France received a record number of asylum applications in 2017, many from Africa, according to the French Office for the Protection of Refugees and Stateless Persons.
The 2017 total of 100,412 asylum applications represented an increase of 17 percent over 2016, according to Le Monde.
More than half of the top 10 countries of origin of those seeking asylum in France were located in Africa, including Sudan, Guinea, Congo and the Ivory Coast.
Since taking office in May 2017, President Emmanuel Macron has undertaken an initiative to diminish the influx of migrants from Africa under which he secured a deal with Niger and Chad to allow the acceptance of a smaller number of vetted migrants into France.
Despite his success in brokering deals regarding the number of migrants allowed in France, Macron has been criticized for remarks he has made regarding the issue. In 2017, he was direct when assessing the problems facing migrants, saying that “demographic transitions” create a larger issue because Africans “have seven or eight children per woman,” Breitbart News reported.
French Interior Minister Gerard Collomb said that the number of illegal migrants currently living in France could be as high as 300,000, although others have estimated the number to be approximately 400,000.
French Interior Minister Claims 300,000 Illegal Migrants in France
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) November 10, 2017
Many asylum seekers end up living in makeshift camps in Paris and elsewhere throughout France. Recently in the city of Reims, approximately 40 asylum seekers set up a camp near the University of Reims Champagne-Ardennes, forcing the university to close the campus until the area could be determined as safe for students.