Rape in Cochin, murder of Lola: the director of the OFII explains "the difficulties" to apply OQTFs

The question of the application of the Obligations to leave French territory (OQTF) raised controversy after the murder of Lola and the rape of a woman at the Parisian hospital Cochin.

Is France unable to enforce the obligations to leave French territory (OQTF) that the administrations issue? “The obligation is today effectively theoretical in the sense that we still have a lot of legal difficulties before the implementation of the effective return”, estimates this Friday on BFMTV and RMC Didier Leschi, the director general of theFrench Office for Immigration and Integration.

Recent events have revived the debate on this application of OQTFs. Dahbia B., the murderer of schoolgirl Lola, was under an OQTF. The suspect in the rape of a patient at the Paris Cochin hospital had also been issued three obligations to leave the territory, each time giving a false name and a new address.

“Simplify the law”

For Didier Leschi, this difficult application lies in two problems: “the possibility of multiplying the appeals which are very often delaying ways not to be led to be renewed”, requiring France to “simplify the law”, and “the consular laissez-passer” from the countries of origin of the migrants. Very often, these countries do not issue these compulsory authorizations to organize the return of migrants.

“These flaws have become much more important and visible because we have a very strong increase in asylum seekers. We have never had so many asylum applications this year, we will probably end the year with almost of 120,000 asylum seekers and at the same time we have regular immigration which should not be associated with these procedures”, explains the director of the OFII.

While the asylum application gives migrants a regular situation while their case is processed, Didier Leschi recalls that the vast majority of irregular immigration is carried out by nationalities who cannot claim the status of asylum seekers. “We must therefore speed up the processing of applications for the right of asylum”, intimates the director of the OFII.

“We are all caught in a contradiction, we are faced with people who very often flee very difficult economic conditions”, he continues.

And to add: “And at the same time these people, we are in a situation where we have to regulate them because we cannot be in a situation where all those who would have difficulties in their country because of economic difficulties would have the natural right to settle where they feel they should settle,” he continues.


The reception of the Ocean Viking and the release of 123 migrants – out of the 190 adults received – for lack of being able to examine their asylum application in time, also made it possible to reveal the flaws in the system. “The legal framework is not adapted to this type of situation, a situation that we can experience in airports, but which we do not know in ports in mainland France”, estimates Didier Leschi.

The head of the OFII deplores that these controversies and these difficulties in setting up OQTFs are detrimental to the 270,000 families, students and workers who legally enter French territory each year.

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