Eine Frau geht an einer Weltkarte, die aus Kinderporträts besteht, am Freitag (18.06.2010) im JuniorMuseum in Köln vorbei.

France

The immigration situation in France has been strongly influenced to the present day by the legacy of colonialism of earlier centuries as well as the long tradition of recruiting foreign workers. Overall, there has been a steady increase in immigration over the last century, and this has had a strong impact on the nature of French society. (Version from 4/2012)

France

Marcus Engler

Background Information

The immigration situation in France has been strongly influenced to the present day by the legacy of colonialism of earlier centuries as well as the long tradition of recruiting foreign workers. Overall, there has been a steady increase in immigration over the last century, and this has had a strong impact on the nature of French society.

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Marcus Engler

Historical Development of Immigration and Immigration Policy

France has a long history of immigration. Immigrants were brought in as early as the 18th and 19th century because the process of industrialization in conjunction with the fall in the birth rate had resulted in a labor shortage. In this sense, France was an exception in Western Europe during this period.

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Marcus Engler

Current Migration Trends

Despite its restrictive immigration policy, immigration to France has risen constantly in recent years. This can be seen in the allocation of residence permits to third country nationals. In 2006 and 2008 about 183,000 residence visas were given each year to immigrants from third countries. In 2010 it was about 188,000.

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Marcus Engler

The Immigrant Population

In French statistics, immigrants (immigrés) and foreigners (étrangers) are recorded separately. Immigrants are defined as people who were born abroad as foreign citizens, and they continue to be recorded as such even if they acquire French citizenship.

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Marcus Engler

Irregular Immigration

According to estimations, some 200,000 to 400,000 people without legal residence status – sans-papiers – are present on French territory. The number of irregular migrants in the French overseas territories is especially high.

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Marcus Engler

Refuge and Asylum

At the end of the 1980s, the number of applications for asylum in France rose significantly (1982: 22,500; 1989: 61,400). This can be explained in part by the fact that immigrants resorted increasingly to the right of asylum in the absence of other legal channels of migration. Bureaucratic obstacles and a trend towards lower recognition rates led to a decrease in the number of applicants in the 1990s. However, contrary to the European trend, the number of applications for asylum rose again at the end of the 1990s.

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Marcus Engler

Citizenship

The Citizenship Law of 1889 established a territorial principle for citizenship (jus soli) which is still considered valid. Accordingly, children who were born in France to foreign parents automatically receive French citizenship when they become 18 years old, as long as they have lived at least five years in France and have their fixed residence on French territory at the time of naturalization.

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Marcus Engler

Current Developments

Since a conservative government under Jean-Pierre Raffarin (UMP) took over in 2002, a trend towards a more restrictive immigration policy has become apparent. In the following a few important aspects of this development will be illustrated.

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Marcus Engler

Future Challenges

The presidency of Nicolas Sarkozy, who was voted to become the Head of State in 2007, clearly led to more restrictive French migration policy. The closing of camps of mainly Afghan irregular migrants in Calais in September 2009, the eviction and destruction of several hundred Roma settlements and the deportation of their residents in 2010, the “Burka Ban” in 2011, as well as the discussion on French national culture and Halal-butchered meat – these are just a few key moments in a development in the last years which has led to a stigmatization of the immigrant population.

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Country Profile 2

Literature an Further Reading

Here you can find Literature and further reading for Country Profile 2: "France" by Marcus Engler.

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Kurzdossiers

Zuwanderung, Flucht und Asyl: Aktuelle Themen

Ein Kurzdossier legt komplexe Zusammenhänge aus den Bereichen Zuwanderung, Flucht und Asyl sowie Integration auf einfache und klare Art und Weise dar. Es bietet einen fundierten Einstieg in eine bestimmte Thematik, in dem es den Hintergrund näher beleuchtet und verschiedene Standpunkte wissenschaftlich und kritisch abwägt. Darüber hinaus enthält es Hinweise auf weiterführende Literatur und Internet-Verweise. Dies eröffnet die Möglichkeit, sich eingehender mit der Thematik zu befassen. Unsere Kurzdossiers erscheinen bis zu 6-mal jährlich.

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