Wednesday, November 2, minors (boys, girls would leave the next day) get on buses to take them to the Reception and Orientation centres for Isolated Minors (CAO MIE – see here and here). They did not know where the bus will take them, or did not understand the name of the town or village where the centre is located. It was not explained to them what was going to happen there, except that they are being taken to centres where they would be going to the UK. As evidence of the seriousness of this promise, two people nominated as representatives of the Home Office accompanied them in each bus. Who strangely didn’t have “Home Office” marked on their fluorescent jacket, but the vague words “Official UK.” And most people vanished upon arrival in the centres, where little or nothing  is being explained to these young people afterwards, and especially in regard of following the procedures enabling them to legally enter the UK. So young people, accustomed to the tricks of the European authorities, are skeptical.

Some do not doubt for long. The road being long in a diametrically opposite direction to the one leading in the UK, of a group sent to Marseille only one remained in the bus on arrival

Others wait a bit to see. So the forty taken previously to Sion did not dwell long on the breathtaking view of the Lorraine countryside or on the memory of the dreams of Barres contemplating the blue Vosges inspired from the top of the hill. In two days, almost all were gone.

Some of them call the the various volunteers which they know to share their doubts, find someone to listen to, to ask for advice. Like the group of twenty young people who were walking on Friday night to Nancy, who had tickets to eat at the university restaurant, and had no idea what would happen to them.

What will become of these young people ? the government does not know anything either and improvises in the most complete way, as he said in a triumphant statement on November 2nd after a summit meeting with representatives of the local authorities: “the Prime Minister informs the departments of France that the state will assume responsibility and the cost of the care of the minors during the time to assess their situation and negotiations will be opened with departments on the management of the cost of these minors once entered in the legal system of childhood social assistance . He has, in this context, requested the benevolent assistance of the departments for the full success of this operation that will clear definitively the camp in Calais and ensure the dignified care of unaccompanied minors.” Nothing in fact has been done for minors who will not be accepted in the UK, it will depend on the”benevolent competitition” of the departments that are “called on”.

You can download the government statement here.

On the British side, associations are saying that no transfer to the United Kingdom is expected this weekend or next week, even for young people who had already compiled their dossier before the expulsion.

There is no news for the moment of minors who were sent to the CAO MIE and no indications about the fate of minors sent to adult CAO’s.


Giorgio de Chirico : the Enigma of the Oracle