Published: 22 Jan 2013 19:33 GMT+01:00 | Print version
Updated: 22 Jan 2013 19:33 GMT+01:00
France expelled record numbers of illegal immigrants in 2012, sources close to the country’s Interior Ministry confirmed to French media on Tuesday.
Last year a total 36 822 illegal immigrants were deported from France – the highest figures ever recorded and a steep rise of 11.9 percent compared to 2011.
The data which has not been confirmed officially was revealed by French daily Liberation and backed by Interior Ministry sources quoted by other French news outlets.
According to Liberation most of the expulsions took place in the first half of 2012 when Nicolas Sarkozy and his right wing UMP party were still in power.
Despite setting a record the figure of 36, 822 is still below the target set by former UMP Interior Minister Claude Gueant, who had set an objective of 40,000 deportations if Sarkozy had been re-elected.
Christophe Daadouche, from French immigrant support group Gisti told The Local that France needed to change its policy on immigration.
“These figures are not that surprising. Even with a new government the mentality is still pretty much the same,” he said. “The policy of deporting illegal immigrants en masse has been in place for a long time, but it is a failed policy.
“The mentality towards immigrants needs to change. People need to stop seeing them only as thieves or bad guys. There needs to be better teaching around the causes of why they come to France in the first place.”
France’s highest court ruled in July last year that illegal immigrants, known as ‘sans papiers’ could no longer be held in police custody simply for not having their residency papers.
The ruling was slammed by the far-right for being “lax, ultra-liberal and pandering to the whims of a European legal oligarchy”.
As Carlo Ancelotti paid fulsome tribute to the retiring David Beckham the Paris Saint Germain manager revealed an announcement on his own future may be imminent. READ () »
France's disgraced former budget minister, forced out of office over a tax fraud scandal, will not seek re-election to his former parliamentary seat, a newspaper reported Sunday. READ () »
Spain's world championship leader Marc Marquez will start on pole in Sunday's French MotoGP on the Bugatti circuit at Le Mans after coming out on top in Saturday's qualifying. READ () »
A man was arrested on Friday after causing a scare at the Cannes Film Festival, where he attacked a TV studio with a gun loaded with blanks and a dummy grenade, police and witnesses said. READ () »
French actor and newly-minted Russian citizen Gerard Depardieu on Saturday compared President Vladimir Putin to the late Pope John Paul II and said the ex-KGB agent is what Russia needs as a leader. READ () »
France became the 14th country to legalise same-sex marriage Saturday after President Francois Hollande signed the measure into law following months of bitter political debate. READ () »
Struggling French oyster farmers, whose haul has diminished in recent years, are set to receive some much needed help from their Swedish counterparts, by importing oyster spats from Sweden for the first time. READ () »
France's highest court the Constitutional Council cleared the divisive gay marriage bill on Friday, paving the way for same sex unions to become legal. Francois Hollande said he would sign the bill into law as soon as Saturday. READ () »
While many in the world of football raised a glass to David Beckham when he announced his retirement on Thursday, elements in the French media as well as PSG fans in Paris could not hide the fact they feel a little cheated by his minimal contribution on the pitch. READ () »
Thieves have stolen Chopard jewellery worth $1 million at Cannes Film Festival, French police reported on Friday. The jewellery was due to be loaned to film stars over the coming days. READ () »