This is not a new position for French President Sarkozy, he’s been advocating legal immigration for economic reasons since at least 2007 while restricting illegal immigration. In the United States, he’d be marked a racist bigot.
From USA Today back on July 9, 2007, with my emphasis.
President Nicolas Sarkozy charged France’s new immigration ministry with working toward an EU pact that would include refusing to legalize clandestine immigrants en masse, according to a mission statement released Monday.
Sarkozy laid out his goals on immigration in what amounts to a job description for Brice Hortefeux, in charge of the Ministry of Immigration, Integration, National Identity and Co-Development, created after Sarkozy took office May 16.
Among the new minister’s objectives was ensuring that immigration for economic reasons accounts for 50% of immigrants entering France — and cutting down on the practice of allowing family members to join relatives installed legally in France. A bill to be debated in parliament in September toughens criteria for so-called “family regrouping,” notably with tests before arrival of the French language and values.
Could you imagine such a test in the United States? Sarkozy assumed office in May of 2007 and was partially elected on the above platform. As far as Sarkozy and many other French are concerned, the issue has gotten much worse and they feel France is losing its identity.
President Nicolas Sarkozy threatened in a key election rally Sunday to pull France out of Europe’s 26-nation visa free zone unless the European Union does more to keep out illegal immigrants.
Sarkozy, who this week said France had too many foreigners, made the threat at a mass meeting which he hopes will turn the tide against front-running Socialist Francois Hollande with just 42 days to go before election day.
The so-called Schengen passport-free zone must urgently be overhauled to fight the flow of illegal immigration, said the right-wing leader, returning to a constant theme in his bid for five more years at the Elysee palace.
To chants of “Nicolas, president!” from the tens of thousands in the flag-waving audience, Sarkozy said unchecked immigration would put extra strain on social safety nets for Europe’s poorest.
We’ll have to see what happens with the elections next month.