- immigration - refugees
Paris, 10th district, only a few meters away from the Gare de l’Est train station. The same scene repeats itself almost every day. The police are dispersing the usual crowd. The residents in the neighborhood are fed up with these squatters: every day about a hundred people camp here. In the evening they have to pack their bags and go spend the night in a shelter for homeless people. But that’s not exactly what they want.
These squatters are exiled people. Most of them come from Iran and Afghanistan. During the day they kill time in this public park. They wait. They say that’s about the only thing they can do, that it’s always better than the life they had back home. Most of them are minor. All have one motto: find a better life, escape war, political oppression and torture.
They have an idealized vision of Western democracies and at all costs they do not want to go back. All want official papers; most of the younger men want to study at university. But the top priority is a roof over their heads. In Paris's City Hall, the situation is considered to be an urgent matter. According to the municipality, a special center should be available for these exiled people before winter. But, for now, police headquarters and the Ministry of Immigration remain totally silent.