African immigrants have long crossed the Franco-Spanish border towards the Basque Country, whether on foot, by train, or hiding in trucks. But since 2020, according to the Border Police (PAF), more and more of them are crossing through Pyrénées-Orientales.
Nasir (presumed name), is an Algerian who came to France four months ago to “offer a better future” to his daughter, he told AFP. Today, this former worker of the Hirac movement, after spending nights under the stars, lives in a makeshift squat in Perpignan. “I spent the equivalent of 3,000 euros to cross the zodiac in Almeria in Spain. We went there almost as many times…” he says looking disenchanted. “I didn’t come to France begging. We are called thieves, When I only dreamed of one thing that I could work honestly. But there is nothing for us here, nothing. At home I was unemployed and I was told that there would be work here. Or? What job? I didn’t get anything, ”Nasir lamented.
“They realize that they are condemning a life of hiding. This observation of failure is a very difficult moment, not for themselves, their family, but also the authorities because an illegal migrant who returns to Algeria is jailed. Can be punished ”, the Association looks to Jacques Olean de la Simade to protect the rights of refugees and migrants who specify that these migrants have no other option but to take the secret route again to return to Algeria Is, even if the country announced a partial opening of its borders in June, more than a year due to a closed health crisis.
According to the International Organization for Migration (IOM), 40,106 migrants from North Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa reached Spain by sea in 2020, compared to 26,168 in 2019, a “significant increase in migratory flows” of more than 53%. For Christian Gru, the mayor of the border village of Cerbeyer. “Several dozen illegal foreigners enter Perpignon every day” from Spain, having already alerted Mayor Louis Eliot in a letter to President Emanuel Macron in November.