France 'counts 250,000 rejected asylum-seekers'

15th September 2004, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Sept 15 (AFP) - Some 250,000 foreigners who have had their asylum applications rejected continue to live in France because of practical difficulties in carrying out deportations, a confidential government report published by Le Figaro newspaper Wednesday showed.

PARIS, Sept 15 (AFP) - Some 250,000 foreigners who have had their asylum applications rejected continue to live in France because of practical difficulties in carrying out deportations, a confidential government report published by Le Figaro newspaper Wednesday showed.  

According to the study by the General Inspection of Social Affairs (IGAS), since 1998 "250,000 people refused the right to asylum remain on French territory".

Nearly a quarter of that number are made up of entire families.  

France receives around 60,000 asylum applications per year, but 80 percent of them are rejected.  

Many of the immigrants, finding themselves staying illegally in the country, slip away into "clandestinity", the report said, adding that, for those with family living in France, deportation "remains difficult to carry out on any big scale, especially in the presence of children".  

The lack of detention camps and strong enough laws and especially the negative perception such measures create for French voters makes the task almost impossible, it said.  

France spent EUR 286 million (USD 350 million) last year on its asylum application programme. Experts cited by Le Figaro estimated that EUR 43 million of that sum was spent on those rejected who continued to be lodged at tax-payers' expense.  

The conservative government of President Jacques Chirac has taken steps to tighten the handling of asylum-seekers, notably by making them register with a specially created body and by speeding up the review of the applications.

 

© AFP

 

Subject: French News

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