The refugee crisis in France does not stop at Calais. Paris is overflowing with displaced Syrians and others fleeing violence back home, as this documentary by ABC News explains.
According to Deborah Hyde, a volunteer working with a refugee support center in France’s capital, over 80% of the refugees in France have been rejected elsewhere before making it to French soil. This complicates matters because EU law dictates that refugees are supposed to ask for asylum in the first country they find themselves in. Anyone suspected of entering through a portal country is mercilessly turned out by the French government, under the old nationalist banner of “Get back where you came from.” This leaves most refugees on the streets until they make the 18 months required before they can demand asylum.
“It’s a very transient lifestyle for the volunteers as well as for the refugees,” Deborah says, nearly in tears as she describes the inhumanity endured by these refugees on a daily basis. “All the numbers add up to the fact that we’re just shifting people around a chessboard,” she continues.
Charity organizations like Doctors Without Borders have urged President Macron to provide extra beds and food for the 1,000 of refugees currently homeless on the streets of Paris. Whether he will respond to this is yet to be see.