The Minister of the Interior and Jean-François Carenco, Delegate Minister for the Overseas Territories, begin a trip to Mayotte this Sunday. This is Gérald Darmanin’s second trip abroad.
Gérald Darmanin and his foreign minister Jean-François Carenco begin a three-day trip to Mayotte this Sunday with the priority of combating illegal immigration to the island, the 101st French department plagued by poverty and insecurity .
This is the Interior Minister’s second overseas trip since he took over the overseas portfolio this summer after a visit to Reunion in early July.
New ways to combat illegal immigration
Gérald Darmanin, who gave a strong speech on immigration all summer, intends to return to Mayotte on the subject, the subject of a wide debate in Parliament next autumn before the presentation of a bill.
In particular, the minister must be presented with the new air and sea resources to combat illegal immigration and visit the administrative detention center in Pamandzi.
Located in the Indian Ocean between East Africa and Madagascar, the island populated by 350,000 to 400,000 people according to the authorities, saw its population quadruple between 1985 and 2017 according to INSEE, due to the combined effect of a high birth rate (more than four children per woman) and the significant emigration of inhabitants from the nearby Comoros archipelago.
The government highlights its data on deportations to the border, over 23,000 in 2021, up 78% compared to 2020, the year marked by Covid, and the increase in the interceptions of “kwassas-kwassas”, these light motor boats used by Comorian migrants.
74% of the population with a standard of living below 50% of the national median
According to INSEE, almost half of Mayotte’s population has no French nationality, but a third of foreigners were born in Mayotte and the average age of the inhabitants was 23 in 2017.
A young man struggling to enter working life since last year, 25,000 young people between 15 and 29 were neither employed, nor studied, nor in training, according to INSEE, or 36% of this age group, a share three times higher than in the rest of France (13%).
The island, a regular scene of clashes between gangs or with the police, also records high crime rates, much higher than in mainland France, with four times more reports of burglary and physical assaults much more frequent.
Insecurity fueled by great poverty: 194,000 Mahorais, or 74% of the population, live with a standard of living below 50% of the national average, according to INSEE.