Starting from June 2015, with the terror alert, France has militarized its border with Italy, establishing systematic controls. Within a new border regime, the Roya Valley - a rural area of the Maritime Alps, situated between France and Italy - has become central to migration routes towards other European countries. In this valley, a network of solidarity with migrants has emerged, offering hospitality, care and judicial support. This network is criminalized by the state logic, which assimilates its activities to those of smugglers. At the same time, sympathetic citizens have begun to report irregularities in the French State’s application of asylum legislation. This contribution analyzes the network of solidarity with migrants in the Roya Valley, its relations with other civil society actors in the area and the process of its criminalization, characterized by so-called solidarity crimes. The ethno-graphic research, which started at the beginning of 2017, is still in progress in a context of ongoing transformation.
Keywords: Border; Migratory crisis; Criminalization of solidarity; Solidarity criminals; Solidarity crimes; Ethnography