In the recent past, a lot of countries have come up with different plans in attempts to decrease or stop immigration. Such an issue as immigration may be welcomed if it leads to the economic development of a country, for example, provides an additional workforce. However, immigration may be discouraged, if it leads to a drop of the economy due to population increase and creates one of the major problems in many countries all over the world. The main object of discussion in this essay is France and its attempts to limit immigration. The process of immigration is being discouraged in France because of unemployment rise, inadequate housing of immigrants and debates on the availability of Muslims inhabiting this country.
Immigration in France
According to Chrisafis (2010) and her article “Immigration: France Sees Tensions Rise Five Years on from Paris Riots”, France has not been confronted with problems concerning immigration for quite a long time, and it was even encouraged there. As a result, in 1931, France had the largest quantity of immigrants in comparison to all Western countries; 7% of its inhabitants were made up of immigrants. France had found it necessary throughout the nineteenth century to welcome economic immigrants, who provided labor and wanted to live in better economic environment. First of all, this resulted from deficiency in the industrial market of France because of the low birth rates and the consequences of war (Collet, 2007).
Intellectual differences became apparent in the nineteenth century when Italians were afraid of catching up diseases from the French people, who were also seen as immoral. In 1927, French healthcare students organized a demonstration, because four thousand foreign students wanted to gain French nationality. Such an issue made the foreign doctors to obey the law that dismissed them from medical practice for five years after they gained nationality so as to reduce competition. Moreover, the citizens of France were allowed to work in the public sections unlike the immigrants. Thus, the slow developing of economy led to discrimination of immigrants.
Between 2005 and 2006, France faced irregular riots and demonstrations in the employment and political sector, especially among the young people. The disturbances originated from the black and Arab young people, who lived in the ghetto environment with low living standards. The complaints and boycotts were mainly led by the students of colleges and employees who claimed to face discriminative treatment (Collet, 2007). Two young people had been killed through electrocution by the police, while climbing a fence of a power substation. The police were known for their racism and abusive behavior towards even French citizens of the foreign origin. Such an attitude could not be tolerated and led to 20 riots, which provoked a government response. However, this led to annunciation of a national emergency by Sarkozy, who was the minister of domestic affairs during that period, and all the immigrants involved in the strike were expelled.
The Integration and Immigration Law created in July 2006 was meant to restrict the immigration of unqualified foreign workers and any person who would weigh down the French nation (Murphy, 2006). There was also a warning regarding the ghetto children, which were identifying more with religion and foreign origin than with the French nationality. In the 2007 election campaigns, an aspirant Nicolas Sarkozy asked French people to vote for him, promising to clear out illegal immigrants as their number increased from two to four hundred thousand. When Sarkozy came into power, he ordered twenty five thousand unlawful immigrants to be forced out of the country by the end of the year (Chrisafis, 2010).
France has made the process of nationalization through marriage much complicated than it was before. The government maintained the processes of giving visas too. Sarkozy, who was considered as a quite conservative president, initialized a debate in parliament about what makes up the identity of a French citizen. The debate faced great opposition from open minded people. There is a huge, three million community of Islam in France. Immigration rules in France became very strict (Remmers, 2010). The act on immigration prevented foreigners from being legalized like it was before, where legalization was permitted if a foreigner stayed in France for over ten years. However, there is an interesting fact that the president Sarkozy himself is of a foreign origin.
After introducing a new law, Sarkozy prohibited Muslim women, who were mostly from an immigrant origin, to wear hijabs in public areas (Chrisafis, 2010). The French Government has become responsible for the negative effects resulted from this law. The young French people spotted raising flags of Algeria. Foreigners were officially called the French people of the immigrant base.
Chrisafis (2010) mentions that a leader of the black organization, Patrick Lozes, who said that the riots proved the existence of the Republic structure, has also noticed how the youth rioted and fought for their rights to be equal citizens, although the demonstrations were faced with a lot of opposition. A lot of young people with African and Asian names have been denied the employment. A mayor of communism, Claude Dilain, has also stated that problems for immigrants have not stopped and could trigger riots from time to time.