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POLITICS – While one of the presidential candidates is going to Calais this Wednesday, January 19, we, Utopia 56, denounce the proposals for exclusion and self-repliance solicited in this presidential campaign, regardless of the candidate who gate.
One of the subjects raised by a good number of candidates is the closing of borders. But today, for anyone who does not have the right papers, these borders are already closed and controlled. This is why thousands of people are stranded in Calais, on the border between France and England.
For years, whether under Nicolas Sarkozy, François Hollande or Emmanuel Macron, a policy of non-reception has been pursued in France. Today, exiled people, stranded in Calais and Grande-Synthe, are chased daily from the unsanitary camps in which they try to survive, and tossed from one vacant lot to another. This harassment takes the form of theft of tents, supervised by the police, of municipal decrees prohibiting us from distributing meals or of rocks placed by the city of Calais to prevent us from accessing a place of assembly.
However, no transfer solution or adapted care has been implemented, either by the government in place or its predecessors. Nothing is led by our political leaders to finally think about how to welcome these people.
Intensifying non-welcoming makes the situation worse
This policy of non-reception, costing several million euros to the State by the financing of the police and military forces on the spot, is a failure: in 2021 more than 51,000 attempts to cross the border were rejected and more than 30 people died there, notably during the sinking of November 24, killing at least 27 people. Just last week, two young men died trying to reach England.
It is not by building higher walls, banning environmental food distribution associations and increasing the number of police that people stop fleeing conflicts and political, economic or country instability.
Tomorrow, if a candidate has come to intensify these border controls and this non-reception a little more, only the bill to the taxpayer will be increased. Worse, this violent strategy intensifies the precariousness and misery of people, excluding them from our society and preventing the rich and completely peaceful encounter between human beings.
The call made by some of these candidates to dissociate and divide is a new abandonment of people in distress in our society. Utopia 56, association of mobilization of the citizens, carries all the opposite of the values of reception and solidarity.
The solutions are there, the political will and courage not
For a dignified and supportive welcome and to avoid new tragedies such as the shipwreck at the end of November, there is an urgent need to open humanitarian corridors between France and England to allow people wishing to reach England to do so without mortal risk. .
There is an urgent need to open first reception centres, as they already exist in other European countries. No one has to spend days, weeks or months on the street when they arrive in France, whether they are men, women or children in Calais, but also on the sidewalks of Paris, Rennes, Lille… There is urgent need to reform the Dublin agreements in order to allow everyone to file an asylum application in the country of their choice.
The solutions exist. Only the will and the courage of the political leaders in power to carry them out are lacking. With less than 100 days to go before the first round of the presidential election, there is still time to change our perspective and question the real causes of the misery and poverty suffered by millions of people, whether they are exiled or not, in France.
See also on The HuffPost: After the sinking of a migrant boat in Calais, these volunteer witnesses to the difficult rescue