The French newspaper Libération makes today available here a facsimile of a very instructive French administrative document:


You have expressed a request for the regularization of your administrative status in France.

I am pleased to inform you that requests for regularization are not handled through postal correspondence. You are kindly asked to proceed in person at the Police Station, Bureau for Foreigners, on Tuesday or Thursday morning, in order to request an examination of your case.

Sincerely yours,

The Prefect”

(from an administrative letter from the Préfecture de Nanterre, reproduced in “Quand les préfectures piègent les sans-papiers”, Libération, April 14 2008)

That’s another trick to catch some immigrant. An internal administrative note, commented also by Libération in the same article, explains how to proceed with the trick: when the obedient applicant pops up, first, the police agent has to ask for the victim’s passport and put it aside, then ask the victim or victims (if it’s a family) to sit in the waiting room, and then arrest them. This second note urges cops to do that conscientiously:

“Expelling foreigners in irregular situation is a priority mission for our services. We are committed to performance targets. I therefore ask you to implement these instructions with great zeal.” (quoted in “Quand les préfectures piègent les sans-papiers”, Libération, April 14 2008)

The game for today is to tell what kind of trick this is. Any guess?

(A hint: it’s not of the hidden camera prank kind.)


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