Prefecture de Montpellier: No to the expulsion of the Al Elfi family from France to Spain

Petition Closed

Prefecture de Montpellier: No to the expulsion of the Al Elfi family from France to Spain

This petition had 3,268 supporters

Languedoc Solidarity with the Refugees started this petition to Pierre Pouëssel (The Prefect of the Herault)


Petition in French:

In 2012 a family of five fled Homs, Syria.  They first based themselves in Algeria where the husband had been working. After a year, he lost his work permit due to the war and Algerian policy towards Syrian refugees.  They spent the next two years waiting for things to improve in Syria, but the war got worse, their house in Homs was destroyed and the father no longer had a way to support his family in Algeria. The decision was made to head to Europe.

They arrived in Spain via Morocco and travelled on to France.  After four years on the road they thought their journey was at an end. 

On Thursday April 7, they were given, suddenly and unexpectedly, the order to return to Spain on Monday, April 11.  Their asylum claim has been treated under the Dublin regulations and they will not be considered for refugee status in France.

For this Syrian family, the decision to file for asylum in France was not taken on a whim.  Their journey was undertaken with another family, who have been granted “demandeurs d’asile” status and live in CADA housing. The fathers of these two families are bound as brothers by a deep cultural tradition.  They have spent their lives together, working together for the last 20 years.  Their families are a single unit.  The children are all as close as cousins would be. The mothers are like sisters. Despite this close relationship, they are going to be separated by the French government.  Please sign and share this petition to Pierre Pouëssel, Prefet de Montpellier, imploring him to keep these two families together in France.

A link to a speech given by Bernard Cazeneuve, French Minister of the Interior, in response to the local refugee situation in l’Herault appears below.  Of particular note:  “… the honour of France conforming to the multi-secular tradition of our country since 1793, is to open its doors to these men and women who have been persecuted...”

Article in the Guardian Newspaper: EU to set out proposals for overhaul of European asylum rules.   6th April 2016

Article in Le Monde,  7th September 2015: La France accueillera 24 000 nouveaux réfugiés.

Homs – 20th January 2016


Letter to Monsieur le Prefet de l’Herault,

Monsieur Le Préfet,

We are a voluntary association (Law 1901) in France and we now take the liberty of writing to you on behalf of the family Al Elfi, currently residing in l’Herault whose asylum application has been treated under Dublin regulations. 

We have been providing material and logistical support to the family since their arrival in France and feel that we know them well and that the special circumstances of their application have been overlooked.  We would therefore request that their asylum application be accepted in France.

The family has close ties to another Syrian family who have already been recognized as asylum seekers and are now residing in a CADA in the department while their application is being decided.  It is undeniable that the support that they offer each other would enable them to build a more successful life together in a new country with all the challenges that they undoubtedly face. 

The mother was educated in French in a UNESCO-sponsored secondary school and speaks the language well.  Surely what children need when starting school in a foreign country is a supportive parent who speaks the language.  None of the family speak Spanish. They have no ties to Spain, and no support from any organization such as ours here in France.

After leaving Syria four years ago, they have experienced extreme hardship, both physical and mental. It has taken time for LSR Family Liaison Volunteers to gather this information and comprehend the depth of their trauma.  Urgent medical and psychiatric appointments have been made for the mother (17th and 25th April), which will be missed if they are forced to leave the country precipitously. 

The children themselves desperately need to resume a normal life: school, health and a social life, but most of all they need parents who can maintain a regular structure that has been denied them for 4 years.  This is destined to continue without your intervention.

We recall the recent statement of Minister Bernard Cazeneuve:  “The honor of France has been based on the centuries-old tradition of our country since 1793 that is to open its doors to persecuted men and women . . .” This is what allows us to hope for a favorable response from you.

Yours faithfully,

Gary D. Kilmer


Languedoc Solidarity with Refugee

29 Terr Avenue Henri Mas

34320 Roujan


Petition Closed

This petition had 3,268 supporters