Hundreds of migrants protest deportations in an airport terminal in Paris

Hundreds of irregular migrants gathered at the airport of the French capital Paris, to protest the deportation of other irregular migrants.

The migrants being deported from France were either rejected asylum seekers being flown home or migrants being returned to their first point of entry in Europe under the Dublin Regulation. The Dublin Regulation, signed by all EU members, requires migrants to apply for asylum in the first EU country they reach.

The protestors called on the French government to grant them legal status and permission to bring their families to France. Footage posted on Twitter showed roughly 500 migrants chanting in Terminal 2 of Charles de Gaulle airport as about a dozen police officers in tactical gear monitored their activities.

The protestors were filmed chanting “Documents for Everyone!” The demonstration was organised by the migrant support group La Chapelle Debout.

Between 2018 and 2017, the number of deportations has reportedly increased by 20 per cent. According to Interior Minister Christophe Castaner, 14,859 people were deported during that time.

In an official statement, the protestors asked to have a meeting with French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe to discuss asylum policy. They also requested a meeting with representatives of Air France to demand that they stop “any financial, material, logistical or political participation in deportations.”

An Air France delegation later met with the group and said it would “report the grievances to the management,” Le Parisien reports.

A migrant who took part in the protest warned it would not be the last. “We have targeted Air France, and other actions will follow,” he told the paper.

The protest shut down the terminal, but airport operator Aeroports de Paris said no flights were affected.

TMP – 10/06/2019

Photo credit: Collectif La Chapelle Debout/Facebook

Photo caption: Migrants protesting at Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris, France