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Senator François-Noël Buffet. Twitter

Senator exposes Macron’s blundering immigration policy

Senator François-Noël Buffet from the Republicans party denounced the government's inadequate and flawed immigration data.

Published: November 20, 2019, 8:55 am


    The government’s immigration plan is not enough, he said. The opinion of the Senator of the Rhône was expressed on Wednesday, entitled: “Immigration, asylum and integration” at the Assembly, revealed French daily Le Figaro.

    He said the Macron administration was “late and blundering in catching up” with a “chronic incapacity to anticipate” immigration policy. The government’s plans are “unrealistic” according to him.

    And for good reason, because the budget of the government “makes the forecast assumption of an increase of the request of asylum of 12 percent in 2019 then of a stabilization at 0 percent from 2020”.

    In fact, the number of asylum seekers is expected to increase substantially in 2019, exceeding the already historic figure of 123 000 in 2018. It could thus reach almost 140 000 applications. But Senator Buffet points to “false numbers” regarding the assumption of a “steady stream” for next year.

    Immigrants, in this case people born abroad, in 1975 accounted for 7,4 percent of the population of France. More than 2 million have been added to the number of inhabitants since.

    The new report of INSEE, entitled France, portrait social [France, social portrait] was published on Tuesday, November 19, and brings new light on the characteristics of immigration to France, in particular.

    We learn that in 2018, 9,7 percent of the population residing in France were immigrants, namely foreigners born abroad, or 2,3 points more than in 1975. They were 3,9 million in twilight of the Glorious Thirties of the last century, against 6,3 million today.

    Net migration, after 25 years of stability in the country, has increased sharply since the early 2000s: an average of 65 000 people per year between 1975 and 1999, then jumped to 145 000 people a year between 1999 and 2010, before reaching 168 000 individuals every year between 2010 and 2015, at the height of the migration crisis.

    Between 1975 and 2015, immigrant populations from the Maghreb or Africa respectively contributed 31,3 percent and 20,9 percent to net migration, or 52,2 percent all together, followed by intra-European immigration (17 percent).

    Migration origins, meanwhile, have diversified. The share of immigrants from Southern Europe (Italy, Spain, Portugal) has thus decreased from 49 percent in 1975 to 18 percent in 2018, while that of immigrants from the Maghreb has remained on the rise, albeit stable, from 26 in 1975 to 30 percent in 2018.

    Migration flows from sub-Saharan Africa, from 2 percent of the immigrant population in 1975 to 15 percent in 2018, are the main novelty. Asian immigration, finally, is made up of 17 percent of Vietnamese, Laotians and Cambodians, against 38 percent in 1982. The share of Asian immigrants from China, however, reached 12 percent in 2018, ten points more than in 1975.

    And while immigration has increased significantly in France since 1975, we are witnessing a change in its sociological characteristics, in particular. Initially predominantly male and resulting from the need for labour, it has since been feminized with family reunification.

    This phenomenon is all the more identifiable for immigrants from the African continent, of whom 49 percent were women in 2018, compared with only 29 percent in 1975.

    The level of education has also changed dramatically. The proportion of immigrants with little or no education has thus fallen from 88 to 42 percent in 40 years. Conversely, only 3 percent of immigrants had a higher degree in 1975, compared with 28 percent today.

    Even if the draft finance law for 2020 provides for a 9,8 percent increase in the credits allocated to immigration (more than two billion euros), this sum will be insufficient according to Buffet since the demands have “quadrupled in ten years”.

    Le Figaro indicated that the senator “saluted the significant support” of the means given to Ofpra (French Office for the protection of refugees and stateless people) but doubts its feasibility.

    Another state councilor criticized the foreign quotas stated by the executive which will settle “nothing since [this] policy is to add an additional input channel to a flow that is not regulated”.

    The last point made by Senator Buffet, is the issue of illegal evictions. If 132 000 measures were pronounced in 2018, “only 20 000 were executed” . Such figures that are “the crux of the problem,” according to him.

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