Thousands of people marched across France on Saturday to demand the legalization of undocumented migrants. The call to demonstrate came from several collectives and the Marche des solidarités.
“No man is illegal”, “Regularization of undocumented migrants. Closing of CRAs (administrative detention centers, editor’s note). Housing for all”: Saturday, June 20, several thousand people marched in Paris and in several other cities to require legalization of undocumented migrants and residents.
In the Parisian march, many protesters showed a yellow sign with the drawing of a man with a raised fist.
The call to demonstrate came from several collectives and the Marche des solidarités.
Babacar Sall, who arrived from Senegal three years ago, demonstrated for the first time. “We have no paper. Eating, that’s a problem. Sometimes I do a little moonlight, but that’s it. I help people move or do plumbing.” I’m offered a job I take it, “says the 42-year-old man who lives in Montreuil.
“In the past I worked on somebody’s paper but he took too much money,” added this man who left his wife and daughter in Senegal. “Sometimes I send them 20 euros sometimes 30 as soon as I can”.
>> See: “We are abused as slaves”: on the fence for undocumented workers in Alfortville
Coming from Mali, Tidiani Diagouragai, he arrived in France in 2018. “It’s hard in Mali because of the war. I came here to work. But I can’t work because I don’t have documents,” the 36-year-old said.
For Hassan, a Moroccan in France for eight years, “undocumented migrants participate in the French economy”. He is a pizza chef in Paris and pays taxes. “I’m here to be regulated. With paper I could buy a car, have housing easier,” he concludes.
“We are asked to exercise but even with that we are rejected”
The same testimony and keywords elsewhere in France. In Lyon, about a thousand protesters marched quietly to demand “paper for all”. A group of about 200 “yellow vests” and CGT unions joined the procession.
“Air, air, let’s open the borders!”, “Stop caution”, “Freedom, equality, regulate!”, “Right to live = right to work!”, We could read on banners and posters. Many protesters were also present to condemn racism and police violence.
In Grenoble, more than 300 people gathered in front of the prefecture. Among them is Chérif Cheik, a 20-year-old Malian who hopes to finish his Bac Pro as a construction engineer next year, and has neither housing nor paperwork.
“I manage with friends and associations to find accommodation, but that is not what I want. In the prefecture we are asked to train, but even with that we are rejected. At one point we have a manager, we have the contract to work but not the work permit. It is shit, “he summed up.
There were about 250 in Rennes. In Montpellier, 220 people, according to the prefecture, marched behind banners indicating that “no man is illegal”. In Strasbourg, there were hundreds, including Djibril, a 22-year-old Libyan who says she has been waiting for 13 months for a response from Ofpra to her asylum request.
A demonstration against police violence was also organized on Saturday in Paris. About 1,000 people participated in this rally in memory of Lamine Dieng, 13 years after the death of this 25-year-old Franco-Senegalese after an arrest, in the context of termination of police violence, an AFP journalist found.