Pyrénées-Orientales – Checks on undocumented migrants at the border: "Cerberus becomes a hot spot"

The prefect Etienne Stoskopf was this Tuesday, January 11, in Cerbère with the police for checks on arrivals in France by targeting undocumented immigrants.

Coordinated checks between the police and the gendarmerie are organized daily at the various border points between France and Spain. This Tuesday the prefect was present with the police in the town of Cerbère, at the international station very close to that of Portbou, but also at the Col de Belitres, and in the crossing of Banyuls. “Since November 2020, explains the state representative, we have tightened controls on the arrival of undocumented migrants. It should be remembered that to access the national territory, it is necessary to present documents in order. We apply the legislation. ” Illegal immigration which comes mainly from the Maghreb, Morocco and for some time more importantly from Algeria.

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Controls are effective on all crossings between the two countries, road and rail.

“This week, continues Etienne Stoskopf, here in Cerbère, we arrested 125 people, almost as many as when crossing the A9 motorway at the Perthus-Boulou post. As we can see, Cerbère is becoming a hot spot for human smuggling. ” Complaints from many residents confirm the movement.

13,000 people returned in 2021

2021 being in this regard a record year in the P.-O., with 13,000 people having no documents allowing them to travel in France, therefore returned to the Spanish authorities. The smugglers – 5 just last week – being handed over to French justice.

During a scheduled operation “well before the arrival of presidential candidate Marine Le Pen at the department’s border posts this Sunday, January 9”, according to the representative of the State, the press was therefore invited to measure the forces mobilized.

Activists to help undocumented migrants invited themselves to these checks and called on the prefect.

Activists to help undocumented migrants invited themselves to these checks and called on the prefect.

But, if the presence of the prefect on the site of the station had not been made public, it did not escape the activists of aid and solidarity with undocumented migrants. About thirty of them were present on the quays to challenge the representative of the State. The slogans brandished were unequivocal: “No human being is illegal”; “Welcome to migrants”; “Open the borders”; or “Our country is called hospitality”. A discussion began, the prefect assuring that he was open to all dialogues and that he would bring up the arguments of the associations.

Read also :
Court of Perpignan: the inhabitants of Cerbère exasperated by criminal acts of migrants?

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