France Faces All-Time Record of Nearly 140,000 Asylum Applications in 2019

Migrants wait to be evacuated by French police and Gendarmerie in Paris on November 7, 2019. - More than a thousand migrants and homeless have settled camp in this area for months. (Photo by MARTIN BUREAU / AFP) (Photo by MARTIN BUREAU/AFP via Getty Images)
MARTIN BUREAU/AFP via Getty Images

France faces yet another record-breaking year for asylum applications after Senator François-Noël Buffet claimed that there had been a 12 per cent increase in asylum applications since 2018.

The previous year saw 123,000 asylum applications, a record year the surpassed the previous highest in 2017. According to the senator’s statement, the country could be facing a total of around 138,000 asylum applications this year, Le Figaro reports.

According to Senator Buffet, a member of the centre-right Republicans, the government does not forecast any growth in applications in 2020 and claims that the number will largely stabilise after next year as well.

He went on to add that the 9.8 per cent budget increase for immigration, a total of two billion euros, may not be enough and added that asylum applications have “almost quadrupled in ten years”.

“France has fallen to a record low this year in terms of the rate of execution of expulsion decisions,” he added, saying that of the 132,000 deportation orders given in 2018, only 20,000 were actually carried out.

Document fraud, Buffet said, was also an increasingly disturbing trend in France with at least 10,000 cases per year, nearly half of them, 48 per cent, in 2018 being for fake identity documents. Nine out of ten of those behind the scams are foreign nationals.

Last year, police in Montpellier took down a fake identity network run by migrants from the Ivory Coast that was said to have cost French taxpayers millions of euros.

Cases of adult migrants pretending to be underage also increased by 127 per cent in 2018 with 822 cases. Such cases have been common across various European countries due to the preferential treatment for minors and it being tougher for the government to deport minor migrants.

In one case earlier this year, it was revealed that a migrant who showed up to a police station in the commune of Angoulême in south-west France claiming to be 17 was actually 47. Authorities discovered his real age after matching his fingerprints to a passport he had previously used to enter Spain.

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)


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