Monday, May 28, 2007

France Paying Immigrants to go home

Even if few people take advantage of this offer, I think that it will be very important for a reason that I haven't seen anyone note: how upset can the immigrants in France be if you can't pay them to go back home? There is obviously a lot of discontent and rioting in France, but how can people maintain the intensity of their anger when they are admitting with their feet that France is much better than the alternative and they are refusing to even accept a payment to return home.

New French President Nicolas Sarkozy made immigration a central issue of his campaign. Now, his new minister for immigration and national identity says its time to start paying immigrants to leave the country.

France is home to over 5 million immigrants -- and the new conservative-led government doesn't plan on making things any more comfortable for them. While the new regime in Paris is determined to curb illegal immigration, it is also looking to encourage legal migrants to reconsider their decision to stay in France -- by paying them to go back home.
New immigration minister, Brice Hortefeux, confirmed on Wednesday that the government is planning to offer incentives to more immigrants to return home voluntarily. "We must increase this measure to help voluntary return. I am very clearly committed to doing that," Hortefeux said in an interview with RFI radio.

Under the scheme, Paris will provide each family with a nest egg of €6,000 ($8,000) for when they go back to their country of origin. A similar scheme, which was introduced in 2005 and 2006, was taken up by around 3,000 families. . . . . .

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