The destruction of Calais shanty town hasn’t started yet but its preparation has already had negative effects on people who have sought asylum everywhere in France.

The reception system for people seeking asylum is clogged by a lack of resources, both on the level of first reception and the registration of applications, accomodation and support during the procedure, and the accompaniment and housing of persons granted refugee status or subsidiary protection.

So when the government decided to disperse the Exiles located in Calais, Grande-Synthe and Paris throughout the country , to “respite centers” renamed centres of Reception and Orientation (CAO – see here, here, here and there) and design this scheme as a kind of airlock for asylum applications which quickly in turn becomes clogged up. People seeking asylum find themselves stocked there for lack of possiblity of accessing the normal housing scheme for asylum applicants .

And when the government decides to destroy the Calais shantytown and move the 10,000 inhabitants throughout France, they must free up space. Not through philanthropy, but because it is predictable that an appeal will be filed against the eviction order, and it needs to show the judge that everything has been done to rehouse the evicted residents. And as well, it would be better that the evicted do not come back too quickly in Calais, as it would make too visible the failure of the operation. That raises the question of the police resources which will be put in place to counter these returns to Calais.

Meanwhile, free up space. An instruction has been sent to the Prefects and to OFII (the French Office for Immigration and Integration) to free up space in the housing scheme for asylum applicants.

According to the diagnosis of the Interior Ministry, this scheme is unduly hosting people who must now leave without delay.

On the one hand the people who have received a positive response to their asylum application, for which it will take a little time to find housing and get them out of the housing scheme for people seeking asylum, especially as the search for housing is part of the process of integration. Well as the time, will not be taken, then we must get people out of the scheme, as soon as possible.

On the other hand, there are people who have received a negative answer to their asylum applications. The solution of the ministry is simple: deportation from the territory “we are talking about people who have been rejected, your action will not be effective if it is not accompanied by the greatest firmness in the application of the legislation on the right to stay and the systematic search for removal from the territory. ”

The managing boards of the accommodation for asylum applicant are threatened with financial penalties if they do not take care to carry out the instructions of the Ministry.

The destruction of the shantytown has not yet started but the deportations from the territory have already begun.

Knowing that some of the inhabitants of the shantytown are in the same situation of having received a negative answer to their application for asylum, it is feared that these people will also be deported from the territory in the wake of their eviction from the shantytown.

You can download the instruction of 19 September here