You want to be a citizen of France? Only superheroes need apply | Steven Poole | Opinion | The Guardian
Mamoudou Gassama’s bravery was rightly rewarded, but President Macron’s comments only perpetuate anti-immigrant rhetoric
If anything were guaranteed to salve a bruised faith in human nature, it is the video of the dramatic rescue of a baby in Paris on Saturday. Mamoudou Gassama, a 22-year-old “sans papiers”, or undocumented migrant, from Mali, saw a lone toddler dangling from a fourth-floor balcony in the 18th arrondissement, and scampered up the outside of the building to save him, while onlookers cheered. The exploit made him famous as the “Spider-Man of the 18th”, and yesterday he went to the Elysée Palace to meet Emmanuel Macron. Awarding Gassama a medal for bravery, the president told him he would be immediately naturalised as a French citizen, and given a job with the Paris firefighters.