Didier Leschi reappointed as head of the French Office for Immigration and Integration

Since December 2015, he has headed the French Office for Immigration and Integration (OFII), an administration responsible for all aspects of immigration in France. Parliament voted on Wednesday January 12 for the reappointment of Didier Leschi as Director General of OFII for a new term: his major challenge will be ” the integration “ migrants and refugees.

With twenty-four favorable opinions and one abstention, the National Assembly – followed by the Senate – announced in a press release the validation of the nomination proposal by the president, Emmanuel Macron, with a view to a new three-year term, of the Prefect Didier Leschi, who has headed the Office since 2015.

“I am very honored that the President of the Republic proposed to me to be renewed in my functions” and “Very touched that this has won the support of a very large majority of parliamentarians”, reacted Didier Leschi to Agence France-Presse.

In matters of immigration, “We focus too much on the first-time reception when the major problem we have is to continue to support (…) towards employment and housing “, exposed during a hearing at the National Assembly on Wednesday morning the boss of the OFII, who had been acting as his own since 1er January. France “Is a country of immigration for a long time, there have never been so many immigrants in this country as today”, he continued in front of the deputies.

“In this immigration, the difficulty we have is different from the main European partners, since three quarters of our immigration comes from the countries of the South [une proportion supérieure à celle d’autres pays], with difficulties of integration into employment, of relation to the language, which does not facilitate integration ”.

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Mediation mission in Calais

Former prefect delegate for equal opportunities in Seine-Saint-Denis, Didier Leschi, 62, took over, in the midst of the migration crisis, in 2015, the head of this body under the supervision of the Ministry of the Interior. “Swiss Army Knife”, in the words of its leader, the OFII oversees almost all aspects of immigration: from the reception of asylum seekers to integration (in particular through French courses), including the management of procedures regular immigration and return assistance “Volunteers” migrants.

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On this last point, Didier Leschi announced that around five thousand illegal aliens had benefited in 2021 from a “Voluntary return” to their country of origin, in return for a financial contribution, in a context ” difficult “ for forced evictions.

At the end of October 2021, Mr. Leschi was mandated by the government for a mediation mission in Calais, where several activists observed a hunger strike for more than a month to demand a moratorium on almost daily dismantling. camps and denounce the treatment “Inhuman” reserved for exiles on the north coast.

“We underestimate the State’s effort in Calais”, he insisted during his hearing, recalling that the authorities are spending “On average two million euros per month” for the reception of migrants.

Read our interview with Article reserved for our subscribers Didier Leschi: “The action of the hunger strikers in Calais revealed an inconsistency in the policy implemented”

The World with AFP

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