Pam Barker | Director of TLB Europe Reloaded Project
In France, the Gilets Jaunes are still protesting every Saturday and going absolutely nowhere. And they have no reason to since their lives haven’t changed. Macron’s team have started doing a makeover campaign, with the recent declaration of ‘we’ve made mistakes’ over the handling of the Yellow Vest protests, and some new policy announcements that don’t amount to very much. In the past couple of days, Brigitte Macron has been campaigning on behalf of her husband. With a smile of course, but this is serious salvage time after the various debacles of not only the Gilets Jaunes but also the Benalla Affair among others. In this context is the announcement being made for migrant quotas. As with everywhere now, migrants (illegal and otherwise) dominate in the cities. Visit Paris, London or Brussels for example, and you could be forgiven for not recognising your own country anymore. Trump’s ‘shitholes’ is still very much an operative concept and isn’t set to improve.
Reliable veteran of the political scene here, Gerard Collomb (pictured), who was an early supporter of Macron, was appointed as Macron’s first Minister of the Interior and is now mayor of Lyons (mayors of big cities here are high-profile political people), warned a while back that France is at bursting point with migrants, that areas of the country are set to erupt if numbers aren’t curtailed. Of course, it was almost impossible to find this warning anywhere in the news. But Collomb is a socialist and thus sympathetic to heavy migration, and was in daily contact with police on the ground. His warning should have been heeded.
But is Macron serious about this, or is it just a sop to the voters enabling him to limp along until the end of his mandate? And it needs to be asked how serious they are about clamping down on illegal migration.
Quotas for migrants: Is France being ‘submerged’?
Is France being “overwhelmed” by migrants, as the former Minister of the Interior Gerard Collomb suggested? Only the lack of data available to French voters may guarantee a dispassionate debate on immigration.
At the request of Emmanuel Macron, the Minister of the Interior Christophe Castaner announced on Sunday, June 16, in the Journal du dimanche (JDD) that a debate will be held in the National Assembly on immigration.
Castaner pledged: “The issue of quotas can be raised in the context of the debate for other modes of legal immigration.” But he immediately added: “Let us also ensure that the debate on the immigration does not focus only on the number of immigrants.”
It is difficult to understand how it is possible to organise a debate on migration quotas, without focusing on the question of “numbers”. The data on immigration appears to be the biggest French taboo.
Under the leadership of former President Nicolas Sarkozy who praised “chosen immigration”, the annual debate on who France wants to welcome never saw the day. This careless attitude had created a huge disappointment among voters.
Since then, political figures François Fillon, Laurent Wauquiez and Éric Ciotti, have stressed the need for the implementation of migrant quotas.
But the sad circus of French political life under Emannuel Macron was on display on January 14, when MP for the Republicans Eric Ciotti (pictured) asked the government once again to hold an annual debate on immigration. Laughing in his face was Macron’s Minister Jacqueline Gourault. She sneered: “The introduction of quotas does not stand up to scrutiny for lack of feasibility.”
One certainty is that the French perceive immigration very negatively. And if they are already largely opposed to illegal immigration, they also want to reduce legal immigration significantly.
In the JDD, on December 2, a survey conducted by Ifop highlighted anti-immigration public sentiment. Some 58 percent of French people dislike immigration in general, while 55 percent fear for the country’s future, 58 percent for its identity and 64 percent for the cohesion of society.
The French have said it unambiguously: Some 64 percent think that welcoming additional immigrants is not desirable. 71 percent consider that it allows employers to drag wages down, and 60 percent believe immigrants should be chosen according to the economic needs of the country.
There is no longer any doubt: the French want a calm debate on the issue of immigration. They want to regain control over the mass immigration that has hit their country.
But two globalist politicians, Stella Dupont (LREM) and Jean-François Parigi (LR) have since estimated that the prices of residence permits were too high for people with a limited income.
Their report was presented to the Finance Committee, reported LCP (ER: this report has been removed from their site). At present, the price of a temporary authorization for residing on French territory costs from 269 euros to 609 euros. The price of a passport is 89 euros and the identity card is free.
In their report, the two deputies consider that the amounts levied are “excessive” and “accentuate the precariousness of certain foreigners, even hindering their integration”. The Macronist Dupont deplored the fact that “immigrants are presented as profiteers while they pay more than nationals”.
In addition, they advise issuing multi-year residence permits to extend payments for foreigners. According to the two MEPs, this estimated loss of 38 million euros can be offset by tourist visas, which should soon be increased.
With the interference of Islam in society, France faces a major challenge. Communities are currently living “side by side” but it could soon become “face-to-face” as former Minister of the Interior Collomb noted when he left the Place Beauvau in October 2018 .
“The communitarization of France is the direct consequence of multiculturalism and therefore massive immigration of the last thirty years,” explained one of his former collaborators.
“All ministers of the Interior are aware of this, their daily lives are punctuated by the consequences of communitarianism. But it is impossible to point the finger at the two real problems: immigration and its direct link, Islam, ” continued the source.
Collomb had warned in February 2018: “In five years, the situation could become irreversible.”
Every year it is on average the equivalent of the population of the city of Rennes that arrives in France (over 200,000 people). That figure excludes the arrivals of illegals. In 2018, a record was broken with 255,550 first residence permits issued by the State.
Of the 100,000 obligated to leave French territory as decreed in 2018, only 12 percent were carried out. This means that 88 percent of the clandestines that the justice expels from French territory remain illegally.
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