France may have declared itself ready to accept thousands of asylum seekers from Germany this week, but it has been accused of ignoring the migrants already there. Those who for months have been consigned to makeshift camps in Paris and Calais, mainly Africans, claim to have been forgotten as the focus turns to Syrians entering Europe.
France began the process of accepting new migrants from Germany this week, taking in a few hundred asylum applicants. Relieving some of the pressure German Chancellor Angela Merkel brought upon her country, the newcomers were quickly housed and fed, as well as being given medical attention and assistance with the asylum process, reports The Local.
As in other countries, cheerleaders in the mainstream media endlessly covered self-congratulatory politicians lining up for the cameras to declare how they are pulling their weight in the migrant crisis.
Meanwhile, in a warning to authorities as to what might happen in the absence of properly thought-through policy making, those left sheltering under Parisian bridges and in camps around Calais looking to make their way illegally into Britain have begun to feel neglected.
In response Sudanese migrants who have been living on the streets for months hold regular demonstrations in front of the Town Hall in Paris’s 18th arrondissement, the area of the capital usually famed for housing the Sacré Cœur basilica and Moulin Rouge cabaret.
A 25-year-old farmer from Darfur, Sudan told The Local: “Life is difficult here, I didn’t think when I left Sudan that I would be living in a tent.”
Another Sudanese migrant complained about the level of attention Sudan is given in comparison to Syria, telling French news weekly L’Express: “Every day there is fighting in Syria, but every day there is fighting in Darfur. It’s the same thing.”
Authorities in Paris have made over 1,400 beds available since June and promise soon to take that figure above 1,900. In Calais, as Breitbart London recently reported, Prime Minister Manuel Valls has promised to upgrade the notorious tent city known as ‘The Junge’ into a fully-appointed humanitarian facility for 1,500 people. Nevertheless these moves are not coming fast enough for migrants already in France.
Speaking to The Local on Rue Pajol, the area where riot police forcibly removed migrants in June, 26-year-old former Eritrean soldier Ismail explained how he slept on the street as “nobody has offered us a place to sleep in Paris.”
He added he plans to reach London because he speaks English and is sure it would be easy to get a job.