Again, a classic in Sarkozy’s France (see also a bit of this in Doing Figures):

“Struggling to meet the objective of expelling effectively 25000 foreigners per year, the French administration fosters all kinds of statistical and judicial tinkering. On December 7 2007, the Court of Appeal in Rennes canceled the arrest of a Sudanese in irregular situation. Police had asked him to display identity papers because he crossed the street outside the pedestrian crossing. The Court considered that “the procedure did not correspond to any plausible suspicion of an irregular situation”. The Court also remarked that arrest records similar to this one were written “in exactly the same terms”, which may correspond to a practice of cut and paste.” (from “Sans-papiers: des quotas d’expulsion inaccessibles”, Le Monde, January 4 2008; see also “A Rennes, la justice refuse les contrôles au faciès”, Rue98, December 19 2007)

An idea: tourists, especially British, wishing to contribute to the improvement of French immigration police performance indicators with a lesson on how to well-behave in a target world should be kindly advised to cross the street outside the pedestrian crossing and get arrested before getting into the Eurostar. They might even get their way back refunded if they tell the cops that they actually are from a strange nationality and that they were ready to stay longer (that is probably enough to tick the “done” line in their performance spread sheet).


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