March 24, 2023

Asylum applications at their record level while the expulsions and regularization of undocumented migrants are also progressing: France experienced a strong surge in migratory flows in 2022, the control of which will be at the heart of an ultra- sensitive.

“The effects of the health crisis, which marked migratory flows in 2020 and 2021, are now partially erased”, we noted at the Ministry of the Interior, which published its provisional statistics on Thursday. immigration.

Last year, more than 137,000 first asylum applications were registered in the dedicated one-stop shops (called “Guda”), up 31.3% compared to 2021 and a few units from the record level of 2019, the last year before the Covid-19 crisis: 138,420.

All cases included (re-examinations, minors, so-called “Dublin” procedures, etc.), the figures are even records, with 156,103 applications in 2022, compared to 151,283 in 2019, submitted primarily by Afghans.

The year 2022 was also marked by the massive influx of displaced persons fleeing the war in Ukraine, more than 100,000 of whom settled in France. At the end of 2022, the State services listed 65,833 Ukrainians (excluding minors) who had their “temporary protection” renewed in France, a system which allows them to benefit from care and a right of residence without requesting refugee status.

“If we add Ukrainians (to asylum applications), it is an unprecedented level of immigration in France”, observes to AFP the director general of the French office for immigration and integration. (Ofii), Didier Leschi.

However, this situation, in a context of saturation of emergency accommodation structures, has not caused the system to implode, he welcomes, because the Ukrainians “are not placed in the national system of traditional welcome.

On the political front, the data made public on Thursday “will fuel the debates in the coming weeks”, it is said Place Beauvau, while the government bill “to control immigration, improve integration” must be presented. Wednesday in the Council of Ministers.

– “OQTF” taboo –

The first of its two axes aims to improve the efficiency of expulsions, weighed down for years in particular by the difficulty of obtaining consular passes.

On this subject, 15,396 deportations took place in 2022, up 15%, but still a third less than in 2019. In 2022, “forced” deportations to countries outside the European Union increased by 44%, results obtained according to the Interior by “various converging efforts”, starting with the French “diplomatic efforts”.

“Priority has been given to delinquent foreigners: 3,615 delinquent foreigners were deported in 2022, compared to 1,834 in 2021, i.e. twice as many”, also rejoiced on Twitter the Minister of the Interior, Gérald Darmanin.

But the government refused to communicate the very sensitive figure of the rate of execution of the “OQTF”, the obligations to leave French territory, below 10% in recent years and symbol according to the right of an immigration policy which escapes the state.

“We estimate that the proportion of removal measures should be reduced by around 15% (143,000 in 2021) to have those that are truly enforceable”, simply acknowledged the Ministry of the Interior.

The latter recalled that his bill was precisely aimed at circumventing the “brakes” to expulsions, in particular “the existence of remedies” against expulsions.

The other part of the text concerns integration, the flagship measure of which aims to create a “short-term occupations” residence permit.

Regularizations, red rag for the right, increased by 8% with 34,029 “exceptional admissions to stay” in 2022. An increase “driven by salaried economic reasons” (+ 29%), i.e. the regularizations of undocumented workers.

It is also, in general, economic immigration which experienced the strongest growth (45%) in terms of the issue of the first residence permits, last year.

Overall and for the first time, the first titles are first issued to students (108,340), ahead of family reasons (90,385). A “gradual transformation of migratory flows (…) directly linked to the needs of our economy”, estimated the ministry.

The bill must first be introduced in March in the right-wing controlled Senate. The new Republican boss Eric Ciotti has warned that he will vote “against” a “bad compromise”. In his line of sight: regularization measures.

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