In 2012 France elected its first Socialist president in 17 years, giving many illegal immigrants hope that getting papers would become easier. FRANCE 24 looks at how things have changed for the undocumented Africans working in Paris.
On October 5th hundreds of illegal immigrants working in France took to the streets of Paris to demand naturalisation and the abolition of new criteria for obtaining residency imposed by Socialist Interior Minister Manuel Valls.
The demonstration was part of a month-long protest to highlight their struggle. According to organisers, the new rules favour families and children more than workers who are stuck in a Catch-22 situation of having to produce 8 pay slips over the last 2 years for naturalisation. Without naturalisation, they complain, they can’t get work in the first place.
That evening, the march ended in the northwestern Paris suburb of Argenteuil, where the demonstrators were given a public sports hall, courtesy of the town hall, to bed down for the night. Not every district has been so welcoming.
Date created : 2013-10-08