Contrary to the prevailing trend that is hostile towards asylum seekers, French activist Cédric Herrou will open an emergency accommodation center for migrants in his home, near the Italian-French border, soon, to compensate for the absence of the French state from doing its role, according to him.
Activist Cédric Herrou, who lives in a house on the French-Italian border, expects the imminent arrival of thousands of migrants, among those who flocked to the Italian island of Lampedusa, approximately 3 weeks ago.
He added, “I was sitting alone, and I told myself that I should do something.” He told the “InfoMigrants” website.
“We will resume work as we did in 2016 and 2017,” explains the activist known as a friend of migrants. Pointing out that the number of immigrants arriving in Europe was much higher back then than it is today.
Herrou explained that his emergency accommodation center will be organized by the Emmaüs Roya association, and people will be housed in wooden cabins already on the property, and it will be possible to accommodate about 30 people in the coming weeks.
He adds, “We do not enjoy setting up tents in our gardens, but there is a need to do so. There is awareness. The current political discourse is worrying. In fact, many people are adopting the speech of (French Interior Minister) Gérald Darmanin.”
Often, migrants arrive in Lampedusa and, after being transported to the Italian mainland, continue their journey through Italy to go towards France and Germany.
Some of them pass through Ventimiglia to reach Menton, while others cross the Alps north and land in the Roya area, where Cédric Herrou lives.
Last week, the French Interior Minister insisted that under no circumstances would a migrant camp be established in Menton, on the Italian border.
On the other hand, Cedric Herrou believes that there is an urgent need to open a reception area on this migration route. The activist says, “There is no emergency center in the valley. There are only families and associations. So we will act instead of the state.”
The activist who succeeded in pushing the French Constitutional Council to adopt the principle of brotherhood in helping migrants in 2018 also confirmed that many residents of the valley are “living in difficult moments” due to returns at the border and the failure to receive migrants.
He continues, “What we see in the Roya valley can be summed up in the presence of many migrants in the streets, with the desire of residents to help them. This truth goes beyond the political divisions that we hear on television.”
It is noteworthy that in 2018, in an unprecedented incident, the French Constitutional Council annulled the French Criminal Court’s decision to fine Cédric Herrou, in Nice in 2017, an amount of 3,000 euros, and since that day he has become a symbol of helping immigrants.