Why MGA is Taking Action on Immigrants Rights in the Republic of
As youth in the north and east of Paris rise up to confront their
social exclusion, Mass Global Action, on the eastern seaboard of a
country with its own schizophrenia toward immigrants, stands in
solidarity. We note that the French Minister of Interior, Nicolas
Sarkozy, fans the flames of violence referring to young, mostly
French-born, Arabs as "scum" to be "sandblasted" away, adopting the same
Theophilus Eugene " Bull" Connor did toward Civil Rights activists
in the 1960s. We also note that his future rival for president who today
is playing "good cop," Dominique de Villepin, introduced harsh
exclusionary policies during his own sojourn at the Interior Ministry.
How is MGA supposed to approach this issue when Massachusetts still
is not granting young immigrants the same rights as their fellow
students? We can only note the similarities: just 5% of young immigrants
to France go to college, their neighborhoods suffer from the same malign
neglect that made Katrina so deadly: no good jobs, poor or non-existent
social services and public transportation (no wonder 20,000 cars were
targeted for arson in France so far this year!), funding cuts to social
service NGOs, active discrimination against Arab job seekers...and the
list goes on...
Whatever the religious overlays, today's uprising must be seen as
similar to the first social explosions that helped usher in the Great
Society and awakened the American conscience in the 1960s. Of course,
things could go from bad to worse... Nonetheless we are hopeful that in
a world of globalized communication and resistance MGA, immigrant
advocates in the United States and elsewhere can join together to
challenge our common foes.
MGA thanks Pasqualino Colombaro for his assistance in thinking
through these issues.
Immigrants Rights in France
This is a quick initial survey of some web-based pieces on immigrants
rights in France. With the exception of the final article, everything
refers to the French situation.
Immigration Policy in France - Brookings Institution
Now France, like Italy, has been forced to acknowledge that it has
become a transit country for asylum seekers and illegal migrants trying
to make their way to the United Kingdom or northern Europe.
Immigration Resources from France - GISTI
Welcome to the GISTI (Groupe d'information et de soutien des immigrés),
the Group providing information and support to Immigrants, an
independent non-profit organisation, which through its knowledge of
immigration law—French, European, and in some respects international—and
its experience of immigration practices, defends foreigners, offers
training and publications and participates in the debate on migration
France Rejects Migrant Amnesty - The Guardian (UK)
The French interior minister, Dominique de Villepin, yesterday unveiled
a package of tough new anti-immigration measures and warned that mass
amnesties for migrants who had entered the country illegally were
"completely out of the question".
France: Headscarf Ban Violates Religious Freedom - Human Rights Watch
(New York, February 27, 2004)—The proposed French law banning Islamic
headscarves and other visible religious symbols in state schools would
violate the rights to freedom of religion and expression, Human Rights
Watch said today. The law, which forbids “signs and dress that
conspicuously show the religious affiliation of students,” will be
debated in the French Senate on March 2.
French Integration Policy: Old Goals in New Bottles? - Migration
France is introducing a new three-pronged approach
to immigrant integration: a revised integration plan, a proactive
campaign against discrimination, and a more open but still highly
selective immigration policy.
European Action Day on the 31st of January 2004 - No Border Network
14.Nov.03 - After a number of different seminars and workshops on
migration and migrants rights a coalition of groups have united in
calling for a 'European day of struggles for the regularization (of sans
papiers) and for the closure of all detention centers for foreigners'.
The intention to have such an action day has been expressed in a common
declaration documented below. Watch this site for more information on
how to become involved in this action day.