As French elections loom, candidates take tough positions on migrants – .

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As French elections loom, candidates take tough positions on migrants – .


In contrast, immigrants made up 16% of the German population, an increase of 30% over the same period.

France stopped taking in large numbers of workers from its former North African colonies as a long period of economic growth ended in the mid-1970s – a few years before the rise of the far-right National Front. anti-immigrant, now known as the National Rally, which helped make immigration a radioactive subject in French politics.

Since then, migrant workers have only made up a small part of new immigration, dominated by foreign students and family-related arrivals.

“We welcome immigrants, not to work, but to join their spouses,” said Auriol, the economist.

As a result, France’s immigrant population is much less diverse than in other rich countries. In 2019, more than 40% of all arrivals were from Africa, especially Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia, according to government data.

This lack of diversity – coupled with the concentration of new immigrants in urban areas like Paris – fuels immigration anxieties, said Patrick Weil, immigration historian who teaches at the Panthéon-Sorbonne University in Paris and at Yale.

While anti-immigrant sentiments played a role in former President Donald J. Trump’s campaign in 2016, immigration to France – closely linked to its colonial history, particularly in Algeria and other Muslim countries – actually an even hotter topic, Mr Weil said. .

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