As many as 96 per cent of asylum seekers refused asylum in France are not deported, a new report has found. The report, by France’s top auditing body the Accounting Court (Cour des Comptes) slammed the country’s asylum system, which compares poorly to that of neighbouring states.
France rejects about three in every four asylum seekers, although that figure is up from 2013 when just 17 per cent were accepted. But it seems that most of those aren’t going home, leaving the overall picture of migration to the country heavily skewed, The Local has reported.
Of 40,206 cases of rejected applications that the Accounting Court examined, just 1,432 were actually deported, the auditors found. They don’t detail what happened to those who were not deported, but while some may have headed abroad of their own volition, many others would have stayed to have their cases appealed, or simply stayed on in France as the authorities lost track of them.
The court has also criticised the amount of time taken to process applications. France takes two years on average to give a verdict, compared to Germany’s one year to complete the process.
And it slammed the amount of money spent on social assistance and accommodation for asylum seekers, which is said to have increased by 52 per cent from 2009 to 2014.
France’s prime minister Manuel Valls has hit back at the report, writing a response, published on Tuesday, which called the report “simplistic”. He noted that the figures didn’t take into account people who had voluntarily deported themselves, or those who had been subsequently granted leave to stay after appealing their decision.
And he insisted that the efficient treatment of asylum seekers was an absolute priority for the government.