair-haired girls grinning and flashing peace signs. How do the French people view such propaganda? Below the article, the most popular reader comment with over 100 upvotes states simply, “les Français commencent à en avoir marre!” or “the French are getting fed up!”
Links in English:
free kidney dialysis:
Links in French or German:
200 squatters from Mali outside Paris
migrants moving by train from France to Germany
migrants arriving from Italy
Editor: I was just imagining what America could look like someday with illegal alien squatters living under bridges and in encampments in US city parks (those cities away from the border!)—it will make news like that from Ferguson, MO this week look like a picnic. Americans simply won’t tolerate it, especially those who are struggling to make ends meet themselves. Or, is that sort of revolutionary “change” what some agitators are looking for?