Participants also protested against the “Wwamboucho” security operation implemented by the authorities in Mayotte, to expel illegal immigrants, mostly from Comoros, from slums and unsanitary neighborhoods in the overseas province.
Several thousand people, including many illegal residents, marched on Saturday in Paris and other French cities against the immigration law proposed by Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin, and against the security operation “Woumbouchou” in Mayotte.
In the capital, Paris, about 2,300 demonstrators marched in response to the call of “United Against Improper Immigration 2023” and carried banners that read, “No to the Darmanin law and against repression, imprisonment and expulsion … for the policy of receiving and regulating immigration.”
The immigration law, which the government postponed and decided to consider in the fall, is “a racist law designed to criminalize foreigners,” and leads to “more expulsions,” said Aboubakar, an illegal Malian immigrant.
“The problem is not immigration, but the exploitation of rogue presidents,” added an employee of a company dealing with the post office in Alfortville, in the Val-de-Marne region near Paris, who has been struggling with his colleagues for 17 months to obtain residence documents.
Participants also protested against the “Wwamboucho” security operation implemented by the authorities in Mayotte to expel illegal immigrants, mostly Comorians, from slums and unhealthy neighborhoods in the overseas province.
“The way Comoros expatriates are treated, and those who live in a non-Qatonic manner, is not appropriate for a country like France,” said Marie-Christine Vergyat, vice-president of the League for Human Rights and former member of the European Parliament on the Left Front.
The Darmanin bill and the security operation in Mayotte are linked, said Said Mohamedi of the “Nida de Marseille” assembly, a civic organization for the people of the Comoros, in Marseille, where 200 to 300 people demonstrated. Saeed Mohammadi denounced the matter, saying: “On the one hand, there is a law that is definitely postponed, but it is clearly inspired by the ideas of the National Assembly, and on the other hand, there is a process that calls for chaos and failure and seeks to fight violence, but with violence.”
“Darmanin’s law is in line with the deplorable process, which is intolerable in Mayotte and which immediately violates people’s fundamental rights,” denounced Marseille’s deputy Manuel Bompard of the “France Unshakable” party.
In Rennes, more than 500 people demonstrated and chanted the phrases “Down with the police state” or “Darmanan to the Vilan River”, referring to the river that crosses Rennes, the capital of the Brittany region. “I came out in solidarity with the immigrants from the Comoros, and in protest against the brutal measures taken by France in Mayotte … It is very violent and there is a way to manage it differently,” said Theodore Sobizzi, who participated in the demonstration.
In the city of Strasbourg, more than a hundred demonstrators gathered behind two banners “No borders. No nation, freedom of movement” and “Against racism, against fascism, regularization of all illegal immigrants.” Sandra Regol, a deputy for the “Nepes” caucus, which includes left-wing parties, denounced the government’s position, noting that “the government is laying a red carpet for the national assembly and making dangerous choices for democracy and France,” referring to the adoption of “racist” ideas that are quite similar to the far-right’s position on immigration and foreigners. .
The Darmanan Immigration Law seeks to control the number of arrivals, regulate the status of illegal residents, and raise the rates of deportations. In order to respond to the shortage of labor in some sectors, the new law proposes granting those who worked in those sectors on French soil for eight consecutive months residence for three years, provided that it does not include the right to reunite with their families. More controversially, the law would allow work permits, initially for one year, to be granted to illegal immigrants working in difficult-to-employment sectors such as restaurants, service and health.