The previous update of the report was published in February 2017.
Push backs: Massive and unlawful push backs of migrants have taken place at the Italian border throughout 2017 and led to condemnation by courts. To circumvent the controls set up in Menton, migratory routes have shifted towards riskier journeys through the Alps, near Briançon. Once again police checks and unlawful summary returns have been documented.
Registration: Problems in the registration of asylum applications at the “single desks” have not improved from 2016. In most areas, the Prefectures have been unable to register claims within the 3 working day deadline set by the law. To restore the 3-day time limit, the Minister of Interior published a Circular on 12 January 2018 which plans to increase the staff in Prefectures and OFII and to reorganise services. This plan envisages fully open “single desks” every day of the week, as well as overbooking to compensate for ‘no show’ appointments.
Capacity: Reception capacity is still insufficient, despite the creation of 25,000 additional accommodation places in 2017, bringing the total number to more than 80,000. Many asylum seekers still live on the streets, especially in Paris. New forms of accommodation have been developed, such as the reception and accommodation programme for asylum seekers (PRAHDA).
Detention of asylum seekers
Dublin detention: Following the Al Chodor ruling of the CJEU, the Court of Cassation ruled that the detention of asylum seekers under the Dublin procedure is illegal due to the absence of legally defined criteria for a “significant risk of absconding”. In practice, however, some Prefectures continue to order detention of asylum seekers under a Dublin procedure.