French police have dismantled a migrant campsite in Aubervilliers, north-east of Paris, amid mounting pressure for the government to demonstrate a tough stance on irregular immigration.
The local prefecture said on Twitter that more than 1,000 single men and 250 family members were pulled from the operation on Wednesday.
Le Parisien newspaper reported that many migrants and refugees were of Afghan, Ethiopian, Sudanese or Chadian nationality.
They were taken to temporary shelters in gymnasiums in the Paris region and would be tested there for COVID-19 as a precaution, the newspaper reported.
A prominent refugee advocate criticized the authorities.
“It is always useful to shelter people. But this repetition since 2015 is absurd and outrageous, ”said on Twitter Pierre Henry, general manager of the association France Terre d’Asile.
Many refugees and migrants have settled in Paris since the closure of a huge migrant camp in Calais in 2016.
Authorities have repeatedly dismantled unauthorized campsites only to reappear elsewhere within months, with police cleaning out a makeshift shelter that had emerged again in Calais this month.
Many migrants and refugees have fled to France from North Africa, the Middle East and Asia, fleeing countries ravaged by war and poverty.