Sarkozy deports Chinese students

25th July 2006, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, July 24, 2006 (AFP) - French Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy on Monday waved aside protests about the planned deportation of two Chinese students whose fight to stay in the country sparked a demonstration last week.

PARIS, July 24, 2006 (AFP) - French Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy on Monday waved aside protests about the planned deportation of two Chinese students whose fight to stay in the country sparked a demonstration last week.

Fengxue Cai and Zhiyian Ni, both 19, are at the centre of a debate in France about the treatment of children of illegal immigrants who are enrolled in French schools.

Sarkozy, a right-wing frontrunner in French presidential elections next year, announced that the "two young Chinese, about which we have spoken a lot" would be deported.

"One of them entered France in 2004 at the age of 17 ... his parents' papers are not in order. They do not have any minors in school. They do not have any strong attachment to our country," he said.

"There are 1.3 billion inhabitants of China. If we grant regularisation in this type of situation, then there are no limits."

Last Friday, a Paris court had freed the Chinese teenagers from a detention centre and allowed them to return to their parents until July 29. They are both students at a technical school in Paris.

On Wednesday, campaigners had gathered at Roissy airport in Paris to protest against their deportation.

In June, Sarkozy bowed to pressure about the deportation of children of illegal immigrants and told authorities to reconsider some cases based on new criteria, such as whether a child has "strong ties" to France.

Some illegal immigrants with children in French schools are to be given residency rights.

New requirements include showing that one of their children was born in France or arrived before the age of 13, has been at school in France for two years, or has no link with the country of his or her parents.

Sarkozy on Monday also defended the recent high-profile deportations of 19-year-olds Animata Diallo from Mali and Moroccan Abdallah Boujraf.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French News

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