Friday, August 20, 2010

France kicking Roma out of country

A controversial move by French government is kicking a minority out of the country. The Roma are being sent back to Romania over concerns that the wandering band of gypsies cause crime and prostitution.

From this story at the New York Daily Times, writer Aliyah Shahid gives us more details on the deportation.

France began the controversial deportation on Thursday, placing 79 Gypsies on a flight to Bucharest, Romania, according to Immigration Ministry authorities. Approximately 700 men, women and children are expected to be kicked out.

Critics have called the policy racist and have compared it to France's wartime detention of Jewish citizens.

"I am worried about the risks of populism and xenophobic reactions in a context of economic crisis," Romanian Foreign Minister Teodor Baconschi told Radio France International.

The government gave $386 dollars to each adult and $128 to each child who left on a voluntary basis, according to officials. But advocates for the Roma said those who declined the offer would be sent to holding centers, where they would eventually be deported anyway.

The Roma are a group who live, often in poverty, mainly in southern and eastern Europe. The group has been persecuted through much of history.

The foreign-born Roma are often seen begging for cash in France's big cities, and have been considered by many to be a public nuisance. Sarkozy has linked the group to crime, which has resulted in the exploitation of children and prostitution.

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