Paris: barely installed, the camp for women and families in La Villette has been dismantled

Just 24 hours after the installation of a migrant camp in Paris, 80 deportees were brought Thursday morning to places for accommodation and the tents were removed from Bassin de la Villette. Between 300 and 350 migrants are still on the streets of northeastern Paris, according to France Terre d’Asile, which calls for the winter outbreak to be extended to the end of the year for thousands of migrants protected during childbirth.

“I think this is the first time we have been so shocked by an evacuation.” Florent Boyer, coordinator of Utopia 56 in Paris, is stunned: less than 24 hours after participating in the installation of a camp of about fifty tents near Bassin de la Villette in northeastern Paris, authorities have already dismantled, Thursday, May 28 in the morning . They were mainly single women and families with children, who remained on the street, despite several operations to protect the prefecture during containment.

Florent Boyer ensures that Utopia reports in vain the situation of these migrants at City Hall for two months. “We send them reports daily, we exchange text messages, we tell them that we have almost no housing because of the health crisis and they say they have no solution. And then suddenly this morning, when there is little media attention, they are very happy to announce that there are still places to live. It’s deeply shameful, “he protested.

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Present during the dismantling on Thursday morning, the prefect of the Île-de-France region really explained that places were available, saying “no delivery on the street was made until the end of the winter break” postponed until July 10 due to the health crisis. 64 family members and twenty children were identified during the dismantling. All are “quietly mounted, draped in blankets, on the buses that took them to hotels and reception centers for migrants in Paris,” AFP noted.

If Utopia still welcomes “protection” for these immigrants, the association condemns “opacity for the duration of the housing” and argues that most people only took care of a few days. before returning to the street. Unclear also for the places to which migrants are brought as well as the unconditional promise of the prefecture. “Migrants are scared, they have to go on buses without a word, they don’t know where they are going and they have no assurance that their protection is safe if they are undocumented, denied the right to asylum or Dublin,” Florent Boyer laments.

“The number of people on the street is starting to increase again”

After four years of homelessness, Tirhas, a young Eritrean woman who was interviewed by AFP when she got on the prefect bus, welcomes these “few nights” to shelter with a farewell: “We are very happy, everything is better than the street. But I know that they know me well. I’ve already been placed in a hotel several times before sitting back on the street. “According to the original returns obtained by Utopia 56, some were evacuated to hotel rooms, while others were taken to a gymnasium in the 20th arrondissement. where camp beds are lined up.

According to Pierre Henry, Director General of France’s Terre d’Asile, an association that oversaw the operation alongside the prefecture, there are “between 300 and 350 street walkers in the northeast of Paris”. They can be, he told InfoMigrants, people who voluntarily passed under the raiders, preferring to stay outside rather than risk being discovered by the authorities, but also people who were in citizen housing or even newly arrived. In any case, “the number of people on the street is starting to increase again,” he worries.

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Pierre Henry calls for an extension of the winter break until the end of the year to take particular time to anticipate the situations of the thousands of people currently housed. “You have to be brave and see the reality: when I think of these women who are protected this morning, many were rejected but they will never leave. It is urgent to be pragmatic when I think of the status we can give these people to get them to enter into the common law and give them the means of their autonomy, ”he prays.

Since the containment began on March 17, “four protective operations (…) have enabled 1,100 people in street situations to benefit from emergency housing and social assistance and sanitation,” the prefecture said in a press release, stressing that 131,000 people were accommodation every night in the Île-de-France by the state and that 8,600 additional places have been opened since the health crisis in France started.