BRUSSELS (Brussels Morning) – It was announced on Friday, a few days ago, groups of undocumented migrants had set up camp on the Porte de Ninove site in Molenbeek-Saint-Jean. A hundred people were staying in tents, protesting their eviction from the old KBC buildings at the end of March. They wanted to “denounce the double standard of the government’s reception policy and demand the regularisation of all undocumented people”, they said.
A camp which had caused tensions between the Secretary of State for Asylum and Migration, Sammy Mahdi (CD&V) and the mayor, Catherine Moureaux (PS): the former wanting the latter to ban the camp, which the Molenbeekoise refused to do, tolerating them for a few days.
Nevertheless, these undocumented migrants left the scene this Sunday, they said. “ We left the camp, in compliance with the agreement concluded with the mayor ”, says the movement USPR (Union of Sans-Papiers pour la Régularisation).
A walk to the Foreigners Office
After their departure from the Porte de Ninove, early this afternoon, the various groups marched to the headquarters of the Foreigners’ Office, “ Where we [placed] symbolically our cardboard tents, loaded with our slogans and hopes, to denounce this unjust migration policy ”, explains the USPR.
Several groups that campaign for the regularisation of undocumented people had established a new camp. About 150 people, according to the estimate of the Brussels-West police, were a part of this camp. A response to the eviction of people who had been occupying former KBC buildings for several months. These people had to leave the premises on Thursday, March 31 early afternoon.
The collectives organised a march which ended in a camp at the Porte de Ninove park. Through their action, they wanted to “ denounce the double standards of the government’s reception policy and demand the regularisation of all undocumented people.
For these groups, the welcome given to Ukrainians who fled the war constitutes : “an exception to what should be the rule.
Sammy Mahdi wanted to ban the camp
The Secretary of State for Asylum and Migration, Sammy Mahdi, asked the mayor of Molenbeek, Catherine Moureaux, on Friday to prohibit the set up of a camp for migrants on the territory of his commune.
The Secretary of State once again recalled the principle of regularisation of residence in Belgium, which remains an exceptional and individual procedure. He said he was saddened by the comparison made by the occupants of that camp with the situation of Ukrainian refugees, who benefit from temporary protection granted within a European framework. “ Ukraine is no excuse for collective regularisation ,” he had stressed.