Published On: Sat, Feb 1st, 2020

WATCH: French police remove hundreds of migrants from Paris camp in early morning operation

More than 1,400 people were moved from an outdoor migrant camp in northern Paris and relocated to temporary accommodation amid a government clampdown on illegal migration.

The operation in the city’s 19th arrondissement began at 5:30am on Tuesday as police descended upon the labyrinth of tents and shacks at the Porte d’Aubervilliers. Some 249 people in families and 1,187 single men were taken to temporary accommodation in nearby gymnasiums or to 17 reception centers in Ile-de-France.

Eyewitness video from the scene shows the extent of the evacuations, as well as the police efforts to ensure that another camp doesn’t simply spring back up in its place once authorities leave.

“I’m relieved by this operation because it was getting hard to bear the cold,” Yssouf, a 29-year-old man from Côte d’Ivoire, told AFP. “I’m happy to be offered housing, even though I know it will not last long. It’s better than nothing.”

After the ‘jungle’ migrant camp in Calais was closed in 2016, migrants and asylum seekers moved to Paris, putting additional strain on the city’s resources. 

Following Tuesday morning’s operation, Paris police chief Didier Lallement vowed that the area “will not fall back into the endless cycle of evacuations and resettlements.” However, a new camp has already emerged in the nearby Porte de la Villette.

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