France is home to over 5 million immigrants, mainly from North Africa and other areas of Africa. Sarkozy’s new immigration minister, Brice Hortfeux, recently stated the government will be offering incentives to encourage immigrants to return home. “We must increase this measure to help voluntary return. I am very clearly committed to doing that.” Under his plan, France will provide about $8,000 for a family that is willing to return to their native land.
Hortfeux is offering an interesting proposal and masking it under the umbrella of fostering economic development back in Africa. His argument is that families with their $8,000 nest egg will return home, establish a business, and get their home country economy humming. Dream on. I find it fascinating that Hortfeux is willing to give a family $8,000 to leave France and establish a business elsewhere but is not willing to invest the $8,000 in France assisting people to become entrepreneurial. What if the Sarkozy government developed a plan for massive economic stimulation within France while drawing upon the talents and hard work of immigrants? What if the economic stimulus was accompanied by serious efforts at creating decent housing that integrated Muslims with their Christian neighbors?
Just a thought. Just a thought.
Information from Der Spiegel