Cinema: The justified anger of undocumented immigrants and French filmmakers

03.03.2010 - Paris - Tatiana De Barelli

Manifesto of a group of filmmakers for those without papers:
“We work here! We live here! We’re staying here!”

What is the difference between a worker with papers and a worker with a resident’s permit? It isn’t visible to the naked eye, nor with a camera. Yet the differences exist. They work, they build our buildings, repair our roads and put down the tracks for our tramways. They clean our offices, do our housework and look after our ill and elderly. They wash the dishes and clean the kitchens of our restaurants, look after security in our department stores and are the secret workforce in our temp agencies… With or without papers, their jobs are the same.

With or without papers, their obligations remain the same as those with papers: they pay social charges, unemployment insurance, social security, taxes… just like everyone else. So, what is the difference? The difference is that an “undocumented” person that loses their job will not receive any unemployment benefits. The difference is that an “undocumented person” will contribute to a pension, but will never receive a single penny…

Same obligations, but different rights. All because they are missing one document – a resident’s permit. You can make a car in Romania to sell in France, but you can’t offshore the building trade and personal services. So, they offshore by employing illegal immigrants.

Someone without their papers is first and foremost a worker without rights! A worker that lives in fear of being deported, and if made redundant has no other option but to head back across the border. This injustice is unbearable for those who attach value to the motto of the Republic inscribed on the pediment of our schools.

It is for this very reason that we have decided to rally with these workers, just like we did for the clandestine children in the film, “Let Them Grow Up Here”. It is with this cinematic stance that we would like to show our solidarity once again.

“We work here! We live here! We’re staying here!” cry the clandestine workers on strike. The equality of rights is for everyone.

The regularisation of workers without papers is what we are joining them in the fight for.
For the regularization of all workers without papers! Sign the online petition here:
http://travailleurssanspapiers.org/phpPetitions/
Already 250,000 signatures, of which 50,000 were done by internet (as of 2nd March 2010)

*Translated by Heather Armitage*

Categories: Europe, International, Politics

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