Selective immigration: where is the problem?



With his customary fieriness, Nicolas Sarkozy has given his adversaries a stick to beat him with: in advocating the creation of a “Ministry of Immigration and French Identity,” he stands accused of racism. It’s a bad initiative which lets his opponents pose as champions of democracy without having a programme of their own and, above all, gives them the opportunity to put in the shadows the root of the problem: the question of selective immigration.

Mr Sarkozy’s proposal has thus unleashed an offensive by his denigrators. And so we have seen Madame Marie-Georges Buffet declare that the candidate of the UMP party was “dangerous for democracy.” That’s a rather cheeky statement for a candidate from the last party (represented in  parliament) to call itself ‘Communist’ in Europe and, thus, to lay claims to the formidable bottom line of Communism : a hundred millions deaths, to put it mildly.

Madame Royal and Mr Bayrou : perhaps history will tell us one day that they were the two most hollow candidates in the history of the Fifth Republic, but they are nonetheless both idols of the caviar socialists (Bobos); they have lashed out with murderous words.  For Mr. Bayrou (who has doubtless become again the darling of the polls), Nicolas Sarkozy has « crossed a border », while Mme Royal, that magnificent product made for those who, in the Socialist Party, understood that a woman would be their only chance to return to power, believes that the proposal of Sarcozy is « rather disgusting ». Even Mr Montebourg accuses Nicolas Sarkozy of “getting in bed with Le Pen.” His recent past should have led him to show more discretion: one recalls how he said on television that Mme Roya’s handicap was her Companion, François Hollande, which cost him « a month’s suspension» by the candidate of a “just order.”

We agree that the formula was maladroit and that a « Ministry of National Identity » would not make any sense. But this polemic has mainly been launched to hide the real, great and necessary debate: that over immigration controls, whether imposed by a special dedicated ministry or not. Who would deny that ‘uncontrolled’ immigration poses a problem ? Who would dare to say that an immigrant who is not properly educated and who behaves in many ways unacceptably for the society receiving him does not present a problem ?  Who would claim that French society can be proud such signs of progress as the veil for adolescent girls, circumcision for little girls, refusal to allow one’s wife to be treated by a male doctor, prayer rooms at places of work or separate schedules for men at women at swimming pools, to name but a few examples? We don’t know anyplace other than France to have an innate right for settling in the Hexagon: until someone can prove the contrary, it is still up to the community receiving immigrants to determine the conditions of immigration. The United States, Canada, Australia – three lands with a long history of immigration - have always imposed a policy of “selective immigration” by quota of nationality, trade. Is this racism? Are the immigrants there less successful in their integration?

Can you seriously accuse of racism an Interior Minister who is himself of immigrant origins and who has chosen as his spokes-person Mme Rachida Dati? Such insinuations only show themselves to be cheap politics. The angelic Left of Mme Royal and the feeble centre of Mr Bayrou would do better to attack real problems.

Certainly racism should be combatted better in France  and greater opportunity should be given to integration, but isn’t “selective immigration” precisely a positive step towards a better integration ? In our opinion, in this sad polemic this is the only question which really deserves to be posed.

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