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31 May 2018, 06:34 | Marta Robbins
Daring man scales building to rescue dangling child
Macron is behind a bill toughening French immigration law, and he stressed there is no contradiction between rewarding Gassama for his act of bravery and working to prevent migrants from entering France illegally by stopping the stream of arrivals at its source.
Video footage of the incident was captured on Saturday in northern Paris and posted online. He somehow ended up dangling off the second balcony before being saved by hero Mamoudou Gassama (left, today, holding his temporary residence permit) who was filmed scaling the side of the building to reach the child (right).
The video of the man climbing swiftly to reach the child, cheered on by terrified onlookers, went viral on social media.
Gassama has even been invited to the Elysee presidential palace to meet with President Emmanuel Macron on Monday morning, an official at Macron's office said. The twist came as the unnamed child's father was threatened with two years in prison. He promised the man French citizenship and was offered a job, reports the Chronicle.info with reference to the Correspondent.
Gassama told Hidalgo by phone on Sunday that he arrived from Mali a few months ago and wished to stay in France.
Paris prosecutor François Molins said the father regrets his actions.
Gassama said he had been walking past when he saw a crowd gathered in front of the building.
"I did not think, I saved him", he said.
More significantly, President Macron announced that Gassana will be rewarded with his legal papers to remain in France, and will have a quick path to citizenship, which normally takes at least five years. The family of the boy has also thanked Mr. Gassama, with the grandmother telling local media that he is truly a hero. "I went outside and I saw the kid hanging on the fourth floor", he told VOA.
By the time firefighters arrived, the 4-year-old was safe.
Macron told the 22-year-old Malian work in the fire service.
"I wanted to act carefully above all and I certainly did not want to risk the child's life", he said. He said there is no disparity between rewarding Gassama for his act of bravery and holding firm on immigration. It contrasted sharply with government policy, which aims to deport as many as people as possible, who like Gassama, are living in France without papers.
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