More than 1,600 migrants cleared from camps across Paris as government cracks down
Move comes after French government announces tighter immigration policies
Two huge migrant tent camps have been cleared by police in northern Paris and authorities vowed to clear others.
Buses took away more than 1,600 people in the Porte de la Chapelle and Seine-Saint-Denis area, where illegal refugees lived in tents under and around the flyovers of the busy Paris Peripherique ring road and the ramps to the A1 highway.
"I will no longer tolerate these installations by the roadside here or anywhere else on public spaces in Paris," Paris police chief Didier Lallement told reporters at the scene.
The clearances came a day after the government announced tighter immigration policies.
Excavators demolished makeshift shacks and picked up plastic chairs, mattresses and rubbish.
Mr Lallement said police would maintain a permanent presence in the area in coming weeks to prevent migrants from returning.
French prime minister Edouard Philippe announced the closure of tent camps earlier this week.
He also trumpeted quotas for migrant workers and limits on access to non-urgent healthcare for newly arrived asylum seekers as part of a drive to show that the government is heeding voters' concerns about immigration.
Since the closure of a huge migrant camp in Calais in 2016, many refugees have moved to Paris, where camps have been repeatedly broken up only to see them pop up again in different areas a few months later.
"Prefects have told me time and again the camps would not come back, but each time they have reappeared," said Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo/
Her deputy, Emmanuel Gregoire, said that apart from the Porte de la Chapelle camp there were another 1,600 migrants in a camp at nearby Porte d'Aubervilliers and more camps at Porte de la Villete and in Seine-Saint Denis, all in northern Paris.
"Dispersal operations are no solution. Our country needs to provide permanent and proper housing while people's asylum applications are considered," he said on France Info radio.
Interior Minister Christophe Castaner said the people evacuated would be housed in state-sponsored centres while their asylum requests were being processed.
Mr Castaner said some people who had already been granted asylum were refusing to remain in the social housing offered.
Those whose asylum request is rejected will have to leave French territory and some will be deported, he said.