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Immigration: Getting out of excesses

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Once again excesses, estimates and primitive recovery attempts. The tragic knife attack that struck Annecy on June 8 was scarcely known when inflammatory statements were already multiplying, on the right and on the far right, to criticize the nationality of the attacker and to confuse the immigration issue. Olivier Marlix and Eric Ciotti, Jordan Bardella and Eric Zemmour, all disgraced, in a few minutes, Uncontrolled mass migrationand the alleged Islamic religion of the aggressor.

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Their enthusiasm soon gave way to a certain embarrassment when it was revealed that this Syrian, who had benefited from asylum in Sweden, had been staying in France on a regular basis, and that he was a Christian. proof, if necessary, that the question of immigration escapes all simplification and requires, if not hindsight, then in no case decency not to browse the worst representations.

sequel after announcement

Unfortunately, we are very far from that. On the contrary, while the climate emergency is necessary and the pension fires are barely extinguished, the government is mired in the poisonous debate over immigration. After procrastinating for a long time, while France had amended its residence legislation twenty times in thirty years, he resolved to make a new reform, supposed to walk on two legs, one on the left (settlement and selection of papers). work immigration) and the other on the right (tightening residency requirements and appeals). But lacking a majority, this “at the same time” is outbid by the LRs, who condition their support on the adoption of “proposals” (such as Brexit) that are like two drops of water for the RN programme. It is feared that the upcoming discussions will lead to a festival of incantations and ingenuity. All this under the cynical gaze of Marine Le Pen, and while the left still seems more paralyzed than this subject.

Get away from the misconception that we can turn France into a fortress

However, it is essential to be able to speak calmly about immigration, and get out of the misconception that France can be turned into a fortress by way of restrictive texts. No, the question of immigration cannot be reduced to images of inundation or a tsunami, as it intersects with a complex reality, and is resistant to any binary logic. No, we should not be afraid to speak positively about immigration, showing that it is a permanent component of French society, as recognized by the majority of French people (66%) who were questioned in the context of the reopening of the National Museum of the History of Migration. . And if 62% of respondents believe that there are too many immigrants in France, this position is by no means homogeneous: it varies according to age and social group in particular. Moreover, three-quarters regret this extreme polarization of the topic and consider themselves uninformed. What an irony that saturation with public debate leads to more confusion on immigration issues.

Therefore, it is urgent for the progressive camp to come out of its slumber and speak clearly about immigration without fear of accusations of naivety or credulity. He emphasized that immigration policy must be thought of on a European scale as well as on a national level and that France must show solidarity with its neighbours, or take its share of the migration flows. Saying that it is legitimate to implement decisions not to accept residency, without lying about the difficulties of applying deportation at the border.

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Recognize that the needs of labor are stark, and that undocumented immigrants must be regulated, just as we must be able to discuss integration and live together. They demanded that people be welcomed with dignity, and that they not be exposed to risks to their health and mental health. In short, suppose the language of truth, but in the sense of acknowledging that immigration cannot be reduced to populist spells. It could be a platform for the left instead of giving way to right-wing extremists. So that the immigration question does not definitively turn into a Trojan horse from the RN to seize power.

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