According to reports from undocumented migrants, an old method of obtaining a false French national identity card is beginning to reappear.
To work in France without valid documents, illegal immigrants often borrowed a relative’s residence permit. Solidarity of immigrants! Others preferred to buy a fake residence permit in the working-class neighbourhoods of big cities such as Barbès in Paris, accompanied, if possible, by their Vitale card.
Many undocumented migrants who have tried to obtain them tell the same story: a “white man”, posing as a civil servant of a prefecture, had stopped them with fake ID offer. In exchange for 300 euros and two passport photos, the documents were delivered to them in a few days.
Everything has changed since 1 July 2007, as entrepreneurs who recruit foreigners became obliged to inquire the prefectures to verify the authenticity of their residence permit. This obligation put an end to this hush-hush secret.
But another solution was quickly found to circumvent the law. “This is what I fear,” immigration minister Brice Hortefeux told the world. This is also feared by André Daguin, president of the Union des métiers et des industries de l’ hôtellerie (UMIH), who recently spoke of the need to naturalize 50,000 workers.
“How are we going to do that? If someone arrives with a French identity card, we’re not going to ask the prefectures to check it,” says Daguin. There’s nothing we can do about it!” It is difficult to know the extent of this method of finding a job. According to Mr Daguin,”this must be marginal”.
For several weeks now, Mithé Sitapha, 32 years old, has not been able to work in a cleaning company located in Seine-Saint-Denis. He confessed to his management that he had given them false documents. No hard feelings, she made a request for naturalization. In Pantin, in the Four Ways district, one of his acquaintances who works in the prefecture, offered him a French identity card for 1,000 euros. “I don’t touch that,” says Mr. Sitapha. But I see a lot of people doing it.”