Hundreds of undocumented immigrants gathered at a terminal at Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris on May 19 to protest deportations. The demonstrators called themselves the "black vests," a reference to the Yellow Jacket protests that have been sweeping across France for six months.
The protesters, many of whom are living in migrant shelters in the Paris region, called on authorities to grant migrants legal status in the country and allow them to bring their families. They also asked that Air France stop participating in deportations by flying migrants back to their home countries.
The number of deportations increased by 20 percent between 2018 and 2017, during which 14,859 people were deported, according to interior minister Christophe Castaner.
The site of the protest was symbolic, as many asylum seekers in France are flown home from Charles de Gaulle airport. Some return to their country or to their port of entry in Europe.
In videos posted on social media, protesters wearing black are seen assembling in Terminals 2F and 2G and chanting, "Papiers pour tous," or "Documents for everyone."
Videos posted on social media showed protesters arriving at Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris.
Protesters chanted "Papiers pour tous," or "Documents for everyone."
The group "Collectif La Chapelle debout," which advocates for migrants' and refugees' rights and helped organise the event with the "black vest" protesters, said around 500 people participated in the rally.
Police blocked off the area where the "black vest" protesters were gathered (Collectif La Chapelle Debout).
The "Collectif La Chapelle debout" group and Air France did not immediately reply to a request for comment.
This story was written by Sarra Grira.