Algerian authorities have carried out numerous raids in the capital Algiers on the homes of illegal migrants following measures introduced this month to control the high numbers of illegal migration.
Local media reported the arrests of hundreds of sub-Saharan migrants living in slums in the capital.
“As soon as you open the door, they take you away. I was taken with all my luggage, everything was stolen: the computer, the things in the house, the refrigerator, the money – they took everything,” one migrant told France Info. Migrants have been forced to live in tepid conditions often in abandoned construction sites and forced to accept work from unscrupulous employers. “Our life boils down to that. We carry bags of sand [and] stones. We do all the jobs nobody wants to do,” one migrant told France 24.
Algeria has become a hotspot for sub-Saharan migrants due to its stability, providing an alternative to the much sought destination of Europe. Around 150,000 migrants have fled to Algeria from war and financial difficulties however only 7,000 people currently hold refugee status in the country leaving many other vulnerable.
The Autonomous National Union of Public Service Staff described the crackdown as “the biggest hunt for the black man since independence”.