“We don’t want the whole country to turn into a notorious no-go zone, like the one near Paris”
The French government's idea of relocating migrants to the countryside instead of the big cities in order to better distribute them across the country is unacceptable to right-wing politicians. One of them has sent a letter of warning to the mayors of rural municipalities, while another opposition politician wants to send the illegal migrants home, instead of settling them in the countryside.
During a recent briefing held for prefects, President Macron presented his government’s intention to reform migration policy by sending foreign migrant workers to rural areas rather than to big cities, as V4NA reported earlier. Driven by his belief that France’s current migration policy is fraught with problems, Mr Macron is expected to present the draft bill to parliament in early 2023. One problem is that the system is ineffective, as there are more illegal immigrants in France than in many other neighbouring countries. Another is that the current őpolicy is inhumane, as the migrants’ reception is often inadequate, due to migratory pressures.
🔴 Immigration: Emmanuel Macron souhaite un “texte de loi” pour début 2023 face á une “politique inefficace et inhumaine” pic.twitter.com/Aaqm2QuI0C
— BFMTV (@BFMTV) September 15, 2022
The French president hopes that amending the migration law will make the asylum process faster and more efficient, but several opposition politicians have spoken out against it, saying that it’s not a good idea.
In a recent interview, National Rally chairman Jordan Bardella said he did not want the whole country to turn into a notorious no-go zone like the one in Seine-Saint-Denis, a department near Paris. Migrants should not be resettled in the countryside, as Emmanuel Macron wants, but rather sent back home, he opinied.
Je ne souhaite pas que toute la France ressemble á la Seine-Saint-Denis. Il ne faut pas répartir les migrants dans nos campagnes comme le souhaite Emmanuel Macron, il faut les faire repartir. pic.twitter.com/c1cW7oHj8t
— Jordan Bardella (@J_Bardella) September 21, 2022
Another popular right-wing politician, Eric Zemmour, also commented on the head of state’s idea on migrants, warning the mayors of rural municipalities in a letter. Mr Zemmour believes that Emmanuel Macron’s idea of reforming France’s migration policy means that he no longer denies the existence of “the great population shift.” In fact he’s also encouraging it by floating the idea of relocating migrants to rural areas. While President Macron wants to distribute illegal immigrants in the countryside, he himself would send them home, Mr Zemmour tweeted recently.
Emmanuel Macron veut répartir l’immigration clandestine, je veux la faire repartir !#HDPros
— Eric Zemmour (@ZemmourEric) September 22, 2022
In his letter addressed to rural mayors, the opposition politician explains how he believes a police chief will in the near future just approach a municipality chief to let him know that hundreds of immigrants will be bussed in to live there. The presence of men aged between 18 and 30 from sub-Saharan Africa and Afghanistan will be a source of tension and a spike in crime, as has happened in several cities in the past, Le Parisien quoted Mr Zemmour as saying.
At the moment, French migration policy and the deportation of illegal migrants is not working effectively, as is evidenced by the figures on consular permits issued by Algerian authorities. This document allows undocumented foreign nationals who have been deported from France to return to their countries of origin. The La Croix newspaper reported that while in 2019 Algeria issued 1,652 consular permits, in 2021 only a fraction of that number, only 34 permits, were issued, which means that the country accepted only this many of its repatriated citizens from France. According to the paper, consular permits are not the only pitfall to repatriation. One of these is that some countries will only accept their citizens back if they pass a Covid test, which many refuse. Another problem is finding a free seat on an aircraft, and even if there is one, the deported foreign national can only board it if the passengers and the pilot agree.