France


Zêdess, a reggae artist from Burkina Faso, has launched a counterstrike against Nicolas Sarkozy, France’s interior minister, architect of its immigration policy, and would be successor to Chirac. Zêdess makes a mockery of Sarkozy’s immigration choisie–the desire to pick and choose between immigrants–comparing it to how slaves were sized up for sale. Moreover, he points out how Sarkozy’s own father was a refugee, fleeing to France in need, much as many Africans do today. If you know some basic French, it’s easy to follow, and it good fun!

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Interesting phenomenon in immigration to Europe: the use of French overseas territories as  places of entry.  At a congress of French mayors, the mayors from overseas territories complained that they were being overwhelmed by clandestins (aka, illegal immigrants).  And their presence is affecting the public mood, raising hostility.  As one mayor put it:

There is a real sentiment of xenophobia developing in Guyana.  Until now, the people have respected the laws of the Republic.  But the day will come when they will take justice into their own hands.  It suits them to re-establish the authority of the state in the territories. [Translation mine]

Mayotte, among the Comoro Islands in the Indian Ocean, is particuarly overwhelmed, becoming a magnet for would be immigrants from the region.  Many of these come from the Comoros, an indepedent nation in the same chain of islands.  The Comorians, however, could work toward French citizenship by jus soli, their nation having once been part of France.  But they want to be able immediately to claim citizenship on the basis of birth, as the people of Mayotte have.  These municipalities, as well as those in Guyana and Guadeloupe, need more resources for the incoming immigrants; France offers only resources to combat their entry.

The new scare in France (as if polygamy weren’t enough) concerning immigrants is paternités blanches or paternités de papiers–false fatherhood, whereby undocumented immigrants claim to be the father of a child of a French citizen.

ON LES APPELLE les paternités « blanches » ou « de papiers ». Fictives, celles-ci se multiplient, permettant à certains ressortissants étrangers d’obtenir frauduleusement un titre de séjour. « Tout le monde peut reconnaître un enfant qui n’est pas le sien », souligne ainsi François-Noël Buffet, sénateur (UMP) du Rhône et auteur d’un rapport sur l’immigration. Il suffit de se rendre à l’état civil dans la ville où l’on réside, et de se déclarer père, quel que soit l’âge de l’enfant. Aucune preuve n’est réclamée à ce stade. « Mais, reprend le ­sénateur, les surprises commencent dès que l’on creuse un minimum. »

The right to claim paternity, easily done by filing with local authorities, is sold for 2-5,000 euros. By claiming paternity, a man in France illegally receives a pass to remain in country for ten years within two years, waiting three years less than if he married a citizen.

The rate of these filings is increasing dramatically.