Some 5,000 illegal aliens benefited in 2021 from a “voluntary return” to their country of origin, the director of the French Office for Immigration and Integration (Ofii) announced on Wednesday.
This procedure consists, for the State, in offering a flight and a sum of money (at least 1,850 euros) to help a foreigner who wants to leave France to return to his country.
“For voluntary departures, we had risen to 8,000 in 2019, but the stopping of air transport, health difficulties, brought us back to around 5,000 departures in 2021”, against around 4,500 in 2020, explained Didier Leschi, director of Ofii.
returns complicated by the health crisis
“We are in a very difficult period from the point of view of escapes (to the border) because of the health crisis”, he underlined during a hearing at the National Assembly’s Law Commission.
“It will be one of the challenges (of the next term) to start again to have a very proactive action for voluntary departures, part of which then benefits from reintegration assistance” in the country of origin, he said. for follow-up. According to him, we must “ensure that people, once they no longer have a residence permit, return in the best conditions to their country of origin and stabilize them by allowing them to develop an economic activity” .
Regarding the expulsions of foreigners in an irregular situation, they fell by half in 2020 (51.8%), with 9,111 “forced removals”, against 18,906 in 2019.
Parliamentarians must soon validate the appointment of Didier Leschi for a second term at the head of Ofii, the institution responsible for organizing the reception of asylum seekers and refugees on French soil.